My 10k Giraffe trail "run": I'll use the term... - Bridge to 10K

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My 10k Giraffe trail "run"

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I'll use the term "run" loosely for this activity. I think we hiked more than we ran and some of the uphills were more of an insanely slow crawl (with me staring up longingly at the top of the hill, wishing I had trained for more hills and realizing my goal to run most of my 10k race is a pipe dream). We were on a bit of a time crunch and I was lagging behind so I didn't take many pictures, but I couldn't resist taking this one - just one of the crazy steep hills we climbed (not ran, but definitely climbed). It was just after the 5k mark, we had just stopped for a quick refuel and had restarted on our journey. My friend and her daughter are training for the 50k trail run (yup, they're a little bit crazy ๐Ÿ˜œ ) so we thought we would hit the back side of the 50k trails yesterday, aiming for at least a 10 km run. Her daughter had to work at noon, giving us about 2 hours to meet our goal and allowing them to test some different foods to fuel on the go. They have 10 hours to complete the 50k, so this will give them an idea of pace they need to sustain and what we can cover in that time frame. We had planned for an 8:30 am start but they woke up to rain at the lake. The narrow game trails on the sides of the hills can be really tricky in dry conditions and super sketchy in wet conditions so we waited until the last minute to see if the rain would stop. It did, so I quickly hustled around to get ready and get out there (it's a 35 minute drive from home). We ended up starting about 9 am. It was 20C and humid as all get out at the start and 29C and sunny & hot by the end so not ideal temperature for a challenging run but could be the conditions we have on race day so best to get acclimated to it. The first 3k were tough (who am I kidding, it was all really tough), but when I looked at the elevation map, the first 3.2 k were a steady uphill with an elevation change of 131m - no wonder it was such a hard slog. We climbed many hills, went through a thick grove of trees where the trail was partially grown over making it a guess as to which way to go (fortunately they had been on this trail once before so kind of remembered which way to go), had one water crossing (and no bog foot for me this time!), saw several little frogs, a gorgeous deer, possibly a little snake - wasn't sticking around to explore it closer, and only 2 ticks between the 3 of us despite going through some sketchy areas. And I'm super proud of myself ...... as I picked the tick off my sock, I didn't run panicking and shrieking and only called him a mildly bad word instead of a really bad word that would've got my mouth washed out as a kid ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tough as it was, I always learn something from each of these crazy trail runs that I've been doing:

Lesson #1: I'm so glad I only signed up for the 10k this year. That being said, I am loving exploring the other races trails this year as part of my training and have full intentions of signing up for the 20k next year.

Lesson #2: As refreshing as a cold, wet buff is around your neck in this heat, trying to use water from your water bottle that has literally become hot does not make it any more refreshing later on in your run. Neither does spraying that insanely hot water on your face. I must remember to partially fill and freeze my water bottle the night before next time.

Lesson 3: When your allergies are acting up and the tissues you packed in your hydration belt just become a soggy mess in your insanely sweaty hands, a buff works in a pinch as a hankie. You just have to remember which part your using on your nose if you want to use it on any another part of your face after that ๐Ÿ˜–

Lesson #4: My friends use trekking poles on these runs. I'm klutzy and worried it would just be one more thing I have to contend with. However, climbing and descending some of the crazy hills we were on is a challenge and breathing when I'm all bent over trying to keep my balance is an even greater challenge. I borrowed one for one of the hills and Wow! What a difference! It keeps your body upright, keeping your chest open and your breathing easier, plus helps maintain your balance, giving one more contact point with the ground when you're lifting one leg off the ground. The 10k route isn't quite as rugged so I'm not worried about this year's race but will definitely get one next year for the 20k race. Plus, I'll probably get a hydration vest instead of just my belt so I can carry more water and fuel for the longer training runs. Time to go shopping ๐Ÿ˜

Lesson #5: I must, I must, I must improve my ...... leg and core strength๐Ÿ˜‰. I guess I better go back and find Rignold's squat challenge - might be a good place to start.

Fun fact: My gps map looks like something finally...Yay! I always run boring out and back or very linear lines or laps through the campground that make nothing interesting. But on this trail run, I see a giraffe. I don't know if they run very fast, because this giraffe was very, very slow in the making ๐Ÿ˜†

24 Replies
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Wow! Sounds and looks amazing. Well done you, and a good time too.

in reply to Runninginsingapore

Thanks. I can only get faster, right ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜†. It takes the worry of pace away when you're climbing those beasts!


Gulp! I am now going to stop going on about my 'hills', that's Mount Everest! But what an adventure. What a wonderful place to run. And you're still alive to tell the tale. Respect xx

in reply to FlickM3

It sure felt like Mount Everest ๐Ÿ˜‚. It's been an amazing adventure and allowing me to see a whole new area right in my own backyard!


Good god woman, you must be so fit and strong! That is some 10k. My eyes watered at that hill. Yikes. But what an accomplishment. You really do run/hike in some challenging conditions, I am in awe. And puts the little inclines I tackle on my regular run to shame! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Good work! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

in reply to Sadie-runs

Thanks Sadie. I thought I was fit before tackling these hills. It has knocked me down a peg, that's for sure. They are challenging but I'm loving the feeling of accomplishment afterwards, that's for sure. My eyes also watered, hence the "I know I'm lagging, but I must take a picture!". I don't look at the undulations on my normal runs the same anymore ๐Ÿ˜‚


Wow greatest respect to you SaskAlliecat - that puts my trots along the prom into perspective. Even walking up that would be a struggle . Beautiful vows I bet.

in reply to Dexy5

It's just a different facet of running I've been exploring that has been a lot of fun. I enjoy a nice run along the prom as well ๐Ÿ™‚ The views are gorgeous and there is lots of time to stop and take them in as you're catching your breath.


Crazy crazy crazy!!!, but a wonderful post and a great run.

in reply to ChrisAllen1

Definitely a little bit crazy ๐Ÿ˜œ


Wow Sask and wow again. Woman or machine ..uummm machine, well done and a great post ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

in reply to Lorijay

Thanks Lorijay ๐Ÿ˜Š


Hi Allie, wowser! I thought you were calling it your giraffe run because you were scaling his neck in the picture!

What adventures you are having...much respect to you three tough ladies, taking on such challenging trails... just reading about it is gruelling!

Your wet buff tip has proved very useful to me and others, not sure I need a trekking pole on any of my runs though๐Ÿ˜‰although I do have one I have used on hilly walks. What do you do with it when you run? Does it fix onto a backpack?

Huge well done to you on your giraffe run....Take care and look forward to hearing about your next adventure! ๐Ÿ˜Šxxx

in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Thanks Jan. It has definitely been an adventure. The poles they use do fold up nicely and can be stowed in their hydration packs. There are so many hills though, they're not stowed often ๐Ÿ˜†


Brilliant! Sounds so interesting! What an adventure! All you can do on the steep hills is walk em slowly. In heat too, itโ€™s even more important to conserve energy. I always take a large cotton hankie, folded up and put under my towelling wristband. to blow my nose or as a mop for face and neck. Itโ€™s also served as a bandage ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Those ultra marathon trail packs are so expensive! The Jenny Jurek one looks good !

in reply to misswobble

It feels like if I went up any slower I'd be going backwards ๐Ÿ˜‚. At least I know what I need to work on. My other hydration belt I have a small piece of microfibre cloth in it for wiping my face etc, but I forgot to move it over to my double bottle belt. There is so much to try and remember to grab as I was flying out the door. That was all I forgot. And most importantly, I remembered my Sport bug spray. I don't run those hills without dousing my legs and shoes big time!

Thanks for the hydration pack recommendation. My friends each have a camel back but the better one of the 2 they have (with more pouches for storing other goodies) isn't available anymore. I'm check out that one as well. I'm thinking the poles and pack would make a mighty fine birthday/Christmas present ๐Ÿ˜„


The 2 litre camelback bladder can fit inside the Jurek pack. It comes with two bottles


Good grief I don't know how you do it! That's hard core tough stuff! If any one can though, you can :)

in reply to Fishypieface

Thanks FPF. There were a few times on that run that I questioned if I could do it, but when you're several km away from a road, on a time crunch with others counting on you, all you can do is push through it. I probably shouldn't have done it 2 days after staying home from work due to vomiting, but it turned out ok. As we were trekking up the first series of hills, wondering why it felt so hard, I decided these runs are a lot like childbirth - hard at the time, you question why you're doing it, telling yourself you're not ready for it....then when it is all over, you have a feeling of euphoria and accomplishment and think, Ya... I could do it again ๐Ÿ˜…. It really is amazing how great you feel when you reach the top of the hill and take in the gorgeous views or reach the end of the run and see the crazy elevation change and graph (we try to ignore the pace chart, it is abysmal) ๐Ÿ˜†


You have oodles of grit! Well done! I see the giraffe - but wait, it looks as though he is carrying a shopping bag!

A 50k trail run! Whoa!

How good to have freinds who can help and mentor you through this. Their advice on what has helped them must be wonderful.

Your posts are inspiring and beautifully written with fab photos, thankyou.

Good luck!

in reply to Goforitmama

Thanks mama. We did the 5k last year as a way for both of us to get back to running after we each had hysterectomies a few months apart. I suggested we try to do the 50k by the time weโ€™re 50 (weโ€™re 44 now) but her daughter is going away for University this year so they wanted to try the challenge of the 50k (and it is literally in their backyard since they live at the lake). It has been quite an adventure for them and Iโ€™m learning a lot on the gear theyโ€™ve been acquiring. Iโ€™ll definitely be using their experience but Iโ€™m hoping after this race sheโ€™ll still be up for doing it again in a few years. When she told me she signed up for the 50k, I knew I couldnโ€™t do it this year (or any time soon). My work life is so demanding, but Iโ€™m hoping in a few years Iโ€™ll be able to scale back a bit to up my training ๐Ÿคž. Right now weโ€™re so short staffed, it doesnโ€™t look possible but iโ€™m more than happy working towards the 20 next year. Iโ€™m loving hitting the different trails with her though and seeing what I could be in for in a few years. But first, I must get through the 10k and 20k (Iโ€™m such a regimented rule follower; I canโ€™t jump the queue ๐Ÿคฃ).


Wow are a much energy & the joy you get from it shines through your post! Well done, you are a true inspiration....X

in reply to Mummycav

Thanks MC ๐Ÿ˜Š. It sure has been a fun way to spend my time at the lake this summer. Itโ€™s nice to get out run/hike and not be so focussed on pace and running non-stop. Itโ€™s taken me a bit to wrap my head around it and I still catch myself looking at the pace post run and feeling discouraged until I look at the elevation chart and then I feel so empowered.

in reply to SaskAlliecat have nothing to feel discouraged about at all Sask...itโ€™s not about the time it takes itโ€™s about what youโ€™re doing in that time...& youโ€™re doing exactly what you love & enjoying it so keep on doing what you do best xx

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