Thanks to everyone for their advice on trail running training last week. I started my week long holiday trail running escapades yesterday with a 6km out and back on the first hill of the race called the horseshoe and I’m pretty sure I could've hiked it faster than I “ran” it. There were many factors at play: including not drinking enough water the day before when it was 35C (and perhaps too many alcoholic beverages), meeting new friends and staying up a lot later than usual resulting in getting a much later start than planned, meeting up with some other runners at the trail head and chatting delaying my start even more. However by 8:30 am (and 24C) I was starting my run. I decided to just focus on the first hill doing an out and back since I’ve only run it one direction and race day is an out and back. The “back” was harder than anticipated - it was a long gradual uphill that was fun running on the “out” but made for a slow go on the way back (there was definitely no negative splits today!). It gave me a lot of opportunities to stop and enjoy my surroundings while catching my breath and taking a drink. I could hear roseabi’s voice in my ear as I was creeping up a skinny hillside trail asking “Do I enjoy trail running?” and I reminded myself why I wanted to do this - to challenge myself, take the pressure off of trying to run at a certain pace and always being worried about getting faster, and doing something that many haven’t done. It is about the experience, the scenery, being one with nature. I saw a deer, heard some rustling in the bushes adjacent to the trail (which I normally wouldn’t have heard because I normally run with music but decided I needed to be more vigilant about my surroundings) and a couple of horseback riders below me in the valley. It was hard work, I huffed and I puffed, I walked a lot, but it was a huge feeling of accomplishment....I just have to remind myself to ignore how long it took.
Next plan...tackle the second hill of the race tomorrow morning but I will work harder at getting up and moving a lot earlier.
And ya....as hard as it is, I can safely say I do enjoy running the trails.