Part of my goals for this Summer was to try new things, specifically including trail running. I've never ever tried it before partly because I did not have the right shoes, partly because I have always had a really big goal race on the horizon and I didn't want to get hurt before that and partly because I have been chicken. Well, there is no excuse now: I bought a pair of trail running shoes (with my REI 2014 dividend, so they were essentially free - woo hoo!), there is no big goal race looming on the horizon, and I don't like to think of myself as a chicken. With no more excuses and a free evening, last night I went for it. I went trail running!
I discovered the trail a month ago when I went on my wanderlust/wonderlust walk. It's partly paved and then goes under a bridge (the Pennsylvania Turnpike is on top) and then the trail becomes dirt and rock. Having never done a trail run before, I set zero expectations and decided to take it easy pace-wise and just see how it felt. I also left the music at home: I think trail running is probably best experienced without any distractions.
I ended up running 3 miles and my average pace was 9:22, which makes sense. When you are dealing with this ...
... you have to slow it down a little. I really really loved it and I want to try it again. I stopped for a moment to snap a few pictures of the beauty surrounding me.
And of course a selfie! On a bridge! Sweaty! Creek over my shoulder!
I was definitely attuned to my surroundings - I was super careful to pay attention to the path in front of me, because the terrain was so varied. I could see the real need for trail running shoes. There were several times when I totally dug into the trail, and I would have bit it if I had my regular non-spiky trail running shoes on.
So, yes! This was good. This was a lot of fun, I went outside my comfort zone, and I tried something that I've always wanted to try. I think trail running would be a lot more fun with friends, so I'm hoping to scope out some in my running club and try it with a group.
This was a totally badass way to end an otherwise normal, mundane Monday.