It's pretty much just like regular trail running, but you put your hair up like a samurai...
pink, sparkly BIC Bands head band optional.
Today I decided to break in my trail running shoes. They were new...
I'd had a hankering for a pair of trail running shoes. You know, with all the running I've been doing lately, the Newtons and the Mizunos just aren't enough. *cough, cough*liar*cough, cough* ...a-hem... But money has been super tight – as evidenced by my running out of gas a lot lately – so new shoes seemed a ridiculous notion.
Our REI dividend arrived along with a 20% discount coupon on one item, and the dividend was way huger than I had ever imagined! 20% off + dividend = new Brooks Cascadia 7's :) And I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to run my Jelly Bean 10K...trail-style. I suck and forgot my bib :(
You know that thing about nothing new on race day? Yeah... I went home with this...
But I attribute it to the soaking wet wool socks bunching up...
not the awesome and lovely new shoes.
Everything started off dry. But I knew that wouldn't last long because we've had a good deal of rain lately. Everything was fresh and green and just beautiful. My plan was to run 2 of the three-plus-mile loops that I ran a few weeks ago.
Small water crossing at the beginning of each loop.
More pretty trail a little further along.
Little waterfall next to trail right before big-ass hill.
At about Mile 1 and Mile 4.
Beginning of major big-ass, never-ending hill from hell.
I really motored up this hill on the first lap.
Not so much on the second lap :P
That, through the little lit space, is the crest of the major big-ass
mo'fo' hill that is preparing me well for the Hayes Street Hill,
which I will encounter on May 20.
Downhill and dry!
I picked up the pace considerably...especially on the first lap.
Unfortunately, I came upon more and more of this...
Super sticky, clay-ey mud.
Deep...and super sticky with lots of puddles.
And did I mention that it was super sticky?
Like so sticky that it literally sucked my shoe right off my foot...for real.
*Photo not staged*
It took me a while to navigate to a place with semi-solid footing where I could put my shoe back on. By this time my socks were soaked. This is where they bunched up and created the blister-friendly environment. All of this happened in the first lap.
Despite the mud and soaked shoes and socks, I felt great when I got to the bottom of the hill and faced off at the beginning of the whole ordeal again. I decided that YES, I was going to proceed with the run. Go, me.
First, I forgot to mention that in that first loop I must've twisted or rolled over on my left ankle no less than 6 times...probably more...and my right ankle enough times to make it yell at me now even after icing. I did the whole, "Oh, rolled ankle...keep going...loosen it up...stopping will make it seize... motion...loose...keep running..."
Second, I had run the first loop hard. I worked the big-ass hill like nobody's biz. I was happy and smiling as I reminded myself over and over all the way up how strong it was making me...how preparing it was. What this means is that I was rather fatigued for the second loop. The challenging terrain and the tiredness pretty much meant an end to decent and safe running form. The second time up it, I wanted to stop badly several times. I kept asking myself, "Are you feeling injured?" "No. Just tired." "Then keep going because the work over time will take care of that." So I kept going. While the UP was very challenging, it didn't hurt me.
Third, the down hurt me. By the time I got to that previously pictured mud field, my ankles were screaming as they had been perpetually rolled. The slipping and sliding and bad landings had taken their toll on my glutes and stabilizers. Everything was fatigued, and my form went to crap. I slowed way down so as to not aggravate anything that had been 'disturbed.' By the time I finished, I was so happy to hobble to my car. Sitting down never felt so good.
Now officially broken in :)
And I am ignorant...could trail runners tell me...
do I just hose them off or what?
After peeling my socks off, I drove home barefoot.
Which is legal.
What did I learn today?
- Trail running is tough stuff. You use lots of additional muscles that are not used in road running. The anti-tripping muscles, for example.
- Wet, bunchy socks = big blister possibilities.
- I am not in shape. My fitness is so questionable now...so sad :(
- My hip likes running better when I am in shape.
- Big, sharp sticks lurk in the mud...waiting for unsuspecting trail runners to land on them, at which point they try to stab said runners in the crotch...
It's okay, though. He just got my knee.
It's not that bad...it was just really scary when it happened :P
Course elevation profile:
I believe those completely bizarre spikes and drops from 0.8 to 1.4 miles happened
when my Garmin spazzed out. Or maybe I stepped in a really big hole
and that's when I twisted my ankle.
Distance: 6.25 miles ...clearly, the course was long ;-)
Time: One hour and 14 minutes. No guns. No chips. Just a finger on a button.
Maybe tomorrow I'll do a blister-treatment video...