Monday, February 21, 2011

What Did I Get Myself Into?

I was one of the lucky ones that was off of work today.  I spent my free day cleaning, eating, drinking coffee and oh yes, trail running.  Like serious trail running.  The kind with rocks, streams and 20% inclines.  Mission Trails, in case you're wondering.  It was the most technical run of my life!  We must have picked one of the hardest routes because we never encountered any other runners, just hikers.

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun run.  I felt like a kid again as we hopped over streams and dodged slippery rocks.  I spotted a lizard or two along the way.  We had no idea where we were headed so it was an adventure.  It was an exploration of unfamiliar territory.  This part of the trail run, I enjoyed.

However, I was not digging the fact that my calves were screaming, my achilles was aching and I rolled my ankle countless times.  By the end, I felt like I had beaten myself up.  And get this; we had only run 7.2 miles!  I still had to tack on 3 miles and my legs were toast.  I started to question my decision to run this trail marathon.  What was I thinking?  My body still feels sluggish since the marathon and I have to get through these next crucial weeks.

Besides the insanely hard trail run we did, we also saw The Vagina Monologues this weekend.  It was my first time and of course I loved it.  How could I not love an entire production devoted to the vagina?  I laughed, almost cried and thanked god for my vagina.  :)

Afterward, we went out for drinks and dancing which led me to make a fool of myself and sleep in my clothes.  The next day was spent recovering with the perfect hangover food: a tofu scramble with soy chorizo, spinach and potatoes.   It was so delicious that I had to make it all over again today.

So, I realize that looks like a nasty pile of dog food.  If I weren't vegan, I probably wouldn't eat it either.  Just trust me, it is incredibly delicious!

I am off now to stretch some more and take care of these beat up legs.  People say trail running is addicting.  I am not quite convinced.

Does trail running make anyone else feel like a complete wimp?  Or is it just me?


  1. I love trail running! It's gnarly, but it's so much FUN.

  2. Trail running is HARD! I prefer to hike unless the trail is pretty flat, but I always feel awesome when I'm done. AND SO MUCH PRETTIER usually than a road run. You sound like you did awesome!
    It IS a calf killer!

  3. I don't trail run anymore specifically for that reason. Which is sad, because, I used to - my ego has gotten the better of me. Well, that and I decided running trails alone was reckless (after one trail run in the Santa Rosa Plateau where I felt like I might get eaten by a mountain lion, and then the whole Chelsea King tragedy), so, that is a barrier.

    Oh, and I found your blog through Sarah @ Once Upon a Lime. Read it from start to finish a week or two ago :o)

  4. I love my vagina too. Even while I'm trail running.

  5. haha, I'm not convinced trail running rocks either. There seems like too many opportunities to trip and break an arm.

    I just wrote a post about Vagina Monologues a couple days ago ... it was my first time seeing the show too!

  6. I don't think I would ever even try trail running! I'm a wuss :)

  7. Run with Trail Running Kate! :)

    I don't think Skyline is very technical, my podiatrist ran it last year and said you dn't even need trail shoes..but I plan to wear some light-weight ones. If I can even run.

    Looks like a gorgeous trail...and such a fun adventure!

  8. I felt a moment of endorphin enduced wonder and awe of my surroundings during my long run yesterday. I thought about you and all your positive posts about running in nature.

  9. Ummmm...I would SAY you stepped it up. Holy FREAK woman, you are hard core! Way to go. I bet you were glad to come down...
    I'm so glad you would vote for me. I will make sure you get your own VIP sweet in the white house when you come to visit. :)

  10. You got S2S. I've reconed (sp?) the route and it looks like it is groomed trails mostly downhill. And with all that downhill those occasional uphills will feel awesome.

  11. trail running is harder than you'd think but SO worth it! your muscles have to work harder than usual on technical trails to stabilize you, plus there are generally a lot more ups and downs than the roads. my calves are still killing me from my long run on the trails over the weekend! you're probably not fully recovered from your marathon either, and having fresh muscles will make a big difference. don't push yourself too hard these next few weeks!

  12. I <3 trail running! I am so excited for summer to get here so I can start again! That looks like a gorgeous run, wish I was there right now!!!

  13. what a gorgeous trail! But yes I ran 10M on trails last year and thought I was going to have to just lie by the side by mile 8 and collapse... It IS hard work but it sounds like your marathon is not too tough.

    Gotta love our vaginas!

  14. This looks like a gorgeous run. Sorry you're not feeling like it was a good choice. At least you ended the day with a new appreciation for your vagina and some good grub. I'm thankful for my vagina too. :)

  15. It took my lower legs awhile to adapt to trail running. On a technical trail, you use stabilizer muscles that a road runner would have no idea they even had. But, the muscles do adapt, and it is totally worth it. But you do need to train on the trails to race on the trails.

    Everyone else's comments seem to mention how much they love their vagina - I like them too, but am I the only commenter without one?

  16. running off the path is hard, but it definitely (eventually) helps the legs and look at those views! I'm sure being in marathon recovery has a lot to do with it, hopefully those aches and pains have subsided!

  17. Trail running is a very different animal, as you've discovered. I love Mission Trails but, you're right, the Fortuna trail (which is what that looks like) is a beast in areas. I can't believe you actually ran some of those parts!

    On the bright side, northern California trails tend to be kinder and gentler. And shady!

  18. Great lookin' trail! I, too, am not certain I love trail running. We have tons of great trails but I am always so slow and clumsy on the trails. But yet I keep doing it so I must like it for some reason.

  19. Did a trail run as my first run after the Chicago Marathon thinking "it's only 4 miles." Well, I was done at 2. It was freaking hard!

  20. YAY Vagina!

    YAY rail run.

    You KNOW you've freaking got this girl.
    you and your vagina.

  21. You make me laugh!! Tell me you have seen "The Kids Are All Right"--freaking hilarious.

    I have not trail run but have even GREATER respect for you doing this!! Is Angela also joining you for the 50k? You are such a talented runner!! And, I think the scrammble looks good-for me it is mental--if I know something is heathy, it tastes that much better!

  22. Trails are like running with Gandhi on one shoulder and Machiavelli on the other. Both have merit but in different ways. I suggest to continue to run trails as they will strengthen all the muscles and tendons in your feet and ankles thus making the next ankle "roll" much easier to recover from and honestly when I "roll" my ankle now on a trail run I recover almost instantly and do not even feel it after the blood stops flowing after the run. It's just a matter of conditioning. "Reverse Taper" after a marathon is very important to your future running. Take it easy for at least a month, you have nothing to prove, you all ready did that!!! As far as that tofu scramble looks.... where did you say your house was?

  23. Okay... I'm off to google Vagina Monologues to see what this is all about.

  24. I fell in love with trail running last year and did a trail marathon and then a 50k. To me there's nothing like it. I think it's that primal one with nature feeling that I love so much. So beautiful!

  25. Wow, sounds like the trail run you did was intense! If you only saw hikers out there (instead of runners), that might be a sign that you were on a trail that is very intense!

    I hope people don't get turned off to trail running after reading your description of your trail run - it just sounded like you did an insanely hard trail run! If you do more of the wide fire trail trails instead of really steep inclines I bet you would like it better.

    As for running on trails, there are many different types of trail condition I would say:

    -wide fire trails (about 10 feet across) with hard paked dirt. This to me feels almost like running on roads, there is very little chance of getting hurt

    -narrow singletrack (about 3 feet across) hard packed. This is what I would call trail running, and you need to pay attention at all times to avoid stepping off the trail or spraining an ankle on the trail.

    Personally I like running on trails better than roads, because trails are softer on your body, you generally get better views of nature, and they usually involve hills, which I like to run. I don’t necessarily think you need trail shoes to run on trails, as long as you aren’t going completely to the intense singletrack style trails. If you are running on more fire trail style trails, regular running shoes are fine. I run on trails quite a bit, and I wear my usual running shoes just fine.

    If you want to see some wide fire trail pics, my blog right now has some. I run on narrower single track trails too, but didn't have any pics of those last week.

  26. Never tried trail running although i'm an avid hiker in the summer I just love getting outside. I trip all the time just walking because i'm constantly looking around, I don't think I could handle running, I'd probably face plant like a million times.

    Looks gorgeous!

  27. Yeah I can heardly hike trails let alone RUN them! You're insanely hardcore. I heard of the Cataline Eco Marathon though...maybe one day!

    I LOVE the Vagina Monologues! I've seen them a number of times, twice with Eve Ensler doing all the parts. Sounds like you had a fun weekend!

  28. It's my FAVORITE!!! What I would give to be out there in Cali running trails!!!

    I have yet to see the VM's...

  29. I love running trails, but I know what you mean about feeling beat up afterwards. You'll get used to it. I can roll my ankles now and it doesn't even bother me. And the scenery is worth it! You'll do great! You BQed on your first marathon! Give yourself a break!
    Your food looks yummy! I'd eat that!

  30. YOU ARE AMAZING!! Trail running kicks my trash!! You are a rockstar and I think that scramble looks amazing!

  31. That sounds like fun! I'd love to run on trails like that, it looks beautiful out there and I'm sure it was a great workout too!

  32. trail runs scare me. I break bones easily, not a joke and I am freaking old. so I stay on the pavement. but you got this. I know it. so will you be running with Dean on Saturday!??

  33. Yeah, I'm screwed. I did not do my trail run last weekend. I am leaving on Friday for 10 days with no chance of a trail run.

    I guess I should do at least one before S2S 50k. Maybe? Do you want to run those trails in Escondido when I get back? You don't have to answer that, I'll email you.

  34. It's amazing how much harder trail running is! I have to believe that it's really good for the muscles. Just have fun at the marathon! Walk if you must... who cares?

    I love tofu scramble!

  35. Would love the recipe for that tofu scramble!

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