Monday, October 22, 2012

Trail Running State of Mind

I had quite a restless night of sleep last night.  I felt like how I imagine a mother with a newborn feels.  Holly (our dog) was completely out of her mind.  She got into my coffee yesterday, and by the time I swiped the cup away from her, she had licked up every last drop.  I'm not positive that it was the java that turned our dog into a ridiculously hyperactive, wild animal last night but I'm thinking it is likely.  She normally sleeps soundly and she even enjoys sleeping in until we do. Instead, she spent the night running back and forth, making snorting, pig-like sounds, rolling herself all over the place, and jumping on the bed and off again.  It did  not make for a good night's sleep.



 I would end up asleep on the treadmill (as pictured) but lucky for me, it is a rest day.  Hallelujah.  I will get some elliptical action in and call it a day.

This past week of training was excellent!  All 5 runs went seamlessly.  I was able to hit the trails twice last week which lifted my spirits.  There is nothing like a good trail run to remind you why you run.

Yesterday, we did an easy, recovery run by Lake Hodges.  It was gorgeous!  Rather than pay attention to pace and distance, I was able to take in my surroundings.  Although it's rare in San Diego, it actually felt like fall. The air was crisp and clean, the sky a bit hazy and I even spotted some vibrant colors here and there.



Ang crossing the stream
 


I recently started reading Chi Running, and in the book, Danny Dreyer writes about the beautiful ease of movement that children have when they run and how we lose that with age.

If you watch children run, they're generally all smiles.
Children run naturally. When they want to catch their friends in a game of tag, all they do is focus on who's It, and their body just follows along. They're not thinking about running. They're enjoying the game of tag and having so much fun running that there is very little work going on.
That is precisely how I feel when I am trail running.  It is play.  With the exception of barreling up hills, I  move along effortlessly and enjoy the discovery of the trail.  Trail running is sheer pleasure.  That begs the question, why not always run on trails?  I think one day, I will be completely devoted to trail running but right now, I have other goals.  I want to see how fast I can get in the marathon.  I want to do tempo runs and repeats.  I enjoy this just as much.  Once I get a few PRs under my belt and I'm satisfied with my progress, I can step back and just simply run to run.  I was never an athlete in college or high school, so now is my chance to push myself and see what I'm made of.  But one day, I just know, I will be a trail junkie.  I can feel it in my bones.

How do you feel about trail running?  
Love it or hate it?

Have you ever had to deal with a caffeinated animal?
In case you were worried, I researched it. Dogs won't die from drinking a little coffee. They will just make YOU want to die.  :)

61 comments:

  1. So funny about the dog (although not, I'm sure, at 3 a.m.). What a beautiful trail you got to run on! I love trail running, although don't do nearly as much as I would like to simply b/c it freaks me out to go it alone. I do think the western trails are prettier than here, though, and I am jealous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never run trails alone either, which is why I don't get to run them as often as I'd like. The trail we ran on above is where the high school cross country runner, Chelsea King, was murdered. It was an eerie and sad reminder that it's not safe to run alone.

      Delete
  2. I am not a huge fan of trail running because I am so clumsy and fear I will fall and injure myself during it. However, I do enjoy a great hike on a beautiful trail!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would be rather grumpy if one of my dogs kept me up all night!
    If I could run nothing but trails, I'd be an incredibly happy runner. But, I take what I can get.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love trails...this you know! Love Portland Trails too! Can't wait for you to try them out. :) Sorry about your dog...I GET this sleepless night thing. :) I did end up suffering from my first and most serious injury on a trail from tripping over a rock in 2010. It was awful. But I still like them. Chi Running...still plodding my way through. Love it though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 2 things I am most excited about in Portland: 1) Trail running and 2) excellent coffee!

      Chi Running isn't exactly a page turner so I am also plodding through in between the other books I'm reading. Good stuff though!

      Delete
  5. With the exception of a 10K that I did last year, I have never run on a trail. How sad is that?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam! That is sad. And that's coming from a treadmill junkie! ;-)

      Delete
  6. I am not the biggest fan of trails; I wish I was, because the scenery is always so pretty. However, I am really spacially challenged and unco-ordinated so I always end up tripping over or bumping into things. I have never had a caffinated animal but I have had a drunk one. There was a beer bottle left on the floor when I had some friends over and my dog decided to take the bottle outside, tip it over and drink the contents. She ended up spending the night under the bed, feeling very sorry for herself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if dogs feel hungover? Poor girl!

      Delete
  7. LOVE trail running. It's my moving meditation. I would love to run a trail marathon one day! But, like you, I have some other goals that I'm working on first. That's funny about your doggie... well, not that funny for you! My dog loves to bark ferociously at the raccoons on our deck all night. That's always fun ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely moving meditation. It's like a soul cleansing.

      Oh dogs. I love 'em to death but sometimes...

      Delete
  8. Haha, we have 7 dogs and believe me, we often have little mishaps like that. But dogs are very tough :) I love and live for trail running. I run both road and trail but will choose trail over road any day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7 dogs!? I am so jealous! The more the merrier.

      Delete
  9. I ran a half around Lake Hodges in September and LOVED it. I'm actually doing another trail half in a few weeks because I really enjoyed the challenge - watching every step, jumping creeks, rocks, etc. It's so nice to mix it up sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Where is your upcoming trail race?

      The Dirt Devils group puts on great trail races around here. I need to start running them!

      Delete
  10. I liked Chi Running. I didn't "get" the form but I "got" the meditative joy he was trying to convey and what I love about both running and yoga. I feel it even running on the treadmill. The bliss of propelling myself of my own accord through time and space is wonderful! I haven't dealt with a crazy pet in a while but I really really want a Boston Terrier puppy. I did want a pug but I think a Boston will be a better kid dog. What am I thinking wanting a puppy with four sons! It just seems the thing to do. I miss having a baby I suppose :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my goodness, Holly is SO cute! Sorry she was a little rascal and kept you up, but how can you be mad at that little face?! :) Those pics of your trail run are beautiful! I am doing my first trail run race this coming weekend! I am excited, but a little nervous about wiping out! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. i WANT trails...seriously i adore running along the water here, but I miss trees and that tranquil feeling you get in the woods

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I wish we had more forest here. I do most of my running along the ocean.

      Delete
  13. I started reading Danny's book... then I let a friend borrow it who never returned it. Hmmm.

    I love trail running. It is so much fun. But I'm not gonna lie, it takes a lot out of you. Jumping on the road and knocking out a quick 6 miles is always convenient. I can't imagine doing short runs on trails. To me they need to be epic and long.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love trail running! I've had some pretty incredible wipeouts, but that's a given on the muddy trails around here. Running in really thin soled shoes is interesting too, because even though I feel like I can grip the terrain with my toes and therefore my balance is much better, I've definitely kicked a rock or too. This results in a pretty gnarly bruise on the bottom of your feet which gives you some good street cred. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Same, same. Every time I go trail running (especially trail races), I love the crap out of the people who are out there. But I'm in that same kind of spot where I'm not quite ready to give up on the road races yet. I really want to do Boston, so there's that. I see trails as kind of an adventure for when my feet are tired and I don't want to wear a watch. But I could see converting 100% eventually too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love that line from Chi Running! I'm only on Chapter 3 (or 2?) so far. I bought it thinking I would devour it but it is taking me a little while to get through it. I love the ideas and concepts of the book and can't wait to see if it helps me in my running.

    And I LOVE trail running! Although I am only 10 minutes from some amazing trails, I find myself running 90% of my runs on the roads near my house or on my treadmill (because of my kids). But every time I get out on a trail, it is a completely different experience. Running suddenly becomes 90% mental for me out there -- in a GOOD way. It is my time to process everything going on in my life. I am just starting a training cycle (or cycles) where I want to push myself and discover what I'm capable at a number of different distances. But eventually, I want to make the trails my home.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Trail running has added a whole new dimension to my running.. I am stronger and can tackle hills easier...We have about 250km of trail running right outside our town..great hills and so well groomed.. once you have started doing them it is really hard to go back to city and street running.. I once started to do a trail run and then 2.5 hours later I stopped..couldn't believe how long I had been running.. of course I felt it after my run .. but I could've never done that on the streets.. I would have been bored senseless.. that is my opinion.. I love it...

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