On Friday I was searching for running courses in my area and stumbled across a local race. It is a trail run at the Elk City State Park. Sounds good, right? It's 15 miles, which I think I can handle. I mean, I've run 14, what's one more? Did I mention it is a trail run? I've never run on trails. In fact, I've always thought it looked a little crazy. Well, the more I looked at the website for the FlatRock 25 and 50k the more excited I got. I've really been struggling to get back into a routine since my half and just couldn't get excited. I had found a race in Hutchinson that looked promising, but wasn't terribly excited. I just needed a new challenge.
I mentioned it to Rick and he said it looked like fun. I asked opinions for a few other people and they thought it looked fun. I also asked on the C25K forum I read and post on and the general consensus was to go for it. Friday night Rick took the boys and I out to the trail so we could walk a little bit of it. Oh my. That's all I can say. They all ended up with ticks. Also, it is scary. Really scary. I came home and obsessively looked at all of the pictures, results and race reports on their website. Even scarier. Then I read about snakes, possibly copperheads on the trail. Anyone who knows me at all knows how terrified I am of snakes. Did any of that deter me? Nope. I decided I AM going to do a trail run.
Saturday morning I got up early for my 8 mile run. I finished and woke Ryan up to go hit the trail with me. No, I don't force my kid to run with me. He wanted to. Well, this time. Sometimes I force him. It's fun. Anyway, we planned to do a quick 2/3 mile trail and maybe a small portion of our favorite hiking trail. We just wanted to test if I really wanted to do this. Unfortunately, the gates that block the road leading to the trailhead were closed. We went to a nearby bike trail instead. It said "Bikes Only" so I had to force my son who refuses to break rules to go. Oh my. It was hard. I learned some things though that will help me in the future.
1. Bug spray is a must. Ryan had ticks on him at the end of the run.
2. I need to eat more if I'm going to do trail running. I ran 8 miles this morning. I had a mini clif bar (100 calories) and a clif shot blok (not sure, maybe 100 calories?). I was weak and had no energy by the time I got to the trail.
3. I'm going to get dirty. Yuck. I hate dirt. I only ran .67 miles and my ankles and socks were filthy at the end.
For some reason, even though it was hard, I was tired and gross and miserable, I still wanted to do this. When I got home I was on Facebook and saw this picture:
Fleet Feet Tulsa for helping me find some
This morning I decided to try again on the trail I wanted to run yesterday so I headed out to the lake. I talked to my dad on the way and complained about snakes, because he feels the same way. He offered to come shoot them for me if I needed him to. Unfortunately, he's 1000 miles away so I don't think he'd make it in time. But thanks Dad!
Anyway, I think I've found a new love. Trail running is fabulous. I felt so great running. Yeah, it was hard. Really hard. And I didn't even run that far. It convinced me that I really want to do this though. Here are a couple of pictures I took with my cell phone from my run.
If you're interested in seeing exactly what I've gotten myself into, look at some of the pictures on the race website. They're scary. When I run some more I'll post pictures of the trail.
Happy Fathers Day everyone!!