Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Ran Trails, And It Was Glorious

After a really horrible week of running last week I really wanted to run on Monday and I REALLY wanted it to go well.  I wanted to set myself up for success, so I knew any sort of hard workout was out.  It was going to be the hottest day of the year pretty much, so I wanted to be in the shade (so my neighborhood loop was out).  So, I decided to be brave, and TAKE TO TO THE TRAILS! 
This is Pt. Defiance Park, an extremely lovely and humongous park full of trails in Tacoma.  I've only ran here once before and never ran on the trails, and I didn't know what I was missing.  Pure loveliness. 

I got there, and had no real plan, which turned out to be a shame because I could have made a full loop of the park.  You'll see in the map above that I missed a lot of the West side.  I got turned around and ended up coming back the same way I went up (not on purpose).  It took a while to figure out what the markers meant and most of the time I had absolutely no clue where I was.  What?  I don't see a problem with that...
I started out with a short jaunt along the water!  Beautiful, right?  I saw a bald eagle!  But then later I saw another bald eagle and it turned out to be a seagull.  So the jury's still out on that first one. 
Then I took to the paths.  They were gorgeous.  The main paths were nice and wide and cleared well like this one.  I found a few single track that were much more technical and then a few trails in between the two extremes as well. 
Then you'd come across amazing looks-outs - like this one of Vashon Island. 
And before I knew it, I had ran 10 miles! 

Okay not really before I knew it.  At around 7 miles I was suddenly EXHAUSTED and realized that I was at about the furthest point I could be from my car.  But by then I had FINALLY figured out the map / marker system (I'm not such a smart one - don't ever put me in charge of navigation) and it turned out it was really only about 2 miles away if you took the direct trail.  And it was mostly downhill on the way back.  So I booked it. 
And I finished!  10 miles in 1:39:15 (Average Pace: 9:55).  And I was TIRED.  My legs were beat.

Total elevation gain of 1,183 feet - check out the elevation chart!  No wonder I was tired. 

And running mojo officially back.  Let's just hope all that trail running coming out of nowhere doesn't mess up my legs!  I LOVE trail running.  Why don't I run here all the time?  It really wasn't that far from work (though there aren't many days I can run near work, but after Girls On the Run is over next week I'll have more opportunities), it was LOVELY, and it felt way safer than I feared.  I'll be back, trails.

Some smart people say I need trail running shoes.  What do you think?  I wear Saucony Mirages now - use that information to recommend a trail running shoe!  GO!  :-)  And also tell me everything I need to know about running trails.  Please!