Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Trail Runs

Had an awesome run Saturday! (I hate overusing the word "awesome," which I often do, but I'm using it anyway because it just seems right to describe today's run).

It was snowing when I left to meet the trail running clinic group...well, it was more slushy snow falling, which turned into rain when I reached the bottom of our hill, and then snow again as I started to climb along the Barnet. It was full on snow by the time I reached our meeting point at the bottom of the drive to Mt. Seymour (ski hill for those that don't know). There was a sad looking group of runners shivering in the parking lot, and I joined them, signed in and then we pretty much got under way because no one wanted to stand around for very long.

(the trail did not look as nice as this. Imagine it overcast, very damp, and partially snow covered and then you'll get an idea of trail running in the winter here)

The start was a long, slow climb on a trail that runs parallel to Mt Seymour Rd.  We were all running at first (probably just trying to stay warm. I know I was), and then eventually we all walked up at trail that's called Old Buck.  The clinic leader was at the next junction to meet us, and then we turned onto a more narrow trail that's part of the 48k trail route named Baden Powell. More climbing! The trail was snowy, but not too slippery. We stayed all grouped together. Usually we break up into smaller groups depending on pace, but this week we clustered in a big long group along the trail.

My legs were burning! I had done some lunges with weights on Thursday at the gym and was still feeling the effects of that, so the climbing was TOUGH. When we finally hit something I could actually run on it felt great, but it was a really rocky section with lots of loose rocks so it was slow going in the snow. I later found out that that section of trail is called the Seymour grind. Appropriate.

There was a lot of up and down, but the warmer I got, the better I felt and the final run down towards our meeting point felt great and I pretty much ran my own pace downhill. I seem to be pretty fast on the downhills, finishing them before many more experienced runners, which is making me wonder if I'm going too fast and not pacing properly. Will it catch up with me later on a longer run? I just don't find the downhill sections that difficult. The uphills I'm always at the back of the pack, but the descent is pure joy for me.

I think finishing on a good descent kept me feeling great all day. I had a real runner's high that helped carry me through work. I should probably run every day before work!

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