Thursday, July 11, 2013

The challenges of trail Running

This weekend I have a trail race.  I haven't run a trail race in years, but I was really excited about the concept of this race so I signed up right away.  Oh, and I signed up the Jayhawk too.
The Jayhawk enjoying the view at Cloudland Canyon.
The race is the inaugural Troop Trot 39k and 10k.  We are doing the 10k option, because a 39k in the July Georgia heat sounded like a death wish more than I was looking for. The race is being put on by a local Boy Scout Troop, Troop 39 to be exact.  As one of their projects, the boys worked on preparing all aspects of the race.  They handmade the finishers awards, created posters to help direct the runners, and will be manning (boying?) the water stops.  The troop leader is a big trail and ultra runner, so I am pretty sure it was his idea, but either way, I love it. All proceeds go to the troop and the facebook page for the race continually has updates and photos about their preparation for the race. Encouraging kids to get outside and exercise?  I'm in.
Look at all those things for me to trip on.
I'm a little nervous for the race, not because of the distance, but rather because of the trail itself.  Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy trail running and partake in it a few times every month.  Being outside, the fresh air, escaping the city.  All great things.  But, you see, I'm kind of a klutz.  The other day on my long run, I managed to clip a palm tree and returned home to find blood dripping down my arm. I've also been known to fall off the treadmill (Don't ask).  So trail running, especially racing and trying to go 'fast', introduces a whole host of new dangers for me. I will spend the whole race looking down at the trail so that I don't fall.  So, to put it nicely, this race won't be done for speed.
Moments like this are why I like trail running.
On top of that, I am not really a fan of snakes and there seems to be a lot of them here in the south. It's not that I am scared of wildlife by any means, I grew up in Maine. It's just that in the north, we are used to our dangerous creatures being large and easy to see.  If a moose or bear is going to hurt you, you are going to see it coming.  We don't worry about stepping on potentially lethal reptiles while out on a happy trot through the woods.  For this reason alone, I will never win a trail race in the south.  I always make sure someone in front of me to flush out the potentially fatal wildlife.

So in honor of my occasional challenges with coordination, I'm keep the bar low for the race.
My goals:
  1. Finish unharmed, in one piece, and still in working order (this does not include scrapes, bug bites, other small flesh wounds).
  2. Do not get lost.
  3. Do not step on a snake and/or get bitten by one.
  4. Have fun.
Do you ever trail race?  What are your tips for getting faster on the trails?

11 comments:

  1. Good luck! I run on trails fairly regularly, but none that are really technical. I too spend a lot of time looking down at the path in front of me. I've fallen (or almost fallen) way too many times to count!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear I am not the only one who looks down all the time and still falls!

      Delete
  2. I was such a klutz when I first started running on trails and so very slow. I'm still slow but have gotten a little more brave which seems to have helped. Oh, and looking a little in front instead of at my feet! Have fun! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I was so slow at first too. Practice, I need more practice.

      Delete
  3. I have to remind myself to look around every once in a while rather than only at the trail so I can enjoy the woods more! Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! I go trail running for the pretty views and then spend half the time watching where I step!

      Delete
  4. 5. Don't leave Jayhawk behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm.....Wonder who left this comment. ;)

      I'll add that to the race goals.

      Delete
  5. I too hate snakes. You have great goals. I would be looking at the trail the whole way. Fell off a treadmill also and many many falls outside. Good luck and have a ton of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This race looks awesome! And I think your goals are perfect. I did my first trail race in March and really enjoyed it. It was a 20K and we went through a lot of mud and some creeks but we were all in one piece unharmed at the end. I look forward to reading your race recap!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good luck! I like goal #1 - that should always be the priority! ;)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...