Last week was the first week since my hamstring injury and rehab that I felt as if I actually trained and it was truly pain free. Not that my hamstring had been really causing much pain, but I would still get a dull ache now and again sometimes hours after a run.
Sunday my dad picked up Todd, Armand, Jason and me and we went to Lake Williams to run. This was a new experience as the only trails I had ever ran were at Rocky Ridge, and I always chose relatively easy ones. Our trail loving friend Scott (who recently completed 112 miles on a trail beginning in Massachusetts and ending in Connecticut) recommended we check out trail 2 to get a rough idea of what to expect during the Sasquatch Trail Run. He advised us to make sure we didn’t end up on trail 2A which I’m now curious to see.
Our group set out and dad, Todd and Jason quickly pulled ahead of Armand and me. They did pause at spots along the way to regroup. At one point we came upon an incredibly steep hill and about halfway up I realized why it’s ok to walk on hills during trail races. I’m fairly certain it took less energy and time to walk the rest of the hill than it would’ve taken had I kept trying to run up it. Mentally it was certainly a new experience for me as I’m conditioned to believe you always run up a hill no matter what.
When the trail ended at a road we decided to run on it for some more miles as the trail itself was only going to be 4 miles round trip. My legs felt much more at home cruising the hills on the road though it was nice to return to the shade of the woods. We elected to check out trail 2B on our way back which was very narrow and slightly overgrown at spots. There were some switchbacks and lots of roots so I slowed down greatly to be cautious of my footing. Once again the front guys got ahead of Armand and me, likely due to my slow pace, and I was glad Armand was with me as I almost chose wrong at an intersection and would’ve ended up completing another loop. He directed me to the correct path. We finished with a solid 6 miles logged of good trail training.
Wednesday was calling for incredibly high temps and humidity, so I elected to run in the morning rather than with the group that evening. Jason was up early and decided to join me. We got in a fairly easy 3.5 miles over to the middle school and back. It was much cooler and not even as humid as I had expected, so I’m glad I made the right call to run at that time.
Friday Jason and I had a vacation day. We drove over to the Turkey Hill trail in Lancaster for a change in location. While there is an actual trail in the woods there (which I’ve never ran but my dad says is rather steep at spots), we chose to stick to the flat trail along the river to complete our 7 miles. Jason has really gotten better at monitoring his pace and not going out insanely fast then dying at the end of a workout. I give props to his new Garmin for improving that. It was lightly raining during the run and we were a bit past 5 miles when the rain grew steadier. Fortunately it was warm enough that the rain didn’t make me cold, but it did start to annoy me in general and I was glad when it became light again. I told myself that running in the rain makes you look tougher. Given we only saw 2 other people on the trail though I wasn’t really impressing anyone.
I intended to run again yesterday (Sunday) morning but my hamstrings and calves were incredibly tight. I’m not sure why given I had done a mobility workout on Saturday to stretch out. All I can figure is it’s just my body still adjusting to “normal” training again after being sidelined. I’m sure running 7 miles of all flat terrain didn’t help either as I’m used to having at least a few bumps in my runs. I listened to my body and instead of running completed a 15 min MMA DailyBurn workout followed by 2, 10 minute upper body workouts then took a walk to the donation bins down the street to donate some clothing.
As I’m feeling a bit looser today I plan to run after work. I’m still on the fence about training for a half marathon the end of October. Originally Armand was interested in it, but now has another commitment that day. Part of me wants to run it so I have something specific to train for, and another part wants to just continue easing back into my training until the York Winter Series begins in November. I told Jason after we run Sasquatch I’ll let him decide if he wants to continue adding onto our long runs. If he wants to then I may proceed with the half marathon and if not, I may just play it by ear.
Do you run trails often? Do you enjoy rainy runs? Do you find flat routes to be tougher on your body than hillier ones?