I went for a trail run. A lovely 21k trail run in Nosehill Park with some seasoned trail veterans. An amazing, unique experience, a beautiful morning and I loved every second of it! In fairness to the road (I sort of feel like I cheated on the road with the trail), I also love my long training runs on the paved pathways and roads, but I have to admit it was nice to get out onto the trails this balmy (+7C) Calgary morning. I can totally see how this trail running thing could be addictive. The pace is less, the pounding is less, but the run was still very, very challenging with all of the inclines and declines. Also, zoning out is completely out of the question, as you need to be aware of every footfall to ensure you are picking the "path of least resistance" (dodging ice, rocks, roots) on the trail.
Of course, this was likely an aptly timed foray off of the pavement and onto the trail as my next marathon is less than two months away and occurs on a trail. A little bit crazy perhaps to think that I can manage to ready myself for a trail race in just two short months with 1 trail run notched on the proverbial belt, however, I'm a gal that likes a challenge and an inevitably large one this trail race in the swamp will certainly provide!
Recall if you will, just one and a half short months ago, my southern running buddy who I met at the NYC marathon, Mr. Larson, suggested that since I was going to be in the Orlando area at the end of March and since I was unsuccessfully looking for a full road marathon, that I give the Big Green Swamp Marathon a shot. I almost felt like I was being called out on this one, as in a Canadian gal like myself certainly can't take the heat (plus humidity) and challenges that running a 26.2 across a swamp will certainly throw my way. So I naturally did what any sane non-trail runner does when faced with a trail challenge such as this and signed up. Which brings me back to this whole trail running experience today. I figure I'd better get at least a few miles in on the trails before I hit the swamp in March. Coupled with the challenge that a trail marathon in a swamp will bring (think: roots, wet, hot and humid), also noteworthy is the fact that I'll be running alongside the gators and spiders that are indigenous to the Florida swamps. Awesome? Please note the question mark following that comment since I'm not entirely sure that the website is exaggerating on this one. A bonus, I suppose, is that this may inspire me to pick up the pace ever so slightly. I have no plans to run a fast race in Florida and am using the run as a training race for my targeted goal race, which is the Ottawa full in May. However, I am certain that there is nothing like the fear of being taken out by a gator or spider to inspire a bit of speed here and there on the old trail.
All things considered, I'm really looking forward to this one. It should be fun if nothing else.
And in case you missed it, it was an epic, EPIC finish to the Australian Open this morning. Nadal may have lost, but he lost in 5 of the best sets of tennis that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. And it made me love him just that much more. An insanely intense display of athleticism. Love.
Last, but certainly not least, 5 runners at the lulu run club on Saturday at noon. 5. Oh.Ya.Baby. And two of them were hungover. 6 if you count the furry four legged Ellie that joined us. Note to runners: let's double this next weekend please! No excuses! 4th st. lulu! Saturday! 11:30! DO IT!