It's like a drug sometimes (Read 177 times)

Not dead. Yet.

    I can't stop thinking about my run yesterday and I'm still basking in my own glory of a near perfect run.  If you could bottle that feeling and let people try out just a taste of what it feels like, this earth would have many less drug users and many more runners.


    I started trail running a few months ago, and have since been training a lot on hilly trails.  Soon after I started, I saw that a local trail racing series was coming up in a few months, so I have been pushing myself to do lots of elevation gains on the trails near my house.  One loop I have is about 5 miles, and the first mile and a half has over 1000' elevation gain.  I'm getting better at it, but I still have to power hike up the last half mile or more.


    I decided to go and run the first race route on Saturday morning  to see how I would do and get a feel for the course.  It's an 18k with 1900' elevation gain.  My goal for the course was 2:00.


    It was hard work, especially in the beginning, but as I got farther and farther into the run I found myself enjoying it more and more.  Every couple of miles I entered a new ecosystem, or atmosphere I guess.  Started out by running up a rocky canyon trail.  Had to climb some pretty steep sections and make my way around rock outcroppings.  Then I turned off to a trail up a cactus covered mountainside.  Once I got near the top, the trail curved around the mountain and the Pacific Ocean opened up in front of me.  Once around the mountain, I turned onto a long straight path through a flat valley.  Not a lot of trees around, kind of just a lot of flat open space with mountains on all edges in the distance.  Next I climbed up on to a ridge and trudged along a fireroad for a few miles.  It gave me great views down into all the valleys below.  Finally, I turned off on a small winding steep downhill single track again with the ocean in front of me.  It was blowing off a nice breeze, and by this point the hardest part of the run was over.  This downhill was my reward for making it this far.


    I passed a girl going in opposite direction from me, then a few minutes later I noticed she was now coming down the hill behind me pretty fast.  When she caught up with me, I let her pass.  I tried to keep my own pace, but the next thing I know I had picked it up considerably and was bombing down the hill after her.  About this time I checked my watch and realized not only was I going to beat my expected race result of 2:00, but I might even be able to come in under 1:45.  That helped me pick up the pace a bit more, and I shot down the hill like a rocket, praying I didn't trip.


    I pushed it hard all the way to the pavement and stopped my watch.  I came in at 1:47.  The girl was really nice and it was cool that we had kind of bonded in a way on that run down.


    Ever since then, I have been reliving the whole run in my head.  Not just the downhill, even the hard parts.  Sometimes it amazes me what our bodies are capable of.


    Now I really can't wait for the race.  I  am not sure what time to shoot for, but this time I was tired and sore from recent training, and wasn't really going for a good time.  Next time I will be trained, rested and ready to run my best race.  I might just become a trail addict.  Smile  Thanks for listening.

    How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

      Nice run, man!  Those are the ones we all love.  Only thing that coulda made that one any better was a loudspeaker for your music.  The girl would have enjoyed it too.


        Wow, I love your enthusiasm. When I wasn't a runner and I always thought about running I wanted to trail run. The peculiar thing that got me thinking about it was seeing  Willem Dafoe running and gunning through the jungle in the movie Platoon. In the scene he took off his shirt and looked as if he was trying to pace himself to some extent but always picking up speed and that the run was an elite kind of gorilla warfare, it really stuck in my head. Check it out sometime it really got me pumped up when I saw it. After that I always wanted to put some heavy pants on and some boots and run through the woods, maybe I still will some time, we have a preserve nearby that has something like 60 miles of trails some of which have elevation.

        One of the things that stuck out in your post was that you had been going through the run over and over in your head afterward. I always do that, to me it's almost as exciting as the run especially if it was a perfect run. Additionally, my runs almost always get better and more enjoyable the further into the run I am, I totally related to that. I seem to settle in and get more comfy, it's what makes me think I could do some serious miles. I wish I had that scenery you wrote about though, that would make it a lot better.


        The funny thing is that on the route I run, it's a local bike/running path, girls are always passing me. It's not that my ego gets bruised it's just that most of them fly by me. I figured out though that they are track athletes from the local high school. I wish I had that pace, maybe someday.


        Good luck with the race, let us know how it go's. Your success just might make me want to trail run. Sounds like a blast.


          Alice Cooper [or was it Warren Zevon?] once said: "An Alcoholic is a person who knows exactly how much there is to drink in the house and exactly how long it will last"


          A corollary might be: "A Runner knows exactly when the next Run will be, and exactly how long it will last"

          Latent Runner

            Alice Cooper [or was it Warren Zevon?] once said: "An Alcoholic is a person who knows exactly how much there is to drink in the house and exactly how long it will last"


            A corollary might be: "A Runner knows exactly when the next Run will be, and exactly how long it will last"


            Hmmm, I usually know when the next run will be, but often I end up running more miles than I planned, sometimes by a lot.  Smile

            Fat old man PRs:

            • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
            • 2-mile: 13:49
            • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
            • 5-Mile: 37:24
            • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
            • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
            • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

            Not dead. Yet.

              Alright.  I'll admit it.  I went home after the run and guzzled down a twelve pack and allowed myself just to bask in the feeling.  It's weird that a heavy buzz amplifies the goodness of a run.  Especially since one thing is so good for you and the other so bad.


              I guess I'm not the only one that makes that connection, though with all the stories around about runners and beer.  What's ironic, is that I started up running to help get away from alcohol, and now I've found an even more fun way to use it than before.

              How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

              some call me Tim

                Yeah, beer is good... but what I really want to say is that your original post captures exactly what I love about trail running, minus the girl. That doesn't happen every time. But don't diminish that little interaction in your assessment of the post-run glow. It doesn't take much.

                  Congrats! Sounds like a great run and it sounds like you are in for a good race! It makes me want to find some trails near me. I'm sure they must be here somewhere...

                  vincoding.com: A collection of useful code snippets