On Saturday, my regular day for running, I went shopping with a friend in Tupelo and didn’t run that morning before. I’d worked on legs pretty hard during strength training the night before and was feeling a little tired, so I decided to hold off. Sunday after church, I really wasn’t feeling like pounding the pavement, but I knew I needed to get out. It had been a while since I ran last. It was still cool after lunch, so I put on my shoes and grabbed my Garmin, and it hit me. I’d go down the 4-wheeler trails in the woods across from my house. So off I went. I’ve never run trails before. I started out going slow to make sure I kept my footing on the rocks and uneven ground. The first of the trail was downhill, which was nice, but I’m experienced enough to remember that I’d be facing that same hill at the end. At the first fork in the road, I took a left, trying to remember which way we’d gone on our 4-wheelers last year. We had apparently gone right, because left took me up a gravelly road that was difficult to run on. But it was all new scenery, and the time ticked by quickly. I didn’t even wonder how far I’d gone until I was almost a mile in. The run itself was intense. My heart rate stayed up higher than usual, and I could really feel myself pushing, unlike many of my easy, slow runs on the road. At the mile beep of my watch, I decided to turn around and make the run back. I didn’t want to go too far because I knew this new type of running would have me sore from using muscles I don’t normally use, so I decided 2 miles was enough. Before I even realized it, I was at the fork again, and the big hill loomed ahead. It wasn’t so bad, though. I strangely like pushing up a hill. That 2 mile run was the seemingly quickest 2 miles I’ve ever run, although my pace definitely wasn’t speedy. I had so much fun and concentrated on so many other things that I just really enjoyed myself out there. My ankles are really sore from trying to stabilize myself. I definitely worked muscles there that I usually don’t. Otherwise, I am surprised to find that I’m not really sore. I will definitely be going back to the trails. It’ll just be well into the day and wearing very bright colors so I won’t get shot by a hunter. Next time, I think I’ll try the trail to the right.
First Trail Run October 5, 2011