Which is funny, because the last time I did a small stretch of trail running, I fell and got pretty banged up. My opinion since then has basically been that I don’t want to run on any surface that isn’t paved.
On Friday night over dinner, Jay mentioned that he was hoping to do a long-ish trail run on Saturday and asked if I wanted to go along. Knowing that I needed to get a run in, and realizing that the trail would be tree covered, thus covering me from the energy sucking sun, I reluctantly agreed to go with him. Before agreeing though, I told Jay that I fully planned to sleep in on Saturday morning, so if his plan was to run at 8am, he would be doing the run solo. Thankfully, he wanted to sleep in too and wasn’t planning to leave for the run until late morning or early afternoon. Yes, we were planning to run in the hottest part of the day. No, we don’t usually do that. The temperature on Saturday was only a high of 82, so considering the tree cover, and the fact that it would be 15 degrees cooler than it’s been here in two weeks, a mid day run seemed tolerable.
We woke up Saturday morning, the sun was shining, and the humidity was low. We ate some breakfast, packed our supplies for the run (water and snacks with carbs and protein are a must for trail runs!), and headed out the door. We’re fortunate to live about a 15 minute T ride from the Middlesex Fells Reservation, which is a lovely park full of trails and bodies of water. There are just enough people there to keep you from feeling completely alone in the scary woods (I’m a city girl), but it’s also very calm, quiet, and peaceful.
Jay and I ran 8 miles on the trails. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous about falling the entire time, because I was. Trail running is pretty technical you see, so you really have to watch every single step you take. There are pine needles, uneven ground, rocks, tree roots, and more to contend with as you travel along on your journey. You have to step very carefully and stride differently depending on the ground you’re covering. I’m happy to report that I did not have any accidents – I was able to keep my run vertical the entire time! We ran through some really pretty spots and even got to climb on some rocks (my favorite)!
I really appreciated the change of scenery that the trails provided. We usually do all of our running in and around the city, so getting away from that for a day was a refreshing change. I also realized that I had no concept of pace, and almost didn’t notice how much running I was doing due to the constant distraction of navigating the trails. Our pace turned out to be much slower than our road paces, but I think that’s normal and to be expected. It turned out to be a great 8 miles and I’d happily do it again. That being said, I need to buy some trail shoes. My one mishap was a giant blister on the arch of my left foot that I earned from wearing the wrong socks and shoes. Oh well, you live, you learn!