Sunday, March 21, 2010

I need to start thinking about these places before I commit to running yeah. I decided to check out some local parks yesterday for my run. I was excited to see I live close to a lot of parks, and my county offers a lot of services and classes discounted for residents. Non-residents can join as well for a slightly higher fee. I think that's only fair. I do pay for these services on a basic level through my taxes.

So I headed out to Sawnee Mountain Preserve. I didn't think about the incline until I pulled up to the preserve. Yeah, mountain = incline. I also didn't read the description of the preserve very closely. It has hiking trails, not running paths. Things I should have picked up on earlier, but it was all good. The view on the trail is amazing, and it will be even nicer once the trees start to grow some leaves. Let me tell you what trail running is like....

I have never been so actively engaged mentally in my entire running life. There were rocks and holes everywhere, so I had to make sure I didn't fall and either sprain my foot/ankle (which I am prone to do) or just fall off the side of the mountain. Neither scenario is good. I did notice that I felt the rocks a lot under my shoes. The dirt offered a lot of give though. It felt a lot better than asphalt or especially concrete.

Was it fun? OMG YES! The time just flew! Being that involved mentally with my run not only allowed my mind to quit focusing on all the things that stress me out, but it made me pay attention to the here and now. The air felt so clean too with all the trees and the higher altitude, so breathing was easier. I'm sure if I got much higher that I'd struggle a little more with less oxygen.

Because the run was more challenging, I focused on just staying safe. I stuck to the old run 3/walk 2 cycle, and I ended up having a lot more energy towards the end of the run. I chit chatted with a couple of people too, which is not my norm. I'm a bit anti-social LOL! I guess that speaks to how good I felt while I was out there.

All in all it was a great run. I definitely want to get back out there soon, but I think I need to invest in some good trail shoes first. I don't think Rex should go out there unless it's just for a regular hike. It kind of pushed my limits, and I don't want anyone to get hurt. Next week I'll explore another park!

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