Trail Running

I haven’t done a running post in a really long time. I’m still running. I just don’t talk about it much. Mostly because I’m just doing my thing, and my goals are not about numbers or finish times.

My goal is to have fun. Enjoy running. Challenge myself. Run in a way that doesn’t leave me mentally or physically broken for weeks.

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I mean the views from the trail are hard to beat!

I’m sticking to trails about 99% of the time. The only road running I’m doing is the Tuesday Night Run Group with Fleet Feet Tacoma. I love that group, and even though trail running is where my heart is happy, that group makes me happy so I will stick with it.

Coming back from the car accident totally changed my focus. I appreciate being able to run period. I’m just happy to be out there regardless of the miles or pace. Frankly I have zero desire to push for faster finishes. I just go with the flow, go with how I’m feeling, give myself some grace (run slow & easy) when I know I haven’t eaten/hydrated as I should.

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Love morning runs at Pt. D!

It may sound like lazy running…it’s not. I’m just trying to run smart and run for the rest of my life. I still push myself with hill repeats, and speedy runs, but it’s all with the thought in mind that as I run, and as half marathon training starts, I will naturally become more efficient and speed up. And, I would like to be running when I’m 90, so you know I’m not going to go crazy with it now.

Running for life is not a sprint…it’s more like an endurance race. The point of endurance races is to finish, the pace per mile hardly matters when you’re running 100+ mile/multi day races. When I’m 90 am I going to care that I PR’d in my 40’s, or ran my slowest times? No, when I’m 90 I’m going to be thinking hell yes I’m still out here running on the trails with my happy runner heart!

That’s the state of my running right now. I’m so excited to have Rainier 2 Ruston next month (I have got to get some two a day trail runs in to train for running multiple legs) and Tehaleh Trail Half in September! Lot’s of trail time, lot’s of running to look forward to!

 

Dash Point 10K

I am so sore today, but it was so worth it! I ran the Dash Point 10K through Evergreen Trail Runs over the weekend, and I had so much fun!

 

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photo from the Evergreen Trail Running FB page, Photographer: Jerry Gamez

For the first time ever I ran a trail race alone, and you know it was refreshing. While I love running with my girls, and would have loved to have had them there (timing didn’t work for them…I asked) I really enjoyed running solo for a change. It doesn’t happen often, and it’s somewhat freeing to just run in my own head.

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View from the beach at Dash Point St. Park

I put on my music, worked myself up the very hilly first few miles, and enjoyed some really awesome single track through the woods, until the last few mostly downhill miles. I spent the first 2.5 miles really irritated. I twisted my ankle and it was hurting, my breathing was off, and it was a lot of walking up steep hills and stair climbing…just couldn’t hit any kind of rhythm at all and was pretty cranky. But, once the crazy hill climbing was done (1,000 feet of elevation gain most of which is the first 2 miles) and I could actually run without stopping I settled in, felt good (ankle was ok as long as I didn’t flex my foot upwards too much) and had a blast!

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photo from Evergreen Trail Running FB page, Photographer: Jerry Gamez

Can I just say that while ending on a downhill sounds great, it’s not when it’s steep, uneven, muddy stairs cut into the side of a hill. Quads were torched by the end and getting down those stairs was way harder then going up them had been. But, oh so worth it.

So far my goal for the year of trail running and having fun while doing it is working!

Anyone else race/run this weekend?

 

Best Race Ever!

Guys, it has been so long since I’ve been able to say this…I had the most amazing race over the weekend!

Pre-Race
Pre-Race

Elya and I ran the Point Defiance Ultra – the 15K (10 mile) distance. It was so perfect!!! It rained, like the hardest downpour I’ve ever run in, there was mud…lot’s and lot’s of mud, it was slippery and splashy, and so much fun!

We left puddles in my car seats, and I had mud in places I didn’t think could get muddy running. It was crazy, and so much fun!

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The final downhill to the finish is crazy! Like hand over hand on the ropes to stay on your feet steep. With all the mud we pretty much slid down hand over hand. Sorry for the blurry pic…my phone was foggy and wet.

I was stressing out about this one big time. Training on Whole30 has sucked pretty much, so I was anticipating struggling to get through to the finish line. But, my race day breakfast and fuel plan came together perfectly and I felt amazing. I didn’t feel tired or worn out until the last mile, which is exactly what I want in a race!

Laughing my way through a race with Elya really is the best thing ever. There wasn’t a single step in that race that we didn’t have huge grins on our faces. Rainy trail runs are the adult version of kids puddle jumping in the rain…so much fun!

The last 3 to 4 races I’ve done have been pretty rough. I have struggled to finish them, pushed harder than I probably should have, and felt like death for days after. Mentally it had gotten to me, I was not loving running, not excited about races, down right terrified of double digit miles, and thinking it may be time to think about being done with it.

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I think my shirt was so wet it stretched to be about 2 inches longer than it really is!

This race was just what I needed to get my running game back. It’s the first race I’ve finished in a long time that made me think “hey I really want to do this again…whens the next one?!”, and it’s the first one I’ve finished with a smile on my face.

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So cool running into Kember (Fleet Feet) and Elite PT at the finish line.

Trail running has always been where my true running heart is, and I let myself drift away from it. So, my goal for next year is more trail running, lot’s more…I may not even do a road race next year at all. I’m happy in the woods (hello we camp all the time!), and my body is happier running on trails. I feel less pressure on trails to. It’s ok, heck it’s expected, to be slower on trails, and the views….they can’t be beat.

12068935_10153634049709933_4972434302720256949_oI mean really….that sunrise….great start line view!

I know one race I’ll be doing for sure…Point D Ultra October 2016! Who want’s to run it with me?!