25K Finishers medal

After two years of talking about it, I finally toed the edge of the cliff and jumped.  I ran my first trail race on Saturday @ The High Cliff 25K.

Similar to my first marathon, Mother Nature added some ingredients to make the recipe extra enticing.  My first marathon featured cold, steady rain and a brisk wind out of the north.  Fortunately, Saturday only featured a pleasant, but pretty consistent rain.  I’m not even being sarcastic about the pleasant comment.  It somehow added to the charm of it all.

Well anyway, here are my takeaways 🙂

1. It’s an art form…

Watching seasoned trail runs traverse technical trails is amazing.  Their feet seem to know exactly where to land to avoid that tree root that somehow jumped up to grab my ankle.  Their bodies work in sync with the trail.  They were Picasso, and I was a finger painting kindergartner.

2. The next step…

In a road race, I’m usually breaking up the race into digestible chunks – like where my pace needs to be at the next mile mark… or let’s surge to that stop sign.  On the trails, my mind was focused on the next step.  There was something incredibly soothing about this.  I wasn’t worried about speed or how much further I needed to run.  Instead, my thoughts shifted to the present… I was literally in the moment the entire race.

3. Shoes matter…

Slogging through puddles and over slippery rocks gave me a whole new respect for footwear.  My worn running shoes were ill prepared for what they faced.  I was suffering from low-T… traction, that is!  Real trail shoes just made my Christmas list.

4. It’s about the experience…

The vibe was focused on camaraderie, being there, and finishing.  Though competition and times existed, they were so secondary.   What was primary?  Enjoying a challenging run through a beautiful state park on a rainy Saturday morning with dozens of friends you never met before.  We didn’t need to officially meet to become friends – the authentic smiles and fellowship were introduction enough.

I see a lot more trails in my future…  wearing the right shoes along with my painter’s smock as I attempt to learn this art.

Thanks so much to Mark Garrigan and team at nurun co. for putting on such an awesome event.  My trail race initiation was a memorable and positive one.

Onward!

2 thoughts on “Trail running initiation – 4 takeaways!

  1. Welcome to the trails. As you learned, they keep you in the moment! The toughest runs are when leaves have fallen and roots and rocks lurk beneath. This is also my favorite time of the year to run. And the leaves help with soft landings. Maybe winter is my favorite? The crunching of snow and more soft landings? Or is it the Spring when you look like a bad a#@ with mud spray up your legs. See you on the trails.

  2. Welcome to the trails. As you learned, they keep you in the moment! The toughest runs are when leaves have fallen and roots and rocks lurk beneath. This is also my favorite time of the year to run. And the leaves help with soft landings. Maybe winter is my favorite? The crunching of snow and more soft landings? Or is it the Spring when you look like a bad a#@ with mud spray up your legs. See you on the trails.

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