Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Come Run The Hidden Pine Trails Of The Forest

I was on vacation last week for Thanksgiving.  My family has gone camping the week of Thanksgiving since 1962.  Wait a minute.  Whoa.  That’s 50 years.  I’m going to let that sink in for a minute. 

It’s nice to sit in a camp chair and know my hips don’t exceed the sides of it.  J

It also helps that the chair has an hourglass shape built right in. I know, I know – I don’t have an hourglass shape yet, but a girl can dream, right?

Okay, back to my blog.  I wasn’t about to blow off running just because I was on vacation, so Monday morning I laced up my shoes, left camp, and ran for 55 minutes, keeping up my schedule of 5 minutes longer each time two days a week.  I ran 4.4 miles at a pace of 12:36, a minute faster per mile than I‘ve been running!  Woohoo!  Thank You, God, for giving me the ability and the desire to run that far! 

On Wednesday I did an exercise DVD with my cousin.  We exercised our bodies and entertained our teenage daughters.  J  For a  minute we were afraid they were going to put pictures or videos of us on Facebook or YouTube.  (Thank you for not doing that, Brianne and Katie!) 

On Friday it was time to run again and it was time to do 60 minutes.  A whole hour of running.  A milestone.  I also wanted to run on a trail since we were in the woods, so I went to Manatee Springs State Park, very near our camp.  I was armed with my MP3 player for music, my heart rate monitor watch,
and my phone just in case I needed it.  I walked a little bit to the first trailhead to warm up, started the music, and began running.  About 30 seconds into it I realized that instead of listening to music I needed to concentrate on not twisting my ankle and falling, so I stopped and put that away.  I started again and just ran.  The trails weren’t marked for distance so I have no idea how far I went.  I know I ran some trails twice and looking at the map now I think I may have missed some.  Oh well.  The objective was to run for 60 minutes straight and I did that.
I ran under a fallen tree. 

I ran on sand trails/roads.   
Sometimes the trail ended with no warning, but I kept running. Do you see a trail here? 

Me neither, but do you think that kept me from running?  Nope! 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

It's a little bit hard to see, but there's a trail that goes off to the left in that picture.  That's the way I went. 

Trail running is different from road running.  On the trail I can’t get the speed I have on the road, but the dirt/sand is easier on my joints.  In trail running I need to concentrate on not falling so it works my mind and body in a different way than road running.  I really enjoyed going off the trail and want to do more running like that.  I know of two parks where I can – Sawgrass Lake and Weedon Island.  Trails, here I come!
Finally I had been running for one hour straight!  I stopped my watch at exactly one hour! 

I walked to the spring and took my shoes off.  I waded up to my knees in the icy water to help any inflammation the run may have caused.  Up to my knees was all I could stand and even that was hard to get used to.  I don’t like cold water! 

So I hit a milestone a few days ago.  One whole hour of running!  I'm well on my way to running the entire 10K in a couple weeks!

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