Trail Running Maybe?

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It’s hard to believe that it was 3 years ago that I got the bug to run a trail race. My first. A half. Because . . . chocolate. Not kidding!

None of my friends were the least bit interested in trails, so I trained alone. In fact, I ran four halfs that year so it was just a matter of getting in some trail time. I managed to stay upright (for the most part) on my runs.

My pace was super slow. We were having a warm Spring, those trails were hilly, and I logged some of my slowest miles ever in my running career. Which went nicely with my trail half, which was one of my slowest ever, too.

But I did it.

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First trail race: Mud & Chocolate & it lived up to its name!

Did I get the trail running bug?
Not really. I did go on to run a trail 5k later that summer. Trail running was a nice change of scenery, but trail running is also hard, y’all. If you’ve never run trails, a 5k can definitely feel like a 10k.

I remember trying to keep one trail run a week in my training that summer, but that only lasted until the grass got about thigh high. No thanks.

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A drier day with friends (although I made a couple of friends at that first trail half!)

Then my friends got interested in trail running . . . 
Sort of. When I first started, pretty much all of my friends. local and online, professed their fear of trails. The first words out of everyone’s mouth is always “I’m afraid of falling”. It’s a legitimate fear, but I’ve fallen on roads as much as I have on trails, which thankfully isn’t very much.

So my friends finally started to go to our Summer trail running series. I joined a few times. It was nice not being on my own, but they’re in the evenings, and that’s just hard for this early bird.

Last Summer I did run a trail 5k (on my own) and then a 10k (my first at that distance on the trails) with a friend.

Everyone is afraid of falling on a trail. Of course it’s possible. It’s also possible on the road — the road tends to be far less forgiving. You simply have to check your ego and run slower. Whether you fall in love with trails or not, it’s a nice change of “pace” and scenery. An added bonus is how laid back trail races tend to be. — Chocolaterunsjudy

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I suspect I’ll always be mainly a road runner, but trails are a nice change of scenery

Final thoughts
I’ve seen some of the trails that other runners post. They look amazing. Ours tend to be rather technical, rarely a nice groomed sand or gravel path. The nicer paths are at least a good 30 minute drive away. It’s hard to justify an hour’s drive for running less than an hour!

I’ve been envious of some of my online friends who seem to have hooked up with local  trail running groups and had a great time. I know a few trail runners here, my friends are now into it, but as usual, the right group still eludes me.

Are you afraid to try trail running because you might fall? 

Or are you a trail lover? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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25 thoughts on “Trail Running Maybe?

  1. Great pictures, especially the one at the Mud & Chocolate Race!
    I love trails, too, but I’m not good at them. Especially downhill I’m slow. On Saturday I’ll attend a trail training course, I’m hoping that it will help! 😊

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  2. I ran my first trail race this last weekend at a local farm. It had a combination of factors that slowed me down–first race coming off an injury, trail conditions with mud, puddles, and uneven ground, and wind, wind, wind. I nearly fell a few times, and my 13-year-old daughter who was less than a minute behind me fell once. She laughed about it . . . afterward. But, I think I got the bug. It was just more interesting than road races. There was more to talk about afterward with some of the other runners. My daughter and I stayed to feed some goats on the farm, and we got free frozen custard from the farm’s store. It was an experience I won’t forget.

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    1. Oh, a trail race on a farm sounds like a lot of fun! I did a road race several years ago that started at a farm, and it was a great race.

      Trail running is slower. End of story. I think a lot of road runners struggle with their ego because of that.

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  3. Yes. I now love trails. And I will drive an hour for a 3 miler esp if friends are there.

    Racing? Doubtful. Not afraid of falling but I’d rather pay for a road race where I am more competitive. Never say never.

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      1. I enjoy the different scenery. I don’t mind that they are technical because I don’t intend to run fast and I can enjoy the views more. My running routes are getting pretty boring.

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  4. If I’m not mistaken I think I started following your blog when you were training for that first trail. I’ve had some great trail adventures but admittedly I still struggle. Trail running does take a lot longer than I feel it should and I sometimes feel my efforts are not fully rewarded as they are on the road. But I must say I did a 20K Trail Race this past Saturday and it was a beautiful experience. I was a lot happier and comfortable than I’ve been. Admittedly, it wasn’t so technical so maybe that is what made me enjoy the running a lot more!

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    1. Wow, you have a good memory! If I had trails like Zenaida’s — I don’t mind technical sometimes, but I’d love some nice flat non technical trails — I could get into that! We don’t have much of that around here.

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  5. People tell me that they are afraid of trail running because they are afraid of falling all the time. I have only fallen on the trail once, and it was during a race when I was running downhill way too fast. I have fallen on the road more times than I can actually count. I probably fall about once a year…just cracks in the sidewalk. I think it is because you are so much more alert on the trail of your foot placement. I never zone out.

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    1. I’ve fallen on trails a couple of times — probably the same amount as I’ve fallen on the road. the road fall was definitely much worse, but like anything, it does have the potential to hurt you. That’s why it’s important to check the ego & take it slowly — which I think many runners just don’t want to do.

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  6. I have done some trail races, and they are fun because (in my opinion) they are much more laid-back. Also, I like the technical aspect. I think it may have been my first-ever trail race (a 5-miler) where I took a fast tumble over something. I had a few bruised ribs as a result, but it didn’t stop me from doing more trails LOL

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    1. That’s great even that you will still run trails despite bruising ribs! Knock on wood, I haven’t yet had a fall on the trails — or off — when I’ve done that.

      I think I just need to find my trail tribe. 🙂 That and I wish we had some much easier trails around here!

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  7. In my mind, I picture myself happily running through some gorgeous trails and feeling at peace. In reality, I have fallen twice and sprained my ankle. Maybe I don’t pick my feet up enough? Alas, I don’t really see them in my future except for walks or hikes. Thanks in advance for joining the Runners’ Roundup

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  8. Not being a group person, I’m good running trails by myself. It’s my chance to get back to nature, by myself. I like it. I grew up playing in the woods, so it’s like everything has come full circle.

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  9. Are you afraid to try trail running because you might fall? Yes. I am a klutz.

    Or are you a trail lover? Never tried. Maybe I will try sometime. We have bike trails that are crushed limestone & ATV trails that are well traveled.

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