Thrills and spills on the trails.

Firstly, thanks for chipping in some ideas about how to not get bored when running – I’m going to update the post with your ideas. I can’t believe I missed out ‘Run with friends’. Guess who’s an only child!! I rarely get to run with others, and I don’t mind that particularly, but running with friends IS lovely, and this weekend I got to do just that.

My legs were shot after San Francisco – they ached badly for three days. So I just didn’t run and gave myself some time off. It was fab. On Friday morning, I took my legs out for a spin and ran 3 easy miles – didn’t even take a watch. They felt okay. More importantly, my mind felt okay. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was ready to take a little break from long runs, I felt a little burned out. So I’m having two easy weeks before picking up slightly longer runs. And as ever, the Mini-Break makes me WANT to run so much more!

Anyway…on Saturday, I had a cracking run. Our UK friend Andy and I met up with my Stroller-Trail-Running friend Juli for a trail run WITHOUT kids. We went to Huddart Park, my favourite park in the area. The Husband, the Dude and Andy’s wife Rachel set off hiking – Juli, Andy and I set off running.

Ready to run
Ready to run

It was fab. We wound uphill, quite steeply, for two miles, through redwoods and on forest tracks. Juli is an excellent running buddy because she is able to run and talk at the same time – a quality to look for in a running buddy. And then somehow we ended up running downhill for about three miles on long, windy, beautiful, cool trails through the forest. Utter bliss. Various other runners passed us, slogging uphill. I felt a little guilty because we were running easily  and clearly having a ball. But whatever.

We are so lucky to have these trails to run! Gorgeousness!
Not at all staged, this photo!
Andy’s first trail run.
Trail running makes us run like Phoebe!
These trails will be so shady in the summer

We veered off onto Chaparral Trail for the last mile or so. And coming towards us was a guy and his wife, who was sporting pink bunches in her hair. Juli was so entranced by this vision that she stumbled on a rock sticking up in the middle of the trail and fell into the bushes at the side. She cut her leg up quite badly and it swelled up into a MASSIVE bump within seconds which was a little scary. Luckily, she wasn’t badly hurt so managed to run the mile or so back to the car with no trouble, although we were all a little shaken.

Impressive injuries!
(I did get Juli’s permissiojn to post this on the internet)

Despite the drama, it was a fantastic run – I love running through the forest, it feels amazing! We finished off with an enormous breakfast at a local diner…perfect!

Big smiles at the end
Big smiles at the end

I read this awesome quote this week – it sums up how I feel about trail running, new, inexperienced and naive about it as I am. It builds a little on my last post about how to avoid running boredom.

“I think more people who profess that running is boring should try running trails. I mean, try it in earnest. And I’m talking about real trails, too: winding, hilly paths of dirt that challenge your balance, not just those stick-straight and flat ones cut artificially into the land. If you hate running, I think the right trails can change your mind… There’s a little part in all of us that needs to feel primal, animal-like. Many of us have lost that intrinsic part of ourselves, and running trails can bring it back. This may sound corny to some of you, but when I’m flying over rocks and roots, splashing through puddles and sliding around in mud, I can feel the rich and layered history of my ancestors. Trail running calls to a side of me that is purely instinctual, a side which understands the movement of the wind and the growth of the trees. I feel the hunter and its prey, I hear my steady breath, I trust my legs. Running in nature is meditational in a way that doesn’t feel forced, but totally natural. Afterward my body sings and my mind is at ease. It’s better than years of therapy.”

Trisha Reeves, Barefoot Monologues

Preach it, sister!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Yikes, hope Juli’s leg is OK! Falling is definitely one of the hazards of trail running — thankfully, it’s usually worth the risk.

    1. Cathryn says:

      She was fine, thank goodness. And still wants to trail run with me again.

  2. Bean says:

    Again- just for the record- super excited to run trails with you! Looks like tons of fun except for Juli’s injury. Yikes. Glad she was okay and she is tough for running back to the car. I might have asked for a piggy back ride or something.:)

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m trying to work out the best route to run with you – I’m thinking 4 miles-ish and as flat as is possible in a hilly part of the world, but still in redwoods. I’m on the case.

      Yeah, I was impressed Juli ran back to the car. Andy and I were ready to piggy-back her if necessary.

  3. Juli Bronzini says:

    Falling while running is a hazard in general, if you’re blessed with my supreme coordination!!!! I LOVE that photo- it looks slightly horrifying! Good thing it didn’t keep me from lacing my shoes up the very next day(: The family won’t stop teasing me though….. How many soccer injuries is Nick at now anyways????

    1. Cathryn says:

      It’s impressively gory, isn’t it. Glad you’re still able to run – and we are FAR less accident prone that our soccer playing husbands.

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