Tag Archives: trails

Choose Your Own Adventure

Cockiness is a directionally challenged runner’s demise.

For the past month or so, I’ve been running the trails every Tuesday with a group of favourites. I’d run this route four, maybe five times total. The first two or three times I’d had Miss Hills (also known as Speedy Hill Hero) guiding me, but last week Miss Hills was MIA, and the others not so keen to go speedy. And so, I cautiously ran ahead and stopped at every turn awaiting direction on my next steps. This week, however, (Miss Hills still MIA) I was not so cautious.

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All smiles when I stick with the group.

It didn’t start out that way. I had intended to run slower today, I had even started out purposely running behind the group so as to prevent my feet from charging up the hills as they, for some crazy unknown reason, some times like to do. I’d done speed intervals yesterday, today should have been a recovery style run.

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No slacking off on early morning intervals with this wee drill sergeant!

But then there was that hill. It was a long hill, seemingly never ending hill, the kind of hill that taunts you upon approach, where you can almost see the imprint of a tongue blowing raspberries at you in the dirt. And dammit, I refused to let that hill beat me. With Miss Hills in mind, I charged that sucker, wiping that teasing tongue right off its dirty face.

I kept going.

Before long, I could no longer hear the light conversation and heavy breathing of my favourites behind me. It was just me and the trails. This time, I didn’t even think twice about stopping, I figured, I had this, it was a whole lot of rights, a few lefts, there were uphills, downhills, a bridge, open spaces, I was good to go.

But there was a fork. This fork, like all forks, had three Choose Your Own Adventures. The first adventure was the WRONG one. It took me about five minutes, maybe less, to realize I’d made the wrong choice. I turned around, tacked on another hill to my distance and made my way back to the fork. The second adventure I chose, pretty sure that too was the WRONG choice. Again, I made my way back to the fork where there was a map and pretended I could actually read the map and understand where I was and where the hell I needed to be. NOTE: I could not!

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“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road…”

Did I mention, I was in the trails? Did I mention, I forgot my phone in my car, which at any rate probably had no cell service in the thick of the bushes? Did I mention, this was an evening run, the sun would eventually be going down? Did I mention, the sounds rustling through the trees nearby, and my thoughts of bears, lions and cougars, oh my?

Holy frick, I was freaking out!

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It was all a green and brown blur spinning in my head.

I finally asked a kindly looking old man with a golden retriever, who I silently hoped wasn’t a serial killer, to help me with the map. I pointed at it and said, “I think this is where my car is, how do I get there?” He gave me directions, thankfully did not chop off my head, and eventually I did find my way back to my car, coming out of the trees in the complete opposite direction to where I should have been. D’oh!

Once again foiled by my non-existent directional sense!

FOREVER LOST RUN:
5:45 p.m. BG before: 5.6
Carbs: 1/2 cup applesauce (12g) and 1/4 cup almonds 45 minutes before, plus 3 dried apricots 10 minutes before.
Temp. basal: -30 per cent (1 hour)
Distance: 5.5 km hills
7 p.m. BG after: 4.9
Temp. basal +30 per cent (1 hour)

* Note: All pics taken were from last week’s run.

Asphalt yes, cement no, trails maybe

Timing is everything. On the drive to my brother’s after work I was cursing myself for choosing to run today instead of yesterday. The monsoon last night was nothing compared to the golf ball sized hail smashing down on my window today. And last night I had my jacket with me, but tonight, as my eyes started spinning watching that hail, I realized my jacket was hanging on the banister at home – an hour away. Oh crud.

And it’s not like I could just shirk this run, I had to run, I haven’t run since Saturday, I needed to get at least one mid-week run in before Saturday’s long run. So, come hail, come monsoon, come thunder and lightening, I would be running. Ahh but my timing proved perfection. By the time I drove up to my brother’s house, the sun was shining and the dark clouds were a good distance away. Shorts weather, yes I think so.

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 5 p.m. BG before: 11.1
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
  • Distance: 6.64 km
  • Average pace: 5:58 min/km
  • Time: 39:42 minutes
  • 6 p.m. BG after: 3.9
  • Temp. basal: +30 per cent (1 hour)

It usually takes me about 2 or 3 km to figure out if I’m going to have a good or bad run. Some days I can shake the kinks out and totally rock the run, while others it’s like I’m a granny seizing up halfway to the rocking chair. When I realized I was pushing her good tonight, and feeling totally awesome doing it, I went with it. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep up the pace, or at what point I’d want to collapse, but until that moment came I wasn’t letting up steam, none at all. And you know what, I may have been huffing and puffing pretty good, but at no point did I feel like I was killing myself – and it was a hilly route! Good sign.

However, because I opted to go in the opposite direction from where I usually run from my brother’s house, I was mostly relegated to sidewalks, which I hate running on. Give me asphalt any day, but please keep the cement away. So at about 4 km in, I totally switched things up and hit the trails, which is huge for me because like cement I’m not much of a fan of trails either. But for a short distance, it was a nice break from the sidewalks, both in foot padding and scenery. And it was a trail that I used to walk through all the time as a teenager but haven’t been to in well over a decade, so it had a bit of memory lane attached to it too.

My reward for such a hard rocking run: hanging out with two of my super awesome nephews who with their beautiful smiles and super big hugs can heal any post run aches and pains in a heartbeat!

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding tomorrow morning? I will 😀