The long run.
I really do love the long run. And it’s even more important now that I will be running 26.2 miles coming up.
EEK. Did I just write that?
I did! I signed up for the Newport Marathon in June.
So I was in desperate need of double-digit mile weekends. My cousin was training for a very long 20 mile trail race and also needed some miles. So when she asked if I could do a 15 mile trail run with her I jumped at the chance. Not too many people want to run 15 miles with you.
An experienced Forest Park runner friend dropped us at a starting point where we could run on Wildwood trail (see map) and end up on Old German Town road 15 miles later.
So it had been raining that week. And the week before, and the week before…..I mean this is the Pacific Northwest guys. It was raining that morning and I was not excited about that but since the trial is in the forest the trees would keep most of the rain off.
Even though I couldn’t feel much of the rain falling down I sure felt the aftermath on the ground. There was a little bit of mud on the trail.
I may have almost had my foot eaten my a mud monster no less than six times or almost drowned in quickmud.
We kept having to slow down to find a way around the mud. It wasn’t just like a little bit of water on the path, or a little mud. The mud was ankle deep in most places, our shoes would get stuck if we walked or ran through it. It added at least an hour or more to our run.
The mud also made things very slippery, so if wasn’t for my natural grace and dexterity I probably would have fallen over the edge of the cliff to my demise on numerous occasions. Or maybe I would have just fallen to the ground and gotten muddy and hurt. Either way it wouldn’t have been fun.
I learned that on the trails even when you start at the top of the hill you still have to run up hill all the time. The whole run was up hill with a little down hill, then up hill again.
I need lots of water on my runs no matter how far, 1 mile or 10 I bring my water bottle. As it turned out neither of us had enough water with us. We were in bad shape and found this beautiful little waterfall where we stopped for a fill up. I dropped some of my Nuun water purifying electrolyte tablets in the water and was good as gold! Ok, full disclaimer…Nuun is not a water purifier, but it is an electrolyte replacement tablet and is delightful.
So here is the thing about trail runs, it’s really hard to end them early. Cause you know, you are out in the middle of the trail. So my cousin wasn’t feeling well and needed to end the run early so we called our Expert and he said ‘don’t worry there is a bail out option.’
Turns out the bailout option was still two to three miles away and then we would still have a mile or two till the end. But I guess it was the shorter distance, and my cousin’s friend met us part way after we took the turn off and ran with us the rest of the way.
If we hadn’t had to take the bailout option I never would have come across this view:
After running what seemed like up hill all day the turn off finally took us down hill and at the bottom the trees opened up, the rain stopped and there was the St. Johns bridge in all it’s glory.
Our run wasn’t the full 15 miles but it was in the double digits, so that was good. Unfortunately I had poor cell service so the GPS on my phone (because it’s an iPhone, which doesn’t actually have GPS) so we don’t know our exact mileage.
I realized that day that while I love the woods, and I love being out in the woods, I am not a trail runner. I couldn’t really see any of the scenery around me because I was watching the ground to make sure the forest monsters don’t reach up to trip me. Every time we got up to pace we had slow down to a slow walk around the mud pits. When you get somewhere it’s a beautiful view, but I could walk there…
Next 15 mile run was in the city on a much nicer day and much easier to complete.
Just. Keep. Running.
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This year my running club and I will be participating in the Hood to Coast Relay Race as a fundraising team. We will be raising money for Providence Cancer Center to help #FINISHCANCER. Click on the picture below (or here) to donate today.
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