Friday, May 11, 2012

Trails Rock!!

OK, you see the title of this and you know how I feel felt about trails.  I could not stand them.  Didn't like to train on them, despised them!!  I am was a road runner.  I didn't like trails!!  Katie had taken me on them a few times but I just didn't like them.  Just felt like I couldn't go fast enough on them and I like to fly!!  It all started to change a couple of weeks ago when Katie and I went on a 14 mile trail run at the DePauw Nature Park.  That is her favorite place to run and I can see why.  It is very calming and peaceful.  You can go at your pace and just enjoy nature.  After our 14 mile run I felt like I could be leaning toward the trail way but didn't let her know that.  I couldn't let her be right.  It did give me a great workout and had a great mix of hills.  About 1200 ft of elevation for that run.  Felt good afterward and actually felt rejuvenated.  It was a great feeling.  Now take you back to Tuesday.  I needed to do a longer run on Tuesday, so I decided to give trails a try by myself.  Was planning on 9 miles and ended up going 13.  Enjoyed it so much that I joined Katie later that day for 4 miles of trails and ended up with 20 miles that day as I finished up the day with a 3 mile road run.  The road run was OK, but I just didn't feel I got as much out of it as I did the trails.  Just something about them.  I could start to see why Katie loved the trails so much.  OK, I would have to say this day was part of the conversion for me.  Which brings us to today's run.

Katie and I had planned on 8 miles of trails at the DePauw Nature Park. We started out fast as we could feel the energy.  One not letting the other get ahead.  2 miles in and a 7:40 pace.  We needed some hills and we found them.  For some reason I must be sick.  I wanted all the hills I could get.  Feel like you are really accomplishing something when you power up a big hill.  It feels great and you can feel it working your legs.  Wow, Awesome!!  3 more solid miles and lots of hills later we haven't dropped off the pace too much.  Still an 8:10 pace through 5 miles.  Pretty awesome for lots of hills.  We finished up the 8.1 mile run at a 8:13 pace.  Pretty amazing I think considering we had almost 1000 ft of elevation. We finish the last 1/4 mile at an all out sprint. Katie showed me who was boss yet again at the end of this run as she powered away all I could do is shake my head and wonder what its gonna take to beat her.  My legs felt great but just couldn't stay up the last 1/4 mile.  OK, I love trails!!  There, I said it!!  I love the trails!!  Trails Rock!!  Run Nerd's Rock!!  Roads are now only when necessary!!  Yes, I've been converted.  Trail runner for life!!  Thanks Katie, now I've discovered the key to your speed. Frank Shorter once said, "Hills are speed work in disguise."  Her love of the hills and trails have made her into the speedy machine she is today.  Secret's out now.  You're mine!!