Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I Love Trail Running

Some of my trail running buddies and I at Summit Rock, December 2011. Our next outing is the Coyote Hills Run this Saturday.

I love trail running because the races start at 9:00am, not 7:00am.

The End.


Ok, seriously that is the only reason I love trail running but, I have many reasons to like it too:

1.) Running where God intended is a very holistic experience. There are plants, animals, bugs, snakes, and dirt!

2.) Mini Vacay! I live in the city (ok, the burbs, but whatever), so any opportunity to go out in the country, forest, desert is literally a breath of fresh air. I always find myself thinking - "Wow! I can't believe I'm only 30 minutes from home!"

3.) It's an awesome opportunity to break in those new running shoes and get them a little dusty. Don't be blinded by your new super-white running gear. Get it dirty!

4.) While we are on the subject of gear - trail runners wear the most awesome outfits, especially in the winter time. Short shorts with a bright stocking cap, because keeping your head warm is more important that keeping your legs warm. I also love gloves! Because keeping your hands warm is more important than keeping your arms warm. Makes perfect sense.

5.) Falling (can be) fun! I fell twice on the downhill of my last trail race in December, and honestly I took it as a badge of honor. My nose dive really freaked out a few runners still making their way up the hill. Luckily I landed and was able to get right back up with no broken bones. Be careful though; bones can easily be broken, and ankles sprained. Which leads me to . . .

6.) Running fast is not necessary, and even a little stupid. The point is to maintain on the hills, not to get up them as fast as possible. Hiking is even an acceptable form of 'running.' Take your time, or you will break yourself, especially around switchbacks. "If you can't see the top. Walk." (Born to Run)

7.) Trail running is the perfect opportunity to listen to your heart. Understanding your heart rate and having the ability to maintain a high rate is really difficult. Your heart may be going crazy, but your legs are moving at a snails pace. That is normal! Totally different kind of threshold that anything I'm used to in a road race.

8.) Trail running is great because you are completely out of control. Other than setting a treadmill to 1.0, I dread anything called a "hill workout." Nothing bugs like a running articles that suggest you "Find a hill that's at a blah blah% grade..." I have no idea what a grade is, really. I despise measuring, but if the only place to go is up, I'm game.

Did I mention races start later in the morning? They don't have to shut down city streets, so they don't have to start the race at the crack of dawn. Girl really likes her sleep!


  1. I noticed a gap between your April and July race, so you should check-out this 7.5 mile trail run from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach with over 2000' of elevation gain. It's a super popular run that also does handicapping. Which means, depending on your age/gender, you get a certain headstart. A few years ago, an 8 year old won.

    If that isn't enough, two weeks later, there's the double Dipsea, which is out and back.

    1. I've read about Dipsea. It would definitely be a challenge! This year, I'm going to do the Tour de Cure (distance undecided). I'll make sure that goes on my calendar. Next year, WE ALL can do Dipsea. Right? :)