Yesterday I did my latest race of the year. For a change of scenery I signed myself up for a trail race. It was my third trail race since I started running. The previous two races took place at the same location as yesterday’s race. The location was a ski hill about 15-20 minutes from here.
My previous two races were 12 km races. Having not done much trail running in the past I was not sure what to expect in terms of a result. One thing that was apparent is that the weather would like lay have an impact because It has been hot and humid here lately and thunderstorms were in the forecast for yesterday.
When I woke up to get ready for the race it was raining. Fortunately that was the last thunderstorm of the day but it meant that there would be mud and puddles along the trails to try and avoid. I probably made my biggest mistake off the start by pushing harder than I should have given the hills to climb along the course.
The toughest part of the race came just after the halfway point when we dropped over 100min altitude. Once we got to the bottom of the hill we had to start climbing again. The climb was more of a series of hills as every time I thought I was close to the top another incline would come into view as reached what I thought was the top. Climbing the hill involved more walking than running because I was feeling the effects of the heat and the run itself.
I managed to finish in 3:13. By comparison, when I ran Around the Bay two years ago I completed the same distance in 2:14. Although I still prefer road racing I am pleased I tried the race. It was a great change scenery from my usual routine. If I have the opportunity I will probably try another trail race again at some point.
It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week.
Here are this week’s stories…
Lessons learned from a marathoner who has run 23 marathons.
Tips of using road shoes for trail races. This one was relevant for me since I am planning to run a 30 km trail race next weekend.
A post about the appeal of running a marathon.
Last weekend my wife and I decided to head out of town to Toronto at the last minute. Since I am at the peak point of my training for next month’s marathon that meant having to plan two early morning runs while on the road.
Since I only had 11-12 km scheduled for Saturday that run was pretty easy to fit in while the rest of the family was asleep. Sunday’s run presented more of a challenge because I had my longest run to date to fit in with my schedule calling for a 34-35 km run.
In order to not rush home we ended up spending the night close to halfway between here and Toronto, in the city I lived in while I was in high school. My initial plan was to get up at the crack of dawn and come up with a route that went by the sites I was familiar with – our old house, my high school, the military airfield etc.
However, my plan changed soon after arriving there when Erin, a friend I met when I ran the Prince Edward County Marathon offered to run with me. Running with a friend was certainly more appealing than doing loops around a small city by myself at the crack of dawn. Instead the plan was for a run in a more rural setting with the chance to hit some trails in a nearby Provincial Park.
I am fortunate that I have several options for running routes here in Ottawa but the opportunity to do a long run somewhere else was a nice change of pace, especially the run on the trails through the park given that I do not often get the opportunity to do any trail running.
After leaving the park we made it back into town and Erin and I parted ways when we got to his house around 27 km into the run. That left me with what ended up being another 9 km along country roads back to where I parked my car when we started a couple of hours earlier.
In the end I finished with 36 km, a run that will be my longest training run before next month’s marathon. Here are the final details on the run…
It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.
Here are this week’s stories…
The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon from The Oatmeal.
The top benefits of running solo or running socail.
5 tips for trail running.
A good post about proper nutrition for runners.
A post from one of my fellow STWM digital champions who will be running her first marathon in October.
When I created this blog last year one of my first posts was about trail running and my limited experience with it.
Fast forward a year and my experience with trail running is still limited. However, I will be running my second trail race next Saturday. It will be the same race I ran last year, the 5 Peaks Camp Fortune Enduro race.
The race takes place at Camp Fortune, a ski hill close to Ottawa where my wife and I often head in the winter. The Enduro race involves 2 loops of the course for a total of 12 km.
Since my experience with trail running is limited I am doing this one more for fun and a diversion from my usual runs. I still do not even own a pair or trail running shoes because I have only completed one trail race.
Since that trail race a year ago my trail running experience has been limited to one “trail”. The trail in question is a trail, a fairly flat with one small hill, of about 2km that runs along the river that runs behind our house. I use this trail a couple of times a week as it drops me off close to our house.
Back to the race next Saturday, since I still do not have much experience with trail running I am not sure what my goals should be. It would be nice to beat last year’s time but really I think the important things for me this time will be to get in the mileage and have fun.
Do you incorporate trail running in your training?