Giving Trail Running a Try

So I got my first pair of trail shoes a couple weeks ago – yep, this year I’m giving trail running a try.  When I ran the Happy Girls half marathon this past September it was obvious that my flatland running routine doesn’t quite build the same kind of strength that trail running does.

Christmas Eve trail run

These past few years that I’ve been running I didn’t even think we had any “true” trails to run by me.  The closest to trail I ran was the regular state park path that’s really more partial crushed gravel, a bit of dirt, and then onto a paved path.  Then on Christmas Eve a group from my running club did a trail run,  just across the way from the regular state park path – who knew?  (not me).

Just a tree in the middle of my path…

Coincidentally Active Gear Up had a sweet deal on  Skechers Go Trail shoes.  I tried those out a couple weeks later on the horse back riding trails (above).  Those trails could give the Happy Girls course a run for its money in the technical difficulty department!  I was climbing over tree limbs, figuring out how to get around icy paths, and even got turned around a few times.  Pace is out the door on a trail but the side to side instead of just back and forth, and the general cross training you get out of that kind of run is completely worth it.  I plan to make sure to work in trail runs on a regular basis this year and then check in after race season to see how much it helped.

In the next few weeks however I’m going to be taking it easy.  This “cold” I’ve been battling (since September!), as it turns out, is actually walking pneumonia.  Great.  Surprisingly I’ve been able to keep up with running during this time, though my pace has definitely suffered.  This week is the first in a long time that I am not almost constantly coughing. I had my longer speed work session on Monday – 5 minutes up, 3x (2miles @ GP (9:45-10:15), 4 minutes rest), 3 minutes down — (my goal for the Illinois marathon is a 4:30-4:40.  Baby steps).  I hit my paces, didn’t cough up a lung, and felt pretty good!  Today I just took it easy, getting my miles in on the elliptical. Here’s hoping that this next round of much stronger antibiotics is going to do the trick and I can finally get back to myself.

In other exciting news – I’ve been selected as one of Nuun Hydration’s Nuun Ambassadors for 2017!  Nuun tabs have been a staple of my training ever since I first heard about them from AMR.  I’ve tried other methods of hydration but my stomach didn’t tolerate those very well.  Nuun tabs on the other hand seem to double for me as both the solution for hydration as well as to soothe my stomach.  I prefer to keep my hydration/elecrolytes and my calories fuel separate (Gu), so I like that I can use Nuun on all my runs without having to worry about all those extra calories when they’re not really needed.  They’re very low in sugar, so I’ve used those from time to time for my kiddos when they have upset stomachs.

Here’s to trail running, healing, and hydration!

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