This summer I am learning how much I love trail running. The softer ground, the fact that pace means very little, and a change of scenery from miles upon miles of logged on the road. Some of my running buddies at a newish running club I joined are hardcore trail runners and I have been availing myself of opportunities to run with them.
Somehow I convinced myself that it would be good to sign up for the Squamish 50km as part of a relay team, though I had not done a trail run longer than 12km in quite a few years. I am a die hard road runner. I panicked – and availed myself of every trail running opportunity with my new running buds before Squamish 50.
The first was part of the Squamish 50 course near Alice Lakes. THough I was assured it wasn’t particularly technical, to a newbie trail runner, everything is technical. It was a scorchingly hot day and as I navigated through the trails trying not to get lost, and trying not to get dropped on the downhills, I slipped on a flat rock and landed on my rear. No harm done. Second fall came during a relatively easy stretch – I swear I did not see a root and a pebble and the next thing I knew, I was on my face. Apparently there is a technique to falling, but I haven’t yet mastered it. Grr.
Trail Run # 2 – “Not the Knee Knacker” – This past weekend, a group of us decided to run varying lengths of the Knee Knacker course. I thought I could handle about 25km – basically from Grouse to Deep Cove. Having never run the Baden Powell trail in my life, I was blissfully ignorant. It was thundering and dumping rain when we arrived at Grouse; I was a bit worried, but undeterred. I had no idea how technical it would be. Oh well. Running might have been a misnomer, as it involved copious amounts of hiking uphill – hill upon hill (are we there yet?). Roots, logs, trees, and mud. I was wary. Who knew when I would go down…
And go down I did – on a relatively flat, wide open stretch, I tripped or lost my balance on I don’t know what, righted myself, and then went down. My running buds ahead heard a thud and my skidding across on my elbows and turned just as I was picking myself up. 2/2.
In two weeks, a group of us will be running a trail run, near Whistler, starting from the Cheakamus Lake Parking Lot
Hopefully, I don’t fall again – but if I do, I will consider it erm..a badge of honour?