I’ve Been: Trail Running

Black and white photo of trail running shoes.I have never liked running. Not even a little bit. It hurts. It’s boring. The treadmill makes me feel like a hamster. And outside it is usually either too hot or too cold. But then for some reason I got the idea that I should go trail running. Basically, running on hiking trails.

And it turns out I love it.

Trail running feels like playing. When I go out in the woods and run it’s actually fun. There’s a variety of terrain. My normal place goes from pavement, to dirt, to gravel, to sand, and back again. There’s stuff to jump over and dodge under. There are critters to watch. And I get to appreciate the changes of nature over the course of the year, making the hot and cold not so bad.

I was loving this new activity of mine, but it wasn’t loving me. I thought I was taking it slow. Thirty minutes (about 2 miles) three times a week. Seemed reasonable. Apparently it wasn’t. I ended up with Achilles tendinitis….again. Part of it was my shoes messing up my stride (thankfully REI has a great return policy). But I suspect part of it is also impact. My workouts up to this point had been lifting weights and biking. Not impact driven workouts.

Now, I’m basically starting over. I’m currently doing the Couch to 5k plan to get my body used to this kind of workout. I’m doing it on a mixture of trails and indoor track. (I might appreciate the seasons, but don’t appreciate these cold winds.) I’m on week three and things are going well; the pain hasn’t come back yet. I’ve also been going to Claire’s yoga class, which is helping more than I expected. My goal is to be ready for the first DINO (Do INdiana Off-road) run in March.

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