I have really had my interest peaked in trail running lately. I have several friends through my tri group that do it, and with all of the fall colors being at their peak right now, any excuse to get into the mountains will do. I had a terrible last few days at work, and I decided last minute to take a mental health day from work and finally go and hit the trails to see what all the fuss was about. I checked the weather forecast and it was a great day to do it...sunny and 70 degrees!
I enjoyed my morning of sleeping in, then took the kids to school. I had already called a sub the night before and had stuff ready for the little cherubs to stay busy with all day. I packed what I thought I might need in a bag and then headed right to Salt Lake Running Company for some trail shoes. I knew I was going to get some nature therapy today, why not retail therapy as well? HA! Any excuse to hit the Running Co!
I found some great shoes, and headed right up to Snowbasin where I had looked at some trails on line. I also talked the night before to a friend of mine that is an avid mountain biker and he recommended the Green Pond Trail Loop. I easily found it, parked my car, and then headed out. The trail was full of people hiking, mountain biking, etc, but it wasn't too crowded and most of the time I felt like I had the whole mountain to myself. It was exactly what I needed today. I was not out for a time, or anything other than to enjoy nature, get a good work out, and relieve some stress. Well, I accomplished all of the above. I made sure to take the time to look around me and enjoy the AMAZING scenery around me. I stopped to take pictures whenever I felt impressed to do so.
The actual running was awesome. I fell into a good rhythm and found that it is definitely more challenging than regular running as you have to navigate the ever changing terrain beneath you, but I felt like a rock star as I cleared logs, boulders or creek beds a long the way. I enjoyed the challenge and it didn't take long for me to be dripping in sweat. It was a great work out, but I didn't feel like I was getting my trash kicked either. I kept hearing my watch beep as I hit each new mile. I did end up veering off the trail and did a pretty decent ascent up to this awesome clearing where I noticed I had gone just over 3 miles from where I had parked. Knowing that I have my marathon in just over a week, I didn't want to overdo anything, so I decided that was a good half way point then I headed back to the car.
I loved this run. I can see why so many people love trail running! Who wouldn't love having the mountain to yourself? Or running through canopies of changing fall leaves as you kick through them at your feet? I quite literally came upon a herd of 8-10 deer and I startled them and they ran around me to get away. Scared the crap out of me as well since I didn't feel them there, but how cool is that?
Now I can see myself looking for any excuse to get up to the mountains. There is already discussion going on the TriBuddies forums about a possible run Saturday...count me in!