Buzz: My Crazy Idea – Venturing Into Trail Running
A couple weeks ago I posted a list of several races I’m interested in running. One of those included running one of races in the XTerra Trail Run Arizona Series. Quite honestly when I included it in my post I thought it was a long shot and said, “Maybe next year….”
As you know, one of the points of us moving to Arizona was to live lives full of fun and adventure. For several years I’ve wanted to try out trail running. Although I’ve run a trail race but it was in the flat lands of Ohio. Coming out to Arizona is totally different territory.
Thanks to the kind folks at Mizuno I was hooked up with some new Wave Ascend trail shoes about a month ago.
Unfortunately I’ve been unable to put them to use. That all changed this weekend….
After the chatter on the Cholla Chicks, a local running group, message board I had an itch I just had to scratch and signed up for my first ever 8K trail training run. Mind you, the longest distance I’ve ever run in Arizona is 5K.
As I drove to Estrella Mountain, yes mountain, at 5am Sunday morning I was giddy with excitement. Could I do this? Was I going to die? Not to mention I was excited to officially hook up with some of the Cholla Chicks. No matter what was going to happen I knew I would at least have the gorgeous moment of seeing the sun rise over the hills.
By 5:45a the parking lot was buzzing with about 20 runners and I found Sue, Michelle, Jennifer, and Abby of the Cholla Chicks. After my quick disclaimer of, “I’ve never done this. Feel free to leave me in the dust.” We were on our way. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could keep pace with them. Whew! The easy conversation took over and before we knew it we were at the 4 mile mark, the deciding point of going the short or long distance of the trail. Sue used her magical powers to convince us to go long. Just like that, my 8K trail run turned into 20K. I was game!
Just like the first half of the run, the conversation took over. It allowed me to get to know the girls and kept the time moving. After a few stumbles, a couple stops for photos, Jennifer and Michelle taking falls, and walk breaks, the parking lot came into view. We had made it. Did I just run/hike 12 miles?! That’s the longest I’ve run in a LONG time…not to mention, it was in mountainous/dessert terrain. Hot dang.
Was it a challenge? Yes. Am I sore? Yes. Did I succeed? Yes. Did I love it. YES! This trail running stuff rocks.
But my crazy idea doesn’t end there. Today’s run was a training run for the first XTerra Race in their series….the one on my running wishlist. Guess it’s not such a long shot anymore, eh? With that being said, I’ve decided to sign up for my first official big girl trail race. In 2 weeks I’ll once again be out running Estrella Mountain. Given that I’ll be running alone I’ve chosen to go with the 8K distance and am saving the 20K for another time.
I’ve been keeping this a bit of a secret since luck hasn’t been on my side when it’s comes to signing up and actually running races lately, but I’m pretty darn stoked about this. Fingers crossed I stay healthy between now and then.
A huge thank to the rockin’ Cholla Chicks! Thanks for encouraging me to push my limits and do what I came out to Arizona to do…be adventurous. I look forward to many more runs and races with you!!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)