Tonight I joined a training group for trail running. I'm NOT running the Knee Knacker this year, or perhaps any year, because 50km of hard trail in a maximum 10 hours sounds foolish to me. And to my knees. It is aptly named, after all. But the Knee Knackers organise training trail runs in the months preceding their July race, and people who are not registered in the race are welcome to join in. The official training runs are on Sundays and I'm not convinced that I'll make it out to many of those since weekends fill up fast around here, but the unofficial training runs are on Wednesday evenings, which works out to be a pretty good night for me. Tonight was the first unofficial training run.
Lots of people in the group were new to the training runs and new to the race, so I wasn't out of place. Everyone was really friendly, too, and I've already got a buddy to carpool with next week. The Knee Knacker runs the whole 50km along the Baden Powell trail so most of the training runs are on a section of the BP trail, a different section every run.
I learned a lot of things about trail running tonight, and thought I would share.
- When you go trail running in BC, you immediately go straight up.
- What goes up, gets cold! It seems like all the other runners had at least a little more experience than me so they dressed in long sleeve shirts and pants. My shorts and t-shirt didn't quite cut it when we hit snow about 2km up the trail! Someone even wore Yak Trax since they knew where the snowpack is these days.
- What goes up must come down! Coming down was great - I was keeping up with another runner since we were in a conversation and we just flew down the trail. Light as air!
- What goes up...doesn't cover much ground. Distances in trail running can be very deceiving if you're normally a road runner. We ran 8km tonight and, as I always time my runs, I have to just accept that spending substantial time trail running this summer is going to destroy my mileage goals. I've only got so many hours of training time in my schedule and in my legs, so spending almost double time getting a trail run done than I would running the same distance on road will impact my weekly mileage. But...
- Trail running is super fun and beautiful and energizing and fantastic! And my bright white shoes that I found on sale for $30 at MEC last summer are finally a little less bright and a little hard-earned muddy. Woohoo!