Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trail Running - Not For Wusses

I thought I'd change it up a bit and actually talk about running on my running blog. I know, right? I'm as shocked as you. Anyway, after a 3 week running hiatus (or was it 4?), I was back in business this evening.

A few weeks ago, my friend Lara, suggested we form a team for the new Ragnar Trail Series here in Arizona. We show horses together and she was on our Ragnar Del Sol Team this year. I saw her at the barn this morning before work and she asked if I wanted to meet this evening and try one of the trails for the Ragnar Trail Relay.

Agreeing to run many hours in the future typically gives me ample time to create a wide variety of excuses to bail. But that Lara is a super dedicated runner. So I wasn't getting out of it.

Spoiler Alert: Those hills may be little in total height, but several of them are straight up. That shit ain't easy to run up if you consider a speed bump a hill. Just sayin'.

Whew! That's enough hill work for me!
I dutifully showed up at our meeting place to carpool out into the wilderness for this trail running adventure. Let me just reiterate that I abhor running hills. I can feel when I am running up a .ooooo2% incline. But I figured this was good for me.

Look how chipper she looks. That's not normal.

The trail Ragnar consists of 8 runners to a team and 3 loops at McDowell Mountain Park. Each runner runs each of the three loops. We decided to try the "easy" loop. If that was the easy loop, I'm scared to find out what the other 2 loops are like.
It's worse in person, trust me,
 This terrain is difficult to navigate because the loose gravel makes it easy to slip. Some of the hills were so steep that I had a lot of trouble controlling my speed on the downhill. And my toes are a little sore from being jammed against the edge of my shoe.
I'm dying.
(Also not sure why I have fuzz on the brim of my visor)

I better start adding some hill work into my routine because this kicked my ass. I ran as much as I could, but sometimes I would have to stop at the top of a hill to catch my breath. Not walk, but stop. Not feeling super athletic after this!
But stopping did allow me to take some pictures.
I think I ended up running (and I use that term lightly) just over 3 miles. Lara had planned a longer route and didn't make it back before dark. So now we're out in the desert alone and I'm starting to freak out a little bit. Rattle snakes come out at night here. No joke. (Also, spirits and ghosts come out at night, too.)
But just as I was getting ready to rally a posse to find her, she appeared. Whew! Crisis averted.
So I finally ran. I'm exhausted and now must sleep. Good night, all. 


  1. You are so much more awesome than me! I HATE trails. Good luck, crazy.

    1. Omg, way too much nature for my liking. And HARD. Hopefully, it'll make me faster. :)

  2. My trick when hiking is to stop and take pictures when I need a break! So your comment about stopping let you take pictures cracked me up. Wow - I am not a fan of trail running, mainly because I am a clutz and will fall so major props to you.

    1. These are the Ragnar Trail Relay trails and I'll be honest, I had trouble navigating in the daylight. I don't know if a headlamp is a enough light for running these trails. Eeeek!

  3. I actually think it looks fun! Freak, party of 1.

    1. I wish I had a fraction of your motivation, Ari!

  4. I don't mind up so much if there's a lot of DOWN mixed in. Rather that than all up then all down or vice versa. But in the dark's going to be a little cray.

    1. The up is steep enough that the down is, too. They aren't easy downs. It's almost as much work to go down as up.


Thanks for reading!