Fortunately for me, my sister is on loads of pain meds so she did a lot of
But, on the second day I was there, I decided to hit the trails – I ran 8.5 miles in the Garden of the Gods park.
To be clear, I’m not a trail runner. I don’t like to eat potato chips while I run an easy 5 miler, I don’t own any gaitors, and I’ve never even puked while running! It’s like I haven’t lived. In fact, I’ve only done “real” trails a handful of times. The reason isn’t because I don’t like nature or I don’t like getting dirty but instead because I am LAZY. I can walk out my front door and find literally miles and miles of sidewalks that I can run on. From the moment I put on my running shoes I am running in 30 seconds. But to go trail running? That requires driving. It likely requires at least 30 minutes of driving from where I currently live. To me that is time better spent watching reruns of House Hunters: International. Ding dong!
The run was half on traditional “trails” that were frequented by tourists looking at the rock formations in the park. They were pretty up and down with lots of stairs built into the natural environment.
As I was running along the trail, I found myself constantly wondering how fast I was going. My pace would jump around like crazy. At times I’d be running 6:30s, but other times I’d have to slow down to a near walk to skeeter (that’s a word, look it up) down washouts or over big rocks. Overall the trail portions averaged 9:00/mi or so, but it felt MUCH faster than that. The trees seemed to be wooshing by at breakneck speed but I never seemed to be covering much ground. 3 miles on the trails seemed like 5 on the roads. I think the reason might be because I wasn’t able to zone out while running like I do on the roads. I was always thinking to myself: “Is that a snake?? No, curved rock”.... “Oh, that is pretty secluded, I’ll bet I could totally poop there”... etc.
One thing that was nice about a rather relaxed run was that I didn’t feel bad about stopping and taking some pictures at the major touristy rocks. Which is good, because the trails were very hard to follow at these major intersections. More than once I found myself next to a beautiful red rock with my hands on my hips thinking... “well shit, where the hell do I run NOW?” In fact, I actually opened google maps on my phone at one point to see which way the trail went from my current location.
Eventually I’d find my way and I’d be off – all the while staring at my pace and looking for good spots to poop. (Not that I even had to go...but...you know...just in case.) Eventually I got to one side of the park and found myself at the bottom of a fire road. Since I still had lots of miles to run, in my oxygen deprived state I decided that it would be a good idea to run straight up it. 1.75 miles and 700 feet later I decided that I had tortured myself enough. 6850 feet is high, and running down the hill was fun. Likely what I imagine being a bobsledder is like – without John Candy or any dread locks.
Top of the mountain!
Overall elevation. (Read: ball busting)
So, overall I liked getting out into nature and getting my ankles dirty. However, I doubt that I will become a full time trail runner. I turn 31 in a few weeks and I am all too conscious of the fact that
Has anyone else tried trail running? Do you like to be able to poo in the woods and not have to worry about someone coming out of their house and realize that you’re poo’ing on their front lawn?