If you've been reading Chris Brogan's blog lately (and if you haven't, you should), that guy's crazy about trails. Trail happy. Trail daffy. Gaga for trails. He's recently been running a lot of trails and really loves it.
Well when reading Chris' posts I was both jealous and resentful. I felt that, as a walker, I'd never really be able to do trails. Sure, occasionally I could walk on an easy trail, if I had to, but I didn't see it in my future. This made me a little sad because there are so many great ultras that I've read about or heard about, but 99.9% of them are on trails, so I felt cut off from all these great races.
Well, all that has changed. Last night I met a colleague at McAllister Park in San Antonio, which is the place to run and ride bicycles on trails in San Antonio. He was late so I was warming up, stretching, wandering around, etc. Then I saw some trail: single track, mostly dirt, slightly rolling. While I was waiting, I decided to give it a try. It was awesome. Awesome! I didn't trip or stumble or have any trouble with form. The only reason I had to stop was that my friend was so late that it got dark and we couldn't see the trails so we moved onto the paved jogging path. But I was really excited to think that maybe I could walk on trails.
Today I finished work early. It was the first day of training and in spite of all of my anxiety and trepidation it went well, very well. I promised myself that my reward for making it through the day would be another visit to McAllister Park. So I headed back around 4:45 this afternoon. It was 97 degrees (ugh) but what else are you going to do in Texas in July. So I hit the trails. Man, it was awesome again. I wandered all over that park. These trails aren't particularly technical or difficult, but I still loved it. I scared off some deer; I passed a family of wild turkeys; I even saw an armadillo. It was so great to get lost in the park and on the trails.
The best part was that, for me, I was fast. I actually did a 10 minute mile for part of the trail, and my average was 11:23. For a lot of you runners that may not be fast, but for me it was a very acceptable pace for a training run. Considering that it was my first time on trails, that it was 97 degrees and that I walked 8.26 miles, I'm very happy with the results.
There's only one problem: I need some trail shoes. Chris, can you loan me $80? I mean after all, this is all your fault!
Distance: 8.26 miles