Saturday I did my first trail run: The Los Trancos loop at Foothill Park. I was wearing my new trail shoes
that I got at Zombie Runner.
It seemed like a good idea to do such runs with a partner, since you are far from any help if you take a spill (or get jumped by a mountain lion ;). So I went with my running partner, Jeff, who happens to know his way around all the local trails.
It was a little tough...we started out climbing right off the bat..no lead in or warm up. In about a minute I was clocking 140+ bpm. Eventually it got better but I still had to power-walk the steepest bits...just could not keep up a climbing pace that wasn't a walk.
The trail we end up on as part of this loop is called the "21 bridges trail"....these days the bridges are numbered so you can keep track as you cross each one.
The trail is beautiful. It starts in very dense forest but eventually you hit the summit (1800') at a clear meadow. The backside valley you drop into takes you down to the river with a cute little falls.
Along the way you're treated to the smell of bay laurel and many kinds of flowers (lupine, iris) in bloom.
There are some really nice things about trail running:
1) Hills. No better way to build strength (and hence speed).
2) Less pounding, more varied foot/leg motions. Good for avoiding overuse injuries.
3) Views, nature, quiet, solitude.
4) The hills make it very difficult to track your pace vs heart rate...so it's a chance to ignore all that and just listen to your body.
It was great. I plan to make this a regular part of my training. At some point I'm going to find a race or two. Perhaps
even someday I'll try a 50k.
Here's my garmin track of the run.