Back to the Trails…

I stopped running on trails as soon as I found out I was expecting.  Although it probably wasn’t necessary until later in pregnancy, I was worried about running on uneven pavement and having to jump over branches, mud and water crossings. I’m a fairly klutzy runner (even on totally flat pavement) and didn’t want to take any chances.

The last time I ran on trails was December 2011 for the Staten Island Trail Festival 25k(There’s one area by my home that I ran on until the last week of pregnancy but it was packed dirt with nothing obstructing my path.)

I woke up Sunday morning and had this indescribable desire to run on trails so decided to head north from our home so that I could head into Wolfe’s Pond Park (entrance is about 2 miles from our home). With miles of trails, Wolfe’s Pond Park is one of the largest parks on Staten Island.  Don’t you just love seeing lots of green on a map?

I was immediately greeted with this:

and this:

and this:

It is pretty close to my idea of heaven.  There is something so soothing and calming about trail running.  I don’t pay attention to pace or distance.  I lose the worries and concerns that have been hanging out in my head.  I feel am happy.  I feel like the earth just swallows me up for that period of time.  And I always leave feeling refreshed and smiling.

4 miles was enough for me on my first day back on the trails plus I wanted to get in 10 total for the day, so I headed back to the roads (I ran 2 miles to the park).  My splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:20
  • Mile 2: 8:01
  • Mile 3: 8:37
  • Mile 4: 8:32
  • Mile 5: 8:25
  • Mile 6: 8:22
  • Mile 7: 8:01
  • Mile 8: 7:49
  • Mile 9: 7:43
  • Mile 10: 7:19
  • 10 miles in 1:21:22
  • Overall 8:08 pace (including last 3 at 7:37 pace)

I don’t intend to force trail running into my training plan – but plan to incorporate some days when I feel up to it (and when the trails/ground permit).  After the NJ Marathon, however, I will be adding at least one trail day a week to my training plan in order to get ready for the JFK 50 miler in November!

Do you enjoy running on trails?  
It’s my favorite place to run – especially when I’m in between training cycles and don’t have to focus on specific workouts and paces.

Are there trails close to your home?  
Yes! Only about 2 miles away =)

Have you ever raced on trails before?
I’ve done a ton of trail races – mostly when I lived in Texas, but have done a few recently including the 25k last December.

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    34 thoughts on “Back to the Trails…

    1. I love trails! They are, for the most part, why I run. I started racing and, that is fun too, but my true love are trails. I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K this June and crossing the finish line was by far the greatest moment I’ve ever had running. I have a 50 miler on my wish list this year…just not sure which one.
      Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Kyle’s Krusade Virtual 5K, 10K and Half MarathonMy Profile

      • I ran the NF half marathon in DC a few years ago – SO SO SO much fun =) Ohhh! Let me know what 50 miler you choose – you can always come back east for the JFK 50 miler =)

    2. Pictures like that make my heart soar! I live for trails. I was a cross-country runner in high school and college and have never lost that love. I have trails just 10 minutes from my house and run them as often as possible, usually once every couple of weeks. When @runwiki lived near me we had a weekday rendezvous at the trail which was great because we had it all to ourselves! I have run many trail races, from 10 miles to 50K, and loved every minute of it!
      Alison @ racingtales recently posted..I Feel it in my Fingers, I Feel it in my Toes…Raynaud’s DiseaseMy Profile

      • Oh man, I wish I had someone like you or Lisa who lived close to me! How fun would that be? Living near trails is the best thing in the world – I hadn’t realized how close we would be when we picked this house but I couldn’t be happier!!!

      • When I lived in Texas, I had to drive about 15-20 min to find some good trails…it’s definitely worth at least trying out to see what it’s like – although you’ll probably get hooked like the rest of us =)

    3. I’m doing my first trail race on Sunday. The course is called Stanky Creek so I can only imagine how awesome it will be! I’m so excited. I love your trail pics. It looks amazing.

      • YES! You do! You’ll love the atmosphere – much more friendly, laid back…you don’t have to wait in long port-o-potty lines or deal with large crowds. Trail races are usually super small and intimate. =)

    4. I absolutely love train running. That said, I don’t do it nearly enough, mostly b/c I am a bit of a chicken to go it alone and most of my running partners are limited to early a.m. (dark) running.

      I did a 35k trail race in Australia a couple of years ago–it was amazing and I was totally out of my league! But had so much fun. I am planning my first 50k this November.
      misszippy1 recently posted..Want to run with the legends?My Profile

      • You are!?!? I had no idea!! Which one are you doing? =) =) I would probably run a lot more on the trails if I had someone to run with. I always make sure I tell my hubby when I head there and I have my phone – just in case. And I make sure that it’s light out. But I feel SO much more comfortable when I’m with someone else!!

    5. great job! i love trail running, we have a great system of trails about 5 minutes from our house and they’re really great training. i did a 30K trail run this weekend and i’m still hurting but it was so much fun!!

      • 30k on trails is NO joke! It took me about 30 min longer to do the trail 25k than it usually takes me on the roads – lots of uphills. I couldn’t walk right for a few days! Hope you are back running soon =)

    6. I love trail running, but I’ve been running nothing but STEEP, rocky trails lately and that’s not so fun. I’m prepping for a mountain obstacle course race but will seek out some soft, rolling trails immediately after. I love being out in the woods on a nice, forgiving trail. Doing several trail races this year.
      Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Workout of the Week: Fitness ChallengeMy Profile

      • A Mountain obstacle course?? I’ve never heard of that before!!! Forgiving trails are much nicer than some that I have run on – LOL =) When is the race?

    7. Not that I’m happy your a “fairly klutzy runner” but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. :) I love trails too but have to be much more aware when I’m on them. I don’t get to run them near enough but I do a lot of trail races. The views are way better and I like the atmosphere of trail races.
      Lisa recently posted..Run It Fast 2013My Profile

      • Hahahah =) I seriously have fallen over cracks in the pavement before! And you don’t even want to see my legs or arms after a trail race/run – I fall too many times to count =)
        I agree 100% – the atmosphere is amazing at trail races – totally different than at a road race!

    8. I always have good intention of running trails, but then I’m too lazy to drive to any of the decent trails in my area. I’m hoping to change that this year. Trail running is fun!
      Maureen recently posted..Case of the MondaysMy Profile

    9. I’ve never run trails either-not that there aren’t any, just don’t want to go into them alone-around here it’s not a good idea! Enjoyed the pix-looks perfect!

      • I definitely wait until it’s light out to go in there – and the park is right off of a main (very congested road…and I run with my phone =) But I feel a hundred times more comfortable when someone is with me!

      • I’ve never run the trail system up in VC Park but heard it’s amazing! Another gem is just over the GW Bridge – along the palisades parkway. My husband and I ran it a few years ago when I was training for a 24 hour race – miles and miles of touch climbing – but breathtaking views!

      • I always love seeing the pics of the trails that you post!! I miss the Texas trails SO SO much! Texas was my first trail race – a half marathon up by Dallas – it was NO joke!!! =)