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:
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.