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. 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 =)

      • 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. =)

    2. 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!!

    3. 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 =)

    4. 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

    5. 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!

    6. 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!

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