Vacation running-how to fit it in. This is the title of the book I'm going to tell my friend to write. Hang on a sec.
She said "OK. I'm sure I did a great job with that".
Back to me. It's MLK, so it's Girls Weekend 5.0. In a cottage by some llamas. The plan for Saturday was to do some trail running. One of the ladies did some research and picked a trail. It was billed as 2.5 miles. Which is the exact length on my training schedule.
Five of us set off in my car. We drove down to the park, and into the woods to the start of the trail. Into the Pygmy Woods, to be exact. One took the car to meet us by the beach. The four of us set off down the wooden plank trail. At a fork in the trail, we took the trail marked 2.3 miles. Great! That should get us down to the bottom in no time!
Having never run trails before, here is what I learned.
1. Do not fight the downhill. Just go with it.
2. Mud is not your friend.
3. Skinny trails with sheer drop-offs are still scary. Just keep running and don't look down.
4. In the forest, sunglasses are not your friend. Bring the darn transition lenses you bought for that purpose.
5. Running uphill sucks no matter where you are. Power-walk it.
One fell behind, as running really isn't her thing. We played follow the leader for part of the run. Downhill jogs are really lovely for that. I was the most confident when I was in the lead, because I didn't feel like I was slowing people down. And the run was beautiful, with ferns and trees and the occasional dappled light. We ran along a creek and didn't see any raccoons.
Then we got to the bottom. It must have been, because there was an outhouse and a sign and what looked like a loading area. But we didn't see the beach. We were getting picked up on the beach, so we needed to get to the beach.
So we kept going. My friend's watch tracks distance and beeps with each mile. It beeped mile 3-great! Now I was running further then I normally do. It beeped mile 4-amazing! I wasn't feeling all that tired, and hadn't run 4 miles since the 7K in October.
But we didn't find the beach. It didn't look any closer. The trail was wider, there were people on it, but we didn't see the end.
Then we got to the campground. And saw a few park rangers. And saw some people. And then the ocean.
The 5th mile beep sounded just as we saw the street separating us from the beach. 5 miles. Shock and awe. At myself.