Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So I Went On My First Trail Run ...

A trail running we will go!
For the past year, I've heard so many tails about trail running. 

"There's nothing like trail running."

"Just you wait. You'll love it."

"Trail running is the best."

Those are just some of the things was told over and over and over. From more than one person, and from more than just from my local running group - the Falls Road Runners

So, this past Friday, I met up with seven others from our running group and hit the trails around Levi Jackson State Park in London, Ky. 
It was a perfect day for trail running. Overcast and temps hovering in the upper 30s. Plus, it had rained ALL DAY the day before, so there were mud and puddles EVERYWHERE.

It was glorious.

I loved the challenge of navigating the woods, dodging puddles (sometimes) and watching out for the briars and stumps and the hills. Oh, the hills. How I love the hills.

From the top of the mountain.
(No, seriously. I love hills. I blog about this later.)

What I love trailing running is getting to see parts of the countryside you wouldn't otherwise see. We even made our way to the highest point in Laurel County. The view was great, and we could see everything, including the local airport. (Yes, we have an airport.) Also along the way, we ran past the cemetery of the Levi Jackson family - one of the first settlers in the area (and the park's namesake, obviously). I had know idea that the cemetery was up there. 

Even ran through the county fairgrounds and through the 4-H campground. I had been going to Levi Jackson State Park for years. In fact, we've had several birthday parties and family gatherings there. Too many to count, in fact. But I never realized all the great running spots in this one area.

And I evened learned a few things on my first trail run. Here are a some of the gems of wisdom I gleaned:
Blood and muddy shoes? Check!
  • It's not a trail run until somebody falls. Apparently, this is a regular thing. Fortunately for me, I didn't fall. Fortunately for those who did, they weren't hurt. Just extra muddy.
  • It's not a trail run until someone bleeds. There were a couple of us who were scratched up, including me.
  • Don't wear your good running shoes. Unless of course you 1. want them muddy and/or 2. they trail running shoes.
  • Bring an extra pair of shoes for the drive home. Unless you like bringing the mud into your vehicle.
  • Don't worry about your time or pace. You won't be able to run as fast as you normally do on the run. Trail running is a tougher, and it requires much more focus. The second you're not paying attention is the second you're falling face first into a puddle or twisting your ankle on a stump.
I really enjoyed my first trail run, and hope to do it again soon. I love how laid back it is, getting to chat with others while trekking the hills and creeks of the countryside. If you've not run the trails before, I highly recommend it.

Happy (trail) running!


  1. It is something that will get under your skin and you will want to keep doing it. Just something about it!

  2. Yes it does. Trail running is a different beast/animal and I've very infectious. Wish I had more time to do more of it.

  3. I'm not much of a regular runner (though slowly trying to get there). I can't imagine running trails, though I hear all the great things that you mentioned. I think I'll leave that for a future goal. I have zero coordination, walking trails can be tricky enough sometimes!

  4. Susan - I'm pretty clumsy myself, so I took it easy on a lot of spots. Trail running is a blast, especially with others. It really is a lot of fun.

  5. Definitely some good lessons there! Every time I run a trail I say I need to do it more, then I don't. Trail running is such a blast!

  6. David - I agree. I wish I had more time to trail run. But with my schedule, I do good getting in my running in as it is.