Since I started this whole thing of running, considering that I am not a real big fan of running I didn’t really see a point in it. If you hang with me for a second, or two, maybe I can get my point across. Sometimes when I run, I just looked at my TrainingPeaks workout and usually roll my eyes and then figure out how to get it done. A lot of times I simply just go for a run, more often than not I don’t execute the workout and simply hit the trail or the treadmill and get my time and finish it up. I know that’s not the way to get faster either, and of course that didn’t help to enhance my relationship with running. It didn’t get any better.
We have a nice trail by our house, an old rail road line that got paved and became an 11 mile trail. We can get it pretty much by going about half a mile into town and jumping on the trail. Well, the trail after numerous runs got old too. It just didn’t do it, it was just not helping the situation. We have the NYC Marathon coming up and those long runs simply were dreaded long runs. After checking in with the coach, and going over that running flunk we were in, he suggested a couple of things:
- Run without any devices, forget about those and go about it just by feel, more on that later.
- The second and best suggestion was go on trail runs, it was towards the end of the summer when we asked him and the heat was still out there so he suggested to take our runs to the woods.
Now, getting to the woods and no devices kind of freaked me out. It was one of those that I wanted to have a safety blanket that I could track back with my Garmin back to the trailhead, particularly since probably our run was going to be a brand new place to us. So No. 1 above wasn’t really a good option if we wanted to explore No. 2. So we started then looking at trails. To our surprise, we have a ton of trails around us. We kind of knew about them but didn’t really explore them because it was one of those things I was always afraid of. What if I tripped? Where are the trails? How hard are they? Do I need new shoes? all those questions of entering into the unknown. Well… Felipe one day after going to the pool and finding out it was closed said, “let’s go to Minnewaska“. I was like “for what?” He goes, “we need to get 2 hrs on our run, there is not way we will do it here on the trail, it will suck” so he proceeded to get the address on the GPS and off we went. We knew more or less the area, since we had done a few rides that take us around that area of New Paltz, so we knew it wasn’t that far. I was just a bit nervous since I didn’t know what it was going to be. We get there about 30 min after leaving the pool, and we enter the park (note it is $10 to enter the park). Then we asked the guy at the booth what would be the best thing to do, he said to go to the top to the Lake and then take it from there. We followed his direction and headed to Lake Minnewaska. Once there we headed to the trail, into the woods. We clearly didn’t know what we were doing, we looked briefly at the map we got at the entrance, but luckily there were markers and maps along the way. We used those and kept going. While it has been one of the hardest runs I’ve done, and we didn’t get nearly as close to the miles we would’ve done at our trail back home, it was priceless to be out there. The views were incredible and we know we hardly scratched the surface of the trails out there. We headed back to the car and while we pretty much were done with a mile to go, legs pretty much toast, we took it all in and we sort of crawled back to the car. Needless to say, trail running exceeded my expectations and I’ve been hooked since. We did another sort of long run at another trail near us, the Black Rock Forest Park in Cornwall, NY. It was probably harder than the first one, but still loved it. Can’t wait to do it again and to keep exploring trail running. Even now I’m to the point that I want to do a trail run race (half marathon or something like that). My whole point is what I always say about this crazy triathlon and endurance sports is about. We need to continuously get out of our comfort zone, explore new venues and enjoy each moment, each trail, each path we are put in front of us. We don’t know when or how we would not get a chance to do it again and we are always grateful for it. Nothing beats enjoying nature, lakes and pure air. Wouldn’t change this life for anything and definitely will continue to explore our local/non-local trails in the off season to continue the mojo and keep getting stronger and better each day. For a few tips on Trail Running you can check here