Sunday, October 16, 2016

Granite Head Trails & Ales Run

I’ve done countless of ½ Marathons and Full Marathons since I started this journey back in 2013. But I never had the inking that I would be doing any trail runs since I don’t like the idea of getting mud and dirty. But I have to admit that after doing the Granite Head Trail & Ales (my first trail) run yesterday, it was freaking awesome and I can’t wait to do some more.

The trail run was held in Granite Bay, Ca and there were two courses to choose from: short and long. Since this is my first time doing this kind of run, mind as well go for the full ride and do the long course, besides how bad could it be? it’s only 11.2 miles. Before I signed up last week, my training schedule was to do 20 miles that weekend. I have to admit, running 20 miles by myself is more of a mental challenge than physical. So just to get out from that rut, I decided to do something new and besides few of my friends are doing it also. Running is so much fun when done with friends and people that have the same mindset as me. So there I was, toeing the line for the first time. I was so excited that it reminded me how it felt the first time I did a ½ M.

It rained two days prior and it was chilly when I got there. I have my gears ready and hoping for a heavy down pour but that didn’t happen, it would be so much fun to run on the mud. There were plenty of people and it was a mass start for both courses. I think it would have been a lot better if they let the long course people go first so that it wouldn’t be crowded as much. I found myself somehow at the back end of the pack and fought my way to the front (at least) when the gun went off. I was passing people as much as I could and I finally got some room after 2 plus miles or so. There were only few people in front but they were doing pretty much the same pace as me. Most of them peeled off at mile 5 where the separation point is and I found two runners in front of me. I chased them for the most part and when I finally caught up, I found out that they were not part of the event. They went the other course after climbing the water tower and it was just me all the way. The trail was well-marked with orange flags and white paints but I was still a bit worried not to get lost. I had a horrible experience long time ago when I did a century bike ride. I somehow missed the turn and got lost for 20 miles. Thank goodness that didn’t happen here, getting lost on foot is much harder than being on the bike. 

It was really different to run on the trail vs road: 1.) I was more attentive and cautious where I need to land my feet 2.) I found it more challenging because of the ever changing terrains (ups and downs) and utilized different muscle group that were never challenge on the road 3.) and the different types of ground out there (rocks, gravel, sand, loose soil and roots). I think the last part can wrap it up:-).

To sum it all up, I have so much fun! You can see my Sträva splits and the official results here. If you haven’t done any trail run, I suggest that you give it a try. I found some new love and I plan on sticking with it. Next run will be the Spooktacular River Run, organized by local folks and it’s good way to support my own community. It will be me and my son, him doing the 5k and I doing the 10k. Short but it’s all about having fun…till next time.

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