Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bi-Polar....A Love / Hate Relationship

I spent the day in anticipation of my planned FIRST trail run since Stone Cat. It is hard to believe I haven't run outside since November. Actually I had planned on getting out much sooner but as with many things in life, The decision was not mine alone to make.

As I prepared to leave work, many thoughts were rambling through my head, how would I feel? Would the rusty running legs hold me back? I kept thinking I should run a few times on flat roads before hitting the trail, but that thought was overridden by my desire to be in the woods.

The plan was to hit the campus trail at Pineland which is close enough to work for me to get in an hour running with daylight. The trail is fairly open and would allow me the room to dodge hazards like ice and at the same time give numerous places to abort if things aren't going well as there are campus roads close to the loop in many places.

As I approached the entrance, I slowed way down as if to start negotiating the turn, but I just couldn't and hit the gas .......I really craved single track and even though I enjoy running the Pineland trails, it was not what I wanted today.

A wave of excitement rushed over me as I quickly weighed options. I decided to keep it close to home and run the mushroom trail. The plus with this trail is that it has probably not been used much this year so there is likely very little ice, The drawback is the half mile incline at Town Forest ( which I would be running twice)

I hit the parking lot and changed up. I purposely left all tracking and timing equipment behind so I wouldn't be tempted to analyze this run. This also would be a good break-in for the new Rocklite 295s, I couldn't wait to see how they felt.

Have you ever had two opposite emotions fighting for recognition? As I started running, I took in a deep breath, the air was cool and fresh. I couldn't think of one thing I would rather be doing at this very moment than trail running. In a very short time I was gasping for breath, but every gasp brought continued excitement.

The legs moved like lead weights, I felt totally out of control. Like a kid on his first carnival ride, my body hated every moment and though it was yelling stop couldn't rip the smile off my face with a chainsaw.

I loved how hard it was to push forward, climb the hills without walking, every gasp of breath not supplying enough oxygen to satisfy the demand.

At the end of the run I threw in pit hill which is fairly short but almost 40 degrees......very much like the last degrading bump at Mount Washington. It was horrible and fun at the same time.

Though a comparatively short run of only 3.5 miles, it did have a good grade of difficulty for a first run. I have to admit that even though I was not timing, I did check the clock upon return (it is hard to break old habits) I calculated about 11:28 mile pace.....not too bad for this terrain.
After the run, the body rebounded fast, much faster than I expected, probably has a lot to do with the cross training I have been doing. Overall........great..great run.


Jeremy Bonnett said...

Ahh, sounds like the bit of rest was just what your body and mind needed. Glad you were able to get out on such a wonderful March day, I mean February day.

trailgrrl said...

: ) I loved this post...I think we can all nod our heads and say yep I have felt that way...that "can't wipe the smile off my face" kind of run. Doesn't matter if its a 3 mile run or a 50 mile run. When you have to walk away from something for a bit (like running due to injury or illness) it is that much sweeter when you glad the day was good for you...

middle.professor said...

Kevin - good choice to hit the singletrack! A head's up about Pineland. Those trails are CLOSED to anything but skiing in the winter and they are very, very sensitive to that as they spend huge person hours and money to keep those trails as good as they can be for skiers.

mindy said...

Glad you got out Kevin! Post when you're free for runs on the TM google site, I'm sure there will be Monsters free to run with you. I know I have missed seeing you!