Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And yet another trail run ...

Lately I've gotten so that I actually have to start scheduling my running into my Outlook calendar, such is the daily list of meetings and other work stuff that I have on my plate. In a way, I actually kind of like having it firmly on my calendar like this, it somehow legitimizes my workout time, even if it’s really only in my own mind. So far this seems to be working out for me, even if it is technically just a mental game that I’m playing with myself.

Today my schedule called for a run at 2 PM, which is later in the day than I usually go, but it was the only time I could fit it in. The later the day got, the less I really wanted to run, but it was on the schedule and I knew that if I didn’t go then, it was relatively unlikely that I would get anything in tonight. So I went, and as soon as I stepped outside, I was immediately glad that I had talked myself into it. It was so cool! Almost Fall-like cool (early Fall anyway). Perfect. I decided to start with the same route that I did yesterday, up the Beaver Path, and then up the long hill “short-cut” to the very top of my hilly trail. This time I tried to run farther up the hill than I did yesterday, and I think I accomplished that, but I still feel like I had to walk far too much. I’m actually pretty disappointed at how slowly my cardio fitness is improving. I feel like I should be farther along at this point. I mean, I know that excess weight is a contributing factor to this struggle to run, but I still feel like I shouldn’t be literally gasping for breath only a third of the way up this hill. I was careful to keep it slow & steady, so I really don’t think that I was pushing it too hard or fast, I’m just not capable of running as much as I want to. I think I maybe need to do more hills, maybe I HAVE been taking it too easy on myself. Something to think about anyway.

Anyway, so I struggled to the top of that long hill. Once I reached the top, I caught my breath and then started the long, wonderful back part of the trail. This I was able to do without walking once, well, all the way to the little wooden bridge that you have to cross near the end anyway. I’m not brave enough to run over this at the best of times, but everything is so saturated with moisture right now, all these wooden ramps throughout some of the trails are very slippery, even walking over them can be a little treacherous. That’s all I need is to end up taking an unplanned swim in a swampy river or something. But anyway, I think that is the longest stretch that I’ve run on that trail to date, so that felt pretty good.

After that trail, I ran down the fire road like I did yesterday (no sprints today however) and instead of heading back “home”, I turned into the “Swamp Trail” (it’s actually called the “Wetlands Trail” but there is significant swampage on this one, so I have my own name for it). The first part of the trail going in this direction has a lot of wooden bridges, big gookey patches of black mud and other messy bits. It was all negotiable however, and once I got past that first section, there was a good long stretch of runable trail that wound through the woods, so I found that pretty satisfying. This trail comes out in a meadow and from there I followed the dirt lanes and roads back to the company road. Overall I did about 3.5 miles. I felt pretty good about that, especially considering that I hadn’t even wanted to run in the first place. I’m still frustrated and disappointed with how much and how often I have to walk, how easily and quickly I get out of breath. I know that I have made some progress, but the progress sure isn’t happening very quickly at all.

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