I think it is safe to say "I'm Back!!!"
(Oh...the title...yeah. I can't get that damn "Balloons" song out of my head from the Summits of My Life soundtrack. Thanks Zikali.)
The trails were anything but "crappy"...well...actually....
The roots of two trees made a "bridge"...it was awesome!
I am back on the trails! I returned this weekend for the first time since I blew my ankle out for a second time on Jan 26th. I got to explore a new set of trails yesterday and it was amazing. I took it pretty easy...sticking to ones that had a "moderate" difficulty rating and only spent a little over an hour at a pretty comfortable pace.
The trails themselves were in really good shape. I was relieved to see they were not frozen (ankle blow out #2) and pretty compact. They were muddy but if you complain about that then you should just stick to the road! They were also very fertile. "Fertile" you ask? Yes....if you want to get the full experience of my run...come smell my poor XR's. They are covered and smell like crap. Literally. I am not sure how much actual "dirt" is stuck to my shoes. Based on all the animal tracks I was running over...I am thinking not much. The good thing was that since they were in such good condition I was able to work on my "eye-foot" coordination. After running a few weeks on the road...and then in a foot of snow...I was a little worried about how well I would be able to "see ahead" on the trails. This is a very important part of my trail running since the health of my ankle depends on it. I did well. There were not many slow downs and I felt pretty comfortable navigating my way thru lots of natural debris.
Not crossing that!!!
I am also happy to report that my ankle did pretty good on the run. Oh...how is the ankle you ask? Well, the ankle seems to be doing "OK" if you want to be an optimist. I adopted the frowned upon "run thru it" approach when it came to healing...and it seems to be going "well". The swelling has stopped, however, there is now a constant pain all the way down into the foot....and a vein I have never noticed before running completely over the outer left ankle bone (how do you like that for medical terms?!) I have no trouble running on it....but I put on some high heels last night and almost fell over due to the odd pain that came from being on that kind of an incline. I think I may have to have her checked out. No "I told you so" comments please.
High heels? Yes...high heels. I do not recommend them. I also do not recommend re hydrating at a brewery after a long trail run. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Run...shower...get dressed up and head down to your favorite hang out for a few pints. All was going well....great atmosphere...great friends...great beer...and great food (can you say beet grilled cheese sandwich?!) And then it happened. Have you ever seen the same person out and about everywhere and have no clue who they are? That has been happening to me...for 7 years. Each time it does...I point it out...just to make sure I am not seeing things that are not there. This person is everywhere...including just about every race I do and our West Sixth running club on Tuesday nights. Last night the little group I was with made this observation known to "said person"...after a long trail run and 3 pints. The conversation was actually pretty awesome...with it being pointed out that if we see him everywhere...that must mean that we are everywhere. Good point. Well played. It was funny. What was not so funny was his mentioning of doing trail running.....that would just freak me out. Anyway, after that great evening I am left with enough lactic acid build up to kill a cow and random muscle cramping due to dehydration. I feel wonderful....yeah...just wonderful.
Well enough of that... back to trail running. I am actually thinking about getting a team together or joining a team for the Ragnar Trail Relays 24 hour race. Nothing can go wrong here. Trail running...at night...with a team...in the mountains of West Virginia..in June. It sounds like it would be an amazing experience. I would love to try trail running at night and to do it in a relay team event sounds like the best way to give it a go. However, I will quit immediately if I hear any banjo music playing....just sayin'. Take a look...it is not until June...if interested perhaps we can get a team going.....plus it is sponsored by Salomon so it is bound to be a good event.
Other than that...not much going on here. I am going to try to get out to the new trails for long runs on the weekends and concentrate on the trails behind my house and the road (ick) for the remainder of the winter. Soon it will be time to start planning my running trip out west. I need to figure out when exactly I want to do that. I have been looking at houses in Colorado and it is going to be an amazing time...when I get that time figured out and booked. Oh well....nothing like last minute planning right? I also need to find a new book. It has been a little bit since I have read one from cover to cover. I tried Born To Run and just could not get into it (I know...people must be reading this thinking I am crazy). Any recommendations (again) are appreciated. This time I will download it to the IPad....the last book I purchased did not fair too well.......
Don't think anyone else will be reading this...and yes...I think those are coffee stains...I just don't know...