Yesterday I was determined to run at least 6 miles on a trail. Up until then, 5 miles was the farthest I have gone (recently– when I was in Highschool I was able to run much more). So, I searched on All Trails for a trail that would allow me to run at least 6 miles with the least amount of difficulty. I found the Warrior Park Trail which was a 10 mile loop. Sounded good. I could run as much as possible and walk when I needed to. Well, I drove around trying to find this trail because, as usual, I can’t seem to follow simple directions. I finally found what I thought was the correct trail. I parked, got my pack on and headed out. After walking to the trail head and looking at the sign, I realized that it was a mountain bike trail. At this point, I’m like, whatever– I’ll just do the mountain bike trail. It can’t be that bad. The trail I chose was called “Darwin’s Revenge”. Why this didn’t deter me, I really don’t know. At the beginning, I thought, this isn’t so bad– maybe mountain bike trails are easier. Then I came to the sign that pointed to “advanced” one way and to “intermediate” in the other. I had to think for a minute about which one would be worse. They both sounded bad. I chose “intermediate” and held my breath. Then the hills started. My determination wavered a bit but I didn’t want to fail. I just ran.
As the trail went on, I allowed myself to walk for a bit when it was too much and then run when I caught my breath. I did this and I was actually able to complete about 6-7 miles. If I hadn’t allowed those breaks, I don’t think I would have lasted for more than 4 miles. I realized as I was running, that the goal was just to finish. The thing was that even when giving myself the permission to walk at times, it was still hard. This experience has just solidified the fact that I need to tailor the training schedule to me as an individual.
As I re-visit the training schedule that I found on Pinterest, I realize that it’s pretty much crap. It doesn’t really address my strengths or weaknesses. Also, as I research and look at other training schedules, I can see that the one I’ve been following is unrealistic and in order to insure success, I can’t afford to set myself up for failure. So, with those thoughts in mind, I am going to devise my own schedule based on research and my intuition. Actually, I’m looking forward to this.
My goal is to tap into my inner trail runner and to encourage it and give it the possibility of success. Someday, I want to run a true ultra race. I’ve decided to work up to this slowly but surely. It really doesn’t matter what trail you take, you just need to choose one and run with it.