Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#RWHalf Day2....Hitting the Trails

Welcome back for another installment of my Runner's World Half and Festival adventure!  Last week I gushed about our trip to Rodale and getting started in this journey.  Today is all about the trails!  I am the first to admit that I am not an avid trail runner.  In fact, when I spoke with the Altra booth after the trail run about some foot pain I was having it was decided that in fact it was not the shoes and more the fact that I run trails about once a year!  So grab your coffee and settle in for our trail adventure!

Up again bright and early Friday morning to pile into the vans for our first full day.  We made our way to South Mountain Park where we met with Bart and the people of Altra.  For those of you who are new to the brand Altra have no fear because I have a post all to itself about the amazing things they are literally cooking up there in Utah, but Friday Golden, Brian, Jeremy, and Colleen met us on the trails for a quick morning talk and run through some of Bart's favorite paths.
We stopped from time to time to talk about new products coming in 2016 (stay tuned) and about the scenery around us.
It was a good way to get my feet wet in the whole trail thing but definitely not for the burning lungs that came later that day!
We headed down to the vans and to the Altra booth at ArtsQuest where the expo and the race's other events were being held.  With Bart leading the way we took a slight detour....to his house...and inside!  Yup certainly just one of many "Is this really happening?" moments of this weekend!
His house is fabulously eclectic...just like him with memorabilia from races and his world travels including a leg lamp from The Christmas Story to old bikes hanging from a tree in his front yard!

The rest of the morning took place at the Altra booth.  We heard from Golden about the creation of Altra shoes and where their passion comes from as well as what products are coming for 2016...let me just tell you it is WICKED cool!! (more to come on this!!)
Bud Coates, accomplished marathoner (He has completed a marathon each decade for 5 decades straight!) and author of Running on Air, gave us breathing techniques and even took us outside to practice it....I have to admit though that once I got out on the trail course it was more gasping for air instead of the great techniques that he showed us.
We had a quick running clinic with Golden with 4 important things to remember when running so that we can have good form and be using our bodies to their capacity!

  • Proud posture...what Colleen coined "Think like a guy, lead with your fly!"  Chest is out and you bend at the ankles.  As you get tired you can raise your arms and "Shoot the moon" to regain your posture.  Be sure to always engage your core while running.
  • Compact arm movement....we are not swimmers and as distance runners we don't need to be swinging our arms all over the place.  2-3" of movement is enough!  Elbows stay behind your torso to help with the proud posture as well as to keep you from over striding.
  • Soft relaxed landing...he really didn't emphasize where you are landing as long as it is relaxed and you aren't over-striding.  Use your legs like a spring!
  • The last being quick cadence.  You can do cadence checks during your run by taking a 20 second count of your right foot landing.  I was around 30 which equated to around an 8 min mile...just about right!
After running clinic we were rightfully starving, so we headed over to the Steel Stacks for lunch with Deena.  Now I've already gushed about Deena (I still have more to share but I'm still processing), but what I didn't tell you was how fabulous the food was!

The meal came from the new Runner's World cookbook "Meals on the Run" which consist of 150 healthy and delish recipes that take just 30 min start to finish!  My kind of recipe!!  We even got to chat with Runner's World senior editor Meghan who actually just got herself qualified for the Guinness book of World Records for the fastest marathon as a female dressed like a fast food item...she was a hot dog!!

After all this fun and amazing food it was time to....OH MY WORD...RUN!  We headed for a quick change of clothes before heading back up to South Mountain Park for the Altra 3.8 mile trail run!  I laced up my new Altras and was ready to hit those trails!
Let's just say I was relieved after the race when I heard someone say that it was a technical course which for me meant it was wicked hard!!  I didn't want to go all out knowing I still have 23 miles left to run during the weekend, but having never run a trail race before I definitely heard my Garmin beep after the first mile and thought to myself, "SERIOUSLY that's it?"!  The race led us up some serious climbs which I didn't mind...it was the downhills that had me shaky!  I will admit I had my fair share of twisted ankles and more than enough swears mixed in...sorry mom...but once we headed out of the woods and down to the finish I was feeling awesome!!  Thankfully Dani stuck with me so I had some company!

I really did love the experience of running trails.  I know that once you drink the Kool-Aid you are hooked but I'm not ready to ditch the road just yet for a life of ultras on the trails!  I loved being in the woods and around nature...the slower pace is something to get used to but safety and not drawing blood were my two top goals!  Overall it was an awesome way to kick off our weekend of running...and I think this picture says a lot about my experience!


  1. I love trail running. What a fun opportunity!

  2. Awesome job! I haven't done trail running but it definitely looks interesting.

  3. LOL I did not catch that tidbit about Meghan and the hot dog costume!! Great overall recap and now I'm hungry after just thinking about all the great FOOD we had!!

  4. It looks like you had a good time, even if it was a bit difficult and technical (or "wicked hard" as you say). That is what I like about trail running is that you are not so focused on speed and that you can slow down and enjoy being outside in a beautiful place!

  5. Love that you stepped outside your comfort zone!!