Friday, August 7, 2009

Trail Running

The ultimate challenge. A rocky path. Best to hike over this when just beginning or you could break a bone or two! Even advanced trail runners use extreme caution what running this type of terrain.

Yup, you heard it right folks,Trail RunningIt has been what I have been preparing for and doing the past couple of weeks and one of the reasons why I have been MIA a little more lately. It all started the past few weeks as bird activity started to lesson and I was looking for other excuses to get outside and in the woods, fields, etc. It started off with walking, than fast walking, etc but then I discovered how fun it was to run trails the day I saw the Northern Goshawk at Wachusett Meadows. The normal terrain in a typical trail run.

I went home that afternoon and decided to do a little research on trail running and liked what I had read. Now I have been running off and on since junior high school and found that it got tougher for me after the age of 35 because I started getting knee problems that seemed to get worse when running on pavement. I found that if I ran on the beaches in Maine, my knees would be fine afterwards so it got me to thinking that perhaps the softer surface of a hiking trail may afford me the same benefit and it has so far.

That's not to say you can just jump into it because while it is easier on your knees, it is quite demanding on other parts of your legs like your hamstrings, quads etc. so I have been hitting the weights, doing more hill hiking and stair climbing to prepare myself and avoid injury which I am very good at doing. ;o) Muddy terrain. Kind of like black ice for the driver. It looks oh so innocent until you hit it at full speed and slide into a tree. Never run when you see mud!

I was able to do my first two full runs this week and it's a total blast. I can even get some birding and photography in if presented with an opportunity to stop for a photo but so far the only thing I have been doing is birding by ear as I pass by birds deep in the woods as they sing their first morning song. I was out there at 6am this morning and heard American Crows, Blue Jays, Eastern Wood Peewees and even had a skunk run across the path as I was about to approach it.

That's not to say I won't be birding as much as I have over the past few months. In fact, I am still birding about as often as I was in May, but just not taking as many photos. It's just another hobby I picked up along the way and makes me even more excited to get outdoors everyday!

Have a great weekend everyone!


The Early Birder said...

Glad to hear you are enjoying yourself. Bit too strenuous for me!

Have fun. FAB

Kim said...

LOL Frank, I am sitting here at my desk eating lunch and re-reading what I wrote and you probably all think I have lost my mind talking about broken bones and slamming into trees, LOL!!

Believe me, I have done my homework and that only usually happens if you don't know the trail and are in a competitive race where speed is your ultimate goal. Yes, I am a risk taker by nature but not stupid. I am very cautious while running as I don't want to injure myself and not be able to bird. ;o)

A Scattering said...

I am really impressed - trail running, wow! Good for you.

Ratty said...

This sounds like fun. I usually only walk along the trails, but I try to run at least once for a ways on every trip.

NCmountainwoman said...

Trail running is a HUGE sport around here. I would never attempt it because of the number of roots and uneven areas. I stumble often enough when I'm hiking...I wouldn't dare try to run.

Go for it and enjoy!

Kim said...

NC, I was worried about that at the beginning butI know the trails I run on. I am going to scout one out tomorrow that is a lot of uphill which are my favorites as they are the most challenging. Will be doing the whole thing via fast hiking to see what it's like and get a feeling for the trail as I have never even been there before.

I have also read that it's a popular sport in the West. I have noticed it gaining strength in the East as well. LOT's of trail racers who rack up impressive miles. I can't race though because of my knee issues. If I run over 7 miles at once, I pay dearly for it.

dAwN said...

Hee hee..Ok..Betcha not trail running with all that shorebird activity!
Great thing to do KIm..You will be fit as a fiddle and enjoy the great outdoors!


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