Get Off The Road

I put on my road running shoes, my Nike Vomero+8 for the first time in over a week last night and my feet were not happy. It was then that I truly realized how much trail running is seeping into my life.

Tuesday night runs with Solana and the 5 Peaks Ladies of the Trail group is fast becoming my favorite night of the week. With the sun setting earlier and my shift at work changing I am sad to think that next week might be the last one I attend for a bit.

Every week I get the chance to meet new people, visit with the girls who are becoming regulars and hit the trails in North Van for a new experience. I discovered I am almost fearless when it comes to uphill climbs, and my body thrives on them, even when I feel like dying partway through. Downhill is another story…..

I managed to slip on a rock last Tuesday, and went ass over teakettle, landing on my opposite leg than my last fall, but smashed my same arm. But I got up, brushed myself off and after a few unladylike words kept on trucking down the hill to where everyone else was waiting.

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We were halfway done the run, so I finished it and went home a bit stiff and sore from when I started.

Saturday I was leery about the Buntzen Orientation on the Enduro course for the upcoming 5 Peaks race. I knew it was going to be a technical trail, but I had no idea just how technical it would be!!!! Solana had promised incredible views, but it was foggy and overcast so the only view I got was this near the end.

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Still so so incredible!!! The course was about 15k and took me close to 3.5hrs to run. Thankfully the lovely Alannah ran with me for all the uphill and didn’t leave me behind on the downhill, often checking in to make sure I was ok.

Solana popped back and told me to stop being afraid and trust my body. Letting go of the fear of falling and downhill is going to be a struggle but I am trying. Melissa came back and ran with us near the end, both her and Alannah good with letting me set the pace which rocked. I got some awesome swag and decided for the race I would stick with the sport 10k instead of the Enduro.

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I have to admit, I have never felt so out of my comfort zone as I did that day. I felt out of place and so unsure of my capabilities in the middle of the Diez Vistas trail that at one point if I wasn’t sure I might die, I would have turned around. But I knew that Alannah was with me and the others were waiting so I kept going.

But this Tuesday, it was almost as if a light went off in my head. Our run started off with gentle rolling trails, and my lungs and legs were burning before we hit 3 k. I wanted to turn around and go back to my car, but I didn’t. And then, then we hit the uphill. Stairs, inclines, switchbacks… Oh the glory that is uphill. It was as if my second wind hit and I felt like I could do anything. My legs were still tired, but strong. My breathing was good and I felt great.

And when we hit the downhill portion where we could run I felt like I was flying. I was jumping over the small dips, hopping down from the foot bridges and letting my body do what it did best, move me. I gave up control and listened to my body and it was the most incredible feeling ever. I felt for the first time at peace and in a comfort zone I have not been in for ages.

And it was then, as I chatted with another runner hopping over the dips that I realized how much I love trails. How much I want to run them and embrace the challenges that come with them. And that I am not going to give up, and I can push myself and this is something I want to do.

I am addicted. I would love to blame Solana for all the races I want to do and limits I will be pushing, but instead I have to thank her for believing I can do this and for the awesome chance I have had to experience this.

So all I can say is “get off the road”

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