People seem to like lists. I like lists. Today I worked hard on various non-running things – getting my house ready to sell, kayaking over to the Toronto Islands with Nancy, etc and a run wasn’t at the top my list but I really hoped I would squeeze in a decent run of some sort. I managed to get out around 4 pm and as I headed down Pottery Road hill I had about 60 seconds to make up my mind as to where I was going to run. I have so many options and combinations. As the runs get longer I string together bits of the trails, the cemetery, various ravines and often the abandoned rail line which is one of the best parts of any run. So why did I choose the trails today? Well here are my 8 reasons:
1. It was late in the day and I knew the sunlight would be streaming crossways through the trees creating that wonderful pencil box effect of many colours and shades.
2. I was on the trails for a couple really nice runs earlier this week and I wanted to extend the route by a couple kms and see how it measured up against those runs.
3. I know that the Trilliums are nearly done their flowering cycle and I wanted to see them a few more times before that was over.
4. I am starting to feel a bunch better about my runs, see Stuck in the Middle Part 2, posthttps://torontotruerunning.com/2015/05/14/running-resumes-part-2/ , and I knew that the trails would offer the best opportunity to continue building what is starting to feel like a recovery.
5. The next 5 Peaks race is in 2 weeks and I wanted to gain some confidence with a longer trail run.
6. With the warmer weather here I knew that the woods would be a lot cooler and bug free (lots of Midges around).
7. I love the feel of the woods. The Mtn Bikers flying through the woods always makes me run just that bit faster. I get passed on the downhills but I sure make the effort to catch them on the uphills. It is a nice challenge to keep up (for a little while anyways).
8. Running the trails gives me time to talk to Maddie – again someday I will write a post on Maddie.
Ok and now two more tips for running the trails
1. I said footworks was the most important part of trail running and it is. The trails in the Don valley can be severely sloped across your line. Meaning your footfall is often not flat but angled. On severe slopes, turn your foot slightly uphill and use a bit of body rotation as well.
2. On shorter hills, try a bit of a burst at the start of the incline. Use that acceleration to conquer the majority of the hill. One great gauge of fitness on trails is how you handle the short hills. If they are taking too much out of you then you still are building a trail base.
That’s all for today.
See you on the trails for 17 Km tomorrow.