Monday, 22 September 2014

Chase the Coyote

While I was out in Vancouver this summer I fell in love with trail running. The scenery is beautiful (<---- exhibit A). And compared to road running the experience is completely different. So on a whim I signed up for a trail race. I going to run the 14km Chase the Coyote on Saturday.

When you first start running, every race is a victory. You are hitting new distances. You are getting stronger. You are getting faster. And every race is a Personal Best.

The momentum is addicting. But the longer you run, the harder it is to hold on to that. You start becoming addicted to the numbers - "What's my Pace? What's my Time?" And those numbers start to dictate how you feel about your training and your races. You stop enjoying the experience.

At least that has been something I have struggled with this year. If I am not getting faster and I am not going farther - then I am not succeeding.

But the truth is, running is about more than that. And I know it. So it was time for a change - something different to shake-up my perspective and challenge me in a different way.

Enter Trail Running. 

So first of all, the pacing is completely different. Because of the terrain and the changes in elevation you can not pace yourself the way you would for a road race. Your pace has to be slower to manage the slopes and the uneven footing. It is also impossible to compare distances/results because each race will be different - different elevation gains, different terrain, different routes - all mean different challenges.

Those changes and challenges take the numbers out of it. I have never run a race with hills like this or with this type of elevation change. So I have no expectations going into Saturday's race. I am just planning to run to feel (and heart rate of course). And to enjoy the process! I will keep you guys posted.

Have your ever tried trail racing? Do you have any tips and tricks for me?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,