I decided to do a short trail run to ease back after 2 days of inactivity. I didn't get home until 7, and the sun sets shortly after 8. So I figured the new, ~3.8-mile loop would be a good work out.
The weather was great. Perfect for a run in fact. And the view was really good. A good part of the trail extends along the river, and nicely shaded. Some parts of it were too steep to run but fun. I will definitely go again at a later date. And take pictures.
Things that went wrong, roughly in the orders they happened:
- I had forgotten to eat. I was in a hurry to change and get out at 7 to leave me ample time to run that I only took a few sips of water but forgot to eat something. I was already hungry when I left work, and only remembered after I left home again. I thought it wasn't a big deal, but I think I was terribly mistaken.
- Wrong shoes. I was so excited to wear my new shoes again that I forgot I was going on the trail. My old New Balance shoes are actually trail runners and at some point I had thought to wear them instead, but just forgot. Didn't get the shoes too muddy but still, by the end of the run there are pebbles in my shoes and I didn't want that to happen on my second wear.
- I was unsure. The steep decent at the beginning of the trail took me by surprise, and the unknown feeling pretty much went on for the rest of the run. Trails are difficult because you usually can't see where exactly you are going to run by using google maps or other means to familiarize yourself before you actually go (no street view), so I had a general idea of where I was going, but not specifically. Not that it was too confusing, at least not at the beginning, but I think I was nervous enough that my heart was taking on a greater toll than usual. About a mile after I left home my heart began to beat uncontrollably fast, despite having walked most of the way because of the difficult trail. I was very scared and started to slow down to a walk. I wasn't out of breathe, but my heart was beating really fast, and I didn't know why. I will always believe that I was too nervous about the unknown, but I don't know for sure.
- I got lost. The trail is sort of a two-parter, separated by a main street. After I looped around the river and went onto a more forest-y part of the trail, it started out nice and wide and followed neatly along a river, but then veered into the woods. I know that if I followed one of the trails (there are several that branch out) eventually I would come out near a highway, but I ran into forks and I wasn't sure which one I should take, since if I go on the wrong one I could come out miles away from where I live and possibly end up in the next town. If I were settling for an adventure on a weekend morning I wouldn't've minded, it would just be more fun, but by that point it was about to get dark and was even darker in the woods, that I didn't think it would be wise to continue. So I headed back and decided to conquer it on another day. On my way back I passed a trail map that took me a while to figure out, and I realized that had I wanted to continue on I would've indeed get on the wrong trail and may not emerge from it for several miles. Plus there's always the fear for bears and other possibly vicious wild animals.
- I was tired and weak from not eating. My heart was beating unreasonably fast for several more times so I was doing at most a walk/run. Later I realized that although I didn't feel hungry, the weak feeling is directly related to not having something in my stomach before I go out. Whereas my previous two run I had fed and hydrated myself very well that despite the need to want to go to the restroom halfway through the run I felt unbelievably energetic. Terrible terrible move.