I was hit by the desire to get out into nature this weekend and go for a long hike. I also needed to get in an 8 miler run for my half-marathon training schedule. I decided to combine the 2 and go out for a trail run.
I have not had much experience with trail runs before, aside for 3 or 4 milers when I have been camping. I heard that they could be more strenuous and I was looking forward to the challenge.
We decided to go to a trail we had never gone to before. It was near Mt. Baldy off Brackett-Stoddard Rd. It was a 12 miler total, I decided to run 8 of it and hike the rest.
The wind was blowing like crazy in Southern California, but once we got started, it was not too bad, only on certain open sections of the trail.
The trail was wide, for the most part, which made for easy running. However, there were more harrowing sections that were icy or overgrown and we had to stop and walk.
The elevation gain was pretty intense. We had our fair share of uphill sections. This definitely slowed our pace down, but I was glad to get the hills in as our race is packed with them!
At the 6 mile turn around spot, we stopped to refuel. I made peanut butter and banana sandwiches on cinnamon raisin bread, along with chugging coconut water (I was pretty famished).
I did find it hard to start again after eating and sitting down to rest. This signals in my brain that my run is done! I walked for about 2.5 miles before starting to run again. I knew I did not want to run the whole 12 miles anyways, so it was a good time to take part of the walking break.
I think I found a new passion. Trail running was amazing. I felt so free and peaceful. The normal distractions of road running were not missed. I did not have to watch for cars, wait at crosswalks or ignore unwarranted things yelled at me from car windows (creepasaurouses!) I was able to feel the meditative effects of being in nature and still get my miles in. Plus, the views were amazing.
Trail running was definitely more difficult. The terrain is much more diverse, plus elevation gains and losses are more severe. I also had to constantly dodge rocks, tree branches, etc. However, the added challenge only added to the thrill. I absolutely see more trail runs in my future.
After the 12 miler, I was ready to eat!! We headed to one of my favorite vegan eateries, The Loving Hut, where I immediately ordered appetizers (vegan cheese sticks & vegan wings) and fresh juice (apple, beet, carrot & lime).
For my entree, I chose something I had been craving all week, the Pan Seared Shanghai style Dumplings. My love ordered the Oriental Wonton soup, which is big enough to fill you up.
For dessert, we split chocolate cheesecake.
It was a pretty amazing day. Trails, challenges and food. There is not much more that I need.