Mountain Trail Run

As I mentioned earlier, I was supposed to meet up with a couple friends tonight and go for a hike. Well, throughout the day a couple people bailed out and the hiking group ended up consisting of 4 other very active people: two gym-dwelling fitness guys, one tennis star, and another runner.  So long story short, our afternoon hike turned into a high-speed, high-intensity “trail” run.   I use trail for lack of a better word but most of the time we deviated off the trail and while keeping our eyes on the ground to ensure sure footing, maneuvered our way up and down the side of the mountain.

For the first half hour we hiked at a steady pace down the mountain and then for a good 45 minutes we ran at a decent pace (clocked 5:30/km on the flatter ground). The hike ended up lasting 1 hour 25 minutes and had us all panting by the end.  

This was an awesome way to hang out with friends and get a workout in.  One of the many reasons why I love summer is being able to be active in nature and this was the perfect afternoon.

If you have any sort of trail around your area I recommend taking a group of friends out for a hike, the energy from one another will fuel you up and down the hills faster than going alone.  Plus hiking with a group is always safer than by yourself; you just never know when an animal or rock will pose a threat.

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I Met Bambi

I went on my run today over my lunch break and quite literally ran into a deer.

Let me give you some background first. I work for a university and the campus is located along a “green belt” that includes numerous hiking trails and lots of hills! As I mentioned in my previous post, today I brought my running clothes to work to go for a run on my lunch break. I have never been a trail runner before but decided that giving the trails a try would be nicer than running through the university’s parking lots today. And let me tell you, I am a changed woman!

The trails were so dynamic that I forgot about my normal obsession with my pace and just let my mind focus on my surroundings and the run itself. Most of the time I was focusing on the ground though as I didn’t want to trip over a stump, root, fallen tree, rock, or animal hole. At one particularly rocking part in the path, my eyes were so focussed on the ground that I didn’t notice a deer was blocking the path. Before I knew what was happening, my path was consumed with fur. After literally bumping into the deer, I was so startled that I quickly backed away – I was more scared than the deer! The deer looked at me for a couple seconds then continued on his way. I was so shocked I stood still in the forest for a good three minutes just starring at the deer in awe! It’s a rare occasion to be this close to a deer and I tried to take it all in.

Now either the deer was not very smart and did not have good survival instincts or I did not seem like a very threatening being running at him. I’m going to assume the latter as I tend to look pretty beat and close to death when I run, especially running on a hilly terrain.

All in all, I think I want to run more during my lunch break. Those hills gave me a great workout and being outside instead of inside my office was a wonderful break! I ran 4 km averaging 6:00/km. Normally I run around 5:00/km on the roads; the trails really dropped my time. I’m looking forward to see how my times will improve by incorporating more trails, and therefore more hills, into my running schedule.