Peg’s Posts: Happy new year, happy trails


5:45 a.m: alarm jangles me awake. It’s pouring…I’m groggy. But I force my brain to do a little math. How long does it take me to drive to the meeting spot for today’s proposed trail run in good weather? How much time do I add for bad weather? Ultimately, I just want to know how much longer I can snooze. I give myself another 30 minutes — the run’s probably a bust anyway. I dream about oversleeping, but then awake to quiet. The rain’s gone and so are my excuses. I check my messages before I head out: Jake fell victim to a late flight back from Chicago — he’s out. Two other casualties due to weather. Another coworker, Kurt, says it depends on whether his long steep driveway is an ice rink. His next message confirms all’s well and he’s on his way. And so am I.

New Year's Eve run-sm Wyco Roads are fine and I arrive at Wyandotte County Lake Park prepared for a challenging but fun run. Our small posse includes Mark, a trail runner from Lawrence and the only non-Garmin in the group, Kurt, me, Reed and Bob (taking photo). We shuffle toward the bridle trail and the mud fest soon ensues. Yesterday’s record temps of high 60s did the trail no favors. There’s a dusting of ice pellets, but not enough to make things too greasy. A little more than a mile in, I’m sucking air big-time. My Forerunner 210 shows my heart rate has settled in around 160, which is about 90% of my max. I don’t care how many times I run this crazy course, I never seem to get my “trail legs” until about 3 miles in. I vow that I will do a thorough warm-up before this year’s Run, Toto, Run trail race in February.

View Soon, we’re into the thick of the trail and this is where the twisting and turning gets fun. The Trail Nerds who maintain this trail have devised some ingenious switchbacks to aid the weaving up the steep slopes. When I fall behind the others, I’m grateful to see flashes of day-glow orange, green and blue ahead so I know I’m still on track. A low stream crossing gives me a chance to temporarily lighten the load on my mud-caked feet. While my 210 dutifully chirps my splits each mile, I rarely steal a glance. There’s too much to look at all around me — fallen logs to bunny hop, boulders and ankle-twisting stones to negotiate and beautiful views at every turn. Besides, trail running is more about camaraderie and completion, less about pacing and competition. That’s probably why I’m more likely to venture out for some true trail runs in the “off season” between fall and spring races.

Good and dirty-sm Post runIf your new year’s resolution includes getting off the beaten path, check out local trail running clubs. Most offer group runs ranging from beginner to advanced. The rules of engagement are totally different for trail running, so if you’re a newbie, don’t go out solo. There’s really no need for special clothing or accessories your first time out. But if you find you like it, you might want to invest in a good pair of trail shoes that provide more stability on the uneven terrain and have deeper tread to deal with ice and snow. Which Forerunner fits  the trail running landscape best? All of our GPS-enabled Forerunners track your distance, time and pace and show elevation (derived by GPS) when you upload to Garmin Connect. But Forerunner 310XT has a couple of advantages for trail running: 1) ability to mark waypoints and navigate back to start or other points 2) 20-hour battery life (for those who fancy ultras) and 3) the courses feature, which allows you to upload an activity previously completed by yourself or another user and compete against it.

The post Peg’s Posts: Happy new year, happy trails appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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