I am competitive. No doubt about it. Most of the time I do a great job of channeling my competitive energy into training- resting when I should, going easy when I should, and giving it all I can when I should- so that I feel ready for racing when race day comes. Most of the time, I stick HARD to my training plan (thanks to my coach, Joe, for giving me great training plans!) and do my best to keep all my runs in check- no skipping miles when I’m healthy, no extra miles on easy days, no racing guys in the park on recovery runs (even if beating them would be close to easy…). But today, I think I messed up. I went to a park I have never been to before for my easy run- Deer Creek Canyon. The park was quite crowded, probably because it’s Labor Day. I started running up a trail called “Plymouth Creek Trail”. After about .3 miles, several hikers asked if I was running all the way up. “Yes”, I told them. “Wow.” They said. Here is where I should have thought things thru. EASY run, UP. I do not like backing out of things. Knowing this about myself, I should have said, “Not sure”, to the hikers. When I said “yes”, I felt committed. Why? I do not know! Pride, stubbornness, integrity…not sure. But once I said “yes”, I planed on following thru. A mile later, I began passing mountain bikers on a steep technical section. A little piece of my brain said, “turn around Anie. This isn’t easy run terrain.” But nope. I said “yes” to complete strangers who probably didn’t care what I did…I granny jogged on. About 1.70 miles into this up, my legs were burning and I was breathing harder then I should on an easy run. I thought about turning around, but I knew I wouldn’t be going down until I hit the top. Why? I still am not clear on the why. At about 2 miles, I passed a guy sitting on the side of the trail. He said “This is a hard run” I said, “Yah. Darn!” and ran on up.
All told, I had a blast. This was my first run on any technical terrain in months and I LOVED it. I LOVED it! I would call Deer Creek Canyon mildly technical. Parts are super easy, nontechnical. Parts are a little hard and a little technical. A nice mix for me right now. 🙂 I did keep the effort easy the WHOLE time, but the trails are not easy enough for me to feel like that was a truly easy run! Even though it wasn’t a hard effort. As far as smart training goes, I shouldn’t have run my easy 7 there today. I should have turned around after .6 miles, when I could tell this trail was harder then I wanted for today’s run. But I just had to finish the run up once I started. Darn! What is in me that just hates to back down from a challenge? And this challenge was against no one…on my easy run. I guess I will see how this effects my long tempos tomorrow. Silly runner me!