Thursday, October 17, 2013

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

I set out in brutal 90% humidity on Sunday to get in a two-mile trail run, roughly 7.5 miles, I think. It was my second run at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, and my first time solo. This is a gorgeous 200-acre park with both paved and natural trails, and I definitely recommend it. The hills are mild compared to Cedar Ridge but still much steeper than anything around my neighborhood.

 I hit the Outer Loop Trail and got a bit lost and distracted on the Trestle Loop Trail, so I stopped my watch, sat down, and enjoyed the scenery and cool air for a few minutes.

I fell in love a little bit with a guy with a beautiful dog I kept passing throughout the run. I eventually found my way out of the Trestle Loop and back onto the Outer Loop. Once I finished, I turned around and ran the Outer Loop back the other way . . . up the hills.

I may preach to others to be kind to their bodies, but my mantra this day was "Just fucking do it!" whenever I wanted to walk, which was frequently. Going the other direction, I found the gorgeous Riparian Forest and trekked back and forth through there for a while.

At about 1 hour, 45 minutes, I was BEAT. But I dutifully tromped up the last hill and ran one last small loop, determined to finish. It was little more than a glorified speed walk, done slowly. Ultimately, I was amazed at the strength I still found in my legs to carry me up all those hills and across so much distance for a whole two hours. I can't wait to work harder and longer next weekend.

I tested my new Gooseberry hydration pack, Under Armour tee and matching runderoos (which are too cute and I really want a pic of me modeling both), and GU watermelon chomps. I'm pretty happy with all of them. It took me a whole hour to figure out how to hack the hydration pack since I was working so hard for tiny sips. I bit the mouthpiece and used my hands to pull the pack straps forward, squeezing the pack against my body and using the force of physics in my favor instead of trying to suck against the direction of gravity. The chomps have a lighter flavor and are easier to consume than Gatorade chews, which get stuck in my teeth pretty badly.

All in all, it was a good run.

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