My next marathon is Timberline on June 1st. A trail marathon. While it’s not my first marathon it is my first trail marathon and I’m excited, like first-marathon-ever excited, without the same amount of nervousness.
I love trail running! I’m not talking about running on paved walking paths that wind through a park, forest, etc. I’m talking about running on dirt, through puddles, in mud, over rocks, through the forest all while trying desperately to miss tree roots and not twist an ankle. I love it!
If you live in a big city you might have to travel a distance to actually find some honest trails to run on, but here in Portland we have a forest within our city limits. It’s one of the largest urban forest reserves in the country with 70 miles of recreational trails including Wildwood (which in and of itself is 30.2 miles).
With Timberline fast approaching (53 days) it’s my intent to run trails as much as possible. Sadly it’s not as much as I’d like it to be, thus far working out to be once a week.
I met Maureen in Northwest on Saturday morning so we could put some time in on Wildwood. We parked at St. Honore’s Bakery so we’d have something to look forward to on our return. It had been raining off and on throughout the night but it wasn’t raining when we got together.
It was a nice half mile warm up (uphill) from the bakery to the trailhead. Here is a picture of the park where you pick up the trail. The pavement ends just beyond the bridge at the back of the picture.
Even though it was drizzly and kind of cold, there were tons of runners heading up into the park early Saturday morning. It was an amazing day for a run among the trees.
What I love most about trail running is the peaceful, fresh air, natural beauty that you cannot help but notice while you’re out there. I also love a good mud puddle.
After we’d reached a point mid-way up Wildwood we stopped to take some pictures. Maureen snapped this picture of me all sweaty – not flattering.
Here are some pictures I took with my phone.
I ran in my oldest (and favorite) pair of Sauconys. I’m a diehard Saucony fan. They fit my feet perfectly, give where they should, support where I need it most and feel like a second skin. Sadly, however, I realized these particular shoes are not great for running on trails. I need a stiffer sole, with a more aggressive tread. I’m sure Saucony will have a perfect trail runner for me, but I’m stressed about finding one I love and having time to break it in this close to the marathon. Trail running is on my agenda for the next 6 weeks, so I better get on it.
All told we ran 9.47 miles of Wildwood. It was a heck of a climb up and a thrill of a run coming down. It was perfection on the trail and I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to get out there again!