11 miles on the trails.

I was nervous about making it out the door for my scheduled 11 mile run on Sunday after two weeks of feeling unwell and having a ton of gastrointestinal issues. I was going to do the run on a new-to-me bike path near our home, but I opted for a well-run-by-me trail that I knew had bathrooms sprinkled throughout and had the safety of knowing where I was at all times on the trail. I’ve run this trail hundreds of times over the past decade, but haven’t been out there in a year or two.

The calm waters before the trails filled up.

When I was planning for my run, I came across an app that instantly turned my iWatch 3 into a really useful running watch! I had been eying up newer GPS running watches that provided maps and trails to look at on my watch because I plan to run different less familiar-to-me locations this year. I was looking at the Coros Apex, but started watching YouTube videos on apps for the iWatch. There had to be something to make it more functional.

Then I came across WorkOutDoors. The app is insanely useful. I was able to get more metrics than I’d ever care to know and see a live map of my location. I could see the trails easily and follow routes if I download and add the GPX files. Now to find useful GPX files for free (or make them on Garmin Connect).

With the new app, I was checking out the trail I knew like the back of my hand when I found a secret off-shoot on the trail I had never seen or known about before. I actually think they added it in the last few years, as there were no markings for it years ago, but now it’ll be pretty part of my run at the reservoir. It instantly turned the 5 mile trail into a 6 mile trail with a good amount of more true hiking mixed in that mile off-shoot.

How on earth did I miss this for so long?!

Happy at the start of my 11 mile run!

When I went out for my run, it was around 9am and cooler. I wore a hat, gloves, buff, and a long sleeve and sweatshirt. By an hour in, it was warming up quickly and I ditched my hat and gloves, then eventually my sweatshirt on a water refill and shoe swap break.

A new view from the Cove Trail.

Along my run, the first hour was relatively quiet, but as the hours wore on the trails filled up. While I love that so many people have discovered the outdoors again in the pandemic, I do miss the trails being a more quiet and lonely place this time of early spring. By noon, it was packed with groups of 5-10 people sprawled across, somewhat annoying to get around safely at a distance.

Quiet trails before they filled up.

I did a run/walk/run workout, but I forgot to bring my GymBoss timer to be more specific about it. Since it was my first run with the WorkOutDoors app, I didn’t want to try out intervals in case the watch just ended the workout early after so many intervals. I also used All Trails to track the run for a backup while using the new app. It was a good thing, because I started the wrong workout type to a “walk” for the first mile, so I switched the rest of the way to a “run” workout.

In the end, I kept on pace to stay under a 16:00 min/mi pace as per my prescribed pace via Jeff Galloway’s marathon training plan. I’m learning that it’s never too early to take it slow. Without focusing on keeping it slower I most likely would’ve burnt out too early to finish or injured my tendons again.

Random field of flowers along the trail.

I wore semi-broken-in Hoka One One Bondi 7’s for the first 6 miles, then took a 2 minute detour to my car to refill my water bottles, eat a fruit strip, and change to break in Hoka One One Low-Gore Tex hiking/running shoes. That idea wasn’t the brightest, because those shoes were extra stiff for two plus miles. Eventually, I made it work, but I need to use those for shorter hikes for a bit until they loosen up.

The trail was an ash trail, so it is a pretty easy run with road shoes. Next time, I’ll just use my road shoes as those are providing spectacular support against my tendonitis. I am again so disappointed I held to my “barefoot” ideal for so long since my injury ten years ago, these shoes have literally changed my life in conjunction with the run/walk/run plans.

A month ago, I couldn’t have imagined going 11 miles. I barely was running 2 miles at a time, and for a year I didn’t do more than 1 mile at most while doing crossfit all of 2019. I’m over the moon impressed with my own mental fortitude to get these miles done, and that my body isn’t attacking itself in the process.

Recovery was pretty nice afterward. I did ride my bike a little with the kiddos; something I could’ve never done without Galloway’s plan. Then the next day, I walked a bit, too. I’m still somewhat recovering, but I’ll either be on the bike or out running again later today.

Gluten-free mini donuts by Chris.

Oh, and it’s always nice to come home to a delicious treat made by Chris when I run long. These gluten-free mini donuts checked all the boxes. Next time, I need to pack a little more food for my run and use the water bladder of my pack.

Hmmm…. I’m hungry. See you next time!