Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trail Running Tiger Mountain

I have admittedly gone a little kookoo for cocoa puffs. Or something of the sort!

My friend Jess took me up to Tiger Mountain yesterday for a trail run. She's talked up Tiger a lot to me, and it's the mountain I will be running for my supposed 50k in January. 

As opposed to the other trails I've run, this mountain is no joke. There are three summits and each one kind of just goes straight up and then straight down. 

If I remember correctly, we were on West Tiger for most of our run. We started at a lower parking lot (so we didn't have to have to pay for a special pass) and headed up to the mountains. I really didn't know what to expect. As a newbie trail runner, I always hear talk about "hiking" during runs. I've always thought this was kind of dumb. You're there to run, yes?

Not. Yesterday, I completely understood. After about 2 miles of pretty intense uphill, we literally came to a severe vertical ascent. We started hiking, obviously, because there was NO way to run up. Not only were we hiking, but it was the most difficult hike of my life. My calves were burning, my hips were aching and it was awesome. I really needed some time to get out of my head and focus on something else (pain, haha), so it was perfect. 

Both Jess and I were breathing hard for the 2-3 mile climb. You read that right. 2-3 miles. Insanity. 

The mountain itself was beautiful. It looked a lot like the picture below. Although steep. Very, very steep. I loved being out in the trees and it was a nice change from the other trails I've done as well. The paths were barely visible and I was just surrounded by beauty.

Couldn't have asked for a better run! Once we hit the summit, Jess said there were two ways back down. One way that was almost straight down that we could do run/walk intervals on, and the other that was more technical, but not as straight down. I opted for the less steep version.

I'm not very comfortable going down trails, yet. I assume it will come with time, but yesterday it was very apparent how slow I am! I am fearful, which definitely holds me back.

This downhill was no joke, either. It may have been easier than the other way descent-wise, but I was struggling the whole time. After about 2 miles, my quads were on fire and I was having trouble concentrating over not tripping on tree roots! I always assume downhill is easier than uphill, but for me, downhill is definitely more challenging. I had no less than 15 close calls, where I either just about slipped on my booty over loose rocks or fell face first over a root.

Although I mentally felt like I could have kept going forever, my legs were ready to call it quits. We ended up doing about 7.2 miles in just under 2 hours. I know that sounds slow, but that direct uphill was epic!

Enough about Tiger Mountain.

CrossFit has been fun this week! I love the camaraderie in our gym. I have found some people who are regulars in all my classes and we cheer each other on like gangbusters to make it more fun!

Tuesday afternoon, we had a "long" workout. During the warmup, our coach went around to everyone and asked them to name a skill. He then turned that into the workout below.

I'm not sure why, but I was totally dunzo after this workout. I must've layed on the floor for 10 minutes after I finished! I absolutely LOVE that feeling!

Last night, after trail running, my legs were pretty wasted. I wasn't sure how Crossfit was going to go, and I ended up taking it a little easy.

Our workout was one I enjoyed. We did a 250 meter row, then sets of box jumps, power snatches and toes to bar, and finished with another 250 meter row.

I like to think I'm getting pretty good at power snatches, and toes to bar are definitely a forte. If I had been fresh-legged, I would have loved to work on a higher box jump, but I took it easy and used a small one. I'm learning to accept that if I'm running like a crazed maniac, I'm not going to make as big of strides at Crossfit, and that is okay with me. I'd rather have a great run!

1 comment:

  1. Your crazy trail run/hike sounds amazing!!

    I am definitely fearful of tripping (well, yes, because I actually did during RNR SD) so running through forest, over tree roots, rocks, etc. is definitely scary to me.

    I'd love to get into trail running soon, though! Already got the shoes. Just need to try 'em out.