I have been running long distances since 2005. It has become unique when I find a run that I want to write about. Normally, I will write about my races and occasionally a long training run if something happened.
Well today, I want to share with you the story of my 4 mile training run.
I am currently in the beginning stages of training for my McDonald Forest 50K (31 miles) that is scheduled for 5-14-11 in Corvalis. I have been told that it is really hilly.
Having just moved to a small coastal town near the Redwood forest, I have been “cautious” of training in the forest. I don’t know the forest, like I knew Forest Park in Portland, OR. I have begun training with my Australian Shepherd Boogie for comfort. He likes it and he is a great running partner.
I knew for a few days now that I was going to try a new route in the forest and a new route means my fears try and get the better of me. I woke up a ½ hour earlier than my alarm was scheduled to wake me up. Okay, I ask myself, “Jeannie when does your alarm ever wake you up, 2 times a year?” Anyway, I lay in bed praying for protection. But, negative thoughts of how I could get out of it and the I don’t want to go enter my mind. The sounds of pouring rain didn’t help any. Have I told you it rains 70 inches a year where I live? I mean when it rains, it’s a good 2-3 inches a day, so not like it rains all the time. I live in California, the other day it was 60 and sunny.
Anyway, I’m getting off subject, again. I woke up and after getting the kids ready and out the door for school. I drove back and got ready for my run and ate breakfast. I told myself, “quit stalling” and headed out.
I drove 6 miles to the forest location. While I was driving, I saw a huge cow in someones front yard, off to the side of the road and I thought it was so funny, I laughed out loud. Then I saw a sign that said Watch for Livestock. Too funny! Forget the loose dogs, there was a loose cow!! Ha Ha Ha!!!
When I got to the trail, I made sure the Park Rangers were not patrolling because dogs are not allowed in the forest, not even dogs that are on a leash. My excuse is that I don’t think of him as a dog, he’s my running partner. Furry butt or not. I got the dog out of the car and we ran in to the forest.
The new trail starts by going up a hill and it has a lot of rocks. It also goes up a series of wooden stairs. Boogie doesn’t like stairs. Too bad! The trail ran alongside the river and it was pretty. I had to make a choice, go right and up or left and down. Well dumb me, I made the wrong choice and ran down. Should have learned from my experience running in Forest Park, always take the up route! It was a horrible trail that led to nowhere, so I turned around and went the other way. Did I have a choice?
The whole rest of the run, I can just say was filled with lots of roots, rocks, fallen trees, debris, branches, big trees, hills, big hills, but no mud. It’s way different than running in Forest Park. I will even have to call it a major tripping hazard. I tried to imagine that I was running in Forest Park, but the thoughts of bears entered my mind. I realized after awhile that I was headed towards the starting point of my Monday run. I turned around and headed back and decided to go up this hill for awhile that I past and it was filled with ferns, debris, fallen trees, and roots. But I knew it was meant for humans as there were signs of Groves and benches. I kept coughing to notify the bears that likely wanted to eat me if they could that I was there in hopes that they would be scared off. I turned around, ran down the hill and back to the car. Before I went down the stairs, Boogie and I stared at the beautiful river with the unique color and headed towards the stairs. Boogie stops! He was too much of a big baby to go down the stairs. No worries, I pulled him and we got back in the car.
4.01 miles in 58:59. Slow run, but great memories.