One woman's adventures while trail running in and around Minnesota.
July 20, 2008
<- A little of this....
<- to get ready for that
Recognizing that I'm going to need to be able to haul my carcass up and down some substantial hills for an extended period of time in less than 2 months, the big decision today was where to run: RTA or Afton. I chose to give Adam's hill loop at RTA a try - this would be a new workout on a few trails I hadn't yet seen.
Slept in and putzed around this morning, so I didn't get to RTA until after 11:00 am. Only 1 other car in the lot - never saw another person on the trails for the entire time I was there. Weather was warm - not overly hot or humid. Bugs weren't bad either!
I'd printed out a map along with Adam's comments about the loop and I was glad I did. The first hill is straight forward, and I'd been to RTA enough that I knew exactly where it was even before I got there. That must be an awesome sledding hill in the winter!
The second hill trail was just a little tricky to pick up after you pop out onto the asphalt, and I don't think I'd have found it if Adam's instructions hadn't been so clear. If you look carefully, there is a blue blaze on a tree marking where the trail continues into the trees from the asphalt. At times the trail can be a little hard to follow, but there are some orange markers on trees to help keep you on track. Wonder who put the blue blazes and orange tape there ;)
The third hill is probably the easiest and very simple to find and follow. Mini-Moose is also straightforward, but now has wood chips and railroad ties - along with a bench about half way up that can be tempting (but illegal for trail runners IMHO).
Jackhammer might be my favorite - very nice single track that runs parallel to a currently dry stream. Very pretty scenery in this stretch of open woods!
The sixth and final hill is the steepest (35% grade according to my Garmin) and most technical. Route finding can be a little tricky here too - some orange markers help keep you on track.
I ended up doing 2 laps for a total of 5 miles and was literally dripping wet by the end. Drank 40 oz of Heed, 16 oz water, 2 Endurolytes, and still ended up a pound lighter than what I started. I must be getting acclimated to the heat since I hardly had any Na at all and didn't cramp or have hand swelling. Progress.
Self employed Personal Trainer, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Running Coach since 1997. This means that I typically spend a great deal of time helping others with their training at the expense of my own. Hopefully this blog will help me focus on my own training and goal setting as it applies to trail running.
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