Hello, my name is Lisa and I’m an addict….

….and My Story Runs On….

I remember several years ago when I was an avid hiker and I’d see people running on the trails and  I’d think: “Are these people crazy? What’s wrong with them?  They’re going to freakin’ hurt themselves!  Crazy people!”

Well, now I’m one of those.

It’s amazing how our running stories can take an unexpected turn into a new chapter.  I swore I would never do a half marathon (ha ha) and swore I would never trail run (ha ha)…..well, now I say, never say never 😉

I’ve been dabbling into trail running for the last few years and have always enjoyed it… but this weekend, something different happened…and I can’t even explain it….I realize I’m an addict…

I just googled symptoms of drug addicts and ironically, some of these relate:

  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly –  TRUE.  I have to have at least 1-2 trail runs a week and if I can squeeze in more, I will!
  • Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing – OK, I’m not stealing but I’m trying to convince as many of my friends to join me in trail running.  More friends trail running means more opportunities to get out there.
  • Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems– I’ve found trail running to be so much more enjoyable than road running. I forget all my problems (thankfully I don’t have many), I feel like a kid again and it’s just plain old fun!  One of my friends said she feels like she’s on a roller coaster when she’s running downhill. AGREED!
  • Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug – I’ve been googling trail runs and have started a list of races that I want to do.  Every week I look at my marathon training schedule and try and figure out when I can trail run.
  • Doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug – hmmmm, YES. I just signed up for my first 50K trail run!  HOLY S&^T! (more about this in another blog post)

Thanks to the Mayo Clinic for this list of symptoms 😉

So what happened this weekend?  I’m not really sure.  I did the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 25K (as part of my marathon training plan) with Aravaipa Running.   Here are some things I realized as I was out there:

PROs

  • This was the first time I was at this park so trail running is taking me to places in Phoenix that I’ve never been before.  I love new experiences!
  • The scenery is so beautiful!  Lots of Chi out in nature…there are no cars, pollution, noises…just me, nature and other trail runners (way less crowded than a road race too!)
  • Trail running has definitely improved my road running.  In trail running I get my heart rate up higher, it’s more challenging physically and mentally, I burn more calories …this makes road running seem much easier. I PRd the Women’s Half this year and looking forward to see what happens at the Fiesta Bowl Half next weekend.  My pace was a 12:40 for this last trail race which is my best time yet so I’m improving my overall running performance.
  • I love using my ChiRunning hills technique….so different than anything else and it really works! And I use a lot of my ChiWalkRunning too.
  • It’s just so fun…I love the variety of the trails, going up and down, terrain, etc…just more exciting than being on the road.
  • I love the fact that this is opening up an entire new realm in running for me!  I am a “baby” when it comes to trail running.  So much more to to learn…it’s a very cool feeling as a “teacher” to now get into a “student” mode.

“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. ” ~Henry L. Doherty

CONS:

  • My group of friends were doing a 20 mile trail run as part of our marathon training schedule. I am a social runner and it was a little hard for me to know they were all together running while I was all alone at the trail race.  With that said, this does help me appreciate solo running.  Even though I really missed them and it was hard to watch them posting about the fun they had together, I am learning there is a great benefit to running solo.  I can focus on my technique and there is something spiritual about being alone out in nature for several hours.
  • I have a small group of friends that are into trail running…but I’m on a mission to convince more of them…Can you tell?  hehehehe

So how has your running story taken a change in direction that you weren’t expecting?  How are you feeling about it?

From My Running Story to Yours….

(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

0 thoughts on “Hello, my name is Lisa and I’m an addict….

      • You must mean Coldwater Rumble. No 20K at San Tan and it’s a week before the marathon. The Elephant Man was David Merrick who wasn’t a trail runner.

        • I guess I meant the 17KM at the San Tan Scramble…can’t do the Coldwater because I’m signed up for The Color Run…I know you love that ;)…but that is my “play”run just like Ugly Sweater…

  1. I have been telling you about trail running for years..so glad you finally are finding out why I love it sooooo much..and I do almost all of my training solo and find it is actually easier and more enjoyable solo..keep up the good work..I did 12 miles at White Tanks on Sunday by myself 🙂

    • Debbie, I have to say, you were probably the very first person who got me intrigued in trail running…I remember when you came to EZ8 Running Camp and talked about these “crazy” long trail runs you were doing…this was even before my ChiRunning days 😉 we have got to get together and trail run one of these days when you are in Phoenix….or maybe when it warms up I’ll come to Heber in the spring/summer 😉

  2. Good effort at McDowell. Your obsessions are definitely a trip! Addiction? That’s for life. I can hardly wait top read about your next obsession.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I totally need to start trail running because it combines my two faves-running & hiking. Hope you are doing well!! 🙂

    • Hey, Melissa. Trail racing is a big step-up from hiking. The closest common thread is having to concentrate on your next foot plant. The anaerobic benefit of trail running leaves trail hiking in the dust. If you wish to find out about trail running on a less-competitive basis, I strongly recommend trying out one of the Aravaipa Trail Runner Desert series events. These are wonderful people who put on outstandingly-organized and scenic events in the Maricopa Park venues. For a beginner, they always have a short distance event ranging from 4 miles to 10K on trails that are less-strenuous and low-key but still give you some technical feel. 2 events in January: A 9K at SanTan Regional and a 4 miler at Estrella Mountain. I’ve learned so much from talking to veteran runners at my slow pace during the run and at the pre and post. They are on the Web, Facebook, and Meetup. Give on a try!

  4. My suggestion to the young lady was that before making a financial investment in trail running technique training she should “test the waters” to see if it’s something she really wants to commit to. I understand the both you and Mr. Dreyer are in the business of selling training programs and support and these programs are very beneficial to runners who have participated in these activities and are committed to refining their skills, but they come at a cost. Since we differ in our opinion on where training fits in, you shouldn’t be including my suggestion in your professional reach-out to the young lady but should be addressed to her separately. I apologize for being cryptic on my first reply.

    • You have a lot of experience in this territory so your advice is always welcome. I agree that testing the waters is always a good way to start before making any big commitments. Hey, we agree on something else 😉

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