Monday, May 21, 2012

Free fun: Trail run

Ok, I should be honest. I don't know if I should call this free "fun" but maybe a free butt kickin workout instead?

I mean, it's fun for me, but I don't know that many other people who consider running in 80-something degree heat while trying to keep from falling down because of tree roots and mud as "fun"... but if you do and you're in the Birmingham area, then you should come join Alabama Outdoors as they host trail runs tomorrow night at Red Mountain Park.

I went last Tuesday with this group and while the first mile was brutal (to be fair, I had already ran 5 miles that morning) after I was able to accept that my breathing wasn't ever going to quiet down I settled in and managed to hang in there for the next mile until we stopped and saw a pretty amazing view of downtown Birmingham. The second half was definitely a lot easier and it seemed a lot quicker, too. But I think that's how most all of my runs feel.

Anyhow, I've been a runner for a long time but I've never done a trail run. And if this hadn't been a group meeting at a certain spot with a person leading the run, I might not have ever even tried a trail run. So if you're looking for a way to shake up your running schedule or for a different workout entirely or you just want to meet new people, I think this is a great way to do all of those things. It's also a great way to check out the latest park addition to the Birmingham area. (side note: They have a zip line - how cool is that?)

Just be sure you get there as close to 5:45 p.m. as possible because there are outdoor companies with shoes available for you to try out on the run and it's first come, first serve. Plus, you need time to sign a waiver and figure out what running group you want to be in before the groups leave at 6:00 p.m.

Here are the details:
1. Tuesday May 22nd & May 29th
2. Arrival time at 5:45 p.m. at Red Mountain Park
3. Free shoe demo opportunity
4. Beginner level group - 4 miles at a 12 min. pace*
5. Intermediate level group is a possibility, depending on runners in attendance - 10 min pace
6. Advanced level group - 6 miles at an 8 min. pace

*I strongly advise joining the beginner level group if you've never done a trail run, even if you run on the road all the time. The "12 minute pace" includes the water stops, so really you are actually running at a faster pace.

Hope to see you on the trail!

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