Obstacle Avoidance on the Big Rock Trail

A week of solid workouts without hamstring pain!  I ventured out of my neighborhood to explore a new trail less than ten miles away.  It was unexpectedly difficult yet at the same time exhilarating.  Before I get into the details of my experience on the Big Rock Trail, let me recap my week’s worth of training.  Again, I’m slowly building up my mileage with time-based runs.  All my runs have been an easy comfortable pace.  In a week or so, I plan to introduce a bit of speedwork to add variety into my workouts.

6 – 12Feb Training

M – 25min easy run + PT exercises
T – 2000m row + TRX + PT exercises
W- Big Rock Trail Run
R – 2000m row + KB swings + PT exercises
F – off
S – 70min run (7.6mi)
Sn – Short Family Hike

Big Rock Trail Run

Living in San Diego, we are blessed to have the best of both worlds – mountains and beaches.  And where there’s mountains, it’s easy to find a trail to run and hike.  Recently, I discovered an app from REI, the Trail Run Project where it maps out running trails in your area with description, photos, and reviews.  I selected the Big Rock trail, a 20-min drive from my house.

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Elevation profile and part description of Big Rock Trail from Trail Runner Project

From the elevation profile, I could tell that it would be a nice gradual climb.  However, I didn’t expect the very rocky terrain.  Is that why it was named Big Rock?  I was actually expecting a giant rock at the trail’s summit (nowhere to be found but there were a few big rocks along the way).

At the trail head, I saw a warning sign for rattlesnakes.  With this in the back of my mind, I was laser focused with every step I took.  I already knew on the trail I need to have a high level of awareness but the threat of rattlesnakes took me to the highest of levels!!!  Fortunately, I didn’t run into one.

Start of the Big Rock Trail

I regret I haven’t invested in a pair of trail shoes which would have probably given me better stability.  Due to my inexperience with the never-ending obstacles along the the course, I found myself doing more skips and hops rather than ‘actual running’. I could feel my stabilizing muscles doing work in keeping my body balanced as I meandered my way through rocks and roots.  My heart rate was skyrocketing because of the constant climb and a number of steep grades.  The best part though was stopping for a moment to appreciate the beautiful landscape that surrounded me (plus catching my breath!…) and felt grateful to have the fitness, strength, and good health to witness it.

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The climb was worth it!

Although my running schedule called for a 40-min run, I went over the time to get to the end of the trail.  At 20 min, I knew I only had less than a quarter mile to go.  I just had to see where the trail ended and merged with another trail. It wasn’t anything special but to me the end of the trail was my finish line (the climbing portion at least).

Down back to where I started was another challenge as I’m a terrible downhill runner.  It’s mostly my fears that slows me down.  Fear of ankle twists.  Fear of trips and falls.  Fear of bruises, cuts and scrapes.  It was actually fear that kept me from running on trails for quite awhile.  And I’m finally facing that fear.  With more trail runs under my belt, I know I will begin to feel more at ease.

Are you a trail runner?  What’s your biggest fear when out on a run?

I am linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap.  Thanks ladies for hosting and supporting active women!

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