It’s Monday, people. Time to commiserate the passing of another weekend and return to our desks and cups of coffee the size of our heads. Sigh.
This past weekend will be missed as it was one of those delightful but rare occasions where I had no particular plans as Friday approached and I could relish the idea of doing what I wanted whenever I pleased. I spent time with friends, the puppy, and Jeremy. I further neglected the stacks of boxes all over my apartment left as relics from our move. I watched WAY too many episodes of Friday Night Lights the way only a mildly obsessed woman can. And yes, I exercised.
Saturday morning was hot yoga. I tried out a new class at Arrichion that used the same poses as the beginner’s class I had started in but with much less instruction and in a slightly cooler room (102 degrees, I believe). The studio was considerably less crowded than is typical with the beginning course so I enjoyed the extra space. Unfortunately, I was fighting to get my balance in the poses through most of the class. Don’t get me wrong, my balance is minimal to begin with so I am not a standing bow all star or anything. But even in comparison to my quasi-balanced, modified poses I was struggling. I am not sure whether it was lack of focus or fatigue from the long week but I will be hoping to see some improvement next class.
Sunday evening was my first solo trail run! I waited until later in the evening to dodge the heat and drove over to Umstead Park. After pondering over a park map at home, I decided that the Sal’s Branch trail would be a good first venture for me. The route was really enjoyable. It is a loop just over 2.6 miles long which was perfect because I knew I could do a short trek and then decide if I was feeling up for a second loop when I came back to the trail head. The terrain wasn’t nearly as rough or steep as the O-Hill run I did in Charlottesville with Ross but it was narrow (just over single track), had fun rolling hills, and was pretty overgrown with tree roots which posed a perfect lesson in “pick your feet up and take short steps” 101. Mid-way through the loop the trail spits you out to a pretty view of “Big Lake” also known as worst. lake. name. ever.
Thankfully Sal’s Branch was very well marked with bright orange circles nailed into the trees because the loop did not feel very loop-like as the trail meandered through the dense woods. It was nice to feel lost without actually being lost because it was impossible for me to count miles passed or miles to go, making it much easier to let myself just run. I actually did end up doing two loops around Sal’s Branch for a total of just over 5 miles. Even though loop one did get my heart rate up, I decided I wanted to push myself to really earn my dinner – leftover homemade pizza with pepperoni, onion, tomato, zucchini, garlic, and basil. NOM! Anyway, some things to consider for my next trail run:
- Maybe wear sunglasses. I don’t like to do this because I have an unusually narrow head (which Jeremy likes to joke resembles a Mike and Ike) that doesn’t serve well to keep glasses secure. But at times when the sunlight broke through the trees it made seeing what was in front of me a bit of a challenge.
- Wear my old Aasics instead of my new Brooks. My last shoes were much more stability oriented whereas my new Brooks are very light weight. I could feel a lot of the rocks and roots beneath my feet and I think that could be easily combated with the thick soles of my old shoes.
- Pick up my feet and take short steps… better. There were no falls or even near-falls to speak of during this outing but I did get caught up on a root or two. I imagine it will take some time for my marathon trained legs to fully register the idea of cutting my stride short and using extra energy to pick up my knees.
Happy Monday, all! May it be as painless as possible!