For those of you who have been following my blog, you will notice I originally started with an L-Three report (legs, lungs, laughs), then added another L (learning) for my L-Four Report. Now I've added yet another L for my L-Five report. The new L is for "length" and is intended to describe the distance of my run and provide additional context for the other L's. So here's today's edition of my L-Five Trail Run Report.
Today was my first run with the North Texas Trail Runners (NTTR). They hold regular club runs at trails around the Dallas / Fort Worth area. The run this morning was scheduled at Northshore Trail , the trail I run on a regular basis. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to get out there and run with some other trail enthusiasts.
We left the MADD Shelter shortly after 7 am and ran about 4 miles to the Twin Coves parking lot (also know as the Far Gate). The run coordinator, Lorrie Gray , had marked the trail and provided aid stations at both the MADD Shelter and the Twin Coves parking lot (thanks Lorrie!). I ran the first half with Bobin and Tanna (see picture). I usually run the trails by myself. So it was nice to have other runners to talk to while running. They kept me good company. I ran solo on the return. The total run was about 8.5 miles (although I'm not 100% sure because my GPS had some "issues").
Here's a map of the run
I rested yesterday, so my legs felt strong today. I can feel them getting stronger on each run. However, I am still struggling a little bit with my left calf muscle. It was fine today until about mile six. Then, I started to feel it. So I stopped for a couple of minutes and gently stretched it out on the side of the trail. Other than that, my legs felt good with no issues.
My lungs continue to improve from quitting smoking . Today I didn't really have an issues with breathing, but I am still coughing a little during the early part of my runs. I suspect Tanna and Bobin heard me hacking away as I followed them through the trail. As I've written previously, my doctor says it can take more than a year to clear the lungs after quitting smoking. For now I will just consider it normal for me.
On the mental side, I can say I was a little apprehensive about going on the NTTR club run today, primarily because I didn't know what to expect. I don't do the social thing very easily and it's a little uncomfortable for me to meet new people. However, the group was very friendly and talkative. I shook hands with each person when I arrived and they made me feel right at home. So thank you NTTR's for that!
As far as the run goes, 8 miles is the longest I've run since I have returned to the trails. So the run today was as much of a mental challenge as it was a physical one. I set out this morning with the mindset that I would go the distance, and I did. So it was a real confidence booster.
I am still working on dialing in the amount of fluids I need to drink while running. I wrote previously about hydration and the sweat test --basically, weighing yourself before and after a run and then using that information to calculate your fluid requirements. I've been getting pretty good at estimating my fluid needs. I did a six mile run on Thursday and nailed it perfectly--I was the exact same weight before and after the run. But today I was off. Using my previous information I should have drank about 88 oz of water during my run. I ended up forcing down about 84 oz total, but I lost 3 lbs between the two weigh-ins. The only thing I can think of is that I drank a lot of water this morning before I weighed in and that might have artificially increased my starting weight. But I don't know for sure. I will keep experimenting.
In conclusion, I had a fantastic time running with the NTTR's today and look forward to our next club run. Thanks again to Lorrie for coordinating the event and for setting up the aid stations.
Do you run with a running club? Or do you prefer to run solo? Leave me a comment and tell me about it!