Saturday, December 3, 2011
Bluff Creek Trail
This time of year, when things begin to freeze, I often think back to the start of my "running addiction." After I signed up for this particular race, The first Sooner State Winter Trail Run (a 12k trail run at the time) I began running on the trail quite a bit, although the race would have us running the course twice, and before then, I had never ran it more than once.
The area has changed a lot over the years, but still remains largely the same on the trail itself. They have added a large parking area, a bridge, a paved trail, and much more since then, but if you get out there on the trails you forget all that. The hills are still hills, the roots (stubbed my toes and/or tripped on those many times) still look like roots, the pine trees still smell like pine trees, the squirrels, birds...and snakes still scurry around you; and if you are lucky, you will still see a deer or two.
But after signing up for the race, it was getting cold, and I began to realize I would be running in the coldest part of the year. The beginning of February is usually snowy, icy, or just miserably cold in Oklahoma. This is why, on race day (which was almost cancelled due to the ice and snow on the trail) only the hard core and down right "nuts" showed up to run. It was then that I was first introduced to the world of totally insane athletes...which I was soon to become.
While some stayed in their cars with the heaters on before the race began, others stretched and jumped around to stay warm. Others even ran on part of the trail to stay loose. Whereas I remained outside in order to warn my body of the torture it was about to experience, I wasn't about to go running around. I was concerned about even being able to finish 12k on these hills and in these conditions, so why add anymore distance than I had to?
Long story short, I made it 12k that day. I didn't have an impressive time (finished somewhere in the middle), but to me this was a huge accomplishment. It got me looking ahead. I was ready to try a half marathon (more on this later).