Owning the trail starts here

Mosquitos were landing on my sweaty arms in squadrons. Poison ivy lurked everywhere. It was so humid that just walking along, toting a pair of trimmers to beat back foliage in the woods on the cross country course already had me drenched 5 minutes into the process.

It was tempting to abandon the effort, especially since I’d forgotten insect repellent and no other parents had shown up for this last-minute volunteer job the afternoon before a giant middle school invitational.

But somewhere in the process of pruning and trimming, swatting and sweating, I realized this wasn’t just about being a do-gooder parent. If I’m going to work on this course I’m going to run it – and why not? It’s the closest trail to our house, just a short bike ride away. It’s not a very long trail, just a 3K. But doing laps here once a week or so makes a lot of sense as I now, finally, begin training for the Huff 50K.

I got in 17 miles last week, which isn’t much but is by far the most I’ve done since pulling  my hamstring near the end of July. Nothing hurt (other than my stomach during Friday’s 92-degree run), so now I’m going to slowly start ramping up my training.

Since the Huff is a trail run, I want to do more of my training in the woods than on the pavement. Ouabache State Park is my favorite trail, but I can’t be taking the time to drive other there all the time. Riding over to the school’s XC course will also give me some good hill training the state park lacks – and help me start accumulating those low-carb commuting miles again.

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