W. CAITLIN SMITH

DOULA, PILATES, YOGA, DANCE, ART, TRAIL RUNNING

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Road vs Trail

I know I've been away from writing for a bit. I've been enjoying day to day, people, births (yes two lovely babies were born in September), and running. My runs typically begin with a 4 mile uphill run on the paved roads in order to arrive where my heart thrives, the trails. I find the transition of the roads and trails vastly interesting. I feel a need to run faster on the roads. I dislike the cars and the visibility. When I am on the trails I don't feel like I am being watched, I am lost in the trees, watching for roots, and more internal with my breathing and my body. When I return back on the roads, I carry that love on the road and typically forget what is underneath my feet. Dirt, pavement, yes there is a difference, but I can still do what I love, run!

On June 22, 2002 at the age of 21, I ran my first marathon, the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. I trained myself and I had no particular idea of what time I would run. Ideally around 4 hours. To my suprise I finished in 3:19:49, which qualified me for Boston. So I ran my second marathon in 2003. I didn't think much about road racing and then something in the past few months made me rethink. I've grown curious about returning to the road and seeing what has changed in the past 6 years. On October 18, I'll get the opportunity as I will be racing in the San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon. I am nervous, but then again I am always nervous... that is what racing does to me, but luckily I've gotten a bit used to it. I am looking forward to it and if it goes well I will try for the Olympic marathon trails in 2010 (or I will get my ass into better shape, so I can attempt!). Then again I wonder if I will be completely humbled by the road. Writing that just made me smile. I've got nothing to loose when I do the one thing I know and love and humbling moments are welcomed.

9 comments:

Bryon Powell said...

Best of luck at the Nike Women's Marathon! I love the Freudian slip "Olympic marathon trails!" :-) Where's your heart, again?

Ps. I enjoy my paved journeys to the dirt. I know many who drive from home or work to the trailhead. I rarely do it. For me, that detracts from the simplicity of our sport, which, at it's core, is running.

SteveQ said...

I ran Grandma's Marathon when I was 21, too (my 7th or 8th). I recently tried to make the transition from trails to roads and found I went from running on my heels to running on my toes, starting some new injuries - but then, I'm an old guy, we can get hurt putting on our shoes.

Best of luck with your Trials wishes!

David Ray said...

Well, that's cool. Olympic marathon trials. Good luck with all that. Just keep us informed so we can follow along. :)

Buzz said...

Like Bryon said, you gotta love it: "Olympic Marathon Trails"! :-)

Someday that might actually happen however, as this year the IAAF officially sanctioned the World Mountain Running Championships for the first time; doing so is a precursor to Olympic status.

Sara said...

This is exciting! You'll do great. Best of luck!

saschasdad said...

I completely understand what you're saying here, Caitlin. My heart is on the trails and in the mountains...but yet, it is fun to occasionally run a road race just to see how fast you can go. And trust me, running on trails will make you fast on the roads.

Brad Mitchell said...

Like everyone else - love the trails, no better place to train or race! But, also like the roads and the track - they are fast!
Enjoy SF - you'll be quick!

robert.blair said...

Be sure to take it easy and relax in the first few miles, lest you set yourself up for a blowup later on. Good luck!

As for me, you can have the roads; I'm sticking to the trails, unless forced to run the paved stuff during an ultra.

Jason R said...

Was that 2nd marathon (2003) Boston or a different one?