Saturday, June 21, 2008

Road running vs. trail running

Well, I joined the Chiclets (Sheryl, Nancy and Lisa) this morning for a 12 mile run on the Rillito River path. I passed up the opportunity to run a trail with Shari because it was Nancy's birthday this week and I wanted to be there to celebrate with her. We started the run at 5:30am and we were finished before it got too smoking hot. It will be 111 degrees today, so we wanted to beat the heat. The Rillito is good because, even though it is paved, there are plenty of spots that have a dirt path next to the paved sections, so I was a happy camper. It was a good run, but I felt pretty uncomfortable off and on throughout the run, and I'll explain why in just a second. Here I am at the end, all salty:

So, this brings me to the title of my post. The Chiclets say they don't read my blog, which is fine (and some of them don't want their pictures on my blog anymore either, which is fine, too). So, I don't feel too weird talking about the whole road running/trail running thing here, because they will most likely never read it.
I started road running (by road, meaning streets or paths, paved or concrete) about 5 years ago, but really started running more than 5-7 miles a week about 3 years ago. I found this group of Chiclets shortly after getting serious about running and have been running with them almost weekly until the beginning of 2008, when I started doing so many trail races and trail runs. Since then, I have only run with them about once a month, if that. I just so much love to do trails! I started trail running about 2 years ago, and the obsession has just grown from there. I still do road races (heck, I'm signed up to do the Tucson Marathon in December, which is all road), but given my preference, I would much rather be on a trail.
I've gotten a weird feeling from them the last couple of times I have run with them. They have made comments about my trail running and racing and my running blog, and well, frankly, I just don't feel a part of the group anymore. Looking at my own side of the street, I thought to myself, have I made any negative comments about road running? Yes, I have. I struggle so much with running on hard surfaces, both in a physical way and a spiritual way, and I don't always keep it to myself. I need to stop that.
I wonder if they resent that I have chosen trails over them many times (and of course, trail running friends over them, too). So, does the running community have to be divided like this? It does seem that I have 'crossed over' to a different group of runners (those crazy trail runners), never to return back comfortably to the road runners. I still feel like a hybrid (mostly trail runner, sometimes road runner), but I'm sensing it is hard to be both.
Anyway, there is my ramble for the day. I'll have to sort it all out later. At any rate, it looks like I'm pretty hooked on trails, so I see the situation resolving itself in the long run (no pun intended). Change, while it is a wonderful thing, is never easy.


HappyTrails said...

111 degrees???!!! Ouch!!! Well, it's the Chicklets loss, not yours-we trailrunners have all the sweet scenery!!!!!

HappyTrails said...

Oh yeah, almost forgot - I think you might need to go shopping for a new running skirt and eat some good chocolate!!! It will soothe you!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

It was hot today, and I'm glad you were able to get out early and run. But, I think you are reflecting on differing interests, and on things that you enjoy, that allow you to be more in touch with the core of your being, spirituality, and all of the ponderings that occur on trails that do not occur on other runs. Good for you! But, it still sounds painful. You will find your way through this, and will find what is important. Best to you on your continuing journey.


RunningTroysLife said...

Thats funny you always struck me as an ultra runner.

Marathoner in Training said...

You are definately a trail runner. You need to do what is the most rewarding for you (physically, spiritually, etc.) If you are most confortable on the trails, then great.