Martinho had a Garmin, so we were able to look at the data on his computer after our run. It was very interesting! Sometimes our pace was 12+ min/mile pace (sometimes 20 min/mile on the really rocky uphill walking parts) and other times it was 7-8 min/mile pace, depending on whether the hills were up or down. Some of the grades on the uphills and downhills were 20+%! We were screaming on the downhills! He even clocked a 6:50 pace a few times on his Garmin, but I'm sure it was only for a few seconds on a downhill portion. At any rate, my overall pace was higher than usual because of Martinho. He is fast!
So, my legs got a great workout, and hopefully not too much, because I'll be running about 11-12 miles tomorrow with the gals (a redo of last week's run with the trails/hilly road, which was fun).
I'm beginning to think I have rubber ankles; on the trails, I am constantly rolling them or crunching them on the downhills, but I never seem to have any problems afterwards. I think the trails are strengthening my ankles, feet and legs in a way that the road doesn't seem to. On that note, here are some comments on trail running from skirt goddess.com, which is where I buy my a lot of my running skirts and tops:The soft dirt of a trail run is far kinder on the hips and knees than either pavement or concrete sidewalks. Plus, over time, the constant balancing act navigating through uneven trails, avoiding rocks and tree roots can actually help improve balance and strengthen the muscles around the ankle decreasing the likelihood of future injuries. Of course, there are a litany of other benefits to trail running. Solitude. Solidarity with nature. The need for complete and utter focus. Biodiversity. Fun furry animals.
You get to go out into the quiet and see wonderful scenery. Your legs are much more beautiful and shapely due to all the rock and root hopping, powering through sand, uphill and downhill running we get to do. Your lungs are happier. You don't have to breathe in exhaust fumes. Your joints are happier. Pavement/concrete is hard on the body regardless of how good of shoes we have. Yes, I know there are very scenic paved trail and road routes, but overall, trails are going to offer the superior outdoor sensory experience!
You said it ladies. See, this is why I so much love trail running. This trail run was very challenging, with the heat, rocks, sand and hills. It is so gorgeous and pristine out there and I feel alive and strong and in touch with a power that I can't even begin to define but that I know is there, watching over me, protecting me.