RunWILD Wrap Up Edition, Pt 1

So I realize I haven’t posted in a while. No offense, but with helping put on races, training, racing, moving, and trying to pay a few bills here and there, I’ve had better things to do. BUT I thought this would be the perfect time to jump back in the saddle as we wrapped up our last training run of the RunWILD Tour of Trails group.

After 11 weeks of hard work and a different trail each week, it’s finally race week! We have folks running the Oak Mtn 50k in B’ham on Saturday, and we’re taking a big group over to Chatty for the Rock/Creek River Gorge. This is one of my favorite races. Phil’s a huge fan of this race too and has run it a bunch (I can’t remember how many this will be for him though . . . ). I wasn’t going to race it this year, but peer pressure and jealousy got the best of me. River Gorge is beautiful, fast, fun, and tough as shit.

saved by the bell

Bowie Park was our first stop on the Tour of Trails, and this park holds a special place in my heart. Not only is Bowie one of the races in Nashville Running Company‘s Trail Race 6 Mile Series, it’s also the site of my first ever trail race (And yes, Phil kicked my ass at the end of that race). As would seem to be the theme of our training, the weather for this run was COLD. I’m talking freeze your beard and eyelashes cold. However, the sun was out, and it proved to be a perfect day for some intro to trail running. Also, Khette decided to go ahead and win the Best Blood award for the entire training on our very first run. It’s hard to argue with 7 stitches.

Photo Cred: J. Eberle

Photo Cred: J. Eberle

Our trail training also had us running at the PWP on Tuesday nights. These night runs were (and will continue to be) open to anybody and err’body. These runs are a blast, and everyone should try doing it in the dark at least once.

Photo Cred: Duane-O

Photo Cred: Duane-O

After Bowie, we were at another race site on NRC’s Trail Race 6 Mile Series — Peeler Park. Although the temps weren’t as cold, the deep creek crossing was positively frigid. Going through the ice and briars “wounded” me more than any other run this training cycle.

Beautiful ice and briar marks

Beautiful ice and briar marks

More of Peeler courtesy of J. Eberle

More of Peeler courtesy of J. Eberle

Next, we were at Beaman, and Mother Nature decided to show out. There’s something about running in the snow and sun that is just phenomenal. For Beaman to be so close to Nashville, not a lot of people had run there before. That’s part of what made this training so much fun — showcasing all of the awesome parks close to home. beaman 1beaman

We traded the beauty and tranquility of Beaman for the ass-kicking climbs and spectacular views of Bear-freaking-waller Gap. I had so much to say about this badass trail that I wrote an entire blog post on it (Look it up yourself– I don’t have time to do that work for you). Seriously, I have never had a harder run that wasn’t a race or workout in my life. We were taking it “easy” and were completely spent after those 12 miles. Don’t believe me about the difficulty? Here’s the Strava data:  http://www.strava.com/activities/248646653/embed/bd2b979caed568d44447edc246baba0781c27e74

I think this pic of Mary Thom sums up Bearwaller Gap perfectly:

mary thom

Photo cred: Bert Chaffin

Pretty, Pretty Bearwaller

Pretty, Pretty Bearwaller

So that was the month of January in our RunWILD Tour of Trails! I’ll post the next installments in the next few days !

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