...read more....a note to those who have expressed interest in the series.
Greetings Trail Runners!
You're on this list because you expressed interest in the series of trail runs in Carolina North Forest. You are in good company: there are over 50 of you who want to enjoy the benefits of off road running, learn more about the local forest, and meet other like-minded folk. (Please read on when you have time to fully digest this!)
So, let's get down to logistics.
1. Cost for the series: You should be able to run free in the forest and the TrailHeads are happy to underwrite all operational expenses for this program. Meaning: show up, run, talk to a tree. There will be no "series" charge, per say. And, no, you do not have to attend every session. We're simply gathering to run. But, the more you attend the more you'll know about the forest.
2. Dates: The series runs from July 8th to August 12th. (Actually, we may bump the 12th to the 19th due to school openings). We will meet at _various_ locations to access the trails. Several days prior to each meeting, I will send out a notice of where to meet and a map of the route. This way you will learn the various trail access points and receive workout specific maps, both graphical and written. (We may even do a narrated podcast of the routes.)
3. Time: All sessions begin at 7pm sharp. There will be a 10 to 15 minute opening program to a) introduce speakers on certain subjects and b) go over the evening route. I will send out directions of where we'll meet. Please do not assume that each meeting will be at the same location; it will not be. Read the instructions in advance and plan your route so that you can arrive in time.
4. Conditions: Rain or shine. Running in the forest during a downpour is a wonderful experience. I sincerely hope we have at least one rainy outing.
5. Hydration: We will have a couple of jugs of gatorade or water. Supplies will be limited. Please make sure to bring a handheld water bottle or something akin.
6. Pace and distance groups: There will be a couple groups. We'll sort it out prior to departure. As a general rule think of these outings as a learning experience first and a serious workout second. If you've got a tempo run scheduled in your training plan, you may want to swap dates. Don't lose site of the goals of this series, the most important of which is to learn about the forest so that you will feel comfortable running out there alone and with friends any time you choose to.
7. Improvisation: The key to trail running is to adjust as you go. So too is our approach to this series. We've never tried this. We don't have everything figured out. I can assure you that you will learn about the forest and that you'll hear sound advice from our speakers on a range of topics and that you will not be left alone "out there" (unless you choose to be). (oh...most of these locations do not have toilets...if required, that invokes another form of improvisation...)
8. Baby sitting: I recommend these outings as an "evening out" with either significant other or friends. Tylers is quite accustomed to seeing runners drop in for dinner and a cold one after our club runs on Thursday. You may want to think about lining up some child care if needed. I know at least one certified baby sitter who you can contact.
9. GEAR: I'm unabashed about this - there's an array of gear created specifically for trail running. I believe in trail shoes, hats, hydration systems, trail socks, and other "stuff" that increases confidence and comfort on the trail. Thus, Fleet Feet and Townsend Bertram and Company in Carrboro are offering Trail Running Kits at a discount. (See information below). Because coffee, hot or cold, is also an essential trail running ingredient, the Open Eye Cafe is also providing coupons. So, consider the gear ideas below - they represent a baseline of options assembled as the result of a considerable amount of collective experience "out there."
10. Races: There are numerous trail races of every distance imaginable throughout the year. Trail running isn't just a summer activity and training for a trail race offers unique opportunities for mind and body strengthening that you will not find running roads. It is a fact that the local trails can prepare you for any type of trail race, from a novice 5K to a 100 mile trail ultra. We can discuss races throughout the series. If you're looking at doing a 10K or half marathon on the road, there are also options for trail. Same too for marathon distance. Having a training goal is a great way to maintain focus.
I'll send a note out about next week's gathering later this week. I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday; let's kick this off with a good turnout!