Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Happens on the Trail Stays on the Trail... Unless You Blog About It

So the plan for this weekend was 20 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday, all on trail. However, last weekend I had just come off an awful week and managed only 9 / 5, all on pavement. Previous weekend I was happy though to have done double 12.3 milers.

I had no takers and planned to go out to Erwin Park in McKinney all alone. They have an 8 mile loop. But I woke up this morning to one of the coldest mornings I've ever run. And so this run soon turned into a case of "back in my day" when "we walked uphill both ways" sort of stories, LOL:

  • Wind chills of 11 at the start and 21 when I finished. My Pearl Izumi gloves work great for 35-40 degree weather, but they were not adequate for those temps, and my fingers were frozen 15 minutes in. In fact, I never felt that cold except for how cold and numb my hands were.
  • Winds about 20 mph. This was awful at Erwin Park where it's surrounded by open pastures, and the park itself has lots of open fields to run through between wooded sections. Those fields were the worst, and a big gust would yield the occasional squeal.
  • Essentially ran completely alone for 4 hours. I saw maybe 8 people out there the whole time. A couple guys from DORBA fixing up the trail, a couple guys clearing tree limbs, two mountain bikers, and two guys running trails that would have let me pass but I had only a couple miles left and begged for them to let me hang out with them for half a mile. Raised my spirits immensely.
  • An extra 5 pounds on my back. I tried out my UltraSpire Surge hydration pack for the first time. Note I really never wear a pack and usually run with a handheld. I filled the pack's bladder almost completely up since I didn't know how much I'd drink. So that meant I carried about 5 pounds the whole 16 miles that I wouldn't be used to.

And then I lost another part of my trail virginity, hence, the title of this blog post. It's just a part of trailrunning that while you are out there, nature is your restroom. However, for my dozens of trail runs and a few races, I have NEVER had to potty out on the trail. I pride myself on a strong bladder and a good tendency to balance sweating and hydrating pretty decently. Until today. The combo of super cold and staying hydrating meant I wasn't sweating enough. About 11 miles in, I had to pee. I thought I might as well get this first time over with, on the day the trails were completely desolate. I took only a step off the trail and dropped my drawers. Wow, it was cold out. Of course, then I feel like I'm going forever and someone's going to happen upon me. No one did.

For me, who HATES even using public restrooms and tries to avoid needing a portalet at races, this was a big step. Naturally though, "Trail Priss" here hopes she doesn't have to do this too often!

My goals were more about time out on the trails than miles, so I tried not to fret about miles and would tweet out my status each hour on the hour to track progress. In the end, I completed 2 loops of the Park, which is 8 miles each, for 16 miles in 3 hours, 40 minutes!

Tomorrow, 10 miles in Plano on Oak Point Nature Preserve trails with a bunch of great friends! I haven't checked the weather, but I really hope it's a little warmer!!


  1. It's a skill for sure and totally against our nature! Nice work today in some really cold weather!

  2. Glad you aren't a trail potty virgin anymore! It happens to the best of us!