I took a two-day break after posting fifteen out of thirty days in June to recoup mentally and push myself physically. As I’ve mentioned before I’m in training for my first marathon here in Maui and today is the beginning of week two in my 16-week training program.
Today is a rest day from my training and an on day for writing. Where as I was resting from writing the past two days and pushing my body to new heights I’ve flipped it for today with a physical rest and mental exercise. There are no rest days.
On Saturdays I have an off road run which gives my legs a small break from the monotony and the pounding of the pavement. I wasn’t really into running at all when I used to live on Maui. It wasn’t until I read Born To Run by Christopher McDougall in 2010 that I became interested in what could be described today as humankind’s greatest predatory and prey survival tactic.
We are built to run. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Maybe we can run doesn’t mean we’re the built for it.’ Many other land animals are better at it than we are, if you’re basing your judgment on speed. We’re actually pretty slow compared to many other animals and that works to our benefit because just as the tortoise will tell you, slow and steady wins the race. As far as endurance goes we are the best.
It is an evolutionary measure that allowed us to not only run away from predators until they just became tired and gave up but also run down prey that in some cases could have been faster but didn’t have the stamina to keep up with our endurance. That same stamina has molded us into the never-give-up species we are today, not just in running but also in all aspects of life. (Keep that in mind.)
In his book McDougall touches on humankind’s insistence on running in a world where it’s no longer needed and how it is ingrained in our biological makeup. (If you’re interested in running even a little bit you need to read his book.) How else would you explain willingly running non-stop for 26.2 miles? That’s just a marathon! What about ultramarathons?
I’ll have to see how I like the Maui Marathon first before I make any wild claims but after my off-road run Saturday I can definitively say I’m a fan of trail running and look forward to next Saturday to do it all over again.
As I said I wasn’t into running when I first lived on Maui and therefore had to rely on the Google’s to find a suitable trail to run. I came across the Makawao Forest Reserve trails and without checking any further decided that was the place to be. They have many multiple purpose trails for hiking, running, biking, and even horseback riding. Makawao is paniolo country. (What’s a paniolo? Google it. The Hawaiians were riding and herding cattle long before European Americans moved to the west coast.)
The Kahakapao Loop is about a ,half-mile in from the parking lot and 6.2 miles in length through dense forest. It was magical. With plenty of tree cover it was shady and cool. Being Makawao, it was also raining like it does usually and added a bit of difficulty to the run but just being aware of my surroundings made it no problem. There were a few times when a fallen tree(s) blocked the trail and I lost it altogether getting caught on an intersecting trail on my way down but none of this bothered me. I saw two people the entire time I was out there. It was as if I had my own personal forest trail run path and I loved every second of it. I cannot wait to go back.
As far as my progress with my training goes all I can say is so far, so good. No injuries, no severe fatigue and I keep lacing up my shoes (but not for long I’m going barefoot, more to come about that.)