Last Sunday I went out for my first trail run in Flagstaff. The family that I’m staying with here in Flagstaff is super, super nice and their house is really close to the hospital but possibly my favorite part of living here is that the Flagstaff Urban Trails System (or FUTS, pronounced foots supposedly) runs right by their house. I mean literally right next to the house, I basically walk 30 feet out the door and start running.
It’s amazing. Anyway I took off on my first run with a plan to go out for 1.5 miles and turn back for my normal 3 miles total. Since I had only run once in the previous two weeks or more and I had only been in Flagstaff one week (it usually takes about two weeks to acclimatize to a higher elevation and 7,000 ft is no joke) I didn’t really have high expectations for my first run. I figured at worst I would just end up walking more of the 3 miles. Once I started running I was actually feeling pretty good and decided that I should try to run at least my first 1.5 miles. My legs felt good and I was breathing kinda hard but even at my halfway point I was feeling good enough to keep running on my way back. I made it to 2.5 miles before having to stop. This just so happens to be in the middle of a super steep hill. Seriously this hill is ridiculous, it’s only about a tenth of a mile but it’s soo steep. Running down it is hard and even just walking up it is tough. I really only had to walk about 0.05 of the hill but had to take a short break at the top to try to breath again before finishing my run. I ran super slow throughout my run but I was really just happy that I was able to do as much as I did because I was thinking it was going to be way worse. It’s been just over a week since that first run and I’ve just gone out for four more runs since then; three on the urban trail and one on the Aspen Trail (separate blog about that and the running group I went with to come). They’ve all been pretty slow but have still gone pretty well and I’ve been happy with my running lately. It’s been really nice to run in a new place and to have a chance to run on trails more. I had gotten off of work a bit early today and it was a bit cooler this afternoon so I went running a little earlier than usual. Today was my best run since I’ve been here and ran my fastest three miles on this trail so far (it was still slow, but my fastest yet here). Especially my first mile and even the second were pretty fast. Today was the first time I’ve listened to music while out running (listened to “Omens” the new CD from 3oh!3 and loved it for running) so I think that’s why a ran almost 2 minutes faster than I had been for my first mile and still at least a minute faster for my 2nd (that hill in the middle of the third mile kinda killed my time). I’m still working on it but I’m really loving running in Flagstaff. The weather and the trails really make this an awesome place for running.