Friday, February 21, 2014

9-Mile Trail Run

 Last Saturday, Cliff and I ran an almost 9-mile trail run from Buck Hall near Awendaw, SC. I had a couple of weeks before starting to train for my next half marathon and thought I would like to try something different.
I liked the description I read about the trail from the event organizer. He said, "The portion of the Palmetto Trail that we will be running on is The Awendaw Passage. This is the coastal terminus of the Palmetto Trail, ending at the intracoastal waterway, the "sea" part of the Mountain-to-the Sea Trail. This is also where you'll see palmetto trees along the trail. The trail follows Awendaw Creek through a maritime forest and offers sweeping vistas of the salt marsh."
Cliff and our friend, Tom, ran a portion of it last November. I guess that's what started me thinking about trail running. You can read about that adventure here.
It was raining Saturday morning and I thought we might have to cancel, but as a long-time follower of the Weather Channel, I determined that the rain was quickly moving away from the area and that we would, indeed, run the trail. AND then......wouldn't you know it. My cockamamie nerves decided to throw me a curve ball. I had not been feeling nervous at all and was actually looking forward to running. But the nerves decided otherwise. I dealt with them all morning. I guess they sensed that I had never run on trails before and got a little out of sorts. So it goes.
The crowd had gathered and the line up was according to age. Wasn't that nice to give us older runners a head start. It wouldn't matter. I still got passed...a lot. I only passed one person. I need to work on that. My goals for this run were: 
1) Finish in 2 hours
2) Not to break a foot or ankle
3) Not finish last
And, I am happy to say, I met all my goals.
The trail run was an out and back. For at least the first 1/2 mile or so, this is what the trail looked like. The path was clear of roots and was quite enjoyable to run on.
We ran on several bridges, which I loved. They had just the right amount of give.

 Then there were the Palmetto fronds. You can see a few roots in this picture.
And even more roots, in this one. To the right of the trail is the Awendaw Creek.

And this is the Awendaw Creek vista showing the salt marsh.
Being a novice trail runner, I would have to describe this run as very tough. We had to run over roots and dodge holes, there were up hills and down hills and slick mud built up over one area like a dike. I walked that, maybe 8 foot, section. I was not about to come out those woods looking like I belonged in a Rambo movie. My feet hurt so bad and my ankles were very sore. Obviously, I did not have the right shoes. When I finished, I told Cliff, "never again!"
And now, one week later, I am scouring the Internet for more trails. I am going to buy trail shoes this weekend. The pain? I described it to someone as birthing a baby. You hurt for a while, but when it's over you forget the pain. You are left with a beautiful experience and can't wait for the next one. Yes, I have to say that after the initial learning curve and pain, I think I fell in love with trail running.
On to the next adventure,


  1. Girl, you amaze me! I have been thinking about your comparing trail running to childbirth. Do you suppose the case of nerves before you began the run was like the morning sickness stage? Ha ha! Anyway, the trail looks really pretty and it must have helped the miles pass more quickly. I am looking for you to become a real trail-blazer now, Rambolala!

    1. HaHa Lynn! You crack me up! I never thought about it being like morning sickness.

      Take care,


  2. What a beautiful trail run.

    I took an aqua zumba class for the first time today. I loved the low impact on my old bones and am surprised that I can feel ache in my muscles tonight.

  3. Looks like fun! I love trail running. But, I have to agree it is a lot tougher than regular flat trail/city running. I went trail running a couple weeks ago and was sore the next day. The hills sure make a difference. I bet we use our leg muscles in lots of new ways too by dodging the roots, rocks, etc. So, fun though! Even on my normal runs, I try to run on dirt as much as I along a sidewalk instead of on it. There's just something about running on the real ground. :-) I'm amazed at how your area looks so much like some areas here. I've never been to your part of the country but I didn't imagine all those palms...not sure why because it makes sense now that I think about it. Happy running! :-D

  4. So cool!! I would like to try trail running, but I haven't done it seriously yet (only some short runs). The trail you did looked cool in the pictures, apart from the mud part it must have been quite an experience! I like your spirit as well in looking forward for more ;)

  5. Oh how gorgeous! How I would love to run that! I'd probably be the one injured...with the uneven terrain though! Ha! xoxo Jen

  6. What a pretty trail to run through. I am so happy you met all your goals.