To Be a HATR

I ran with the HATRs on Sunday, ay 12th for the first time.  It was just what I needed, in more ways than one. I’ve been getting a little nutty, not training for the next challenge, and I’m relieved to be back pushing the miles again.  And because I was running with a group, it pushed me to run faster than I normally would.  I had this expectation going in that I would be bringing up the rear with the sweeper, but much to my surprise, that wasn’t the case at all.
I really enjoyed meeting other trail enthusiasts.  There was some grousing about mud and water, but hell, that’s part of the fun.  Sometimes people have no perspective on what constitutes a real problem.
The trails were more challenging than I thought they would be, which is good, because I’ll be more prepared for elevation changes from these runs.  I was surprised how primitive the trail area felt – you could really pretend you were not in Houston.  The black trail was like a trip into untamed jungle, and I swear at some point I heard The Predator in there.
There were a surprising number of mountain bikers on the trails, but they were polite about it, and no incidents were had.  At one point I surprised a couple walking, which, yeah, you have to really not be paying attention to not see me in my bright orange shirt.  I hope they made it out of the wilderness.
I asked Rob at the end how far we’d run, and he said about 5 miles.  My training sketch said 10-12 for that day, but with the added intensity, I decided to settle for at least 8 as a good compromise.  I wasn’t feeling that tired, sore feeling you get from a high mileage run yet anyway, so after the group dispersed, I grabbed one of Rob’s maps and went back out there again.  I wanted to start making my own mental map of the trails, which is easier for me with a reference drawing.  Running by myself, I more fully appreciated the task Rob undertook to hand roll the mileage on all the trails.  Well done, sir!  and Holy crap.  I made a point to run through all the deep puddles I went around while running with the group.  Gods that was satisfying!  My shoes did alright overall, but I still have some hotspot issues at the sole seam where it rubs my big toes and ball of my feet.  I may try different socks or some other possible padding for that area, because in every other way the Salomons rocked!
I’m going to try to run with the HATRs as much as I possibly can this summer.  It’s going to be awesome!
I got a lot out of that run.  Which is good because this is my next big thing!

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