We would start off on the trails at a nice steady pace, but I would wince whenever I saw roots which is so out of character for me because I love the more technical trail because they are such a challenge and usually run over them with ease, but today, every root or rock could cause the potential end to my running with a twisted ankle so would either take baby steps or giant leaps over the roots to give my ankle a break (I'm sure it loved those leaps!)
The Groton Town Forest is a beautiful trail in every sense as it's a classic New England Single Track trail with narrow paths, plenty of roots and changes in elevation. The leaves are at their peak so every once in a while I would ask Tom to stop so I could get a photo and a drink of water. I would also use my ears to ID the woodland birds we would hear as we went about out way and I'd yell out which ones they were to him, letting him know that I would have to stop for a Golden-crowned Kinglet and sure enough there would be quite a few of them the further we got into the woods.
Another picturesque scene as we went about our way. Sigh, so nice to get out there and see all of this with the weather we had. It was breezy but felt refreshing as I was starting to overheat with a base layer of a long turtle neck (wick proof) and my compression pants. I'm thinking shorts will be a must for the race next week as I find I am better with body temperature regulation with shorts on unless it gets below 45 degrees or so.
We would stop here for another break and more photos and I'd take some photos of Tom running downhill as I was behind him the entire time so really liked how he tackled them with full gusto vs me who ran them with complete caution out of fear of hurting the ankle. I don't trail run with others that often and really liked it because I could watch how he tackled certain sections of the trail and learn some new things due to the fact that I've been doing this for a little over a year now and still learning so its nice to see others as you can always pick up a thing or two. After a while my confidence was a little stronger and I too would run down some of the less steep downhills with gusto but not like I usually do which is like a bull in a china shop!! ;-)
So all in all, it was fantastic and makes me look forward to the race even more next week (despite a bad case of nerves). The ankle continues to feel fine so I am guessing the break from running this past week and still keeping my aerobic capacity somewhat strong from gym cardio did the trick. Will continue to take it easy this week just to be safe of course, but I can't rule out a small trail run tomorrow as there is still so much fall beauty to see!
Take care all.