I went trail running this morning at this place.
It was fantastic. I'm going to try to incorporate a lot more of this since it's one of the closest things I have to the actual event as far as the running element is concerned.
I got up and had the Endurance Booster, a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar, and I had a packet of the Gatorade endurance gel stuff on my drive to the location. I was even more motivated by the "bad" weather (50 Fahrenheit, raining hard). I got there, put on my Mudclaws (that I'm using for the first time), cued my music, got out of the car and did some brief and insufficient stretching (dammit), and took off up the hill.
I went down a different trail this time which leads a mile and a half out to what they call their Trailside Museum. The incline varied, but it felt like more downhill on the way to the Museum, which was perfect for my pace at the time. I got my bearings halfway through and continued in the direction of the Museum, leaping from wet rocks, splashing intentionally through huge deep puddles (despite the decidedly NOT waterproof Mudclaws) and thoroughly enjoying the ambiance and my music. The Mudclaws were perfect for their grip and responsiveness. I felt like they might have been an overzealous purchase as most of what I'm doing on the trails could be done with the Roclites (which are 100% waterproof). I'm reassured in the assumption that the Mudclaws will be MUCH better on slippery, muddy, worn hills of the slopes I'll be running later this month and finally in April.
The run to the Museum went well, and I wasn't too tired, but noticeably winded. I shook my muscles a little while walking around in circles, took a sip of repulsive low-calorie Red Gatorade from my canteen bottle, and leaped back into my run in the opposite direction.
This portion was considerably more difficult. Steeper incline, I was wetter than before with sweat and rain, my headphone cord was flailing everywhere...and my mental grit was slipping. There was a distinct moment in the run back where my body wanted to give up, and, as is normal for people, my spirit was in tandem apathy. I know now that as a result of intense training one can separate the body's surrender under physical stress from the mental hold on the original motivation. The body's tendency to give up must be linked to a survival skill of some kind which must have developed through millennia in an effort to preserve presence of mind in reaction to the Fight/Flight reflex.
Anyway, I wasn't about to take that infirm sappy misdirected evolutionary attempt at reasonable behavior. I recognized it as straight bullshit and outright refused to stop. To my amazement, I kept running. Luckily a great song came on and I simply powered up a relentless hill and was rewarded by a slight decline in the terrain for a while. At this moment I became idyllically aware of the environment and my own complacency. It was extremely validating and I specifically remember remarking a big dopey smile on my face that remained without any conscious effort.
I coasted downhill, tackled another before enjoying the slight decline to the beginning of the trail. I ran to my car and did some halfhearted stretches before contentedly driving back to my apartment.
I ran a total of 2-2.5 miles on the trails.