I have found a great group of girls for running. They are located all throughout the Las Vegas valley and offer running opportunities just about anywhere. Today a group of ten ladies met at the Gilmore Cliff Shadows Biking Trailhead for a 5.5 mile trail run. I had met about half of them but we were all immediately friends. Only one of the ladies had been on the trail before so we all followed her lead. She is also the leader of the Run Grrrls Run Las Vegas group.
I have been joining this group for runs since July 2014. They offer a lot of running opportunities but with my training schedule, they don't always fit in to my plan so I'm always excited when I'm able to meet up with some of the girls.
The trailhead had a bathroom and water fountain. I was excited to see that because we can always use a potty before we go for a run! We left the parking lot at about 9:45 a.m. and headed into the desert. The trail followed the base of the mountain for the first 1.5 miles. After that, it began to wind up the side of the mountain.
At about the 3 mile mark, we were startled by three large desert big horn sheep as they bounded down the mountain out of our way. It was the coolest thing to see them! We were just on the other side of a mountain from a neighborhood but felt like we were deep in the wilderness.
It seemed that we were running uphill for over 4 miles of the run. Several of us began to wonder when we were going to start our descent. We lovingly named the trail "Butt Kicker" because that is exactly what it was doing to us.
One of the girls took a tumble but was not injured. That is one of the big fears for trail running. I tripped several times and did the whole flailing thing but was always able to catch my balance before I went down.
Trail running is so much harder than road running. It uses different muscles and a lot more mental alertness. I tend to be a shuffler when I run. That does not go well with trail running. I had to constantly remind myself to pick my feet up.
We eventually reconnected back to our outbound trail at about the 4.5 mile mark. We continued back around the base of the mountain and made our way down to the parking lot. It was a beautiful day for a run. The temperature was about 50 degrees with little to no wind. We plan to do this run every Friday morning. I really hope to be able to join these girls for many of the runs. You may not have a Run Grrrls Run chapter in your city but try to find a running group to get connected with. It is always more fun to exercise with a group of friends!