10k Trail Run: What I Learned

10k Trail Run: Sulphur Springs

I ran my first 10k on Friday – for fun. And it was in a trail. What an experience. What a hard and rewarding experience. Taught me a few things about myself that made me a bit emotional I must admit. So what did my 10k trail run teach me…?

10k Trail Run Sulphur Springs

10k in the books!

I am so much stronger than I thought. Not just physically, but mentally.

Trails are so much harder that road running. WAYYYYY harder. The hills, technical requirements to ensure your footing…no proper place to pee! But it was so much more enjoyable than running in my neighborhood because of I was surrounded by gorgeous trees, rivers and fields. While I needed to watch where my feet were landing (watching for rocks, tree roots, twigs, holes…) I enjoyed the moments when I could look up and soak in the beauty all around – and I couldn’t believe how fast the time went. The 1:20 went by faster than any road run – even a short 3k.


Nunzio was my guide of course, and thank goodness he was there. I would have been lost before I was 2k in. He also helped me navigate the hills… walking the hills (as fast as you physically can) made completing the 10k possible and I realized once out there how much strength was needed to power through these. It was physically hard. Like really hard. So hard that two days later my muscles are still screaming in pain! Walking the hills gave my head a bit of a break too – as I climbed each hill I told myself that I could successfully do a 10k trail run and that I was proud of myself for being out there – regardless of how long it took. I was doing it.

A Sense of Pride

Being proud of myself is not a familiar feeling. The only other time I recall feeling truly proud of a personal accomplishment was the day I learned I would graduate from the University of Toronto. It was a huge moment in my life and I worked REALLY hard to get there. I haven’t had that sense of pride in myself since then… until that moment. The moment my silly Garmin told me I hit 10k. Silly? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s true. #ididit

I am so much stronger than I thought. Not just physically, but mentally.

Mental Strength

10k trail run: Sulphur Springs 10k Loop

At the 5k look out – Sulphur Springs

Like Nunzio keeps telling me, running requires more mental strength than physical. For me, Friday’s 10k trail run was both, but I can see how mental becomes the dominant force when runners are out there for extended periods of time. I think about Nunzio and my friends that run marathon distances – and ultras – and I have learned through what I have labeled “my ultra” (yes, I’m talking about the same 10k trail run I just finished!!) that physical strength is needed, but mental strength is what will actually get you across the finish line.

I guess that is true in most aspects of life. Well, for me it is. Depression can suck every ounce of mental strength from my life without warning and without forgiveness – which makes running really hard when you need your mind to push you through. But I’m finding that running is helping me reprogram my mind – to push myself past the “I can’t do it” thoughts. In some ways running has taken over from my CBT therapy. While running, I recognize my issues and find inner strength and desire to change my thoughts. It’s not perfect, and I’ll always need CBT, but running is helping. And depression can suck an egg. Just saying’.

Ok, it’s important for us all to pause here for a minute … let’s recap something that is uber important, a crucial highlight of my year (so far)… I actually ran a 10k trail run. Me. 10k. In a trail. And liked it. WHAT? Who am I??? Who have I become??? Don’t even recognize this girl anymore.

100K Challenge: Week 2 Update

Seemed like a good place to squeeze in my week 2 update on my 100k Challenge. I’m a wee bit behind on my weekly goals, but I’m working hard and hope to make up some milage in the next couple of weeks. It’s been a fun way to push myself to get out more – working on both my physical and mental strength – both of which need all the help they can get! Here is my week 2 update:

Week 2: 100k Challenge

Week 2 Update: 100k Challenge

I’ve got a lot of kilometres ahead of me to reach my goal, but I’m not going to pressure myself – I’m using this 100k Challenge to build both my physical AND mental strength – I want to do this. Therefore I can.

Erin Abbatangelo, the sole writer of this blog

P.S. I’m running the 10k Sulphur Springs Trail Race on May 27th and would love your support! I have chosen to raise donations for The Maddie Project, a cause that raises awareness and donations for youth mental health. Please donate.

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  • Reply online learning

    online learning

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

    May 18, 2017 at 5:41 am
    • Reply eabbatangelo31@gmail.com

      Thank you!

      September 21, 2017 at 10:42 am

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