=PR= Trail Series Burke Lake

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On Saturday my buddy and I headed to Burke Lake for a run with the =PR= Trail Series.  This was the second run of the spring series this year but the first that we were able to attend.

PR Trail

We thought the weather was supposed to be nice but it was actually misting a bit when we got there.  Because it was warm it was ok with us but we decided to leave our phones in the car since neither of us brought bags to keep them dry.  I wasn’t planning to make any calls while running anyway!  But it also meant that I didn’t take any pictures.

The leader of the run gave a brief overview of the trail.  It’s really simple – there is a lake and the trail goes around the lake.  You keep the lake on the same side of you at all times and you do not get lost.

The lake on a sunny day. Photo Courtesy of fairfaxcounty.gov.
The lake on a sunny day. Photo Courtesy of fairfaxcounty.gov.

The group headed down to the trail and got started.  My buddy ran with me for a while and then decided to go ahead because running faster is more comfortable for him.  There was a couple in front of me running a nice pace so I started talking to them.  They hadn’t done much trail running so I was giving some tips and information about places to go.  They were running a bit faster than I wanted since I knew I needed to save energy for my race on Sunday so I let them go and slowed down to make sure I could conserve energy.

I decided to take it easy and just enjoy the trail.  I really want to focus on having more fun while running and enjoying my surroundings so I did just that.  I was passed….a lot…and at one point I thought I might be last but I honestly just didn’t care.  And later found out that I wasn’t last and I was never lapped.  Since I was doing the race on Sunday I had already decided to do only one lap.  It’s just under 5 miles.  I ended up taking a small short cut and getting off the trail a tiny bit sooner than the starting point but it was fine with me.

I went back to the group meeting spot and found my buddy talking to some friends.  We hung out for a little bit chatting with some runners and grabbed a couple of snacks before heading out.

The run gave me so much energy.  I spent the rest of the day doing work at the house including mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, washing the deck, cleaning up the garage, prepping food for mother’s day….the list just keeps going.  I accomplished so much and was so glad to have started the day with a run.  The weather improved throughout the day and it turned out to be nice and sunny.

I really enjoy these informal runs.  I’m glad PR organizes these free events to get runners together and introduce them to trails.  Through these events I’ve made some new friends and was encouraged to run the North Face race which has been one of the most fun races I’ve ever run.  I overheard a couple of people complaining about the lack of organization and was sad to hear it.  First of all, it was organized.  Meet at this time and follow the trail around the lake.  How much more organization do you need?  And second of all, trail runners are laid back.  This was not a race….it was a free run!  Where they provided refreshments.  This seems generous to me.  I’m going to be grateful for this instead of complaining.  I’m looking forward to doing the next two runs in the series and luckily those do not fall on weekends that I’m planning to race so I should feel comfortable running a bit harder.