My first trail race was the Camp Croft Half Marathon in 2011. I finished in about 1:45, and I was completely spent at the end of it. I really like the feeling of being emptied out like that. It's weird, but true. At times when I'm not running, I sometimes crave that feeling. You bring your heart rate up and work your muscles up to the max. Your heart's pumping, and at that point, you feel the most alive.
My Trail Runnnig cycle this time started with the Dupont Forest 12K on March 30th. The goal race would be a new 30K in the Blue Ridge mountains. I figured that I'd do pretty well there, with my base endurance as a marathoner. 18 miles is a lot, and I haven't run that much in about 5 months, so I'd need something close to a marathon buildup for it. I wouldn't train as seriously for it as I would a marathon, but I'd try to get my LRs up a big higher. In between, I found the Dupont Half Marathon... that was a nice progression... 7.4 mi, 13.1 mi, and 18-ish miles. So, we'll see how it all goes! It will be fun to try this trail running thing, and at the very least, I'll build up hill strength, which was a weakness at the Philly marathon.