Today, I had a great time running up and down Mt. LeConte, (more like run/hiking up and run/shuffling down). I went up Bullhead on the way up, which was about 7.2 miles, and I went down Rainbow Falls, which was more like 6.9 miles, altogether going the distance of 14.1 miles. The elevation difference from the top to the bottom was 3993 ft, which meant that I had quite a climb and descent. It took me about 2:23 to get up (which included talking to people and taking pictures) and about 1:25 to get down (once again, including the time I spent talking to other people and taking pictures).
Going up, it was tough because of the amount of incline, and I spent most of the time just hiking... it was a good thing that I brought my hydro pack with me because I was pretty thirsty going up, as I was perspiring profusely because of the energy I was using. I'm also glad that I ate a huge breakfast which helped me get through the whole day. It was amazing how a measly 14.1 miles could use up so much energy... but it did. I was pretty tired when I got back, and was glad that I chose not to go play floor hockey. I'm also pretty sure that yesterday's workouts really affected my performance today.
Anyway, the most important thing about running on the trails is where your feet is. When you're running pretty fast and you land on an unsteady rock, you might slip and fall, break or sprain an ankle. But if you're running correctly and running smart, you would be able to help protect yourself from that. Most importantly, when you run in the mountains, you need your eyes open and looking at where you're going to land. Should you take your eyes off for a moment, you might step on a loose rock or trip on a tree root. Either way, it's important to keep your eyes on the path right in front of you. Secondly, it's important to take light, easy, and SHORT steps. Keeping your steps light, easy, and short allows you to catch yourself, should you lose control over your footing, or twist an ankle. When you take those short steps, it allows your body to react and save itself from injury by putting the body weight on the other leg quickly as it readjusts your leg that lost control.
When we lose sight of where we're going, we get in trouble. Focusing on the things far ahead it good but when your sole focus is on that, you might trip up right where you're are, and you definitely won't get there. Also, it's important to be confident in yourself, but to never be overconfident. The point where confidence becomes overconfidence is the point where you think it's impossible for you to get hurt. During this trail run, I've had to stop running because I knew I was getting overconfident and believing that I had everything under perfect control. The thing is that we're never in control over everything, and we need to go prepared to get hurt but work towards being safe. Once I got it out of my system, I would remind myself that I could get hurt, and I'd run fast, but carefully at the same time because I had to be conscious and prepared to react to me having a misstep or slipping. If you're ready to catch yourself, when the time comes, you have a higher chance of catching yourself. However, if you're not ready, you might end up on the ground.
Focus on where you're at and be ready for what could happen.