I would be hesitant to call myself a trail-runner. I'm more of a trail racer, but even that's not really accurate. I'm not a road-racer or road-runner, either. I'm a treadmill runner. Yes, I am. I do 99.5% of my running on the treadmill. No, I don't get board. Yes, I have a treadmill at my house. I have a T.V. with a VCR mounted in my garage. I trained to qualify for Boston while watching Seasons 1-4 of "24". Tonight I ran 11 miles while watching "Flatliners".
My first trail run was when I lived in Washington D.C. and I went out on an 18 mile trail run in January 2005 with the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club. I had a blast with all the people I met, and was thoroughly impressed by them all. I credit them (or blame them, depending on the situation) with my ultra and trail running history and future. They were making big plans for the upcoming Bull Run Run 50 miler and Massanutten 100miler. This was the first time it occurred to me that I could do something like that, too.
Back in MN I impulsively, without much training or thought, decided to register for the Superior 50 miler (2005). I finished, and I'll have to come up with a belated race report. I have never before or after been as sore the day after finishing a race.
So for those keeping track, 2005 trail miles: 68 miles. (Did Grandma's, so outdoor running miles is 94.2).
2006 I attempted Superior 100. Again, I didn't really know what I was getting into, didn't really train much, and wasn't really prepared. I folded after 58 miles. But I did do about 30 more miles of trail running in the 2 months after that. So, 2006 trail miles: 88 miles. (Did Fargo Marathon, so outdoor running miles is 114.2).
2007 I returned to Superior 100. Again, didn't really train, but this time I was training for backpacking and mountain climbing in the Bighorn mountains. I did a lot of walking on the treadmill at an incline. (Why did I train for backpacking and not a 100 mile trail run? Well, mainly because after doing the Boston marathon in the spring I really had no desire to run at all, so I didn't). I finished SS100, walking it all. 2007 gives me 102.6 trail miles (plus Boston marathon is 128.8 outdoor miles).
2008: Well, here we are and I've ventured outside twice. Two 50K's, which means I'm well ahead of where I've been in past years. Depending on what more I choose to do this year, I think it likely I'll at least keep the same upswing of miles. If I go wild with trail running, maybe the graph plot for 2008 will show exponential growth. We'll see; no guarantees.