Do you realize how amazing it feels to type the words “Race Report” into the title section? Do you know how wonderful it is I am posting about running in my running blog? Beyond wonderful.
Sunday I attended the 4th annual Fools Trail Run 25K & 50K. I obviously opted for the former distance. Getting up was a challenge as it always is for me. I thought half an hour would be fine to put clothes on and walk out the door. I wanted to do this event, but I was feeling very nervous and thinking a lot of negative thoughts about my fitness level. However, I am trying a new thing where I am nicer to myself and others, so I decided to give it a go. After all, my dear friend Gale had volunteered to pace me and as long as I had company, I should be able to keep my mind in the game.
I arrived in the Pine Hollow parking lot with only a few spots left for the main lot. Lucky me, since I was 10 minutes past when they told us to arrive. After gathering my stuff and putting body glide where it was needed I wondered over toward the start to find friends. Along the way I ran into a teammate, Drew and we snapped a picture.
Then it was time for a picture with a few other friends, before hitting up the bathroom and activating my bib.
We all gathered in a field and sang the National Anthem before the official start. I saw many more friends while over there, but either didn’t have time to dig my camera back out, or decided it was rude to talk during the song.
Next thing I knew we were headed across the field and I knew right away my calves were still ticked off from Thursday. Oh well, what could I do but enjoy the day for what it offered? In the past I heard or read horror stories about the cold weather at this event, or the mud. Our race was near perfect. Not too hot, not too cold and not too much mud to navigate either.
After reading all the emails coming across the last few weeks, I was under the impression the first aid station was about 5 miles into the race at Happy Days. I knew where that was and had an agreement with my Mom to come and pick me up if I decided to drop. Sure I would only be 1/3 finished, but I knew if I wanted to drop at that point something would be seriously wrong. Oddly, about 3 miles into it we ran across a small aid station on the trail. I enjoyed having the mileage broken a bit more and grabbed a few pretzels and M&Ms before heading back off into the woods.
When we arrived at Happy Days we crossed a field, cheering and giving high-fives to other runners as they passed us on the loop. It felt great just to be a part of the day and smiling and seeing my friends. A stop at the bathroom and a fill up on more pretzels, M&Ms and this time PB&J sandwich squares and we were off! Yellow loop check, time for the blue loop.
The blue loop lended itself well to running. Gale and I kept chatting and enjoying the day. I was floored when we ticked off mile after mile and I wasn’t feeling too terrible or that we were moving too embarrassingly slowly. Despite my convictions to acquiring sudden food allergies, I ate the PB&J. It was scary, but I did it. And I lived reaction free! Surprise? Err not so much. Around mile 7-8 it occurred to me the time was flying by and I was having such a great time I wasn’t keeping hydrated. Luckily this did not come back to haunt me and I forced myself to slow up and take in water and Gatorade from my belt.
Blue loop ended back at Happy Days, meaning more small talk and more snacks. Also I dumped my remaining Gatorade and opted for Heed as it is MUCH more gentle on my stomach and I was starting to feel a little uneasy.
Back out onto purple loop and I was starting to huuuuurt. My breathing was fine. Heart was fine. Legs were not feeling it. If I wasn’t wearing my CEP sleeves I think my calf muscles would have snapped. Gale even commented on how differently I was acting on the trails since my procedure. Noting how I was not coughing or struggling with my breathing. I simply was losing leg power (and that is to be expected and can easily be remedied). Slowly my quads started to feel the burn though and more and more I found I was unable to run. That might be what happens when your longest run was 2 weeks ago at 6.3 miles and now you’re 10-11 miles into an event.
Gale was very understanding though and kept pace with me no matter what my choice was at the time. Spoiler alert my choice for the second 8 miles was mostly walking. I knew I could hike it in, but I wasn’t about to hurt myself for my first race of the season. I REALLY wanted a 4.5 hour race REALLY BADLY. The last few miles along the orange loop though were cutting the dream down bit by bit. This section was hilly and had some mud. My legs were shot and my good attitude was starting to fade as well. We trucked on though and before I knew it I saw the opening for the woods, I saw the grassy clearing and I heard the cheering. I HAD MADE IT!
I crossed the line after 15.8 Garmin miles in 5:07:05. Upset because I didn’t do it in under 5, excited I had done it at all!
I thank Gale and all my other friends from the trail today. Dan for the hug in the Ledges portion, Mark for his smile, Joan for her conversation and really everyone! Even Chef Bill for his potato soup.
I hope everyone else had a great April 1st, didn’t fall for any tricks and keep on doing what you love!
If you’ve been MIA for a tad, think about checking out one of my other recent posts:
Make your own peeps : Who wouldn’t want their own marshmallow treats?
March Foodie Penpals reveal : A great program started by a fellow blogger, treats shipped to your door! Yum!
Redefining Possible: My take on stepping outside your comfort zone