Sunday, November 29, 2015

Scary Ass 14k/25k 2015

Over Halloween I ran my third trail race in 15 years.

It might not sound like it, but I really do love running on a trail. There’s always something nice to look at and there is a mental engagement that doesn’t exist on the road. Plus, it’s just fun.

There is a series of races in the area called the Fat Ass. Since this one is held in October they named it The Scary Ass. It’s a low key event and I love low key events. I’m kind of tired paying $40 bucks for bells and whistles that I don’t need.

We had the choice between a 14k and a 25k.

When I woke up the morning of the race, I was REALLY glad I had signed up for the 14k race.

It was raining. A lot…again.

Jo and I rode up with Ron and Joe because runners love carpoolingJ Plus, Ron and Joe are cool.

Jo and I were running the 14k and Joe and Ron the 25k

Ron dressed up as BatDadJ

I was going to dress up as a Jackalope but rethought the whole antler thing since it was opening weekend of deer hunting season. I didn’t hear any gunshots but Ron and Joe did.

I realized once I got there that I had forgotten my Garmin on the couch at home. I wasn’t all that broken up about it. I’ll say one thing about taking 6 weeks off for that blasted stress fracture, it made me more relaxed about running without THE WATCH.

There is also the fact that I’m really new at running trails so I don’t have any expectations on my performance. The only reason I kind of wanted it was so I could look at my mile splits later and see if I was doing anything easily fixable like starting out too fast.

The rain started falling harder to ensure that we were all soaked within about 10 minutes.

Jo tried to hang with me but I was running really badly for the first several miles. My head just wasn’t in the moment. It seems like the past is never really all that far behind you. And it’s really hard to run up a mountain when your brain is telling you everything is hard.

Luckily I rebounded and the last 3/4th of the race was actually pretty darn fun. It was pouring rain, the puddles were ankle deep and parts of the trail were like running through a creek. But what I really liked, as odd as it sounds was the red clay.

Even though it stains everything that it touches, it reminds me of home in North Carolina.

This race was an unmarked course with no aid stations. Since I carry my water and my food with me that doesn’t mother me a bit. There was one place I got a bit confused because the trail intersected with a fire road and I could easily see where the trail picked up again.

I guess I should have looked at the map a bit more before I started…or listened to the race director as he went over the course…I just figure I won’t remember anyway and the random bits I DO remember will confuse me later.

My brother Matthew has described me as a drunk homing pigeon.  I can usually get within a couple of blocks of where I’m going and then I just circle…the circling can take some time and is as inefficient as it sounds.

Even though you might think that running in pouring rain would be kind of awful, it really wasn’t. It was actually kind of fun. There is something kind of liberating about pelting through the rain and puddles. We were moving fast enough that we stayed warm.

I also didn’t fall once! (Falling while running on trail seems to be very common). I’m sure it helped that I would stop and walk over or around anything that looked slippery or obstacles on the trail.

Jo finished about 5 minutes ahead of me with a finish time of 1:40 (approx. apparently she doesn’t exist in the results.) She was also the 2nd Overall Female! I got 3rd Overall Female with a finish time of 1:45

I should have given her the car key before we started, but at least I picked it up and only made her wait for 5 minutes…in the rain…

It’s a really strange sensation to feel water running down your legs THROUGH your tights because they are so saturated they can’t hold any more water.

We sat in the car cuddling with Willow, Jo’s dog while we waited for Joe and Ron to come in. When they did, they were ready to get out of the rain. Joe toweled off a little but Ron just threw a towel on the car seat and got behind the wheel. Water was dripping off his nose.

I really enjoyed it and would definitely do it again.

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