|3rd Overall Woman!|
Last year I had a conflict. My cousin was getting married and I thought that was just a tad more important;)
This year I managed to get registered and keep myself in one piece long enough to run my first trail race in 15 years.
It's not like I was all that experienced in trail running back in North Carolina either. I think the only trail race I've really ever done is the Owl Roost Rumble 1/2 Marathon in 2003 and 2004. It does have the distinction of being the first half marathon I ever ran. Dad and I signed up not realizing it was on a trail:)
I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any real elevation gain...which is a stark contrast to Saturday's race.
The 10k course of the Beast of Bear Creek has 2,000 total elevation change and gorgeous summit views.
We also got a pre-race instruction session that included warnings of getting gored by Mountain Goats...and not peeing on the trail. (It turns out that Mountain Goats really like ingesting urine due to the high salt content. Seriously, it's like the tastiest treat ever to them, and they get really aggressive in their efforts to get it.)
I also got the chance to demo some awesome shoes by North Face. They were light and felt fast! I was a bit concerned about my bunions because at this point, if Brooks changes my model shoe, I'm going to have to take up bare foot running. There just aren't many shoes I can wear without putting pressure on my joint and causing a lot of pain.
These shoes were awesome! I loved them. They were bright and beautiful and didn't hurt at all. I probably wouldn't use them on trail, but as a racing flat, they rocked!
The race director also went through the directions for the course, but I knew I wouldn't remember any of them, so I didn't listen.
|As you can see, I am not listening AT ALL|
I would be reminded of this decision later on in the race.
All of a sudden I heard the Race Director counting down "three...two...one...GO!" He has a very soft voice, so if anyone has a video of the start, I'm sure it's pretty comical.
|I have no idea why I have this expression on my face|
I have to say that I got pretty worried about how I was going to do about...a mile into the race. (This is never a good sign).
I was sweating up a storm, wheezing and the course was only getting steeper. In fact I overheard two really fast runners at the start line say something along the lines of "The first two miles aren't bad, but the third mile is a beast!"
The fact that I was working really hard at mile one, which was supposedly supposed to be "not bad" was troubling.
BUT...there is always a "but"...two days before the race Josh asked if I wanted to race him, and I had said "sure!" and he was either right behind me or slightly ahead of me for most of the first two miles. I know I'm not great at running downhill, so I wanted to get a lead on him before we turned around.
Plus there was a girl in a green shirt that I really wanted to stay in front of. She was known as the "Green Shirt Girl" for the entire race.
I'm proud to say that I took a 33 second breather at the start, grabbed a couple of extremely bad selfies (I pointed the camera the wrong way for the first 3), grabbed a packet of fruit snacks because I love fruit snacks, and headed back down!
|Selfies are not my talent|
Remember how I said I didn't pay attention to the course directions?
Yeah...so, I had a lead on Josh and two other guys, right up until I turned the wrong way after one of the bridges. It kind of looked like a trail, but it wasn't a trail. I realized my mistake really quickly, but they still got a head of me:)
I managed to pass Josh again once we hit a flat fire road and could stretch out and not worry about plummeting to my death due to my own clumsiness. I never did manage to pull ahead of those two other guys. I didn't really try though. They were chatting away during the run, so it was clear they were just out having fun at a pace I couldn't match:)
Let me tell you...that decent is a quad buster. Particularly if you haven't been practicing running down hill. Three miles of running straight down hill...it wears on you. There were also some sharp switch back turns that took a lot of concentration on my part. I only gave out one high five the entire way down. I was too afraid of falling:)
It was a lot of fun, and I got to see lots of friends running the race. I also really do love running trail, even though I never really do it.
They also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the finish line which was pretty awesome:)
Nearly as awesome as when Chrissy picked up my bib for me and the lady at the registration table thought SHE was running...because nothing says "trail race" like yoga pants, and an infant.