On Friday night, around 5:30 it began to pour! Like cat's and dog's pouring rain! I freaked out a bit because all week the race director had said get ready for the mud! The mud sounded like a challenge and a blast all at the same time, but mixing in rain did not sound like the race would be easy. But by Saturday morning the clouds had cleared and we were left with one of the most awesome January days you could ask for.
I met up with Aron and JoLynn about 8 am and we were off to tackle the race together. I had forgotten how nice trail runners are! I had done a trail race back in December 2008 but I was totally unprepared equipment wise that day but had a blast with all the runners. Everyone is so supportive and just out to have a blast, so much different than road races were you have such a competitive attitude among the runners. The first out and back of the race had us climbing up a wicked steep hill that was essentially a giant mud slide! Aron had managed to climb up it almost unscathed, while I on the other had lost my shoe in the thick muddy holes! I was saved though by an fellow runner who came to hold me up while I put my shoe back on! How cool is that? In a road race people leave you there to just die! It wasn't the only time I lost my shoe that day either! At few more miles in I had another encounter with a thick muddy hill and again lost my shoe! This time though, it was just Aron and I! The mud was crazy...it slowed us down in a big way! But the whole time we both just laughed and climbed our way out of it.
I had also forgotten my Garmin that morning, but in a way I was glad. Aron had hers on, but I was really just forced to enjoy the race and scenery and not focus on time or distance. Every time we would see a mile marker we would get excited...we were fighting our way through mud and the crazy terrain and just enjoying ourselves. We kept commenting on the hills how our butts were getting quite the workout! I think we ran through most of the hills through the first half of the race, but by the second, with all the mud, we were spent! Most of the race was ran on fire trails. Nice and wide. We even had lots of cows out to cheer us on! In the last mile or so we were graced with a nice single-track trail through beautiful trees and a creek. This is what trail running is all about. We raced fast through that last mile and could hear everyone cheering at the finish. We finished together, arms in the air and a big smile on our faces!
13.1 miles 2:55:52 - 13:25/mi
61st over all, FIRST in my AGE GROUP! Whoo hoo! 1/3 30-34 age group.
Me, Aron and Jo Lynn at the end
Trail running is a blast, and I hope to do it again really soon! It was so much fun to run with Aron, we both just kept each other going with chatting and laughing at the hilarity of all the mud! I was sooooo glad she came out to do this race with me. It was not a race you would want to do by yourself. Most of the race we were out there alone, just the two of us. At one point we hadn't seen a mile marker or trail ribbon for quite sometime and were wondering if we were still on track. We eventually heard some other runners ahead that we caught up to and were able to follow them and ensure we were still on track. That could be really scary if you're out there all by yourself. Thanks Aron! I had a blast!
Now, for some pictures of how I faired. I fell twice, while Aron managed to stay pretty darn clean. I attribute it to my shoes, I don't think I laced them far enough up so they came off easy in the thick mud. When I would fall, the only place to wipe your hands off is on your pants!!
After the race. Did I mention my bib number was #1! LOL!
Muddy, muddy shoes and legs!
Muddy shoes! Take a look at Aron's pics, I think she faired way better than me!
The cute shirt and medal.
I was a little sore yesterday in my hips from all the climbing but my hips have been sore all week as it is. Also, my arches were a little sore from all the uneven holes we were stepping in, but are already feeling just fine today. I did a nice 8 mile recovery run yesterday and didn't even bring my Garmin. I just had Ari on his bike next to me to count my miles off. I had a pretty decent mileage week too, topping off at 47 miles. This week should be another high mileage week, and I am excited about that. I am hungry allllllllll the time! I love marathon training!
Happy Monday and Happy Running peeps!