WARNING: THIS MAY BE A BIT SCATTERED AS I HAVEN’T BLOGGED IN LIKE…TOO LONG AND I HAVE TOO MUCH TO SAY AND NOT SURE WHERE TO START…Okay.. Now if you’d like to continue reading and try to follow my scatter brain thoughts read on.
WOWZA! I don’t even know where to begin… First of all I’ve been MIA due to a few little factors of life…like not owning a computer, having limited time to get anything done (like getting to the library on a computer), living life with my son, running and training for this OBX Marathon coming up and finding the man of my dreams…okay let’s be honest…that last bit may be the biggest culprit of it all 😉 but guess what? He RUNS! And I guess he technically found me. Anyways….that’s another little story for another day. 🙂
This is me pre-race=TERRIFIED.
I woke up around 5 am to lightening and thunder and serious rain. Crap. But about an hour before race start all subsided. Thank You Lord! But in the back of my mind I’m thinking…creeks will be full and trail will be mud. Nice. But let me say… This trail race was a BLAST!!! I had so much fun and can’t thank my friend Rebecca enough for asking *me* to run with her. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. Especially given that I wasn’t able to afford the Asheville Half. I was just so grateful that God provided this opportunity. Even though I was terrified. I rarely get to run trails, if ever, so this was new. My partner, she’s pretty awesome have I mentioned that yet, and I each ran a 25k, 15.5 mile leg, for a total of a 50k, 31 miles. We ran it together in just under 6 hours! I seriously hope she will keep me as a future trail running partner. She opened my eyes to a new running love. You can never have too many running friends. I don’t think. For never running trails…let me tell you, that was the hardest 15.5 miles I’ve ran. I tried to take it easy as like a 15 mile training run. So I focused on staying well fueled, happy and strong. Made a few new friends who were also running this as a training run, including one woman who’s ran a full trail marathon (um wow!), and chatted a good bit of the way through (okay, so obviously if I was talking I wasn’t working hard enough…but I didn’t want to risk twisting an ankle or something right before my marathon! Plus it helped time go by.) Tried something new too called HEED. Worked wonders. YES, I broke a rule and tried something new on race day. I was desperate. And thank God it worked! If you’ve tried HEED or have any thoughts let me know! I will need to research this product more. I did bring my own water bottle but was needing a little more fluid. And I can not brag on the aid stations and volunteers enough. Everyone was so nice and helpful. I prayed a lot that day…and God answered. No tummy issues, I am proud to announce I DID NOT pee myself!!!
And muddy… I swear I am a hazard on the trails! How did I get mud there?
Okay let me back up… I took a CLIF Shot Energy Gel (Cherry Chocolate with 2 shots of caffeine…mmm) about five minutes to start, got the Garmin up only to realize it didn’t charge properly and only had one bar … barely one bar. Then the bell thingy went off and we went. I started out slow and easy. First mile and a half were pretty flat and easy. Decided to speed walk some of the first grueling hills because the terrain was rocky and rough and I listened to the advice of an ultra runner on the way up. She was pretty smart. I attribute that to my being able to finish strong. The miles in the middle were more rolling and manageable with some nice downhills where I was able to bank some good time. If memory serves me correctly there was about four creek crossings two of which I was able to walk across rocks and well…the other two I had to wade through which left me with nice wet shoes…which in turn left a nice big fat blister on my big toe. Yeeouch!
One tiny battle wound…maybe I should invest in proper trail runner socks and shoes…
We had to sidestep several piles of horse manure. Yeehaw. Took another Gel around mile 8 and so glad I had it! I highly recommend CLIFBar Energy Shots! Taste good, no tummy issues and gets in the system quickly. I about twisted my ankle going downhill on some seriously rocky terrain. But managed well. Then they throw in this nice like a mile long (okay, my Garmin died around mile 11 so I really have no idea how long it truly was) hill about mile 13 (or 14?) that was straight up and very rough terrain. Yes I walked that. Straight up. I was thinking really? Really? I didn’t think I was going to make it. Just kept praying and praying. Then the last bit was downhill once I reached the crest of that “mountain” and there was a photographer and that smile let me tell ya was all genuine! I was SO happy that I was almost done and that I did it! I didn’t die!
Check out my happy photo! –> this photographer did a great job…now if only I could afford to purchase:
I just love how the photographer captured just how thrilled I truly was! I got past the finish line and teared up a little…one woman said, “Aw, you’re emotional!” And I was like, “Uh, I think I’m in pain.” haha! But I really was elated. I have to say that trail running is much more rewarding than road racing. Even though my overall pace was around 11:39 which I’m totally okay with given the tough trail! But trails offer so much more than just PRs…it was beautiful, adventurous and met so many cool people. And I truly look forward to running this again next year! I feel like I’m leaving out so much information and details on this awesome run… but just know if you are looking for a good challenge, be here next year!
For more info on the race and what it supports check out the website HERE!
Now…31 days till OBX marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!