Friday, February 01, 2013

Run for Regis Trail Half Marathon Race Report


Hi, I'm the worst blogger ever!  Almost a month went by?!  How did I let that happen?

Oh yeah--it's called LIFE.

Anyway, sorry for the delay here.  How about a race report that's been sitting in my post list for 2 1/2 weeks?  Because I couldn't find the time to add the pictures?  But I just did?

Cuz that's what you're going to get!  Happy Groundhog Day to YOU!  It's a present.

Anyway, life is awesome but busy as usual so I'll keep the rest of this short and post more later.  After all, it's a BIG year--I just registered today for the Age Group National Championship, so it's ON!  Yahoo!  And today was a snow day, which was amazing.

Anyway, here's the report!


Oh, hey!

I ran a trail half marathon this weekend.  That I found out I got into about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  Without running on a single trail since, maybe early November.  And not running more than 8.2 miles at once.

And somehow? I had an awesome day!

I definitely have some little weirdness in my left foot which I'm ON IT LIKE WHITE ON RICE that I am 110% sure is related to running on trails in trail shoes for 13.1 miles straight.  But other than that? I felt pretty freaking amazingly awesome the entire time, and even ended up kind of negative-splitting it.  I also set a course PR for me--the first time I ran this the snow was so bad I bailed at mile 8, and then last year was super cold and I finished somewhere in the 2:47 range.  This year, my run time was 2:28.50 and my total time was 2:35 with my potty stops. 

I am extremely happy with this, especially given my completely comical utter lack of preparation!

A little background: this is one of my favorite races as the time of year always ensures it will be challenging, both to stay motivated and to finish the run.  The trails are in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park which guarantees lots of hills, rocks, roots, and steep grades.  But the trail race scene is pretty sweet--SO much more laid back than any road race, as all you trail peeps know.  The RD, Tanya, gives a hilarious pre-race speech where she reiterates that ALL distances count.  There are two loops of the course: one is a little over 8 mile and one is a bit over 4 miles.  So, you can do any combination of the loops.  On the finisher's list there were people who only did the 4.8 all the way up to the 50K'ers like my girl DaisyDuc who is a complete and total trail badass and my hero. 

This year, we had a warm spell the week before so not only were the trails a TOTAL mud and muck-fest pretty much the entire way, but we all were running in shorts and tank tops!  Yay for global warming!  Not really...I keed. But I'm not going to was nice to wear short sleeves and tights.

TIGHTS?  Why did I wear tights when it's 62 degrees?

See, people, I have a bad track record of trail races and falling.  As in, I DO EVERY TIME.  And with the mud being as bad as it was, I really didn't want to be a bloody mess like I was at Dances With Dirt.  I knew if I wore tights, I wouldn't fall, but if I didn't, I would fall instantly.

For the first few miles, I ran nice and easy. I chatted it up with a girl named Hannah who was home from college doing her first trail race.  Then I caught up to TriEric's wife Aimee and ran with her for a bit.

I saw ESpeed, Allenjel, Super Trail Girl Mel, and a few other cool people there, too!  The volunteers were awesome.  I spent a good 3 minutes or so in the potty (too much coffee! ha) and grabbed some HEED, an endurolyte (hilarious that I wanted this in January, but I'm quite the sweaty hot mess) and a handful of M&M's because YES.

Then we were off again!

Aimee told me she was only feeling one loop and urged me to take off, so I did.  I felt really strong and picked up the pace a bit.  I came in to get my tag marked at the end of the first loop and took off for the 2nd.  It was pretty solitary out there but I loved every second of it!  Mile 10 was my quickest mile at a sub-10, which given the mud conditions I was way happy with.  I loved seeing signs that said "Steep Grade Ahead" as I knew I was in for some fun.  I splashed through the muck and mud quagmires throughout most of the 2nd loop and totally gave up any hope of not getting my shoes completely covered and filled with mud.  In fact, Sunday evening I was still trying to get mud out of my toenails despite socks, shoes, TWO showers, and an afternoon taking my kids to the pool.  Yeah, it was that muddy.
Not resembling anything remotely close to a trail runner
SERIOUSLY.  Look at that picture, and how NOT a trail runner I am.  Do you see the dainty fingers?  WTF is that all about?  I was so afraid of falling that I think that is probably how I ran most of the race.  HA!

Why do I look like I smell something funny here?  Oh yeah, it might be ME.
Anyway, I smiled as much as I could, said hi to everyone I ran by, thanked all the volunteers, and in general just had a blast.  My finishing time had me just about in the top 1/3 of all half marathon finishers (male and female) which is HILARIOUS.  But I am way happy with that!  I think I have some great fitness on the run right now and it's nice to see it pay off.  Now I just need to keep it and NOT get injured like I have the past two springs. 

It was SO fun to see all my trail buds and some of my tri buds, too.  Everyone seemed to have a ton of fun and great days.  And of course, the weather helped! 

I definitely felt like I could keep going and going and just had a great day.  I think some of this may have to do with the fact that I'm down almost 14 pounds now since September.  I feel like that is something that definitely helps me on hills and hopefully that will help me on the bike, too. 
But the trails sho' are fun
All in all, two enthusiastic thumbs up and a great day!  Can't wait to do it again next year.  Now, if only I can actually train on trails...sigh.  :)