Monday, March 24, 2014

Seriously, There Was a Trail Race…

I think the statute of limitations is about to run out on my January trail race. I have been thinking about this recap for weeks, but it seems like most of my free time has been occupied by sugar cookies or sleep lately. We will have to talk about the sugar cookies later.

First, let’s talk about my first race of 2014! I use the term race loosely here because there was definitely no racing going on. I think I have mentioned before that I am not an outdoors person, although there is evidence to the contrary the last five years or so. I’m not going to lie, I was glad to be doing this particular race in the winter where I wouldn’t have to worry about running into any unfriendly critters out on the trail.

About 24 hours after I decided to sign up for the Sooner State Games Trail Race, Sarah, Rochelle, Anne and I headed out to Draper for our first official (read: they gave us timing chips) trail race. We had no trouble picking up our bibs and had plenty of time to get some pictures.

Me, Sarah, Anne and Rochelle.
Ben & I
We had signed up for the 12 mile race. The course was a four mile loop, and the 12-milers started first. I tried to settle into a comfortable and sustainable pace and not slow anyone behind me down. The 8-milers started five minutes later and it felt like the Hunger Games when we heard their gun go off and knew that they were going to be chasing slow pokes like me down. The third gun for the 4-miles went off five minutes after that.

My speedy friends headed off and after settling in I made it through the first loop with only a stubbed toe. It turned out to be much warmer than I expected and I had to shed my long sleeve shirt and gloves in the first loop. As I started the second loop, I was wondering why I hadn’t signed up for the 8 mile race, or the 4 mile race. Oh the things your friends will convince you to do.

The best thing about this race was the water stop that was half way through the loop. My friend Julie was out there and it was so nice to see a friendly face! By the third loop I could have sworn that I was the last person out on the trail. With all the 4 and 8 milers pretty much done, there was no one ahead of me or behind me that I could see. Julie promised me that I was not last.
Julie and I
As I came to the end of the last loop, Ben was waiting and ran the rest of the way to the finish line with me. I think he wanted to make sure I was still alive. I am not going to lie, I was ready to be done. My official time was 2:21. This was the longest run, time wise, for me since the marathon last February. Oh were my legs tired. Trail running is hard.

We waited around for my three speedy friends to collect their medals for their top three finishes in their age groups. As we were getting ready to leave they called my name. Last time I checked, Rochelle and I were in the same age group, but it turned out they had my age listed as 56! Unofficially, I won the 55-59 age group. They were nice enough to let me keep the medal for winning that age group. Not bad for a 56 year old!

It was a great day, and I definitely want to do another trail race. I just love the laid back feel of the trails, and enjoyed just running to run, and not have any self-inflicted pressure to run fast or get a certain time. There was an added bonus this day of not falling on my face, the avoidance of which is what slows me down the most on the trails. I enjoyed the Draper trails.

Not a bad start to racing in 2014.

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