You guys. I am in love with trail running.
I ran in the End of Summer 10k yesterday at Carkeek park on beautiful trails. The race started at 9:30 and the weather was sunny and cool. Here is a view from the parking lot. Again, sorry I don't have any pics from the actual trail.
Oh, and I placed first woman overall which is totally nuts. The race was pretty teeny, but I'm still pretty stoked. My first trail race was a total success, other than my pace and being a terrible trail runner and everything. It was a pretty pokey run but considering I had no idea what I was in for and had a pretty nonexistent strategy. I decided to try and keep it slow and steady, and stick near people at least for the loop so I didn't get lost. I think I might be a terrible trail runner though, I did a lot of really close creeping on people due to my strong fear of taking the wrong turn. That is not to say I would have got lost because this race was very clearly marked and on really nice trails. It was a loop for the 5k, twice for the 10k. I ate a Clif bar about 1.5 hrs before the start of the race but I felt after the first hill climb that I could have used an extra banana or something to keep me going. I was worried going into the second loop that I was going to completely fall apart, but the awesome things about trails is that with all the ups there are also downs, and those are FUN. I just had to keep focused and enjoy my surroundings and try not to think too much about my fatigued legs.
When I'm running a race or long run I usually get a few mantras or phrases stuck in my head. For my uphills it was "Keep breathing, keep going" and for the downhills it was more along the lines of "I am a woodlands princess!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the trees and runneeeeeeeeeng!!!!" I remembered on the second loop that I love running in the woods SO MUCH. When I remember that I smile, and when I smile I run easier. It's one of those ridiculous things I read about once that if you can trick yourself into thinking you feel great, you can start to feel better. Since it was a pretty small race I got to run solo for a bit and geek out without embarrassing myself in front of my hopefully soon to be new trail running friends. Then I tried to normal it out before rejoining society.
This was my first time running with Northwest Trail Runs and it turned out to be the end of their summer race series. They gave out awards at the end for series winners and had a raffle with good stuff. I got beer for getting first place and the smoked salmon as a raffle prize! Plus there were hot dogs (and veggie dogs!) grilled and ready to eat at the finish, and watermelon, drinks, gummy bears, and other treats. It was a really fun race and all the other runners were super nice. Also, everyone that I passed on the out and back, as well as everyone at the finish, cheered for each other. I think I'm going to try and sign up for some more races that they put on. Their winter race series starts in November, so I need to peruse the list and pick some. It was also a great way for me to get to see a park in the north end of town that I usually would not have any excuse to see or run around. All around an awesome start to the day.
9/26: 6.16, 10:19 avg pace, 1:03 total time.
After the race I went to the hair salon and sat for a while, which felt pretty good.
Did you race this weekend?
Ever done a trail race? DID YOU LOVE IT TOO?!