Yesterday was my 10 Mile trail race. Absolutely Awesome !!
I’m realizing that when I get bouts of laziness, being unmotivated….that a trail run might just cure everything. Nothing gets me more pumped up or excited than a run in the woods. It’s adrenalin times 100 !
The day was perfect for a run. After getting signed in I got to talk with some other runners. The NJ Tail Series has an event in May called 3 days at the Fair. It’s basically an endurance event. You can sign up for a 6, 12, 24, 48, or 72 hour race. The course is a one mile loop around the Fair Grounds. Though running around like a hamster in an endless wheel does not really spark my interest too much….seeing how far I can push myself does! I was talking with the race director and asked him his thoughts on 3 Days at the Fair for a beginner. He said he thinks it’s an awesome race for a beginner. It’s nothing more than a mental endurance race against yourself. You don’t have to be fast. The race has an open kitchen, stocked with aide and hot foods that you pass every lap. You can also set up a tent right on the side of the race course. If you want to stop and nap for a bit and continue running you are able. It’s all about seeing how many miles you can rack up in the set time. I’m thinking this would be a perfect addition to my training for the 50k to see how I do with being on my feet moving for so many hours. I’m pretty set on the 24 hour event. Getting pysched that my 2012 race calendar is starting to work itself out. I know it’s only 2 races so far…but it’s a start. Love it !
So back to the race…
Of course the first part is always the hardest for me. Doubts creep in and my body is like… ” ughhhh, REALLY? WHY are we doing THIS?!?! ” But then my body catches up with my mind and never seems to let me down. A bit after 3 miles I’m warmed up and feeling great. I met a runner.. Mike…before the race. He had overheard me talking about 3-DATF and asked if I was going to do it? It seemed that we both were on the same running level. He had done 2 half marathons, but never a full, and yesterday was his second official trail race. I ended up running his heels for the first half of the race. He kept me honest with his pace and it forced me to push myself. Only got off the trail twice. Ha ! The first time it was 3 of us running together…and we got of course for a good distance. Maybe 3/4 of a mile. After we got back on track…we came to a good technical downhill. Crazy how the downhills put light a fire under my ass. The momentum gets me moving and I feel like I’m some professional trail runner. Weaving back and forth on the trail, dancing on rocks all the way down. Nothing makes me feel more alive ! It was at this point where I broke away from Mike and the other guy. Though I was running like a mad woman, I could feel that my legs were getting tired and my ankles getting sloppy. I had to remind myself to pick up my feet and be extra cautious where I stepped. There were several downed trees that you had to climb over and some good muddy patches. Though I was careful to work my way around the big mud patches, mostly in fear of sliding and falling on my ass….the small water streams I went barreling through full steam ! God..it was awesome! Wet shoes, socks and all !
As I ran this race, from the moment I felt my body warm up and kick into gear I was consciously thinking about this… ” Running my own Race.” At the beginning of the race, I started at the back …like I always do. Anyone who might have been in back of me quickly passed me. I stayed true to me and did what felt comfortable. I didn’t blow everything I had in those first miles and it paid off in the second half. Many of the guys that went flying by me in the beginning were walking along the side as I passed them later on. I know it’s hard for the ego to be at the back…to be last. But for me, for this body it’s what works. Once the body warms up and gets in sync with your mind…it all clicks. They discuss the goal and somehow it gets achieved.
There are a couple of winter races and though it’s hard to think about the cold ( as I can’t feel my fingers in this damn coffee shop right now!! ) I know that like all the rest…they will keep me motivated and pushing forward.