|Tri360 is da bomb. Thanks for all the support this season you guys! And for making super comfy race shirts!|
The race was small and they had the 6k and 11k racers start together. The two distances would split off about 1.5 miles into the race. The first half mile was on pavement before it turned into a field for the next two miles. My pace was just below 7 min/mile for those first three miles and I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to keep that pace, ESPECIALLY once we hit any harder trail stuff, and I definitely wouldn't be negative-splitting this race. But I figured I'd try to keep that pace as long as I could and the heck with negative splitting because taking a bit of a risk is what these off season, fun races are for. Around mile 3 we hit a more narrow trail with some rocks and roots and it started to feel like true trail racing. There was a guy about 25 meters ahead of me the whole race and I never quite closed the gap on him. And as we finished running through the first field, I looked back and saw a girl about 25 meters behind me and ran the rest of the race convinced she was going to catch me. We ran across another field before bombing down a steep hill and taking a sharp right into the woods. There were a couple times where I slightly turned an ankle or lost my footing as we ran through the woods, but the trail was super well marked and I had no problem staying on course, even when I couldn't see any other runners. I also hate to get my pink shoes dirty (so vain!) if it can be avoided so I slowed down at any muddy points to try and pick my way around them. We had some good hills to go up and rocks and roots to avoid so I stopped obsessively looking at my pace on the watch and only really checked when it beeped. Goodbye sub-7 minute miles. I even had one or two 8+ minute miles sneak in. Right around mile 5 was when I started doing the pep talk of you're more than halfway done. Just two miles to go (or thereabouts, 11k - I've never been good with conversion from the metric system). It was also right around this point that I was trying to figure out where the trail would dump us out - would we have to run back through the field from the beginning with all the tall grass? How about that half mile on pavement? Turns out it dropped us out right onto the pavement and I could see that the finish was just around the bend. Being back on flat, paved ground left little room for excuses and I picked up the pace through the finish, crossing the line in 52:34. I also ended up being first girl across the line - there were only 9 of us in the whole race, but whatever, when you end up first as rarely as I do, a W is a W regardless of how many people were there.
I had a whole cheering section come out for the race. My very favorite Aunt Karen and Uncle Charlie were in town for the weekend at my very favorite Aunt Amy's and they all came out, kiddos in tow. Xander and Lilly had a great time cheering on the runners and slurping down marshmallows from the hot chocolate.
I had the BEST weekend with Sarah and capping it off with the low-key race couldn't have been more perfect. Oh wait - it did get more perfect - HOMEMADE DOUGHNUT BITES. Melt in your mouth amazing.
|LOOK at that doughy deliciousness! Covered in cinnamon and sugar and washed down with hot chocolate!|