Happy Saturday! It’s a beautiful 69 degrees here today! I am loving this! So, Bobby and I did something kind of silly this morning, we ran a 5k race! I happened to see a flyer for one and so we registered on a whim. It was benefiting the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. I was excited because I haven’t run a 5k since last May and I have gotten faster. I have been running training run 5k’s around 28 minutes, so I knew in race atmosphere I could crush my old PR. The flyer said “5k run trough Terra Bella Neighborhood.” Oh…little did we know….
We got there early because I wasn’t sure about traffic, and it was cold! about 29 degrees. We parked, went and got our race packets and went back to the car (and heater) to put on our bibs and chill for a bit.
Bobby ALWAYS struggles with his race bib…
Ready to go! In my cute new shirt (Thanks Heather E!) and my sparkly headband (thanks to my favorite across the pond runner!)
A few minutes before the start we took some GU and Powerade and got in line for the bathrooms…That is when we first heard “the news.” A guy was talking to another guy about how they had to put some hay down on all the muddy parts of the trail…HUH? mud? TRAIL? Um…the flyer said NOTHING about this, it said through a NEIGHBORHOOD not an off road expedition!
At this point, we weren’t sure exactly HOW much of the race was on a “trail.” Maybe just a little part? We were about to find out! Well…we started out on a road…I knew we were in trouble when the announcer explained things to us before the race…to look for the ribbons on the trees marking the trail…huh? and the orange spray paint on the levee….what?!? This was NOT a good sign.
I kissed Bobby, told him to have a good race and to be careful, and the gun went off and I took off. I started out way to fast. I was nervous about this off road stuff and knew I had to make up time. When I realized I was going at a 7:30 pace, I slowed myself down. bobby had forgotten his Garmin so he was going WAY to fast. He was way up ahead of me, but nothing I could do! I SO wish I had my camera to take pictures of all the surfaces we had to run on.
So the first about .65-.70 were on a road. this was good…maybe I was right about just a little of it being on a trail. We got to almost the front of the neighborhood, so I assumed we were about to go out on the main road. Not so much! We turned off into the empty lots and into the mud. It was that uneven dried mud/dirt with grass growing out of it, so it was very uneven, an they had put hay on it so I couldn’t see/tell where the uneven parts were, so I just kind of hopped along jumping and dodging the best I could. I hit one mile, and had kept a 9:02 pace, even with over a quarter mile being in the mud. I was hoping it was fast enough to make up for the time I knew I was losing. I thought that was the worst part, haha! after we hit mile one we took a turn to the right. This is where a trail was cut out through the mud and trees with a 4-wheeler, and we had to jump over SIX ditches of water. No joke. six! I felt like a hurdler! My ankles and IT band were screaming, and my poor ankles just kept wobbling every time I landed. I rolled them a couple of times, but I think it scared me more than anything.
After the hurdling came the woods. We hit some thick woods and an old cross country trail with steep up and down dips. The trail was covered in leaves, and a couple of times on the downwards parts I slipped on the wet leaves and almost busted my butt. I hated having to go so slow but I was so scared of hurting myself! There were a couple of times in the trail that I wasn’t sure what way to go and I just kind of stopped and looked/thought about it for a minute then went again.
I finally made it out of the woods and ended up on a levee going around a lake. The surface here was a mixture of sand and thick thick high grass, but at least it was a little more level than the mud but the sand and grass were so hard to run through. About this point Bobby yelled at me from the other side of the lake and I waved and kept going. I wasn’t THAT far behind. About midway through the levee fun we hit mile 2. I made it around the rest of the lake and at about mile 2.8 we were back on the road. I tried to run as fast as I could to make up time, but there wasn’t enough of the race left for me to make up enough time. I saw the clock in the upper 29’s and I sprinted to the end RIGHT at 29:59. WOO HOO at least I broke 30:00!
They had chic fil a, fruit, water, etc. We hung out for the awards because I thought I may have placed. This was my next annoyance with the race. Most races I have run do 5 year age group increments. 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, etc. Well, this race did 15 and under, 15-19, then it jumped to 20-29 and 30-39! What the heck? I ended up getting 4th in my age group but if they WOULD have done it 20-24 and 25-29, I would have gotten 2nd and gotten a medal WWWAAAHH! I was so sad. I was 13th female overall. Bobby though ended up getting 2nd in his age group and he did get a medal! Yay Bobby! He normall runs 23’s and he ran a 26 something. I know on a road I would have probably run a sub 27, so I was really bummed. I was ready to crush my PR! I still PR’ed barely, but I was not expecting all of this craziness!
Apparently no one knew this was going to be a trail race, and a lot of people seemed to be unhappy about it. I won’t be doing this next year!
All done!! My first trail race! (I somehow got mud on my ankles?)
SO, that is my first trail race experience…I will NOT be doing that again. If you know me you know I have very loose ligaments in both my ankles anyway. I am already getting sore! So, then I come home, take a shower, and proceed to fall down the stairs. Awesome. Now I will REALLY be sore tomorrow! (I am ok, not the first time I have done that…and Bobby did it LAST weekend and has a huge bruise on his butt. What is wrong with us?!?)
QOTD: Thoughts on trail running? Have you ever done it?