The Hidden Valley Nature Center
Run Thru The Woods
Over the last few years as I've been forced to walk our dogs, I've taken a bit to trail running as a way to make the most out of the time I was spending outside anyway and before I knew it, I was actually enjoying running. The only problem is, I was only running 2-3 miles a day. Not bad for a non-runner but not very good prep for someone hoping to do a half marathon. So, of course I immediately signed up for the race because if a goal seems reasonable, it hardly seems worth doing.
And then I got worried. It tried a 7 mile trail run and that went well so I was feeling confident. Then I did an 8 mile trail/road run that demoralized me and left me with a gimp right knee that kept me from running at all for two weeks. I did manage two 1 mile runs a couple of days before the race so I HOPED that I'd be able to get through the half marathon.
Thankfully, because of the snow and standing water on the course, the promoters shortened the length a day before the race to 10.5-ish miles. 3 miles less seemed like a great idea to me.
(Holy smokes have I rambled. Lets get to some racing...)
On race day, my brother Rus and I show up a smidge too early (apparently it doesn't take as long to get ready for a running race as it does for a bike race) but that just gave us a crack at the porta potties before the crowds showed up. Sadly, even at 35 degrees, race day porta johns are a stinky place to be.
trail runs draw some kooks
riding converted to running cohorts Trevor and Steven at the start line
it's worth clicking on this pic to seeSteven's facial expression (blue shirt and green shorts)
When the gun went off, a few guys quickly jumped ahead of me including Rus, Trevor and Stephen.
30 seconds in and the last I'd see
the front of the race (yes I did carry acamera with me. I live for blog fodder)
this opening road section was one of the nicestand easiest to navigate on the day
I soon found myself with a small group of 4 (as opposed to a large group of 4) that seemed to be running a pace I could manage so I settled in and let the leaders go. As many of you know, I suffer from bouts of grandeur but this was one case that I knew exactly where I stood and that was nowhere near the front. We kept a nice clip for the first couple of miles and I was feeling quite comfortable. A sign that I probably wasn't pushing hard enough. Sure enough, a train of 5-6 runners (including two women) cranked by us.
choo choo train passing me by
I've run out of time for today. Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling ending.