Well, I did it! I accomplished my goals for the Running Fit Trail Half Marathon. I didn’t die and I finished. Phew!
Now that you know the short version of my recap, let me fill you in on the long version.
Race day was actually a bit colder than I prefer. Temps were in the mid 30s when we arrived at the Pinckney Recreation Area to pick up our packet and there was some wind off the lake as well. Packet pick up was quick and easy and after a trip to the fabulous port-a-potties we hung out in the car until just before gun time.
The “waves” were done a bit differently than I have seen before. But it was a trail race and trail racing does things differently. Basically the announcer just called out a pace and then you got in to the start corral if that was your pace. Chris and I walked to the way back thinking we were in a spot that would end up being our pace but we somehow got sandwiched into a wave that was a bit too fast for us and there was no way for us to get out except across the start line.
Because we were not in the right wave, I felt a lot of pressure to maintain pace with the pack. By mile two, I knew that I needed to change up my game plan as I would never finish if I kept up that pace, so I settled into a pace that was comfortable for me and stayed to the right of the trail allowing others to pass around me. And pass me they did. It felt like every single racer passed me during the first half of the race. But it was what it was.
By mile 4 I decided my new game plan was to walk up the hills and run the downhills and the straight stretches. I have no shame in my game and it worked quite well for me.
Chris and I had separated from each other early on in the race so it was just me and the woods. Okay, so there were other runners around me for a majority of the race but sometimes there were some large gaps that left me alone. On top of that, this race didn’t allow headphones so I didn’t even have my music to keep me company. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. My mind rarely runs out of things to talk to its self about plus the trail was a beauty to look at the entire race.
Speaking of the trail, this was really a great course! Most of it was single track but there were plenty of areas that you could pass if you chose to. It was very hilly, which I knew going into it and there were tons of wooden bridges that were super fun to run on. One bridge in particular looked like it went straight up.
That bridge was right around mile 7.5 I believe and that was when I decided to use my inhaler as the conditions (cold and damp) were perfect for my asthma to flare up. I usually just use my inhaler before runs but on a rare occasion I have to use it during runs as well so I always carry it with me. It was a good decision on my part because by mile 9 I was feeling great! I felt like I had a second wind kick in, my breathing was back on track and a gel that I had taken earlier was working its magic. I was even passing some people…imagine that. Granted I played a bit of frogger with some of the racers but it was still good for the ego to pass a runner here and there.
Unfortunately by mile 11 the hills had taken their toll on me. The last 2.1 miles of the race felt like the longest miles I had ever run. I thought I would never see the finish line but I did eventually make it there and I even managed to sprint just slightly across the finish.
They had a great spread of post race food including Absopure water, bagels, bananas, muffins and cookies waiting for me at the finish line. I would share a picture with you but I gobbled it all down before I even thought of documenting it so you will just have to take my word for it. The course its self had plenty of aid stations too with a good variety of items and they were spaced a suitable distance apart.
And just like the Martian Race, Running Fit had great medals and shirts for their Trail Race as well. This year has been my first experience at Running Fit races and I have to say they understand what runners want.
And while my finish time wasn’t my best time, I’m ok with it because I had a lot of fun out there and it gives me motivation to get my butt in gear for my next race. (I had not been running trails and my longest run prior to the race was a 10k. Don’t train like me people.)
My next Running Fit race is Flirt With Dirt in June and I can’t wait for it! It is also race #2 of the Serious Series. I do have a race in May coming up, although not Running Fit related, it is the Back to the Beach Half which I did last year and loved!
Were you at one of the Running Fit Trail Races this weekend?
Did you run or race elsewhere? Or do something else fun?
Tell me all about it!