Hello world!!! I have checked off a big goal of mine this week! I have officially participated in a trail race!! It was 4 miles of wet, muddy, outdoorsie goodness! And, I must admit, for a large chunk of it, I was feeling very tired and very discouraged. I was getting passed by people and feeling so tired. But I persisted! After all…. they hunt the public there and I couldn’t stop! 😉
So I kept pushing, reminding myself to smile (which honestly did help give me a boost!) and even did a little dance on the trail! (When no one was around, of course! Though I wouldn’t have minded if someone had seen an maybe gotten a little smile of their own!) By the end, I was back into the groove, and saw my mom and my hubby cheering at the finish line!! So I dug in a little deeper and pushed faster, beating my goal time of 60 minutes by finishing at 51:51!
Even from just that short 4 miles, I have several fun memories. About a mile in, there was a big puddle, that had a small group of people standing around it. Apparently, on the edges, there were slight grassy little patches that they could cross one at a time. So people were standing in lines to avoid the water! I debated using the lines just as a reason to slow and catch my breath – then thought, “what the heck!? I’m out running in the muck and mud, and my feet are warm anyways!” So I just plowed on through the middle, splashing and grinning – and knowing that for at least a brief time, I was not in last place! (Though, within the next mile, some of those people were smoothly gliding past me again anyways!)
And another two men kept “leap frogging” me 🙂 They’d run ahead, then walk and I would catch up and pass at my tortoise pace. And a few minutes later, they passed again at their hare pace until they’d walk again. And on and on, until they passed me once more and I grinned, waved, saying, “nice to see you again!” They chuckled and agreed, “see you up ahead soon!” Sadly, in this race, the tortoise did not win – as I didn’t see them again while they continued to pull ahead and disappear.
One thing that I realized I didn’t care for with this run versus paved races is the fact that no one stands on the sides to cheer you on! Since you’re on mud paths in the woods, you’re all alone. The only cheering crowds are… well… nowhere! I was so grateful that mom and hub were there to cheer as I came to the end, but no one else was cheering! There was a big crowd watching, but I guess trail runners (at least at this one) are less about team support than 5K-ers. All the other races and walks I’ve done, it’s a huge crowd screaming, waving, and taking pictures at the end! I guess for my future runs, I will just have to know it’s for me, and I will cheer the loudest for me!! (And yes, I did cheer, jump, and giggle for me when I sprinted across that finish line!)
Even though there were times it was tiring – my feet were wet, mud spattered up my back, thighs tired from pulling out of the suction-cup mud, breathing in all the cold air… I was on such a high at the end! I felt great for completing it and not giving up, for smiling through it, and for just being outside on a sunny day! I couldn’t stop smiling at the end, and did a little more hop-skip dancing briefly before asking for my bag o’ treats 🙂 (All my Living Food treats!!) Fresh apple, and spirulina-colored almond crackers from a book by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. I felt so good about putting that natural food in my body instead of the sugary drinks and processed bagels that were provided. Another little high from that!
Sadly, though, running at the race meant that I couldn’t attend my yoga class. So, to reach the yoga goal, I’m gonna have to find another class at some point! Or just allow a home DVD workout to suffice. I think that shall be fine 🙂
What a great weekend!