Rocks and Roots Trail Run Series Race 1 Race Report

Date: January 20, 2013
Location: Lewis Center, OH
Distance: 6.2 miles
Time: 1:41:16
Gimmick: Two-part race series with a bunch of swag (Nathan handheld, Swiftwick socks, Gu chews, a Gu gel, a hoodie, and a t-shirt for each race) if you sign up for both.  It’s a 10K loop course on a mountain bike trail and you can do up to a 50K.

I hated this race.

Like passionate fiery hate the entire time.  It wasn’t that they did anything wrong, it just turns out that I am not made for trail running.  At all.

I kept forgetting that the 10K was this weekend, so I’m not sure I ever wrapped my mind around it.  I was feeling overtrained, but went ahead and ran 5 miles on Thursday.  I have a problem with being married to my training schedule.  I need to do something about that.  Anyways, rather than do 2 miles yesterday with MIT, I took the day off (two rest days in a row!).  Still, I couldn’t quite force myself to go to bed as early as I should have (the internet is a black hole for sleep).  Anyways, I woke up irritated and had no interest in running at all.  Still, my 7 miler last Saturday (on a paved trail) was awesome (took around 84 minutes), so I was hoping I’d feel that good again and assumed I’d manage to PR my pathetic 10K time (it’s from when I was miserably sick during the Buckeye Classic).

I got dressed knowing the temperature was supposed to drop during the race.  I ended up a little too warm, so next time I’ll dress for the current temperature.  It didn’t occur to me that I’d be warmed up by the time it got colder.  Anyways, we were fortunate that it hasn’t rained recently and the trails weren’t super muddy.  The trails were definitely dirt with leaves on top.  The promised roots were numerous and my left big toe feels like it is going to fall off from stubbing it so many times.  I don’t pick up my feet high enough for trail running apparently.

It was gorgeous at least.
Photo courtesy of Fleet Feet Columbus

The beginning of the race was an epic bottleneck, which resulted in a lot of walking because if one person walked, we all had to walk.  I was frustrated with how slow we had to start out, although I could tell by 0.1 miles that I was not going to have a good race (and we were still leaving the parking lot).  My legs just felt heavy and didn’t want to move.  It was also hard to tell how fast we were running because we had to walk a lot and my Garmin is set to average pace.

Somewhere around mile 1, I landed funny on my ankle and had a brief moment of panic. It hurt on and off throughout the race, but it feels ok now, so I’m hoping it was just a twinge.  The more important issue was the by mile 3, my right foot was throbbing.  Remember how I had such awful plantar fasciitis last fall?  That was when I was doing a bunch of trail running too.  Apparently the uneven terrain is what makes it flare up.  My heel is still hurting, so I think I’m looking at taking at least Tuesday as an extra rest day.

Mile 3. Trying to pretend I don’t hate my life.  The person taking my picture is 6’11” (I think), thus the looking up.  Photo courtesy of Fleet Feet Columbus

There was an aid station at mile 4.5, but I mostly provided my own water (and the one gel I took at mile 3 hoping I’d feel better).  I realize that a pack is overkill for a 10K, but belts give me cramps and I wanted to have enough water for myself and my friend because I don’t think she even owns a handheld or a belt.  The aid station at the finish/loop had awesome food, but I skipped it because I felt like the ultramarathoners probably needed cookies more than I did.  I did eat some free pizza despite the fact that the pizza guys were surly and took forever getting that stuff out (most of the 10K runners had left by then).

So now here’s my dilemma: I’m signed up to do the 20K of this exact course in a month.  That means two loops instead of one and the idea of going back out there makes me stabby.  I realize I don’t do enough trail training, but that’s not something I can fit in my schedule this month.  So do I
1. Keep training the way I have planned (Hal Higdon half marathon plan, midweek runs on sidewalks and long runs on a paved trail) and do the 20K anyways?  I’m looking at a 4 hour finish based on today and that sounds like hell.  And I don’t know what would happen to my feet.
2.  Drop down to the 10K and focus on training for a road half marathon in May?
3.  Say fuck it and let the bib go to waste?  That bothers me because I can’t afford races as it is and I hate the idea of wasting the money.  I offered the bib to my husband, but he’s got the delicate ankles of a porcelain doll and couldn’t be trained in time.

I’m not joking about the ankles, he is overdue for breaking one.  He’s actually got a bone chip floating around in his permanently swollen ankle from when he tripped walking the dog.

We really aren’t graceful people.  Sorry, Charlotte.

Oh yes, and I signed up for both races with a friend who seems pretty set on doing 20K, so that’s also a consideration.  I don’t want to bail on her.  Needless to say, I have given up any hope of being a badass trail runner and will be sticking to pavement after this.  Clumsy people should not run on trails.



About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
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8 Responses to Rocks and Roots Trail Run Series Race 1 Race Report

  1. Mandy says:

    Those pictures are pretty sweet. I think you need to do what is best for you and your body. Whatever that might be. I’ll support whatever you decide.

    I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to offer to take your bib off your hands. LOL.

  2. Amy J. says:

    I think I would just see if you can run another 10k instead, and then train for the half. That way, you are still running with your friend, and hopefully don’t injure your foot for the 1/2 in May. Just my two cents! 🙂 Good luck!

  3. April says:

    I vote drop to a 10k or hand it over to Mandy. Don’t waste time doing something that your heart isn’t in. But I’m not a runner, so take that with a grain of salt. 🙂

  4. Army Amy says:

    I vote for the 10k! 20k of that doesn’t sound fun. But you could give it one more go and try to improve your time. I’ve never run on trails – there are none near me (that I know of) and I’m a big chicken. It looks hard! But that just means you burned double the calories, right?*

  5. Terzah says:

    I do wish I could take the bib, though I’d probably be scolded by the coach for doing so (I face-planted on a golf course the other day and banged my knee hard–my excuse is that it was still dark outside).

    Not sure what to tell you on this one….the rational me says you should bail on the 20K because your body isn’t having it and you do not want to inflame that PF for real or hurt yourself otherwise. In your shoes, I’d probably still suck it up and do it, though, because I’m like you about race fees etc. Good luck!!

  6. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    Trail races are tough! Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever done one… but trail runs are tough. I agree with the others about doing the 10k or passing it off to someone else, and focusing more on the road half.
    For not feeling great, that’s an awesome running pic of you!

  7. Kara says:

    All I could think about here is how much I wanted to be running that freaking trail. So jealous. Wish I could buy your bib from you 🙂

  8. Pingback: Rocks and Roots Trail Run Series Race 2 Race Report | Running On Words

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