Date: January 20, 2013
Location: Lewis Center, OH
Distance: 6.2 miles
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.
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.
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.