Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trout Creek 15K Trail Run

Today was the last long run of the season - the Trout Creek 15K Trail Run and my first proper trail race! The website described it as an "absolutely beautiful and challenging 15K trail run that winds through the pines, oak hammocks, and lakes using single and double track trails in Trout Creek. You will also enjoy running on the elevated berm for something a little different. " They provided pictures of the types of terrain to expect too which was really helpful. The weather was forecasted to be in the low 70s, my nutrition and training plan has been perfect all week, and I got plenty of sleep the night before so I felt really good about how it was going to go. Mike left a cute note for me on the door before I left to pick up Luciana...:)

When we got there I remembered how pretty Trout Creek really is :)

The trail running folks are fitter-looking than the average road race crowd I think. I started to wonder if I was ready for 9.3 miles on unfamiliar terrain...

Within a few miles I realized that I was completely out of my depth. Running on the trail was much slower so any chance of a PR was out, the tree roots were everywhere and I kept twisting my ankle. I found it really frustrating to be in such a pretty place and not be able to soak up the scenery since I had to stay so focused on the ground ahead. My left ankle really started to hurt, I felt stupid for wearing Newtons that are clearly not designed for that kind of thing and I was just having a completely miserable time. The only break we got from the roots was on the 'berm' which was so so hot...

I wanted to quit and told Luciana that I was going to bail if we came anywhere close to where my car was parked. She asked me if I could manage running a 10K and we could walk the last 5K together? What a fantastic idea! What an amazing spirit! Luciana has possibly the best mental attitude of anyone that I know :). So that's exactly what we did - and we even ran a bit during the last 5K!

And so we finished. And for that, I'm grateful. I learned today that trail running is something I'm inexperienced at and I will need to do a lot of work on before trying a trail race that long again. I also learned how lucky I am that I have a running buddy that made sure that I didn't quit altogether! I know how much I would have regretted it later. Thank you Luciana for sharing another milestone - I truly couldn't have done it without you today :)