This weekend, I ran one of my favorite races. It's a trail race that benefits a local school that's hosted by a church. I really love trail races for some reason.
It was freezing this weekend. When I woke up Saturday morning, my iPhone said it felt like 8 degrees outside. I am not a lover of cold weather unless it's supposed to snow (and we have a chance for that the next two days!), so I really had to get psyched up to run this race. Thankfully, the race didn't begin until 10, so it had time to warm up - to a warm 31 degrees - before the race.
I ended up wearing a pair of Kevin's warm pants he wears for duck hunting under my running tights, two shirts, a jacket, ear warmer, toboggan and gloves. Since the race wound through trails in the woods, I didn't have wind to contend with. Given the cold, the length of the race (it's about .15 long) and the giant mountain that's about 2.5 miles in, I didn't have a set time goal, I just wanted to finish faster than I did last year.
We hung around inside a building until the very last minute trying to stay warm. When it was time for the race to start, we all huddled together anxiously awaiting the whistle.
I got off to a good start. The first part of the trail as well as a few places throughout it have gravel. I don't know about you, but gravel terrifies me. I'll jump over roots and run around trees all day long, but I'm scared of twisting my ankle on gravel. I rolled it within the first half mile of this race. In fact, the man that finished behind me said something to me after it about it. When that happened, I just concentrated on landing flat and enjoying the view. I really should try to take some pictures during this race next year.
I felt great throughout the race. There were a few men I normally finish right after in front of me which made me feel good. I think I could've pushed it some and finished faster because I wasn't worn out at the end, but at the end of the day, I was happy.
Last year, when I saw that there were no other women around me, I decided to walk up the hill. Kevin and I had been laughing about it that morning and when I got to the hill, I contemplated walking, but then I noticed the man in front of me was going up slow and I decided it would be my chance to pass him. I hobbled up the hill, but kept running and then flew down, dodging the brightly painted roots all the way. I kept a good pace until the end and was excited when I saw my sweet husband standing near the finish line. (Really, he is so sweet to go to all these races with me. I certainly don't take it for granted!)
I finished in 23:03 which was over 30 seconds faster than last year and great considering the length, trail and hill. I was the first overall female and ninth overall.