In the spirit of getting back in the habit of racing and trying new things, I decided to do a trail race on Memorial Day Monday. I've never raced on a Monday and I've never done a trail race. So I should have no expectations other than to finish and learn something new. Boy, did I..
So...what did I learn? Well first off, since the course is winding and the ground uneven, you're not going to just blow by lots of people. You have to think of when and where you're going to pass someone. I got that little lesson taught to me when I first tried to pass a group of people at about 1/4 mile into the race and rolled my ankle, actually letting out a little yelp from the pain (really, I'm not proud) and I had to stop and take a breath. But hey, we're here to race so lets get back to it. I would love to say I learned my lesson for the rest of the race...but no. There is no "turning off the brain" to run when trail racing and there's no "looking ahead of you" either. I did that a few times more during the race...and what did it get me? Fall, then fall, then fall again. Jesus Christ, I felt like I was going to spend the whole race fumbling and stumbling! Oh ya, then then there was a mountain climb in the middle (no really, in order to get over it I had to lean forward and use my hands to get up and over the top). The course was technical and challenging almost every step. But, I have to admit that I enjoyed it and want to do another one. I did ok too, 17th overall and 4th in my age group. And the icing on the cake is even with all the effort the race required I had no heart rate spikes. Maybe I'm done with that too!