April 20, 2010
Timberlake Trail (um, and water) 10K
We had spring break last week, but my fun was really limited as I had that certification to work on. I was wanting to race, but not really *race*, so I found this cute little trail race to do. It also helped that friend, Katie was running, and some other cool people from NWFL track club. I found out a bit about the race beforehand, like it was a pretty technical trail and would have shin-deep water to tromp through. Well, I was okay with it b/c I do have a small/short history of trail running. In college we ran at Oak Mtn. on a semi-regular basis, and post-college I did the yearly Peavine Falls Trail race. Plus, about 5 years ago, I did the Twisted Ankle Trail Marathon. Anyway, on to the *race*.
This race was unique b/c it started at 1:00, likely b/c it was on Sunday (church day) in the south. I left early and only got lost once, which is a new record for me. I got there and it was BLAZING hot, in the low 80s, I believe. I met up with Sandy and she immediately advised me to ditch the Garmin b/c the water was now waist-deep. Whhhhaaaaaattt? Alrighty, then. She and I job a mile warm up and head to the start. The RD starts explaining where to go in the woods, and I'm immediately lost. Apparently, part of the fun is figuring out where to go, too. Um yeah, I get lost in my car nearly every time I drive somewhere new. This is not looking good for me. Sandy tells me not to worry, that if I need to, I can hang with her group. I am only slightly faster than Sandy, so this sounded like a good plan. Better to be little slower than lost and have a Deliverance rerun. Well, we were off, and our first move was to get around the large lake. That went pretty smoothly, and I stayed right with Sandy and her crew. After the lake loop, I guess I got a little cocky b/c I felt like I could leave them, so I did. Next thing I knew, Sandy and her crew are shouting my name. I had already gone the wrong way- 1.5 into the race!!!!!
I back track and catch back up to them, staying put for a few more miles. Then we start going through some SERIOUS water, and I fall into this deep part and the water is up to my stinking neck. Yeah, NECK! There is someone there "monitoring" the course and he's laughing and not being much help at all. Sandy and her group are trying to wait on me, but I tell them to go ahead, I am about ready to shove my head under water until I am lifeless. They do leave me then, but reluctantly.
I make it out of the water and there is huge hill that is solid sand. My legs weighed like one million pounds, but I trudged up. There was a guy near me that kept telling me where to step and pointing out roots and stuff. That helped a lot.
We got out of that part and onto a more civilized trail. I was alone at this point, and trying to follow the sporadic orange flags. I would follow flags, then get to a "T" and not know what to do. I had to back track 3 MORE times. I was getting really frustrated and had no idea how much farther I do to go. Sandy and the gang were gone. The RD had come back a ways onto the course and started yelling my name, telling me I was first female. No, sure I'm not, Sandy is first. He says no, me, so I trudge on in at 53:xx and I did, in fact, get first female. Sandy and her crew got even MORE lost than me.
One thing I really took from this is that my feet can GO on those trails. I didn't trip on one root or stump, and there were many! I also noticed how well I moved around the sharp parts. It made me miss my more-frequent trail days. There is a trail behind my house that I run about once a week, but it is short. There's also a trail nearby that the Adventure Team and I did this summer, but I don't think it is safe for a young-ish female runner alone(think Deliverance again).
Um, but I am HORRIBLE at running on sand and in water. I was thrashing in the water like a dying fish, and the sand felt like quicksand.
After the race, we hung out for awhile. They had a yummy potluck picnic lunch. I won a cute new toad trophy for the kids' collection at school, and also a bottle of fancy beer. I knew I would never sit at home and drink that beer, so I let some of the runners pop it open. The beer was cool b/c it had a #1 on it! I thought that was a unique prize.
My own training is going along smoothly. Nothing awesome, but nothing bad, just trying to push through to June 26th.
We have Sectionals this Friday and Saturday. I am already well-prepared with logistic stuff, so no worries there. The kids are nervous, as am I. So, fingers crossed and say your prayers that we will do well!