Considering the longest true trail type run I had ever done was M&G I knew this was going to be a tough test. However, my goal? Finish in one piece and have a good time out on the course. There were maybe about 40 people TOTAL for the 10K, 1/2 marathon and marathon (yes, there were people even nuttier than I!). We all lined up and with a simple "go" we were off. As we turned left and the 10K people turned right, it was the first instance of "what the heck am I doing here?" As I ran on, a lot of people passed me but I knew there were still a lot behind me.
A couple miles in, I settled into a comfort zone with another woman, Julia for the rest of the course. However, at mile 3 I stopped for a cup of water and she kept going:-( For a couple miles I was completely alone which was rather creepy. Our bibs had our ages as how old we turn this year, not at this point. The joke was that this was so they knew how old you were when they actually find you out in the woods:-p Ha. To add to the experience of running alone in the woods, mother nature thought it'd be awesome to have a huge rain storm! Since it was nice and tree shaded, I didn't get rained on until a few minutes into the storm. And at that point, wow did I get rained on! At that point, I walked portions of the course since I didn't have true trail shoes and falling flat on my face was not on the agenda.
Around mile 10, my legs started to tire. Unlike road racing where you dont have to worry about picking your legs up, in trail racing it's essential as those rocks and various other things in the ground will get you (not to mention tree trunks!). Anyway, I was running with Julia when all of a sudden my leg didn't pick up enough and I caught my foot on a rock. I fell with a pretty good thud and managed to scrape up my left leg and brush my right forearm. It sounded a lot worse than the damage produced. At this point, Julia wanted to make sure I was OK to which I responded "heck yeah, let's finish this thing."
As we wound our way to the finish, it was a pretty awesome feeling. 13.1 miles on the rugged trails in somewhere called Pleasant Valley, NY. Normally a plus two hour half marathon would not be an achievement to me but in this case, huge accomplishment. Winning times were in the mid to upper 1:30s for the men! I managed to pick up first in my age group which was cool and unexpected.
My body is sore, my leg looks like a cat went a little nuts on it, but what an experience! The scenery was amazing and the camaraderie that goes along with trail running is amazing. This completed a 38.5 mile week. The up climb on mileage continues...
As you can see from the elevation, it was a constant up and down course. The middle of the course - which consequently was when mother nature dumped on us - was the highest climbing section.