Category Archives: trail

Grand Ridge Trail Run – 5 miler

Finally a race is in the books!  Yesterday I ran the Grand Ridge 5 mile Trail Run.  I figured a trail run would be my perfect intro back into racing – I love the varied terrain and with that, not paying attention to pace – only people.

The race had a 50K, marathon, half and 5 miler. I debated the half, but between my husbands’ work schedule over the weekend and my current fitness, I settled on the 5.  I knew going into the better runners would probably be running the longer distances, and based on past results that top 3 was a realistic goal.

Race morning was COLD – 21 degrees cold.  Brrrr !!!

The race started on a gradual downhill very wide trail.  After about 1/2 mile, we headed up on single track.  There was 1 woman ahead of me.  As we climbed and climbed, I slowly gained on her.  We both actually walked a bit on some of the steeper hills.  I eventually passed her.  We then hit the downhill, and a guy then she passed me. I was running as fast as I possibly could down the hills – she was simply a better down hill raced.  After a bit, we started climbing.  I passed her again and actually pulled away a decent amount.  Once we headed down again, I knew she’d be hot on my tale.  Despite the lead I had, she passed me. I seriously don’t know how she was so quick downhill! I guess I am not confident enough.  Once we hit the wide trail, I closed on her a bit, but she managed to stay ahead and beat me by 12 seconds.

I was 8th overall, 2nd woman. My time was 47:04 – which is terribly slow in 1 sense, but not if you think about the fact that we climbed over 1000 feet in the race! And according to my Garmin, it was 5.2 miles.

It really was a fun race!  And it helped relight my hunger :)

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2 race recaps and an update

This is long overdue.  A mental slump overtook me just before the Seaside Half Marathon.  It was brought on by a re-energized cold (that I thought I was kicking) slamming me full on the week of the half.  I was so frustrated.

All that to say, the half marathon went MUCH better than I expected it to.  I was a nasty mess thanks to the snot faucet coming out of my nose.  I felt strong for 9 miles.  Lisa (my running partner) and I were running together.  There was only 1 girl in front of us, and honestly she was so far in front of us at the half way turn around, that we were far more concerned about some one catching us from behind than the thought of us catching her.  We we caught site of her around mile 9 (I think) I knew then that Lisa would win and I had a hope for 2nd.  It was energizing to catching that girl for sure.

Approaching mile 10, my foggy brain was thinking only 2 to go.  I hit mile 10 and thought, you dummy, it’s 3.2 to go.  That silly mistake got me a bit.  I was definitely feeling it.  Lisa started pulling away.  My left quad started feeling tight.  Mile 11, tight was progressing to pain.  I was just hoping to not walk at that point!  And hoping that girl didn’t catch back up.  I was running with a noticeable limp by the end, but finished in 2nd place.  Lisa ended up beating my by about a minute.

I ran 1:31:53 – only 18 seconds off my PR.  I was very very happy with that!  And it was honestly the 1st time that I thought, I really can break 1:30 in the half marathon!

So Seaside behind me.  I was SORE.  It took me a good week to recover.  I then got in 2 decent weeks of maintenance running.

Last Saturday, I ran the Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2 mile trail race.  This was purely for fun – no hope of winning any awards – just for the pure enjoyment of running trails (which I MISS).  It was so much fun!!  And I ran a lot more solidly than I expected.  I walked the BIG hills and was cautious on the down hills, but felt stronger than I thought I would.

And again, I was OH SO SORE after it.  So this past week was an easy, easing back into things week.  Monday, I plan to get refocused.

Speaking of being focused, another reason for my mental slump around the time of Seaside was a feeling of what now??  For almost a year (since I started running after having baby #3) my goal had been a half marathon.

So here is the short term focus and long term goal …
-through the end of May I am going to work on my speed, focusing on shorter races – mainly 5Ks and a 4.4 miler or 8K on Memorial Day depending on where we are
-June is going to be a maintenance month where I back off a bit
-in July, begin building for either a Fall marathon or an attempt on a sub-1:30 half marathon

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trail run

While “back home” for Christmas, my sister-in-law took me on an incredible trail run!  I hadn’t run technical trails since I sprained my ankle in August 2009. (that Fall, I did run a lot of super easy trails – that are more like dirt roads)

I had lived on Lookout for almost my whole life but had never been to High Point (aka the highest point on the mountain).  We did a 7 mile loop from her house that took as to High Point and back.  We ran a bit, then walked up the ridiculously steep part and scrambled across the ridge of boulders, etc.  The views were spectacular.  It was breathtaking.  We then ran down the gravel road for a bit (steep, quad killer) and then onto the new Connector Trail and ran the 4 miles back to her house.  It was so so so much fun!!!

It had been so long, that I had forgotten how much I LOVE trail running.  Regardless of where we live, I doubt I’ll ever end up a solely trail runner, but I do hope to be able to run trails more at some point.  The trails in FL are sand … so I don’t really have the desire right now.

And I will say, HOLY COW, I was so unbelievably sore after that run.  Wow :)

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Greenway Farms 5 mile Trail Race

As we lined up for the Greenway 5 mile Trail Race, the race director mentioned some “fun” climbs – I would not call the climb fun! It was a HUGE hill! Seriously – almost 1 mile UP.  Now, the decent was fun!  I later learned that my dad looked closely at the topo course map and decided not to run it do to the HILL.

Now that I have that out of my system – it was a lot of fun and felt great to be in a race again!  I went out with a friend and we hit the 1st mile in 7:02 (a bit fast for me at this point).  Our 2nd mile was 8:43 (we’d hit the single track portion of the trail and the rocks and tight corners slowed us down). Then comes mile 3 of UP – Amanda pulled away from me, and I was on my own feeling the burn of that 7:02 mile.  My 3rd mile was an embarrassing 10:44 (yes I walked some).  Mile 4 was all down hill and I did it in 7:16.  Mile 5 was 8:24, with 1 last hill.  Overall 42:10.  My goal was to break 40 minutes, but I also didn’t know about the hill when I set that goal. I do wish I had run more consistent – that will be my goal next time – to go out more conservatively and stay strong on the UPs.

My friend Amanda was the 1st place woman. I was 3rd (which did win me a FREE pair of trail running shoes!!!!) I should have been 2nd. A girl passed me on the last hill and I was content to let her go.  It was 1 of those times when I decided to not let the mental side of running work in my favor. If I had decided to, I could have pushed hard enough to beat her (she only beat me by 10 seconds).  Oh well.

I’m debating on what my next race will be.  Cross-country gears up soon, and it’s hard to have the extra energy to squeeze in my own races, but I’m always so glad when I do.  It keeps me motivated.

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