|Finish Line Face, photo by Planet Adventure Races|
This race was so much fun!I am definitely hooked on trail running now. I didn't have a particular goal for this race since I'd never done one before. I knew I could run 6.5 miles on flat pavement in about 1:18-1:20, and I expected this would take me longer but I didn't know how much. So I just set out to run at a comfortable pace and finish strong, which I did. My official time was 1:37:57:1, and while I was tired afterwards I was by no means wiped out. My splits also show that my last mile was my 2nd fastest, after my first mile, which makes sense given that the most challenging trails were in the middle.
|Photo by Planet Adventure Races|
Half marathoners continued on from the Bear across the causeway to the other side of the lake, and full marathoners ran the half loop twice. So that meant there were always faster runners coming & going in both directions, and I had to move off the trail a lot to let people pass. I was expecting that, though, and the other runners were always so polite & offering encouragement to us slow pokes. I tried to do that as well to the few that I passed.
The hills, tree roots, & logs meant I never really ran at a steady pace, but that's part of what made it so much fun. I didn't even bring my headphones, since I didn't really want any distractions. I wanted to concentrate on the course, and also to be able to hear runners coming up behind me so I could move over when I needed to. I also enjoyed hearing the rain hitting the trees, and the woodpeckers & other wildlife in the woods (probably squirrels, but could've been alligators, sharks, or zombies).
One Small Complaint, and Lots of Compliments
|Awesome shirt & medal!|
Otherwise, the race was perfect! The course was very well marked and I never had trouble knowing which way to go. The staff & volunteers were all very nice & encouraging. It was fun to see my friend Kim & have her cheer me on while I was running. There was a good assortment of post-race refreshments. And I love the t-shirt & medal!
ShoesI was wearing my old-old shoes, and I think it may be time to retire them for good. They were really rubbing my feet the last two miles or so. These are the very first running shoes I got back in 2012 when I started running. They've been relegated to mud & dirt for a while now, but they may no longer even be suitable for that. What's the proper send-off protocol? Wrapped in an old race shirt & buried next to the sidewalk?
|old-old shoes, new-old shoes, new-new shoes|