Yesterday was WTF – Winter Trail Festival – at Powder Mills Park. It consisted of 3 races – 15 miler / 10 miler / and a 5 miler (Each a 5 mile loop). I ran the 15.
The morning consisted of many dilemmas. Carry water? Carry a gel? What to wear / how cold was it really? Traction or no traction? It’s been a while since I raced… I forgot how to do things.
I decided I would wear a wrist pocket thing to hold my car key – and stuff a Cliff gel in there just incase. As for water – I had a feeling I would need both hands – so I stuffed the weird floppy Salomon cup in with the gel.
As for traction – I decided my trail shoes had enough grip – less is more.
The 15 mile start was at 10am – probably the best start time ever.
My plan was to stick with Dan O and Greg as long as possible. As I was sure we were pretty similar in pace. I passed Dan sooner than I expected and kept up with Greg. About 3 miles in was the first major hill. My legs felt like they had nothing already – so I didn’t try at all to run up it. Greg pulled away as I walked my way up. Sean was at the top asking how I felt – I said “this hill sucks” – and got running again. I quickly caught up to Greg, just in time for hell on roots (I think it was called?-which also had a rope). This climb wasn’t as bad to me as the one just before… maybe because it was purposefully ridiculous. And no expectations for anyone to run up it.
*Estimated Lap 1 time = 50:56 (I tried to do math)
I stayed with Greg as we finished our first loop and into the 2nd. He kept saying I could pass him. There’s a section of the course where I could fly for a bit, so I waited until then. In lap 2 my legs felt great. I even ran up a part of the horrible hill. As I came around to finish lap 2, I could hear the #trailroc crew cheering. Pretty sure I heard Eric say “…your coach hates you.” Probably true. 🙂
*Estimated Lap 2 time = 49:40
My legs still felt pretty good going into Lap 3. Until mile 13ish. That hill… is terrible. I had no desire to walk up it. I wanted to crawl. I was thankful there was no one at the top. I was by myself. Took my time getting to the top, and started to shuffle along. I got some speed back thanks to the downhills, and tried to look unscathed as I ran by the aid station for the last time.
I made my final ascend up Hell on Roots. Screw the rope. It was slippery. I crawled. Grabbed roots / trees / snow… Made my way to the top and once again started to shuffle. Now my legs felt dead. I got speed from downhills and straightaways, but had nothing for any sort of incline.
I made my way around the field for the finish and could feel my calf seizing up. I heard Eric saying if I finish hard I would beat my coaches time from last year. (Lies). I couldn’t tho – I tried to hold my pace – any harder and I would cramp up.
*Estimated Lap 3 time = 53:30
I finished – got highfived and congratulated. What? I didn’t even realise that the entire race… I didn’t see any other females – except for those running a different distance. There were only 8 females running the 15 miler, out of 41 total. But I’ll take it – here’s the results:
3rd overall out of 41
1st female out of 8
15 miles in 2:33:09
And this is weird… —>
To give you an idea of how many people were running – there were also 43 finishers in the 5 miler, and 45 in the 10 miler. Pretty equal number of people in each race.
I have a lot to thank the folks from #trailsroc for. Without them and Medved and all these other trail things popping up – I would probably be on an entirely different running path. They have built a seriously awesome trail community in Rochester. With the new company Trail Methods – I see things only getting better. Thanks for the support.
WTF is awesome – #trailsroc is awesome. Everyone I’ve been meeting recently is awesome. I missed my two favorite running people yesterday. Matt – was moving his life. and Coach was a slacker – and missed me win. He gets away with it tho cause he’s a whole nother level of awesome.
I say I want to win stuff. Do I think it’ll actually happen? No. If I have a chance – I’ll go for it. This was cool.