What sucks is when your running buddy is injured……because the last thing you want to do, is also the first thing you normally want to do…..ask her to run with you, tell her about all your fun running adventures and stories of running on the glorious trails of Colorado. It sucks, but it is life. Sometimes I feel like life as a runner is all about injury management, keeping an eye on all those little things that without proper care and attention can turn into bigger things….even season ending injuries.
So because of this lack of sharing, we have some catching up to do….but when don’t we??? So we will start at the end and work back to the beginning…..
This weekend I ran a local trail race called Flirt with Dirt – a fun little 10k through the woods (unlikely-ly located in Novi!) which is a nice little early season trail race. Having just come back from 5 days on the trails of Colorado, I was re-energized with a love of trail running and eager to see what I had in me…..I had also just come back from 5 days of running the trails of Colorado and so had my legs!
The race starts out with a steep – slightly treacherous downhill – a lap around a field, and then a short dirt road section before hitting the single track trail through the woods. I is easy to get stuck behind a group with limited passing possibilities on the single track, so everyone goes out raging fast to get a good position. Raging fast is not my strength, but I had done the passing thing last year enough to make the fast first mile look like a good alternative! I had a good position going into the single track but could hear heavy breathing close behind me! One of my objectives this year is to get “better” at the racing part of racing, so I made a decision to keep focused on my form and effort and not worry about who was behind me – if they needed to pass they could shout. In trail running it is generally the responsibility of the passer to figure out the passing, and the pass-ee to move to the appropriate side if possible – wait maybe that is motorcycle riding…..anyway that was my game plan! It is easily said, but harder done to not worry that everyone behind you is cursing your slowness! But I managed at least not to look!
Todd was out in the woods taking photos so it was nice to see him a few times as I twisted and turned through the woods!
I was definitely feeling the weeks training in my legs towards the end of the race and was having difficulty picking it up….I passed a few, but was also passed by many more. I finished as the 10th woman, and 5th in my age group – tough age group, huh?! Luckily the mugs went down to 5th, so I had some nice swag to show for my run in the woods!
It is fun to run some of the same races from year to year – last year it was 90 on race day – this year was a more pleasant 60 degrees and I was pleased to finish in 53 minutes compared to last year’s time of 60 minutes on the same course. That took me from 27th woman last year to 10th this year. Sometimes, on a day to day basis it is hard to see improvement in your training so these yearly “check ins” are nice!
I was very proud of our friends Jen and Mandy, who came to Cincinnati with us for the Flying Pig – both completed their first 10k race on this course – I told them any road 10k will be a breeze compared to this trail race!
So we definitely missed Kacey – whose bib went unclaimed on this race day – but it was a fun run in the woods!