Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am not a Snot Rocketeer (a race report)

I have a confession.  My training has suffered this winter.  Bogged down with kids and snow (and some extra weight), I haven't been running as much as usual.  I'm still running, just not the long runs I would normally be doing.  Over the past month I've made more of an effort to be consistent with my running, but I'm definitely not where I'd like to be (by the time Pierce was 7 or 8 months old, I ran a full marathon).  So my furthest run since before Christmas has been 7 miles

So here I've been kind of floundering around and I don't know what came over me, but Thursday I signed up for a 10 mile trail race.  I've never gone into a race without training for it.  I suspect Paul may have slipped some moonshine in my Diet Pepsi that day or something for me to act so out of character.  Plus, I'm not a trail runner.  I can't remember the last time I was even on trails (other than the little trail that runs on our land).  To tell you the truth, I wasn't even sure if I could run 10 miles.  But I set out to give it my best shot.

Standard race breakfast...a pb+j on whole wheat

It was cold this morning.  The race director, Josh, said 31*.  Brrrr!
Everyone huddled for the prerace briefing. 

Then we were off.

This field was really quite muddy.  Once we got around the field, the trail went into the woods and immediately through a bunch of mud and a stream crossing.  There was no way around it...my feet were getting drenched!  It was maybe a foot deep.  I almost lost a shoe in the mud, as I hadn't tied them tight enough.  But it was all good.  Around a mile and a half, my left foot was numb from the icy water, but then it got better.  The course was very well marked (including stumps which had been spray painted orange so you wouldn't trip over them) and in general the trails were in good condition.

People spread out some and I had a guy drafting off me for several miles.  The cold weather and the remnants of the little cold virus I had a week ago had me sniffling the whole race.  This kind of messed up my breathing rhythm and my abs threatened side stitches as a result, but I managed to keep it tolerable by backing off a bit on pace.  Some people just blow snot rockets when they get runny noses during races, but I can't quite bring myself to do it.  Plus, I'm pretty sure I'd just end up blowing snot all over myself.  I'd rather sniffle.  Around mile 5 it was time to switch the music on my IPOD, so I stopped to let the drafter pass me and he complained about having to go around me!  Then he promptly wiped out, and said that he wished it had happened when I was in front so I wouldn't have seen.  He had a good sense of humor about it.
There were lots of rolling hills.  I felt pretty decent up to mile 7.  I took a ginger chew then had a mint chocolate Gu after that.  Couple of sips of Gatorade at the water stop.  My legs were feeling it (since they hadn't run further than 7 miles, this was to be expected) so I took more fuel than usual.  Normally, I wouldn't eat anything during a 10 mile run.  But between being undertrained and breastfeeding twins, I needed something in this race.

There were some uphills (gradual, nothing huge) that really did my legs in between miles 8-10.  There was just nothing left in them.  I could almost hear them grinding trying to find the strength to make it up the hills.  Trusty legs.  They pulled me through.  The finish line was back through the muddy field, up a hill, and over the grass.


Here are my shoes after the race.  Sopping wet and a nice coating of mud:

Cort, with his standard this is so lame expression. 


I ended up placing 1st in my age group, but only because there were only 2 of us.  Believe me, my time left a lot to be desired.  But I'm thrilled to have my first postpartum-twins race over and done with.

And more importantly, I had a fun time on my run through the woods. 
Kevin, Trina, and me (fellow Striders).  We all placed in our age groups.

7 comments:

Sonya said...

Glad you got out there and did the race! And that you had fun running through the woods. And that your boys were waiting for you, even though Cort acted like it was "so lame"! ;)

By the way, what color were your shoes BEFORE the race?! :P

varunner said...

Thanks, Sonya! They were gray and red pre-race.

Anonymous said...

Cort is really smart. Why would any kid think it was fun to hang out, freezing his little tail off, for two hours or more while his mother runs some dumb race. Boring! And he probably had to ride in the Bjorn or the double Bob the whole time and be strapped in and unable to get into anything. Bummer! No wonder he looked grouchy.
lovemom

Hayley said...

oh yuck, if anyone blew a snot rocket in front of me, i'd have to stop running because i'd be too busy gagging

so, i'm totally jealous that you can run at all. i'm lucky if i can run up the stairs once without panting and getting chest pains. (i have a heart murmur and oh, i might be way out of shape). keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Actually I tried hauling all three kids into the woods to take pictures but was stopped by an impassable body of water across the trail. So we went to a playground that was nearby instead. I should have brought my knee high mud boots.
Paul

Megan said...

Great job!

~Spring Swap Buddy :)

warren said...

Congratulations on the muddy shoes! And the 1st place!