The trail wasn't very technical with just a few rocky sections and some roots. I still needed to keep my eyes down a fair amount, but it wasn't difficult. The hardest part of the trail was all the turns. We were pretty much constantly turning. I felt like I couldn't really stride out because I was always taking turns so my stride was shorter. It felt great when we had a section that had a straight for a bit so I could stride out. I could see Thomas for the first 3 miles or so but then we hit some bigger hills and I lost sight of him. I told myself he would be powering down the hills so I needed to not hold back on the hills or I'd lose sight of him. I powered down one hill and it had a turn at the bottom of it which caused me to almost run directly into a tree. After that I held back and slowed on the downhills. My dad had advised me before the race that I should be careful not to get injured. We both agree that I will run a new marathon PR this season unless I get injured and I knew this race wasn't worth ruining that, especially when I could be the first female finisher without putting in much effort. We passed a water stop around 4 miles into the race. I decided not to stop since I was wearing my fuel belt and was still doing fine on water. The temperature was cooler than it had been so I wasn't drinking as much water as I normally would for a long run.
|This is what the course looked like and we did this twice!|
When I got to the turn around the second time I saw I had turned in the correct place during the first lap which made me feel better but then made me wonder if the course was short. When I got to the last 2 miles of the race I started getting excited that I hadn't fallen during the race. I started excitedly thinking, "This is my first trail race without falling down!" Pretty soon after that I hit a stump going around a turn and stumbled but didn't fall. Then as I was rounding the turn to the finish and really pushing it in I tripped on a rock and almost went down as everyone was cheering me in. Thomas said when he saw my ankle bend he was sure I was going down. I figured that's what I get for being excited I hadn't fallen! Now I can say I've finished a trail race without falling down! My Garmin showed 12.28 miles for the race. Everyone else's showed at least 12.5 with a few being closer to the accurate 13.1 miles. I think my Garmin just struggled because my mile splits at the end of the race were all wonky. I picked up the pace for the last two miles and really kicked it in but my Garmin showed both those miles being over 10:00! My mile splits according to my Garmin for the last 6 miles were 9:22, 9:16, 9:00, 9:10, 10:15, 10:02, and the last portion of the race was 8:04 pace.
After I finished Ty told me Thomas took 1st place and I was 2nd overall, 1st female. Then he said he won the quarter marathon and I was super impressed. It sounded like he really enjoyed himself and had a great race! Mom thought it was neat that all 3 of us won so she got a special cake at the grocery store which was fun! I enjoyed this race but was a little bummed there weren't as many runners so I couldn't really see anyone after 3-4 miles into the race. I hoped I could catch up to Thomas so we could run together but he was having a great day and I didn't want to all out race so I just did my own thing. We're looking at adding a few more trail races to our schedule this winter. Ty definitely loves them and the different challenge. I enjoy them but there's just something about running all out as fast as you can on the road that I love! I also prefer being able to run as fast as I can without having to look down and worry about falling. I enjoy trail races but road races are still my favorite! That may be in part because I've never run a trail race even semi-fresh. Maybe this winter if my legs aren't as tired going into a trail race I'll enjoy it more. It is nice to not worry about pace and just run!
|Elise wearing my wooden medal during a walk later in the day.|