Fall is my favorite season. I love the leaves and the color and the weather and the smells. So I was excited to go down to the RCC Run The Woods 4-mile trail race this morning with someone from my running group. And it was a glorious fall day. The weather couldn't have been more perfect!
So I am going to admit that I even agonized over what to wear. I love my new running skirt, but I wasn't sure if that was too girly for a trail race. But then I decided maybe I could be badass getting all dirty in a skirt. So I wore it. It was good times.
Anyways, my PT told me I am not allowed to run more than four miles, unless I am running more consistently (4+ times per week). So this was the perfect distance! Even though she also told me hills were bad. And I am sure the unsteady rocks were not good for my foot either. But it was going to be fun!
There were something like 100+ runners out. The first half was pretty low key - running on gravel roads and through pastures (and around cow crap). I did the first two miles in 20:20. My travel companion Mike warned me that it gets harder so going out too fast would be bad, but I totally ignored him.
Then the fun began. Lots of hills and climbing. My quads were a-burning. Then at mile 3 or so, the creek crossings began. Mike told me they were all dry last year. So I was a bit surprised when I hit the first one and it was well above my ankles. But that't the fun of it, right?! I actually gained some ground here by running straight through the creek as opposed to trying to find a better place to cross (which several people did).
After the crossings, one woman was huffing behind me and she was on my tail the entire last mile. I hate that! I guess it made me hustle a bit. The end of the race was this painfully long hill. I thought I was going to die. And I managed to drop this chick on the hill, but then I got to the top and took a wrong turn. I managed to get back on track ahead of her, but I could hear her grunting behind me. At least I knew she wasn't keeping up with me easily! When the end was near, I managed to find something in order to sprint to the end and left her easily behind, finishing in 44 minutes or so, but feeling like I was going to throw up.
The race was sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association (or something like that) so after the race, there was beef stew. It was delicious. I spent the entire run thinking about it because they had all these little poems about beef along the course. My favorite ended with "Beef! It's what's for runners!"
Let's note the irony of this ex-vegetarian thinking about beef for four miles.
05/22/17 PHD comic: 'Limits'
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