I was exhausted (going to bed by 9 the entire week) and quite honestly I had lost my running mojo. I decided to throw away the training plan I had made and take the week easy. I purposely ran with the caboose of the group run the following Wednesday and took a few extra rest days. Come Sunday I was ready to run at the Hairy Gorilla.
I got to Thatcher Park just after 8 and registered. From there I said hello to the folks I knew, used the bathroom a few times and was ready to head out to the trails for the on time start of 9:30. I had initially planned to do the half, but when all of the Wednesday night girls were running the 6 (and it had rained the whole night before) I decided 6 would be plenty.
Between the 6 mile and half marathon there were over 450 people running, many in some Halloween costumes. There were a few crazy volunteers with chainsaws and tomb stones with club names on, and hairy gorillas hanging around on the course. Because of the route, there was only one quick bottle neck, where there is a sharp left, after that there seemed to be enough space for people to find their pace.
Many of the Wednesday night ladies started together. A few of the speeders set off and soon it was Karen and I. When we entered the woods and started up the big hill, I immediately regretted wearing my long sleeve under my shirt. I decided to strip/ditch it and leave it to be retireved on the way back. It was the best decision I made aall day.
Karen and I stuck together although she could have blown away. It was fun to run with someone but I honestly can't remember if we talked about anything. Many of the trails were real muddy and taking a beating from all of the runners. There is one portion of fairly narrow out & back that were exceptionally slick. It was also busy and hard to focus between cheering on familiar faces and watching my footing. Eventually I lost it and went down on my right side. Luckily the way that I had fallen didn't hurt. I picked myself up immediately and kept running.
We snaked around the trails, identical to that the first 6 miles of the Thatcher Park running festival, before ending back up at the field by the Hales Cave pavilion. We took off at the last mile. I felt like I wanted to die (and thought that we were running an 11 min pace) so I was quite pleased when I read that our last mile was a 9:30 - no wonder I felt like death! I'm envious of people that can sprint to the finish, my asthmatic lungs simply don't allow it, so while my legs felt great, my crappy lungs made me stick to the pace.
After we finished, I was quick to put on dry clothes. Not only was I super sweaty but muddy also. The acrobatics that were getting undressed and dressed were exhausting but I was ready for food. I joined the WNL to indulge on all the delicious food people had brought. Unfortunately I had forgotten my phone, so I have no evidence.
Since I've started showing up at weekly is runs, I already recognized a lot of people. The cookouts are a lot more fun if you know people.
The trail race was exactly what I needed to get back into my running groove. I love running on trails, I am able to let go of my expectations and just run.
6 mile trail race: 1:07:55 (11:20 pace)