What a race!!!
We ran, we climbed, we walked, we fell, we got dirty, but most of all we completed our 15 15.4 mile (don’t get me started) Trail race together. It was one of my best racing experiences and I could not have asked for a better group of girls to share it with. Kelly, Abbie & Caitlin you all seriously ROCK!
Staying in a hotel room close to the race site was one of the best decisions we could have made. When the alarm when off at 5:30 we all got up as a unit and engaged in our pre race rituals of eating and pottying.
I had a small Plain Bagel with my sample packet of Barney Butter, an Apple and one of Abbie’s ‘Doughnut Holes’
Nothing is better then a bagel nut butter & apple before a big race.
We arrived at the race site about 10 minute before the start. It was a very casual race with only 250 runners. Caitlin, My Sister and myself were planning on running the 15 miles while Abbie was going to be a bad ass and show us up with the the 50k.
We were warned ahead of time that the entire 15 mile trail run only had 3 water stops, so we made sure to stay well hydrated with our very hip camelbaks.
All I have to say is Thank God for the Camelbak! Mine ran out at mile 13 and not having it for the last couple of miles made me very thankful that I had it for the previous 13.
We all gathered at the start area and were off into the woods. I had not trained at all in any trail terrain so I was very nervous, especially when the first mile had us running through dirt. I kept going What the hell was I thinking?
It was a single person trail and the four of us girls created a pack. We stayed in a group the entire run, goofing off and encouraging each other along the way. We made friends with fellow runners as they joined us in the pack. I love the casual atmosphere of the trail run, no one was trying to PR and ran at a very steady, easy going pace.
I felt good the first half of the race and really found my own groove in the trees. My breakfast was actually doing a really good job of keeping my belly full, but around mile 7.5 I knew I needed some fuel. I had 3 of the Margarita Shot Bloks to keep me going.
I have heard different opinions about this flavor, but I have to say I really enjoyed it!
Around mile 10 we began to cheer for Kelly as every step she made was a new PDR. As we cheered, a group ahead of us began to cheer as well, we then got to talking and found out they were from Boston and had all became friends in their own TnT experiences. It was a great group that was running the 50 k and a couple were even going all the way with 50 miles. We chatted for a while and one even managed to take a photo of Abbie, Caitlin and Myself along the trail.
When he took the photo he joked we ‘were ruining his time.‘ Again, love how casual this race is!
Once we passed mile 13.1 I began to set my own PDR and it felt great. I felt that I was going to make it and even started to tell Abbie how great I felt. It was so nice to have her there. She is such an experienced runner, so it was great to have her encouragement along the way.
Near the beginning of the run we were told the race was actually more like 16 miles instead of 15. We tried to shrug it off, but once we hit 15 miles and there was no finish line I think a lot of us got discouraged and hit a wall. This is actually about the time where I fell… twice. Urghh…
Finally we saw the elusive camera man and he told us we only had 100 meters left. This is where I picked up my pace and let out a big Hooorah. Even though I was tired, dirty and stinky my goal was to finish strong.
Distance: 15.4 miles
Avg Pace: 11:26
Avg HR: 160
Total Calories Burned: 1515
In the end I really enjoyed my first trail run. It was one of the greatest racing experiences I have ever had. I wasn’t setting a PR or just focusing on my own race. I was part of a group and these ladies made those 15.4 miles seem like nothing. It was also wonderful to be able to talk to other runners and hear their stories as well.
And can I just give some major props to my Little Sister, Kelly!
I can’t believe just a month ago she was being air lifted to the nearest trauma center and today she was able to successfully run and complete 15.4 miles. She was getting discouraged during her training as some injuries were becoming evident after the accident, but she was able to push through and I could not be prouder of her! Way to go Kelly!
So after the race I was definitately a little dirty and hungry.
You should have seen the black was cloth when I was done in the shower!
In the car on the way back I had a Honest Foods Almond Trail Mix Bar.
I will do a full review of these bars next week, as well as some other surprised, but I have to say this was very good and perfect for some post race refueling.
After some much needed showers, Caitlin, Kelly and I headed to Cracker Barrel to enjoy the pancakes we had been dreaming of.
I started with a Biscuit and Strawberry Jelly.
I also ordered the Momma’s Special.
I had 2 Pancakes, Egg Beaters & Turkey Sausage.
I thought I would give you a peak into how I eat. I stacked all the elements together and ate the all together covered in Sugar Free Syrup. SOOO GOODD!!!!
THen for an after breakfast/ lunch treat I had a Watermelon Stick.
Now I am safe and sound in Tampa about to enjoy my Saturday. Have a great weekend everyone!!