|Pace @ 13.1
|Pace @ 12.7
Put on by TBF Racing, the Granite Bay Trail Half Marathon is the longest trail run I have ever done. In fact, before that, five or six miles topped my trail running background. So when I hit mile six, I was surprised to feel like I’d already ran ten miles, and by mile eight, I felt like it should be over already. Yet thanks to having Sati with me, keeping me honest, and just my general desire to prep for AZ, I kept going, and enjoyed a pretty decent pace for me on trails.
So how was the race? Mostly, I was treating it as a run, not a race, but even still, I did near to my best performance, and still came near the back of the pack for my age group, and half way back for the race. I’ve learned that trail running is a great way to work on my hips, gluts, and other secondary muscles. All of the ups and downs, twists and turns, and the sloping ground takes a lot out of the joints and muscles. And I love TBF’s runs, obviously enough to work with them for two years on staff. The group feels close-knit, the socialization is great, the trails and locations out at the lake are great, and the post-run beer choices were superb. Oh, did I mention that beer was included in the post-race food?! Black Butte Porter, ftw.
The Distance, and why I have two paces listed
Marking an accurate distance on real trails is tough. If one, say, used a GPS and trusted it, I’m certain the course would be long. Why? 15 foot accuracy, and 1-3 second polling, the GPS will cut off too many of the corners. So your 13.1 per your GPS would be closer to 13.5, maybe. My Garmin told me I ran about 12.4 miles. Someone else had 12.5, and someone with a 310 had 12.7. In fact, 12.7 was the longest I heard off of a Garmin. So if all of them cut it short, then 12.7 could easily be 13.1. The only reason that I think it was short: I was pretty dead on on the mileage except for one mile that cut me .4 miles off, then the rest stayed dead on.
So I think somewhere between 12.7 and 13.1 is the real mileage, because though off, rarely do the Garmins miss by 5%. I think TBF did great, and I think they were dead on for most of the miles,
but I do think somewhere around mile 4, they missed a bit. Regardless, it was close, and better than some other races I’ve done.
Two days after I finished this race, I was still sore. Running Clarksburg, the camber is so consistent, it hurts. Running a road race, my quads and hams are being punished, and yet they’re trained and for this. But running trails like this run, it’s a whole new use of muscles. The camber is omnipresent, but changing, such that it doesn’t cause pain, but just works my hips and inner thighs a lot. The hills are everywhere, but my road training has my quads and gluts ready for that. So I fortunately came out without any pain from doing any one thing a lot, but with all of my secondary muscles sore from never being worked this hard. Maybe adding trails to my regular training would build my hips and keep my knees from pain, while helping me build my running base.