Or shall I say… trail jog? I went back and looked at my time from running the Granite Bay Half Marathon in 2009, which was essentially this same course. My pace then? Just shy of 9s. My pace today? Just shy of 10s! So I’ve slowed down a minute… not a great accomplishment for two years. I’m disappointed in retrospect, but I’m just getting back into running after essentially two years off, so I guess I shouldn’t compare myself to what I could do after a couple years of pretty constant running.
Since I’m not treating this as a “race” per se, but just as a training run prior to Shamrock’n, I haven’t been careful about tapering. Today, that backfired. About thirty minutes in a horse stance last night, and my quads and gluts were not in shape for the amount of climbing in this race. After the massive hill around mile two, on every hill thereafter (and there are lots!), I’d slow down more than normal, and take longer to recover than I’d wish. Oh well, karate was fun!
The trails at Granite Beach on Folsom Lake are beautiful, and the weather looked like it would rain, but instead was cooperatively perfect: chilly enough to keep from actively sweating, without shivering or feeling cold. In fact, I started the race with gloves, but took them off three miles in and never put them back on.
The course is essentially constant hills on single track the whole way. Trees over more than 90% of the course, winding, rocky… great non-technical MTB track, which also makes it a great trail running location. Fast and steep climbs, long slogs, flat areas, sand, and more. This time, I had to walk part of the big hill at mile 2, but I didn’t walk any other time. At mile three, Harry once again separated from me, this time to take over a minute between us by the end!
Around mile five or six, I stopped feeling like my legs and body were near their limit, and finally kicked into a nice run. It’s surprising that I don’t see that same result in my GPS, it looks like I slowed way down around there, but the feeling was a lot more steady. I had one person ahead of me, and one behind, and we kept pace together pretty well. Having energy back near the end, I kicked it up to a more “me” pace for the last mile, and finished the race strong.
I’m sore. My gluts hurt, as do my legs, and I definitely worked hard to make this run happen. However, that’s the point, right? I actually ran three times the week before this race, and hopefully will be keeping up a more rigorous training schedule. Karate twice a week, running two to three times a week… back to health and fitness, and fun.
And thanks again, Harry, for the encouragement to get out and race! I’ve been enjoying this, and look forward to a lot more through the year!