Sunday, August 26, 2012

Race Recap: Skirt 'n' Dirt 25k

Up until yesterday, the longest run I'd logged on trails was 10 miles... and those were a pretty casual 10 miles on somewhat easy trails. If only I knew how simple I had it then.

Yesterday I ran a 15.56-mile race on some of the hardest trails I've done (seriously, were those dirt walls we were climing up?) and climbed a total elevation gain of 3,316'. I'm feeling it today. 

And I couldn't be happier.

I signed up for Inside Trails' Skirt 'n' Dirt 25k by the gentle coaxing of Aron, who's gradually tried to get me to love trail running and whose greater plan is not going unnoticed. She's urged me to run trails in Oakland & in the Marin Headlands. She had me seriously considering the North Face 50k. And last week she successfully was able to get me to sign up for this 25k in place of my 13-mile long run I had on the training schedule.

After a fun sleepover/movie night/pizza party/dessert extravaganza at Aron's with Cate, early Saturday morning greeted us with cool temperatures; foggy weather; race-day excitement; and Katie, Kristen, Jess, and Jana, who were also doing the trail race.

I started in the back of pack, full well knowing I wanted to log miles alone & didn't want to feel like I was holding anyone back. Many of my friends are pretty experienced trail runners at this point, and I really just have been sticking to roads. And right away I got a taste of what was in store.

ENDLESS UPHILL CLIMBING.
Thanks for the picture, Aron. :)
I swear, half of this race was spent climbing steep technical trails, gradually trotting down switchbacks, crawling our way down a treacherous mountain on all fours, only to muscle our way back up tree roots and rocks with no end in sight.

It was so hard.

And so, so awesome.

I brought my iPod to keep me company (only apparently it wasn't charged) so I really got to spent 3+ hours on the trails with my thoughts, gorgeous scenery, plenty of redwoods, hard climbs, and with some very friendly female runners in a laid-back atmosphere I appreciated.

This picture does the view at the top of one of the many climbs no justice at all. Just know you could see California hills forever.
 

I loved it. Really, I did. 

After a few hours on the trails, I crossed the finish line (after one of my readers so kindly introduced herself after plowing past me to a strong finish -- thanks for saying hi, Janet, & way to go!!) with a huge smile on my face. This race was truly so hard and a lot of fun.

I'm really glad I got to spend the morning doing my long run on the trails & that I was able to experience this with some of my friends.

How have I been so lucky to meet so many badass ladies?

I can't say I'm excited to be in this much muscular pain again any time soon, but I'm excited to say I can't wait to go back out and hit the trails some more.

15.56 miles in 3:14:11 -- 12:29 pace
Overall place: 32 out of 92
A/G place: 10 out of 18

15 comments:

  1. Yay for trail running! Well done! I would say it was a blessing that your iPod wasn't charged. Being in a race like that with your thoughts and the other runners is very special. Rest well!

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  3. What I meant to say was GREAT JOB! and I'm so happy you're starting to love trail running! It's the BEST!

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  4. Congrats! Looks super tough and super rewarding. I love trails.

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  5. Whooo hooo, nice job! The soreness will ease up, and your muscles will be the stronger for it.

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  6. This makes me the happiest girl in the whole wide world :) such a fun weekend with you and seeing your smile as you crossed that finish line yelling "I loved that!" just made my day. Can't wait to go on more trail runs soooon!

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  7. I'm so jealous...in a nice way. I SO fancy doing a trail race, I'm going to have to start looking for a 10k one very soon!! The photos look great, i'm so glad you had such a great time!!

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  8. Looked like a great race! That is probably a good thing that your ipod wasn't charged, since trail running requires so much concentration to avoid falling off the trail or to not step on a rock or root. Also hearing nature in trails is awesome to me.

    I love running trails, I think it builds a lot of overall body fitness - just in terms of the small movements your feet have to take to stay on the trail, it helps your balance too I think. And hills are great for building strength - sounds like you saw a lot of those lol

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  9. Hooray for Aron being persistent and persuasive! Keep up the good work - trail running is where it's at! :-)

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  10. Aron is on a quest to convert all of us! I'm guessing you will be joining in her 50 milers one day....

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  11. I have a feeling we're about to lose you to the Dark Side ;0) . Glad you had a fun time!

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  12. Pretty soon Aron is going to have to start a religion converting each one of us to the trail gospel. Nice job!

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