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.
Overall place: 32 out of 92
A/G place: 10 out of 18