Yes, I had to split this post into two different parts, Tuesday was just a busy day and a lot went on or so I explained in Part 1, so without further ado here is part deaux.
Trail Racing is humbling and I heartily recommend that all road runners do at least 2-3 a year to find out how good of a runner you really are, versus just being road ready.
If you haven’t done a trail race lately, go for it.
After deciding that the Sketchers GoTrails were not going to work due to being too “hot” and getting the Lone Peak 2.5’s out of closet to use. I got to wondering how the zero drop would work for me, so I took out the inserts and found them a lot more comfortable. It is amazing how different a pair of running shoe feel with and without the extra inserts. I kind of figured that on the Quarry Road trails that zero drop wouldn’t be as big an issue, like it is on the roads.
With that figured out, I also realized that I haven’t really run in the Altra’s since I brought them back from Saw W’s in New Hampshire, so my first run in them was going to be fittingly – a trail race.
I got to Quarry Road a bit early because I had volunteered to be a part of a science project for one of the other Central Maine Striders, who is a professor at Colby. Like the first time at anything things got a little “interesting”, but it was great to see so many familiar faces and gab a little to catch up on how people were doing.
I got to sign a release, fill out a questionnaire, spit into a tube (getting 1-2 ml of spit is tougher than it sounds), get my finger pricked for a blood sample, heart rate taken – all that guinea pig stuff and then chew some gum. All this was going on while the kiddos race was going on so, I missed that. I do enjoy watching the kids run, they run with such abandon and to think once upon a time we were able to run that way.
There were no pre-race jitters or nerves, trail races do not bother me since my expectations of my performance are much lower. I run trail races – and even though it might be a race and while I work hard, it is more about staying upright, not injuring anything and finishing with a smile than to get a great time.
Even so the start was pretty fast and there were a lot of faster-than-me runners out there. I got behind Julie M, who is another much faster runner and attempted to stay there for the first mile or so, then when we got off the snowshoe trail and back on the main path, she picked it up and I didn’t.
Actually, I have a feeling she kept pretty much the same pace and I slowed down. 🙂
My hamstring was holding on pretty good, but all though little bumps on the main trail were not making it happy – which is part of the reason for slowing down. Like I said at the beginning I was very focused on getting through without injuring anything. The other reason I was slowing down was – I have lost a lot of conditioning over the last month that I haven’t been able to run regularly or add harder workouts to the mix.
I need to train faster to run faster. Which means that to run trail races better, I have to train for trail racing…running roads doesn’t translate as well. While trail running will help me on the roads, so win-win. I gotta get back to my cross country roots.
So I slowed down quite a bit for the rest of the 3K.
Even so I have a feeling that if I had been wearing a heart rate monitor, there were some redlines in there going up some of those bumps. All those “little” bumps sure as hell take it out of your legs and your head. I think I hate that part of the course the most. A big hill you deal with and then bounce down, the constant up/down just the beat the hell out of me.
A few people passed me over the last section, but I kept moving forward and finished without screwing up the hamstring or giving blood to the trail gods. Both good things and I even elevated the breathing/heart rate a bit in a few places too. A good stress test and humbled me by showing how out of shape I really am.
Then once I got my breath, I went back into guinea pig mode, spit into a tube, gave some more blood, got my heart rate measured and all that good stuff. The only bad thing about being a guinea pig is that I could not drink or really cool down until that part was completed. Once it was done the Gatorade sure did taste good and I usually don’t drink that stuff.
However, on a hot night, I knew that I needed more than plain water to help me recover faster.
Oh yeah, the Lone Peak 2.5’s did great, once I started the race, I never thought about my shoes at all, which is all I want. There were a couple of sections on the snowshoe trail they did exactly what I needed to get around some other slower runners, when I got off the main part and got into the squishy stuff. On the rockier main trail they protected the bottoms of my feet nicely, which road shoes usually do not – no foot bruising tonight. My calves and Achilles didn’t bother at all, so for trail running in the summer I have a feeling that they will workout just fine.
That and my feet were not a complete sweaty mess, even with the temps in the 80’s – a very good thing. 🙂
I finished 39/84 and I didn’t see where anyone else who was 60 finished ahead of me in the results, so it was a good effort. One that I was pretty happy with. After all I did put it as an 7.5/10 on the difficulty scale. I know that I am really out of shape for even easy trail running, because it felt as though I did worked pretty damn hard to get even that kind of a time.
As usual Patrick and everyone else who volunteered over at Quarry Road did a fantastic job. Also a big thank you to the Striders who organized the food table, it was great. Alicia the brownie was heavenly and I was good and didn’t take that second one.