Sunday, October 21

Trail race #1

Trail racing is way more difficult than I thought. I run a few trails in my neighborhood when I can (when it's not 6 p.m. and dark already...), but I know those trails pretty well. On Saturday morning, I rode to Munroe Falls, OH with my brother and I competed in my first ever trail race.

The morning was cool. Clouds threatened rain, which I had driven through all morning. I was really excited to be there. It was my first race out of state. (That, of course, meant waking up at 5 to meet my brother at 6 to then drive a little more than two hours to reach the park where the event was held... but it was worth it.) puts together a nice event. The race packet swag included a solid drinking glass with the race date on it and a hooded sweatshirt. The atmosphere was quite friendly. I enjoyed chatting with a few other runners and learning more about the race scene in eastern Ohio. A few runners had dogs who would be joining us on the course. They were sweet, well-behaved pups.

The trail was challenging. There were some decent inclines, lots of bends and bumps, and the ever-present threat of tripping thanks to roots, rocks, and holes. I struggled with my asthma a little bit and I used my inhaler, but I ended up having to walk for a good portion of the course because I was coughing or couldn't breathe. I found a few people to pace with and kept up with them to keep myself moving. That helped a great deal. I met a nice woman who I chatted with for the remainder of the race. We decided that we should meet up before the second trail race in November.

People cheered for us at the finish line, even though we were far from the first to complete the race. The feeling of camaraderie grew stronger as we sipped cider and clapped for the winners in each age bracket. My unofficial finish time was 1:03:27. Not spectacular, but I finished. Since this race is part of a trail running series, I'll have two chances to improve my time. That excites me.

Today, one day later, I feel like I must have done the crab walk for the entirety of the race. My body is sore. Like I said, I've trained on trails at home... but this was much different. Different parts of my legs hurt, I'm guessing because I used muscles that aren't regularly strained like they were that morning. I'm hoping to run a little later today so I can get my legs stretched out and ready to run again for Saturday's race. For the 27th, I'll be in costume!

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