My First Trail Race

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you are doing well.

I am officially on summer break, yay! Which means I woke up with a cold Sunday morning, of course. Oh well, I am sure it will pass quickly.

I know some of you are wondering how my running is going so I will tell you that I finished my first 10k trail race last weekend. It was an amazing day for me. I couldn’t have imagined back in January what it would feel like to run over 6 miles. Heck, most of my life I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to run one mile. My friend, Sue, ran with me for support and another friend, Laci, ran back after she finished the race to help me pace myself to the finish line. My sister, Cindy, was at the finish line to watch me finish as well.

Not a morning person,  I made sure I had everything ready to go the night before the race. The race began at 7:00 am but I had a forty five minute drive ahead of me and I knew I had to be there early since the trailhead has limited parking capacity. So, at 5:30 am I bundled my groggy but excited self up and headed up to Devil’s Backbone, west of Loveland, CO.

When I arrived at Devil’s Backbone there were already a few cars there. The air was chilly at 40 degrees. I was cold, which made me grumpy but I knew I would warm up once I started running. I picked up my packet and within a few minutes I found Sue and Laci  and we sat in Sue’s car and talked. The conversation put me at ease and helped me to relax.

Before long,  it was time to head to the starting line. It was a surreal moment. I couldn’t quite believe I was going to run with about 100 other people. Laci headed towards the front of the group and I made my way to the back with Sue. Everyone around me seemed friendly and out to have a good time which helped to put me at ease. I actually felt rather calm once everyone started running. I knew not to go too fast and just to enjoy the run.

I felt the strongest the first two miles. I think it was the adrenaline. Knowing that Sue was right behind me the whole way gave me confidence to keep going. Around mile three the trail was steep and rocky. I had to slow down in order to be safe, my quads were getting tired from the long stretch of uphill running and  because of some foot problems my feet were beginning to hurt. Sue could tell when I was struggling a little and as if on cue, she would tell me I was doing great. After maneuvering what for me was the most technically difficult part of the trail, I enjoyed a nice stretch of mostly downhill run before I met my next challenge. The last mile and a half was not as steep or technical as the previous several miles but I was getting tired and every little uphill incline seemed like an entire mountain. I remember telling Sue ” OK, this is getting hard now.” That is when I saw Laci running towards me. Having Laci meet me on the last mile gave me strength to push forward when I felt like I could not run another step. She gave me a big smile and said ” I’m going to pace you. You’ve got this. ” I knew then that I really did. I pushed hard to the finish to see my sister waiting for me. In that moment I was so happy. Happy I ran, happy I finished. Happy I had support.

A 10k is not a marathon but for me it was a huge step in achieving things I never used to even dream of before. Mark, my trainer, prepared me well. He saw that I could do this run and he helped me to see it for myself. Now it is over and time to look forward. I am not sure exactly what my long-term goals are for running. I love being in nature and running on trails is a great way to see nature at its best. I am thinking I would like to try a half marathon in the future. Mostly, I want to become stronger as a runner and enjoy the adventure of seeing new trails. I will keep you posted.

As always, I would love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Laura

2 thoughts on “My First Trail Race

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