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    FITFOODIE806   52,555
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My first trail race


Sunday, February 10, 2013

It really bothers me that I can't use emoticons on an iPad. Can you please picture a cute pattern of snowflake, runner girl, snowflake, runner girl...

Yesterday I ran in my first trail race. In February in Minnesota! It's part of a very small race series and they had a Black Friday event with race deals. 10 miler for $13. I'm in! Plus, the timing was perfect for my HM training. 10 mile long run. Since it was a trail run, I had no time goal for this race. I'm serious! I just wanted to have fun and be challenged in a new way.

All the racing I have done has been in big events. Expos, packet pick ups, sweet gear and medals, 1000s of people. This was not like that. A small race has a much different feel. At the start, the race director gathered us all up in the parking line and said, "OK, we will start at this crack in the road." How great is that?! And then he really did say, "ready, set, go!"

I started with my friend and we chatted and everything felt fine. And then we got off the pavement and onto the trails. Uh oh. It was warm: 25 degrees. (I hope all my southern sparker friends think that's cute that I think 25 is warm :) well, it's warm for Feb. and the problem is that snow was melting a little. Which means slush. Which means no traction. Felt like we were running in sand. Whew.

My legs felt it. My friend told me not to worry,most of the runners were doing the 10k and that we'd get back to pavement in a little bit. When we got to the 10k turn around (3.1 miles) I told her to take off. I put my iPhone on and tried to let Kesha and flo rida distract me from how much my legs hurt. I had map my run app going so when it announced at mile 4 that my average pace was 8:15, I panicked. Slow down! That's way too fast for you! You can't keep that pace!

I know the app tends to be fast, 5-10 seconds off. But the time still freaked me out. I still dont believe that i can do that. Then I had to tell myself to shut up. Yep, I can be rude to myself. Here's the deal: my heart rate was fine, I felt fine. Wy should I let some little apple contraption tell me how to run? I know my body. Just run! Gadgets are not number 1 for me.

Back to the beautiful trails... I'm a city girl so this was fun to run out in open land and by some farms and ponds. There was one teeny dirt road lined with birch trees (my favorite!) and the wind was blowing the snow off and it was picture perfect. The turn around was back in this area. I was very surprised by how few people were in front of me. Small race!

5-7 miles went fairly quickly. I ran with some other guy for a bit and we chatted about winter running and the pain and the joy. The few runners I saw we're all mumbling about how tough this was.

I passed a few runners and then was all alone. I mean, alone. I couldn't see anyone in front of me and heard no one behind me. I thought, thank god, I do have this silly GPS contraption straped to my arm because I have no idea where I am. Ok, maybe gadgets are number 1!

I love the energy of big races and all the runners. I like to pick people to try to catch. It motivates me, it keeps my race pace going. There was none of that. This was a true mental battle to keep going strong. Lots of positive self talk here. It would have been very easy to get discouraged and slow way down.

A mile 9 one guy passed me and I was annoyed for a second, but then reminded myself that I was giving it everything I had. My legs were done. My head was staying as positive as possible.

At the finish line, my legs were jello. When they asked me to take off my timing chip (old school anklet wraps) I wasn't sure I could bend over. I needed to keep walking. Very quickly I felt amazing. My friend and I were on such a giddy runners high. That was an incredibly tough run: mentally and physically. And we did it!

She got 2nd in her age group so we stayed for the awards. I got 4th. So close to a medal! 4/16 in my age group. 12/37 women. I'm thrilled with that. 87:13 (8:45 pace) What's funny about my time is that it is the exact same, to the second, as my Twin cities 10 miler last year.

And while I'm happy with the time, I'm more proud of myself for staying strong and talking myself through some very tough miles. Running is so much fun!

Runner girl, snowflake, runner girl, snowflake.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 2/24/2013 10:34AM

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I wish I wasn't super busy in the last few weeks and read your blog before my 10 Miler yesterday. You are amazing and such an inspiration to me. My first run this year (10K) was a trail run in 22 degrees weather and my 10 Miler yesterday was a trail run in a rain (heavy, drizzle, heavy) Both events were fun and I learned a lot about my body & strength. 8:45...Wow wishing I can reach than someday (may be next year) I am just at 12:29 for now! emoticon & good luck for rest of the events this year. Cant wait to hear your accomplishments!! emoticon emoticon

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COXBETH 2/14/2013 2:46PM

    AWESOME recap! I love trail runs because you get to just tune in with your body - the conditions and the terrain make predicting your times or trying to beat your gadgets impossible, so you have to pay attention to how you feel. And small races help build that mental fortitude (and, apparently, the quads)...this race sounds awesome and fun and it's going to make you even stronger mentally AND physically when you are running your HM!

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 2/12/2013 7:51AM

    YOU ARE AWESOME!!
Way to Go!!
Woo hoo!!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 2/12/2013 12:33AM

    emoticon YES!!!!!!!!!

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SUGIRL06 2/11/2013 3:26PM

    Great job! I think that is how I felt after my Beach Run. I ran a 10 mile on the beach in August in the afternoon. This past year, it was 98 degrees at the start, sunny, and 80% humidity. Yes, insane. I did not run nearly as well as you (I was pretty out of shape at the time and besides, have never run as fast as you!!) but it was such a reward to finish it. One of the toughest races I've ever run and can't wait to do it again and conquer it! So basically, I know how you feel! Way to go!!!
~Ang

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GINGERHAWK 2/11/2013 3:22PM

    Seriously, you never stop amazing me! First trail run and it's in wintry conditions and you still get an awesome time? Sweet!

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HLTHYRNRMOM 2/11/2013 1:47PM

    emoticon that is awesome! YOU ROCK!

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emoticon you have a great attitude! 8:45 pace, when I grow up I want to be like you emoticon

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REDEFINING_ME 2/11/2013 10:39AM

    I wanna be you when I grow up. emoticon

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GODIVADSG 2/11/2013 9:09AM

    emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 2/11/2013 2:19AM

    You are a running inspiration! And although I'm not a runner, I really enjoyed your blog!
Congratulations!
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Snowflake, awesome runner girl, snowflake...

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MICHSTATE 2/10/2013 5:38PM

    Awesome!!!!!:-)

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FITFORMYFAMILY 2/10/2013 5:07PM

    You are so awesome, Maura! Congratulations on tackling something new and doing such a good job of it!

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 2/10/2013 2:55PM

    AWESOME!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon !!!!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/10/2013 1:32PM

    Great blog and great race!
A warm 25* Ha Ha. DH is asking me to delay our Sunday "stroll" hoping it will rise above 42* Of course, we'll be moving a lot slower than your pace so I suppose it will feel colder.
Congratulations on a great effort and result.

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REDRUNNERMOM713 2/10/2013 11:50AM

    Great job! That's an awesome pace that I can only dream of. Great recap. Running is the best!!

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MYLADY4 2/10/2013 11:35AM

    That was AWESOME for running in the WINTER and on a trail. I had a race one that said that we think the starting line is around here, loved it. Glad is was yesterday and not today.

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GRANDMAPATTYV 2/10/2013 11:23AM

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That was Amazing!! 8:45 pace! WOW!!! and it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Keep up the Great Runs!! - Patty

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WINDSURFNERD 2/10/2013 11:19AM

    wow, you were able to maintain 8:45 pace for a TRAIL run *and* have a good time...that's amazing, you must be very strong! I really like smaller races because of that intimate/casual feeling keeps the focus on RUNNING. Great blog and race, congratulations!

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LORI-K 2/10/2013 10:53AM

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You are amazing!! 8:45 pace?? I only see that pace in my dreams, my friend! Way to go on a great run. And how fun that it was different than what you are used to. I could visualize the whole tale. Great report...thanks for sharing!
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(And yes, this S Texas girl thinks 25 degrees is one degree off from sure death...LOL).

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TAFODIL24 2/10/2013 10:34AM

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ROXYZMOM 2/10/2013 10:14AM

    Very cool! You did great! Sounded like an awesome run - felt like I was there! Thanks for sharing!

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SWEDE_SU 2/10/2013 9:51AM

    wow! great job! sounds like a beautiful and fun race!

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CRYSBROWN1 2/10/2013 9:49AM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Trail races are tough stuff as it is BUT in the Winter, REALLY tough stuff! You did awesome, and your time was very impressive for "warm" weather and snow too!

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WORTHEYMOM 2/10/2013 9:23AM

    that is wonderful! Congrats and simply inspiring!

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COOP9002 2/10/2013 9:20AM

    Great job! You should be proud of yourself for crossing the finish line.

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OPTIMIST1948 2/10/2013 9:19AM

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There ya go.

How funny that you started at the "crack in the road" - love it! Racing at its most pure.

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MANDELOVICH 2/10/2013 8:39AM

    amazing!!!!!

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