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    BOILHAM   34,679
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Trail Runs Are Hard. A Race Report.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm pretty sure that Trail Runs don't produce times that are as good as a 'normal' Half Marathon time. For these, one runs on paved roads, and basically with sound footing throughout. Still, I was disappointed with my time on this run at first. That is, until I calmed down and realized what I had just done. Now, I'm feeling a bit better.

We arrived last night, the day before the race, in our RV. When we got there, I went and introduced myself to the guys who ran the event. They knew me from a few back and forth emails. What pleasant guys! They had work to do, so I didn't hold them back too much. But, they were glad to meet 'the oldest participant' just the same.

This morning I woke up plenty early, had my coffee and oatmeal and got my race clothes on. I wore an old pair of running shoes, because we were warned that we'd encounter water and mud throughout the course. Walked down and got my packet, which consisted of a bib and 4 safety pins. The shirt would be handed out at the end of the race. That's a new one for me.

Pinned on my bib and got in line. The race started on time - race start began at gun time, no start chip timing. Your time was when you crossed the finish line. I sometimes try to get near the front of the pack on these types of races, and did so today. The race starts.

It's cool now and feels good. Nice beginning - running strong. Then, right away a water hole, completely submerged my shoes in water, and they feel like they weigh 5 lbs each. This is not so good. This happens again and again and again. Many water crossings! There are also ruts, exposed tree roots, slimy slippery mud and just generally stuff that I've never encountered before. I knew I was in trouble.

The beginning goes pretty well, I'm having an okay time. Then the sun rises and it gets hot. And humid. I am not a good runner in the heat. I like heat in my training runs, but not in my races. Still, I'm doing fine. I cross mile marker 4 - what?! Only four miles? Oh yeah, my Timex GPS watch screwed up when we started and it didn't record the actual start, which I failed to notice for several minutes, so I didn't have real feedback on where I was. That's why I was so surprised that we'd only gone 4 miles. This was just the beginning. I got tired quickly on this run. I was trying to keep a HM pace, but this was a trail run. Probably a newbie mistake.

I continue - dodging water as much as possible, running through it when there's no way around. Sometimes almost knee deep! I was not ready for this.

By mile 11, I was completely exhausted! The heat and humidity was getting to me, and I was walking a lot. This is when my stubborness kicks in. I 'almost' want to stop running and am more tired than I can describe. I know this is a make it or break it moment, so I decide to run even farther between walk breaks. This results in painful leg cramps. I keep going. Walking relieves the cramps somewhat. I've passed mile 12, running and walking in the heat. Not so many water holes now, thanks. But my shoes feel like lead weights. Not soon enough, I see the finish line. No great burst of speed for this finish. But, DW is there, camera in the ready, and taking pictures. I got some high 5's from the crowd. Crossed the finish line. Whew! I'm beat. DW tells me I was limping as I approached, and crossed the finish line and it worried her.

The first thing I told her was, "I don't think I can do that 'strength challenge, my legs are cramping and I'm out of energy". She lets me off the hook, and says she understands - 'cuz I don't look so good.

Rest up, eat some post race food, drink a lot of water. Went back to the RV, stripped off the racing gear and put on shorts and a tank top. The RV has the generator running and the A/C is humming. Five minutes later, I'm ready to do the strength challenge. DW want to know if I'm sure. But, she secretly knows I am.

It was fun. I wasn't going to beat these younger kids, but I did enjoy it. Especially when the announcer (who I'd met the night before) tells the crowd to pay attention to me, the oldest competitor there today, and look at how well I'm doing. Nice.

There were three events. First, scale a very small wall, flip a tire, turn around and repeat. Do as many as you can in 2 minutes. I did 6 tire flips.

Next do pull-ups while holding baseballs hanging from a chain, until failure. One of the younger guys did an amazing 23 of these! I did 10. Not bad for a geezer, I'll take it.

The next, a fun event, was to toss a tire at Miley Cyrus. No, it was not her, but an effigy. A life sized poster on a wooden frame. At this, I failed. I got about a foot away 2 times. I'm okay with that. A lot of younger, stronger guys did not get to clobber Miley with a tire either.

My final time was 2:25:15. This was one of the toughest events I have ever done.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SHIRAZSOLLY 9/9/2013 1:47PM

    He, he! I had to read this one once I saw the picture of all the guys slogging through water. I love the idea of trail runs, but I admit I hated the way I felt after slogging up and down a 300 foot sand dune hill in one. Sand is no fun in shoes. Neither is mud. I have never, ever tried to flip tractor tires after running through mud on a hot day. I think I'll leave that to you crazy testosterone filled guys!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 9/4/2013 2:03PM

    Wow!!! Sounds like quite the challenge. Way to go on not only completing the trail HM..but also finishing the challenges!!

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MARGARITTM 9/3/2013 12:08PM

    Trail will always slow you down. .... no worries! Weather conditions take on a new meaning when you are doing trail!

The challenges sound pretty tough. pull ups holding the balls sound horrifying to me.

Sounds like a nice grou that put ion the race..... I bet you got your age group!

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LEWILL1982 9/3/2013 11:14AM

    That sounds like fun (hard and hot, but still fun)! Congrats for finishing!

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FUNFROG79 9/3/2013 10:56AM

    WOW! You gotta be proud of that accomplishment! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/2/2013 9:20PM

    Quite an achievement! You are awesome.

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OWL_20 9/1/2013 7:47PM

    What am amazing day! Holy cow you did a lot of stuff--I've never heard about a race like this before. IMHO you did great!

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BIGPAWSUP 9/1/2013 3:18PM

    WOW!! That is amazing. I'm proud of you. Congratulations on a really tough day.

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JUNEPA 9/1/2013 12:00PM

    You are amazing
A gruelling HM FOLLOWED!! by a strength challenge

emoticon emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 9/1/2013 11:43AM

    Wow! You are quite an amazing character. For the unfamiliar and difficult running conditions you did great and then to have the energy left to do the strength tests afterwards, you put us other oldies to shame.
Hope you are getting lots of rest today.

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MWWENSIN 9/1/2013 11:20AM

    Sounds like a hell of a good workout. Excellent time regardless of whether it was a trail run or road run. When I ran a 15k trail run it was the hardest run I had ever endured. I skimmed so many tree roots with my feet and spun my wheels in freshly added sand. It really challenges you and I developed a great respect for these runs.

You are in quite good shape for a person of any age. You are also a great example of a person who can keep fit in some of the more advanced years.

I am now trying to train my daughter and her friend on running an 8 minute mile on a track. This is a requirement to get onto the volleyball team. I haven't run on the track in a long time but I can still do an 8 minute mile. I am trying to train them they are 33 years younger than me. Right now they are at a 9:40 mile. By Thursday I have to get them down to 8. Lots of interval training ahead.

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TIME-4-TINA 9/1/2013 10:52AM

    Great job, Geez......I mean, distinquished gentleman!

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SEABREEZE65 9/1/2013 6:18AM

    Amazing! You are in great shape!!
Good job on both the run and the challenges.

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MSSHERRY10 8/31/2013 6:50PM

  That was neat! Congratulations on getting through the run. I am glad you were able to continue on with the obstacles. You looked like you had fun. Great job on the pull-ups!

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KERRIELYNN719 8/31/2013 6:20PM

    Amazing job and holy great time!

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    Oh my gosh! Every time I log on you have done something incredibly awesome again! You ROCK!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 8/31/2013 5:05PM

    I give you a giant kudos for even taking a race like this on. There's no reason in the world to be disappointed in any of it. It sounds like it was very tough and I'll guess most guys your age wouldn't even consider trying something like that! emoticon

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JACKSGRAN 8/31/2013 4:00PM

    A brilliant achievement, you should feel proud. Well done emoticon

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JACKIE542 8/31/2013 3:42PM

    emoticon Just so amazing!! You did great emoticon and you made a ton of friends too. Hope you get lots and lots of rest now. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOPAPGH 8/31/2013 3:15PM

    Even without the mud, it's completely different from road running. Nice job!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 8/31/2013 3:04PM

    That looks like a very good time to me!

Probably might want to invest in some trail shoes if you're going to run more of these.

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DALID414 8/31/2013 2:50PM

    Wow! Just wow! I want to be just like you when I grow up emoticon

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PASTAFARIAN 8/31/2013 2:37PM

    You did a trail HM without training on trails? Wow. That's gutsy.

Roots, mud, creek crossings, stinging nettle - typical for a trail race.

My trail HM times are typically 15 to 45 minutes more than my road HM times!

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CM_GARDNER78 8/31/2013 1:55PM

    WOW!! That is AWESOME!!! Way to go!! :-)

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ONMYMEDS 8/31/2013 1:52PM

    I'm really disappointed that you didn't clobber Miley Cyrus, effigy or not. Other than that, NICE GOING!!

Geezers rule!!


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KARRENLYNN 8/31/2013 1:51PM

    Sounds like you did well and met some great people and had fun. That is what it's about right? Having fun doing what you like, meeting cool people and being healthy enough to push your limits and meet your goals.

Great job!


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NATPLUMMER 8/31/2013 1:41PM

    emoticon You did great!! That's an excellent time!!!

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