Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bridle Trails 10K

We're getting close to the end of June, which means I need to participate in a race of some sort to keep up with my one event per month goal as part of my 34 Things.  My co-worker had told me about this trail run that she was planning on doing.  Emphasis on run.  I combed the website but there was no time limit that I could see.  Okay, then.  My first official purely walking race in several years.

I lined up with all the other 10Kers and felt like a fraud.  I was not going to run any bit of this race.  But since it was on a trail, rather than a road, it wouldn't matter when I finished.  Right?  And then I saw the sign that said this was going to be a 5K, 10K or 30K race.  Woohoo!!  I may not be the last person on the course.  I will get lapped but I should be able to finish a 10K before even super fast runners finish a 30K.  A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.  (Turns out there was no one doing the 30K but it definitely gave me a psychological boost.) 

The race started off with a steep uphill.  Oh great.  But I actually passed a few people on my way up the hill!  That didn't last too long and before you knew it I was last.  I have this big fear of being the last person on the course.  Looks like I was going to face my fear today.

The trail was fairly muddy so there was a lot of zig-zagging to avoid the mud and the mud puddles.  I kept my eyes down so I could navigate between the tree roots and the mud.  So that's pretty much how the race went - up, down, avoid the mud puddle, watch out for horse poop, mud puddle, horse.  Wait, horse?  Yup, horse!  Nice horsey.  I kept to the side of the trail as I passed the horse.  There was one close call with a tree.  I was grabbing a hold of a tree to help me around a mud puddle when I smacked into the tree!  My shirt had gotten caught.  But I stayed on my feet.  Yay! 

I was alone for most of the race, except when the 10K route intersected with the 5K route.  From about mile 3 on I was basically on a walk in the woods by myself.  Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  It was very peaceful, when I took my eyes of the trail! :)  I finally hit mile 6 and the rest of the course was mainly downhill.  As I rounded the corner towards the finish, I saw the remaining volunteers packing up.  Yup, last one on the course.  But when they saw me, they cheered.  I love cheers!  Even if they are pity cheers for the last person.

My goal was to come in under 1:40 and I'm super happy to say I came in at 1:39:26!  Which is just over a 16 minute per mile pace.  Hallelujah!!  (Disney race pace is 16 minutes per mile.)  I still have 6 months (give or take) to improve on my time.  Ideally I would like to get under 15 minutes per mile.  And there is always hope my physical therapist will okay me to run! 

And I learned something else from the posted times - there were 2 people behind me.  I wasn't last! 


Alison said...

Congrats, that's a big accomplishment! I have a bit of a fear of coming in last in a race, but the more I think about it, the less I worry. I mean, I wouldn't really be last -- all of the people who didn't even try would be FAR behind me!

Good for you for getting out and doing it!

ATTrio said...

Hey there, Congrats on your race and I love it that you are doing so many races and such! walking is no small thing. It is hard and very mentally challenging so KUDOS to you. Also, I am training for my first tri as well so if you come across any good tips I'd love to hear about them!! Have fun =)


Fruit Fly said...

This sounds like my first 10K! I only beat 2 people but was sure I was dead last the entire time. I'm so glad you didn't fall. I was going to give you a hard time if you did an Italian cliff repeat and hurt yourself.

Nice job on getting in your June race. And hey - Disney's course is a lot easier, so even if you solely walked it you'd beat 16mm no problem. Unless, of course, they put out horses, hills and mud! ;)