|So proud of this man!|
The weather in South Carolina has been crazy warm, so I assumed that this Saturday would be no different. When I checked the morning temps and saw 40 degree plus temps, I felt assured that a tank top and shorts would be fine, but I failed to realize that my thermometer did not factor in wind. And the wind was blowing hard. And it was a cold wind at that! Sixteen mph plus winds made the temps feel more like the 30s, so standing at the start line in my shorts and tank top turned me into a popsicle.
Another factor that I did not really think about very carefully was that this was a 5K TRAIL race. While I love spending time in the woods, I am not big on racing through them. Trail racing requires you to constantly look down, it is hard to find a solid pace, and it requires you to have nimble and solid footing. I like to stop and look around at things when I am in the woods, I hate speeding up and slowing down or not being able to get around someone in front of me, and my neuropathy makes it hard for me to not stumble or trip over rocks and roots. Hiking or leisurely running on trails is something I enjoy, but racing trails is NOT for me. Give me a fun hike in the woods with my dog and boyfriend any day, but let me do my racing on the roads.
Luckily, the woods did provide a shield against the wind, so I warmed up quickly and ended up feeling great in my tank, shorts, and compression socks. Of course, I started out way too hard and found myself huffing and puffing immediately. There was a lot of people dodging on the trail which forces you to figure out how and where you are going to pass someone or how to get over if you hear someone passing you. I was passed by several people, but I also passed quite a few. There were a lot of uphills and downhills and turns which required me to really slow down lest I bust my butt on the leaves which proved to be fairly slick in places. There were some wooden bridges and some board crossings, some stairs, and some paved sections (for which I was extremely grateful). I had to be super careful with my footing and I felt like I was coming to a complete standstill at times when I had to step on roots and rocks to navigate the course. I am not sure I even lifted my head the entire time for fear that I might fall. I could not wait for this race to be over! When I finally crossed the finish line, out of breath, unable to speak, and completely spent, I saw that my time was 28:03! This is considerably slower than what my road 5Ks are, so it shows you how much this trail race slowed me down. I congratulated several of the fast women who passed me and beat me and then waited on my parents to finish walking their 5K.
|Male and Female 40-49 year old|
age group winners!
It was a great day to be able to give back to the group of people who have helped my dad and family so much and to meet many of the therapists who worked with my father during his recovery process. I would have never been able to imagine a year ago that my father would be able to participate in a 5K race, so being able to share this event with him was pretty special.
I am still very much in love with running right now, so I am allowing myself to completely be immersed in the sport. I have several big running races coming up before tri season starts back up, so I am excited about what this year's running season will bring.