Before: I signed up for this race 2 weeks before it actually happened... I had never run on a trail, but I didn't think it could be that different. I ran only one long run the Sunday before and put in about 8 miles. Other days I just ran 4-5 depending on how I felt. I knew I wasn't going to be running for a certain time, just completion. This was also the first race I had to go to alone... no cheering section.
The run was in Oak Mountain State Park on a trail loop that was a little longer than a 5k. So I knew I had to do 5 laps. Others had signed up to run a 50k or the 12 hour run.
Lap 1: I felt great. I probably ran it too fast, but I kept myself at a 9 minute pace. I knew there was only one female in front of me.... yes I'm very competitive. The first mile wasn't really "trail" but then the trail began and holy cow was it different than street running. The tiny hills, the roots, rocks, mud and wildlife make it impossible to take your eyes off the ground. I'm so use to looking forward... and the terrain allowed no mental zoning out to occur.
Lap 4: I had to stop and pee... was very hard to start running after stopping. My legs began to ache and my knees were screaming. I just kept running and wasn't worried about my time. At this point I reached a half marathon distance and was now running the farthest I've ever run in my life. Felt really empowering.
Lap 5: I actually had a runner's high the first mile of this lap. I was just so happy to be on my last lap. I had grabbed half a banana at the aid station which really helped. About the last mile my knees hurt so bad I wanted to walk. But I kept telling myself it would take longer to get done if I walked. I kept at it and the last mile felt like ages!!! But once I could finally see the aid station my heart was smiling. I had done it! I had run 25k.
After: Very uneventful to finish a race and not have anyone there to pat me on the back... or drive me home, haha. However, I knew that going in. I called my mom first and she was very proud of me. She knew I had gotten the time I wanted. I've never felt so gross after a race. My legs were filthy, my clothes were drenched. However, it was sooo worth it. Not sure I ever want to run on a trail that distance again, way to hard on my body.
Time: 2:47:01 // 25k
Results: 1st place female in the 1-6 hour race