May 9, 2012

A Race A Month // May

Run for Kids Challenge - Pelham, AL : 25k or 15.5 miles
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 2-3: Still feeling okay. I got to get more water every 5k at the aid station. I had brought my own cooler of things. About lap 3 was when my knees started to feel the impact of all the pounding I was doing. Trail running is just harder on my legs I guess. 
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


  1. Hooray!! So exciting, and congrats!
    It's funny that you say mental zoning was harder on trails, I feel like when I'm focused on where my feet go, the race goes faster. haha, I guess it's just what you're used to. (which, I wish now that street running had that effect for me)

    1. Lauren, how funny is it we are exact opposite "zone" runners. I think it's just because I've only run on streets, so the trail was new and different. How often do you do trail runs? Maybe I need your tips and tricks, because I really didn't enjoy it, haha. :)

  2. Wow! Congrats! This is awesome. I'm running my first 5k in a little over a week and am a little nervous. It's awesome to know that you've worked your way up to a 25k!

    1. Janae, you are going to love it. It will be all nerves until the gun goes off. And I promise there is nothing quite like the feeling of crossing the finish line. So proud of you for doing a race!! Keep me updated :)