Sep 26, 2009

"Root! There it is!" And other Musing on Woodstock... Running Fit Style

This is a MUST DO race event.

The theme was kitschy but really well pulled off. Trail running is so zen to me, I never have a bad experience on the trails and this race was no exception.

For a recap on what Run Woodstock actually is:

Friday night - 5k trail run
Saturday morning - your choice of a 100 mile, 50 mile, 50k, marathon, half marathon, or 5 mile trail run
Saturday evening - a 10k trail run
Sunday morning - 5 mile trail run

Love love loved this race.

I chose the half marathon over the 5 mile and I am glad that I did. First off I was able to hear some pretty amusing quotes my favorites being "Well this IS Woodstock, I mean we all should be tripping, just probably not over those tree roots" and "Root! There it is!". My absolute favorite was from a girl I was pacing to her first half marathon finish. I asked her why on earth she picked the trail half for her first, and she told me "No one told me it was a trail race!"

This was my first trail half marathon, 16th half marathon all together. SWEET SIXTEEN BABY!!!

This was by far the hardest race EVER. Beats any other race that I have done. Why? TRAIL RUN on the Potto! I love trail running but never get to do it enough, and NEVER have ran more than 5-6 miles on trails, so this was a first for me as well.

No matter how hard it was, it was the best run EVER for me on so many levels.

Why? Did I set a PR? Yes and no. Yes for a trail half, as I have never run one before, and no because being a trail run I was not taking risks and took is SLOW.

It was the best ever because I was blessed to find two runners who ran my pace who were both doing their first half marathons. Actually, they found me and sort of stuck to me. I had a blast keeping them motivated and running the whole way. We only walked up the hills, and ran the rest. We did stop, as I mentioned above, for a few minutes at the last aid station as the girl I was pacing knew one of the volunteers, and then again one other time at mile 11 for a final stretch and fluid intake session before the journey home.

I think the best thing was that we celebrated each and every mile. That was awesome.

The first 4 miles flew right by. I tolkd Susie and Julie, the two women I was pacing, that I knw a race is going well if the first 4 miles fly by. All of a sudden we were half way done, and then before you knew it we were at 10 miles.

I felt so incredibly strong, that in my head I knew that I could not have been more ready for this race. It all clicked this year with going back to celebrating every mile... I was strong 10 miles in and I was grateful for every step, and I knew that the races I do are NEVER about the finishing time but rather the time I have while on my way to the finish line. I was so happy. I ran happy. I am a freaking Brooks commercial!

The last 5k was tough for the three of us, Julie and Susie with their longest runs ever, and me with lack of trail legs, all of our backs were putting in some major work and now they were speaking back to us. Even so, it was so nice just taking it slow and easy and being able to keep upbeat when the pain set in.

I cannot say it enough, this race was just pure AWESOME.

I kept telling Susie and Julie that you only get one first, and they are definitely not wasting theirs on this race... doing a TRAIL half marathon for your first is hard core.

Once we hit 11 miles the fatigue was setting in and the hills and technicality of the course took its toll. The last 2 miles were an exercise in stretching, discussing what we will feel the next few days, and deciding if we should do a cartwheel at the end for the finish.

This my friends is racing at its finest. Just a nice and easy 13.1 miles with a few friends discussing cartwheels and ice baths.

Well, we nixed the cartwheel (FYI - BOOOOOOO), but at that point the music started and we were done like *that*, running it in to In-A-Godda-Da-Vida. Y-E-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AWESOME downhill finish for a crazy technical race... well, technical for little miss Maybury me. ;)


Man THIS is why I love running! It is not about you, it is about a community.



So what's next? My Super Sweet Seventeenth half marathon next weekend at Brooksie. Hopefully my back will be playing nice by then. ;)

PEACE, LOVE, and RUNNING baby!

})i({ Your RunnerGirl Jenn
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