There are a few things I do before every event/race I sign up for: For about a month, in my training runs leading up to the race, I try to picture the course in my head. I online research about the course, elevation, number of people participating, etc. (homework). If I can, I try to run the course or parts of the course. I also have to decide if I'm gonna run it barefoot or in minimalist shoes.
Well, this weekend I went with some friends to check out the Hidden Valley Trail Half marathon course. I'm running this course again Nov. 27th with 50 other trail running nuts. It went like this: Fueled up for this "run" with 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, some applesauce, 2 pieces of bacon and 2 cups of coffee. I brought with me about 3 cups of water in a water bottle, a granola bar, and some homemade sport gel ( took the recipe from Thrive modified it to suit my taste). When we arrived I had my fanny pack (which had water, homemade gel, band-aid, whistle and map), hat and gloves. I usually choose not to run with any kind of pack. But I thought if I'm going to do a 50 miler someday, I better get used to carrying my gear with me, especially if I'm going into the wilderness. This Nature Trail is WAY out into the woods. They have 100 acres with 24 miles of trails!
Well, the first half of the course is double track and well marked and we moved right along. A couple of nice hills and some water pools, but that's ok we love to get wet! The second half was not as well marked, we went off track a couple times...hills turned short steep climbs, single tracks looked like deer paths...but it was a BLAST! We didn't end up with the 13 miles because we got lost a couple times. I think it ended up being about 12. We saw 2 porcupines too.
Glad I got to run this...now I know what to expect on race day. Did I say race...? We ran the 12. in about 2:22 or something like that, which is about a 11:36 pace? I was so spent. Walking to the car and crawling in I was so happy to sit down. That course beat the crap out of me.
Things I learned: I will not carry a pack of any kind, it only made me feel more tired and my stride was off. I will carry some kind of food, probably the homemade gel again it was good. Eat and drink a little more just before the race, I need more fuel. Walk some of the steeper parts of the trail to conserve energy. I wore leggings and I think I will on race day as well. The ticks were bad and I HATE ticks. (They gross me out! I hate them as much as snakes and fruit flies) Its good to be prepared. I also will be wearing my Merrell Pace Gloves.
"I started running barefoot in March 2008. I started one step at a time, one day at a time. I decided to start keeping a journal of sorts. Sharing my history, my journey and my adventures."
I have taken some new paths in relation to my running over the last year. This blog will still include my running adventures but I have to move on with more stories of my family and the journey we have taken together over the last year. This blog was started as a way to help me record my barefoot journey but now needs to become more than that. Please be patient as I explore ways to stay connected with family and friends.