My first 10K trail race

This past Saturday, I ran in my first 10K race.

Waiting for the start of the race

It was my first race since high school. So, I was excited and apprehensive.

Almost every race I’ve run in I’ve worn my hair in French braids, so I decided to keep up the tradition.

The race was larger than I was expecting, with about 300 participants.

Running into the forest

I’m not proud of my finish time, but there were several factors that contributed to my slower-than-expected time. Besides, I have to remind myself that I’d never done a race longer than three miles, so I don’t have experience with proper pacing for longer distances. By the end of the race, I felt like I could keep going at least another three miles, so I know I got the pacing wrong.

At least a minute can be deducted, because I had to stop when a gal fell right at my feet. Obviously, I had to make sure that she was alright. She had trouble getting up, and she seemed really disoriented. After I helped her up, some other ladies came up and took over. So, I decided it was OK for me to keep going.

Most of the race I had to maneuver around the trail to avoid the slippery ankle-snapping territories. Other times I spent my time bounding back and forth from one side of the trail to the other to find the more solid ground. I estimate that the detours must have added another half mile to the total mileage.

Another unexpected aspect of the race was the hills. The course description used the words “mostly relatively flat” to describe the trail.

Not true.

I have been training on hills. They’re all over my neighborhood. The hills on this trail were abundant and much steeper than what I’ve been used to. They were those hills with dislodging rocks, roots and mud, all hidden under leaves. A few times I felt like I needed to grab things with my hands and pull myself up, I had no choice but to stop and hike a few times, because when I tried to run, my ankles were twisting about uncontrollably.

So, I averaged about an 11 min./mile pace, which doesn’t make me happy. However, I had a lot of fun and I got a taste of what it’s like to run longer distances.

One pet peeve of mine was performed by several people in the race: the sprint and walk tactic. I passed a gal that was sprinting and walking, though she frustrated me for the first half of the race. I thought I was past that trial when I came across a guy doing the same thing during my second leg of the race. The worst part of it was that he apparently picked me as the person he would torment. Every time I would pass him, he would grunt with annoyance and sprint ahead until he thought he could walk again. Finally, I tired of putting up with this nonsense. So I made sure that my pace was significantly faster, and I even sped up during several of the hills. He stayed on my heels during the final mile of the race, but I never let him pass me again.

After the race, I really wanted some breakfast food, but the only breakfast place had a ridiculous wait, so I settled for soup and salad at Olive Garden. Apart from several unrestrained stares (My hair was sticking out everywhere, and I was moving like a toddler who just learned how to walk because every muscle was so tight from the thirty minute car ride immediately following the race. I probably would have stared at me too.), it was an enjoyable post-race meal.

 

Side note: Before the race, I found a clearing in the forest and Alex took a couple of pictures of me in this hoodie.

I made the hoodie about a week ago, and I’ll add a post about it in the next few days. I didn’t wear it during the race, because I knew it was muddy and I didn’t want it to get stained.

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3 Responses to My first 10K trail race

  1. Cindy says:

    Ahh! Congrats on doing the 10K! I’ve never run more than 5 miles really so I’m not used to longer, longer distances at all. lol. It sounds like you had a lot of fun and way to be with sticking to it! 🙂

    P.S. — I used to run xc in HS too! Haha I was a slug though and still am, no shame in that 11 min. mile, chica. lol.

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