Completed a pretty challenging 15K winter trail race yesterday...the most technically difficult event I've participated in so far (it's not called the Winter Survivor Trail Series for nothing).
I may have a little extra hitch in my giddy-up now; but, I survived!
In extended, I've reposted the text of my dailymile post for yesterday's Willow Creek Trail 15K. Lots of support over there as you can see by the many comments (thank you, DMers!). If you're looking for help with sticking to your exercise program, come join us!
After signing up, don't forget to connect w/me.
What a wild ride: Race #3 (temp 36F, 39% hum, 6mph winds) in the Winter Survivor Trail Series at Rock Cut State Park was a 15K that included wet prairie grass; black ice; stretches of hardened ice w/ripples + hard edges from this week's daytime thaw/nighttime refreeze cycle; snow; slush; sections of deep, deep slick mud pits; lots of hills (2 were so steep, they required ropes to pull yourself up + over them); fallen logs to hop over; tree branches to run under + limbs to push to the side to protect from getting whacked in the face; a cold water stream to navigate over using a couple of beams (my left foot hit the water + I can verify the wet stuff was indeed cold...refreshing, too); and even a walkway w/4 sections of wooden stairs to jog up + down!
Super support on this wonderful local race tradition (this is my 1st time running it + I am loving everything about it: ppl, place + things ;-). Easy + friendly check-in at start of race; water stations every 3 miles; homemade chili and hot cocoa at the finish line.
Speaking of water: I brought my own handheld bottle as I do on races longer than 6 miles. I almost regretted it. Working (desperately) to use the ropes to get over the 2nd, steeper hill, the bottle fell out of its case + fell into the mud below me. Fortunately, a really nice runner (thank you, Leah!!) scooped it up out of the mud -- while holding onto the rope herself + trying to get a foothold in the slippery dark stuff all around us -- and handed it to me. I had to literally throw it up the hill + hope it didn't slide down. It landed + stuck + I continued struggling to make my way up.
Will remember my weak arms next time I want to skip out on an upper body weights workout!
My goal (again) in this race was to merely survive w/o any injuries...AND to stay in the running to snag one of the highly-coveted orange series t-shirts. Oh, baby...one 20K away from it!
Hoping the weather is as beautiful next month for that one as it was today (the trails could use a little drying out for sure), because it was as perfect as the course was challenging. It had been very windy all week long; so, we lucked out w/a calm, sunny, warm-for-February day.
Really enjoyed running in the forest + soaking in its energy as well as connecting with the other racers + enjoying their positive energy, too. It was super to see Mike P. again, who commented on the friendly atmosphere of the race + how great the Rockford area is for the sport.
I couldn't agree more.
What a blast + so glad I felt strong + stayed healthy throughout...
Elevation gain: 538 ft. Splits: 11:33, 11:12, 10:58, 12:30, 12:29, 11:51, 12:34, 10:56, 11:23, 10:40.