I had a blast running Enviroport's 12K yesterday! The morning began with coffee, breakfast, and driving over to Tiburon. After finding parking and meeting up with a couple running buddies, it was time to get on the ferry. The boat ride to Angel Island took only 15 minutes, and then we waited at the starting area. It was damp and gray---with tons of fog hanging around.
The first couple of miles involved a lot of uphill. I felt pretty good and just let my pace vary according to the terrain & the pace of people in front of me :) Part of racing on singletrack trails is dealing with being 'trapped' behind other runners. Due to the fog, our views of the SF Bay were extremely limited :( But the trees and birds and ups and downs of the course kept it interesting!
Around mile 3, there was some flatter ground, since we were running on a ridge, and I let myself pick up the pace a bit. But when the course threw in some more uphills around mile 4, I could feel my heartrate shooting up and had to back off a bit. I reminded myself that there would eventually be some downhill, and when I got to the flatter and downhill segments, I let myself cruise.....That meant relaxing my body, concentrating on the trail and my footing, and just running. I worked hard on the last 1.5 miles, including kicking it in near the finish :) My finishing time was 1:12, and I finished in the top 25% of women. I think I'll be doing more trail races in the future!
I learned a few lessons from this race:
1) Trail running is very peaceful
2) Trail races also give me post-race glow
3) It can be tricky to figure out an appropriate racing pace/effort when the terrain varies
4) Extended uphills are tough on your lungs and heart
5) Racing with friends is the BEST way to kick off the holidays!!!