June 4, 2012

Canyon Meadow Trail Race

For several reasons, I wanted to run another race in the Bay Area in 2012.  This year marks my 20th runniversary.....I ran middle school track in 1992 and, today, totally identify as a runner!! Since May's Coastal race went so well, I signed up for one of their half marathon trail races which was conveniently located in Oakland's Redwood Park.

A few days before the race, I had a pretty bad cold. I sent some pathetic text/google messages to my running buddies who encouraged me to try my best.  I was pretty determined to just run it---even if my nasal passages felt disgusting :(

On race morning, it was kinda gray and cool (oh, Bay Area summer) but I wore shorts and a tank top.  This was a good choice because, at points during the race, it was sunny and warm (and I always get hot while running/racing). The start of the race was tough with a cruel uphill.



I was running and hiking and attempting to keep my heart rate down. I struggled at points and, during the third mile, I was questioning why I was running the 1/2 distance. I bribed myself to just get to the first aid station at mile 5. I managed to keep going and treated myself to m & ms and pretzels at the aid station (hooray for the junk food at trail races!!).

Around mile 6 or 7, my legs started to feel much, much better. I found my groove and told myself that, yes, I could run a strong 1/2. There were some fun downhill sections, and I felt strong yet relaxed.  I definitely wasn't pushing myself all-out. I let myself soak up the scenery, including the tall redwood trees. I started running back and forth with a couple other women. On other sections of the trail, it was very quiet, and I felt like I was totally alone in the woods. In fact, at a couple points, I double checked to make sure I wasn't lost ;)

The next aid station was at mile 11. After drinking a small cup of coke, eating a few treats, and grabbing an oreo to eat while running, I reminded myself that there were just a couple miles left. So I let myself work a bit harder.  I knew I'd be proud to finish this race.

The last mile was on a flat path, and the women around me were picking up the pace. I decided to stick with them and ran the last mile at 8:50 pace (my fastest mile of the day). I suppose that means that my legs still had some pep left in them! I think I ran a smart & strong race---in trail races, you can't sprint the entire way, but I did push myself on certain sections, and it was a great workout.  After the race, I enjoyed some snacks and delicious watermelon plus a beer. This was a fantastic racing experience.  I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to fall in love with trail running in the Bay Area. Whether I'm running on the west coast or east coast, I'll treasure the ups and downs of running and racing.

4 comments:

  1. That is a blazing fast final mile split!! Sheesh!

    (And although I can count the number of trail races I've run on half of one hand, I can totally remember how amazing the aid stations are!)

    Great work!

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  2. That sounds pretty fun actually :) Glad it was!

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  3. Your 20th runniversary! That's amazing, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate it than by running East Bay trails in the spring. Congratulations!

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  4. thanks for inspiring me to keep on keeping on with my running!!!! have you read "mile markers:26.2 reasons why women run"? based on kristin's armstrong's blog at runner's world and it is really good.

    one day my "long" runs will return after childbirth, lol.

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