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.