Alone, Lost in the Woods

First Trail Run Race and Most Likely my Last…that I pay for.

Even though I’ve broken up with Running, I had signed up for a trail run prior to the break up. Some running friends swear up and down that trail running is the way to go if street running ever became boring.

It was worth a shot.

I didn’t have trail running shoes, so I just wore my usual Brooks GTS shoe. It worked out great for me.

Since trail running was new to me, I didn’t know what to expect. Would we have to jump over fallen tree stumps or creeks? Avoid wild critters?

I met up with a friend who is an avid runner and is always encouraging. She’s always pushing herself to the limits and is always good to have in your corner. I’m fairly certain that if I didn’t have a familiar face to meet up there, I wouldn’t have gone.

The race would start at 9am, so I arrived a little before 8:30 to get registered and do the usual warm up routine.

The music was bouncing, people were excited.  At 9am, they let us 10k’ers head out first. I’m moving well, I’m feeling good.

Then, we hit the beginning of the actual trail. It was a steep downhill gravel-layered trail. If you’ve ever walked on gravel, you know how much you have to focus on balancing yourself so you don’t trip and fall.

I survived the first hill. There were many more after that and it was anything but enjoyable. What were my friends thinking? Their definition of fun was totally different than mine!

As I ran, I obviously just followed the crowd. There were probably 75 people running the 10K. I was near the rear of the pack as usual. I began losing folks in front of me and behind me. There were times where I was completely alone. Around the 5th mile, there weren’t any markings indicating on where to go. I was lost; alone in the woods.

It brought back horrible childhood memories of my Mom leaving me alone in the woods during a fishing trip.

It wasn’t until I hit 6 1/2 miles that I saw some volunteers waiting with water. I remember asking them how much further, their response wasn’t what I was expecting.

“Another mile to go.”

What the what?!

Me, completely alone on the trail. 😦

The signage sucked. There were none near the end and I apparently kept guessing wrong.  I ended up at several other parking areas throughout the park and had to turn back around. I’ll be honest, I was pissed.  I’m already slow and hate running; then to give me another mile and a half to run in 80 degree humid weather? Not cool!

I finished. Took me a little over 1 1/2 hours because of my detours and thinking the race crew would be gone by the time I got to the finish line. It was disheartening. It sucked.

Damn athletic folks were all happy and none of them broke a sweat. I was drenched in my own sweat. My shorts started out being gray and ended up being black at the end. I was still sweating until I got home.

I was happy to be done though. I hoped to win a raffle prize afterwards, but I didn’t. I couldn’t eat the free chipotle they provided because I can’t eat when I’m feeling yucky.

It was not a great experience for me.  I still feel out of place at these events because of my physiology and how much I detest running. I’m just not built for it.

My last half marathon race will be next year. Once that’s over, I will be a happy camper.

In the mean time, I’ll be eating less, running low miles with more intensity/sprints, and weight lifting with a little cross fit in the mix.

To all you runners out there, keep kicking ass. You guys rock! I won’t be putting on 100 miles per month any more for Charity Miles, but I’ll always turn the app on when I’m out running.

Me and my good friend Christina (who kept me on a positive note after the race!) Thanks Christina!

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