Another weekend of long runs, and another Inside Trail race to kick them off!
I realized too late I was a big fail in the picture department, so this will be a wordy post.
I have been looking forward to this race for a long time. I love running in Tilden park and it had been a while since I had been there. The course took place on some great, challenging trails, and I was excited for the race atmosphere since a lot of my trail friends were out of town for the weekend.
After a later than usual night on Friday, I woke up at the now sleeping in hour of 6am, got ready and hit the road to Berkeley. I actually forced myself to leave a little later than I usually do, because I am notoriously early for races and with these smaller races, it isn’t quite so necessary.
I made it to the race with 40 minutes to go, picked up my bib, got my stuff ready, hit the bathrooms and headed to the start. I have become friends with a lot of people who typically run these races, but this day I was looking around and didn’t really know anyone. I had hoped to see speedy RoseRunner there, but wasn’t sure if she was going to make it or not. Sure enough, a couple minutes until go time she tapped me on the shoulder. I had a friend!
I made sure she listened to the announcements because she was nervous about getting lost, then it was time to start running. She asked if she could hang with me for a couple miles and of course I said yes. We ran along, climbing the hills of Tilden, enjoying conversation, and wondering if the first aid station was ever going to show up.
Eventually, 9+ miles in, we were still running together and came upon an aid station where we stopped to get some fuel. I had been eating shot bloks all along and taking a salt cap every hour, but there is nothing like the aid stations at trail races. I wanted some real food! I happily drank some coke and ate some boiled potatoes with salt – both my favorites – and convinced a hesitant RoseRunner to try them as well. I didn’t fail her there!
We continued to run together and I was so happy to have company. I told her to feel free and speed ahead if she wanted, but I was happy to have a friend for as long as she wanted to stick around. Our conversation was great and I loved getting to know her better.
My energy levels really started to tank in the later miles of this race. I was hot and just not feeling it. I was really grateful to have a friend there to distract me, because it had been a while since I felt that way. We continued to push on, not really knowing how far we had left, but I kind of assumed it was going to be less than the 21.7 it was supposed to be.
I was happy when the finish came a little sooner than expected according to Garmin. We weren’t aware until after we were done, but apparently we all missed a mile of the course due to some course marking vandalism, which also made us miss the real first aid station. We still had over 20 miles for the day, and I was very happy with that number. We crossed the finish line together, 11th and 12th overall and 5th and 6th women.
20.2 miles/3:47:48/11:17 avg (moving time: 3:37:43/10:47 avg)
Elevation Gain: 3,245’
Age group: 3/8
We hung out for a bit after continuing our conversations, while both picking up age group medals in addition to yummy food. I also made some new friends and we of course talked about races and training. What else would runners talk about?
It was another great day on the trails and I was so happy to have a friend to run with the whole time. The low energy days are to be expected when training, but they are still never really fun. I went home to fuel up and get some rest for round two the next day.
And of course, the tradition continues, and Kylie happily wore the medal around for a few hours.