We are in the middle of buying a house and last Saturday was spent running errands and sofa shopping; Saturday night and at 5am Sunday when I woke up, I felt I had a million things to do and I felt guilty for spending Sunday morning running and almost bailed on the race. Running is my way of dealing with stress and I am glad I got the mental break I needed by doing the race.
In December I signed up for Austin's Rogue Running Trail Series. I planned on training and building my long run up to at least 18-20 miles. That did not happen as I hoped since other things (ie. shopping for a house and sleeping) took priority. In California, trails near my house did not have trees and many did not have rocks but they had climbs of 500-2000 feet; here trails are flat but have rocks and tree roots. After destroying my ankle and dislocating a finger on a rocky course several years ago, I am not a fan of rock or other tripping hazards (including my own feet!). So, I know I need to spend more time on TX trails to adapt.
Since my trail running has been limited, I knew the race and distance would be tough. My other recent long run, a 15 miler, was my 2nd 15 miler since taking a forced break for about half of last year; I was nervous about running 30K since I knew I had to pick up my feet (instead of slogging along....) for longer than that.
I set one big goal for The Maze at Walnut Creek Park-- to finish without getting injured! My plan was to run slowly and focus on lifting my feet. The race director's email mentioned water crossings, so I was prepared for that and mud. I looked forward to exploring more of Austin's trails.
|I love the T-shirt! And no, I did not wear it during the race.|
The course was three loops of the 10K course. I am typically not a fan of repeating loops but I enjoyed it because I learned the course hazards and it helped me pace myself. It was cold for Austin at the start and my fingers were number for the first 1.5 loops.
|Near the start of the race|
The ice cold water crossings (2 per loop) became short ice baths for me; my feet were number afterwards and it took a lot of concentration to avoid tripping and falling. I joked with another runner that the course had free ice baths. The course was EXTREMELY well marked, which was much needed since it was constantly winding and no trails were marked in the park.
|All smiles on loop 1|
|Still smiling on loop 2|
I paced myself well and each loop took about 65 minutes -- slow for me but the water crossings and being super cautious to avoid tripping over rocks and roots made better safe than sorry totally fine with me. I forgot my camera so I did not capture any pictures during the race but that was probably for the best since snapping pictures while running can be a recipe for face planting.
The finish line was very low key-- cross the finish line, take off the timing chip and have the opportunity to grab tacos under the pavilion. The next race in the series is in a couple weeks and I know I will not be running much the next two weekends, so it will be interesting to see how well I survive it. No matter what, I love spending hours on trails!
|I forgot to get a post-race picture but this will suffice.|