Saturday, April 26, 2014

My New Favorite Race

I’m not spontaneous (unless I get the runner’s trots, then I am very spontaneous going to and in the bathroom). Overall, I’m more of a Type A planner.

Yet, two days ago I started living on the edge and signed up for the Ft. Collins Trail Half Marathon that was today. I don’t know. I had a 2 1/2 hour run scheduled for today and felt like racing. Plus, if you read this blog, you know how much I love the trails. This one, north of Ft. Collins, promised to be a scenic course. With just a bit of climbing. Holy sh*t. After a 60 mile bike ride yesterday, I wasn’t sure if my legs would work and be able to reach that pointy nipple at the top.

image

I talked Joie into doing it with me. We started out early to a beautiful sunrise.

IMAG3018

I love any race where you have to turn on this road to get to the start.

We picked up our packets and enjoyed a nice continental breakfast (I called it the Costco-tinental breakfast because it was all from the big “C”, but I love Costco’s stuff so I was thrilled). I had some big pieces of loaf cake. Carbs, man.

The only bathrooms available were in a church near the start line. 2 stalls for women, 1 for men. Those poor church people. Sweet Jesus the smell was bad by the time I went in for my second deposit. No, the smell wasn’t ALL my fault.

I love trail races because they are super mellow. No corrals, no feelings of being smashed in like sardines or weaving around people.

This was to be a half marathon, but when we got there, we saw this sign. Yay! It’s the special of the day! Only 12.5 miles today!

IMAG3020

I think it should be illegal to start a race going up a huge hill, but that is what happened. Why do pictures never do climbs justice? I swear it was 95x this steep.

IMAG3021

The first mile was brutal.

I didn’t bring water because the website said aid stations were every two miles. Well, I suppose if you averaged the aid stations they were every two miles. But, the first three were close together, then there was  a five mile span with nothing (due to the trail being too remote), which is a long time when you are climbing on the trails.

I have to tell you - I had the time of my life. I LOVE the challenge of climbing up (and occasionally walking) these huge ass hills then screaming down them. The scenery was probably the best I have ever had on a run. There were a lot of single track trails that wound in and out of little canyons and small streams to jump over or splash through. I wish I had pictures for you, but I don’t. There were, however, two younger girls (women) taking selfies of each other for  a good part of the race. WHAT?

In total, this race only ended up being 11.5 miles. A bit short of the half distance. But, I was okay with that. I finished in 1:56 for an average pace of 10:07. For me on the hills (1,900 feet of climbing) that is very good.

IMAG3022

And, I was shocked to learn I got 1st in the 40-49 old lady age group. There were only 10 of us in this age group but I’ll take it!!! Us old women can still rock it, clearly. And, drink beer at 10:00 a.m. after a race.

IMAG3024

IMAG3025

Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

What is the most scenic race you’ve ever done?

SUAR

PS: “Hi” to reader Sonia who introduced herself today. WTG on the 10K! And nice meeting you out there, Louisa! Sorry about your leg.

44 comments:

  1. Great job! Shockingly, I can be spontaneous when it comes to some things...like races! You're lucky you live in such a beautiful place, with roads named Jackass Rd. Not too many crazy road names here in the NW Chicago 'burbs...except maybe Burning Bush Lane?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love running trails, but since recently moving to KC, not many trails to.run. I did run the Garmin Half today, in the Land of Oz!!!! It was pretty brutal!! The storms rolled in about mile 8, and the thunder and lightning came v with that!! Next was the Hail about mile 9!! Didn't get the time I wanted, but I made the finish line at about 1:57!! Love your blog!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey -- If you're in KC, you should check out the Trail Nerds. Very fun running group. http://www.psychowyco.com/ We're in southwestern MO and have made the drive to run with them a time or two.

      Delete
  3. I've never raced on the trails. I wanted to do the North Face challenge, but couldn't this year.

    I am racing a 10K tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am seriously jealous of your trail run today! I was running in the Ragnar Zion trail relay this weekend but it ended up being canceled because early this morning it started pouring rain and then snowed about 6", which turned the trails into treacherous muddy rivers. So very disappointed we weren't able to finish it! Welcome to schizophrenic spring in Utah!

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW, I am so impressed by the amount of climbing you did over 11.5 miles! I've done more trail runs than road races in my area and the most I've ever climbed during a half marathon was 1300ft. I can't imagine how b-r-u-t-a-l that climb must have been. The most beautiful half marathon I have done was in Sisters, Oregon (a trail run) on a day where there were dark clouds and rainbows in the distance over the mountains. It almost made you just want to stop, sit, and stare in awe.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful course! I did the Mud Hen 5k at Macintosh on a whim today. Went out way to fast which lead to two walk breaks but I won my age group and was the fourth woman overall.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Dispea is the oldest and most scenic trail race in the world. It starts with 688 steps, before the real climbing starts! Nothing can compare to the Double Dipsea, from Stinson Beach to Mill Valley then back to Stinson Beach, 14.2 miles of unspeakable beauty that you get to see in both directions. I ran it eight times, and it has always been my favorite race. Not as crowded as the Dipsea and much less crowded than the Quadruple Dipsea, the 28.4 mile ultra held every year in November.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Um, wow! So inspiring. I'd love to do a trail race someday. The most scenic race I've done is the Huntsville Marathon in Utah in the fall. Beautiful fall colors all the way!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I live here and didn't even know about this. How fun! I did a 5K this morning with my friend who was running his very first race ever! Nice job on a tough course!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Long time reader first time commenter here! My husband and I live in Fort Collins and we hadn't heard of this race, if we had perhaps we would have come to cheer you on. Nice work. Perhaps we will see you there next year?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I HATE races that start out uphill! You're such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I HATE races that start out downhill! Like the Boston Marathon. It is one of the easiest marathon courses I've ever run (because it's downhill), but it sure does beat up your legs.

      Delete
  12. Nice job on the race! No races for me this weekend - I think I strained a hip flexor/butt muscle so I've been kind of taking it easy. Gonna try to do a longish run tomorrow and see how it feels. Then next weekend I'm doing a half...first one of the year! (And I'm not totally ready for it, but whatevs. Still doin' it.)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've never raced on the road....I run less that 5 miles a month on pavement and my knees are happier for it...I really wanted to run a trail Half this spring but I rolled my ankle a month out from what was supposed to be my first this month. Hopefully I can find one this fall, I raced all winter on trails but don't have a race until a 5mile trailrace in July

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today's trailrun was 4.5 miles in the pouring rain with an old friend...oddly no mud, pine forest, it was awesome.

      Delete
  14. Love, love, love trail races! Great job on those killer hills.
    Ran a 5 miler today partially on a forest road, The George's Goats for Grammas Race, the $25 entry fee buys 1 goat for a family in Zambia. it was still only fricking 35 degrees with a little snow in the air, enough winter allready!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow way to show those hills who's boss!! Its always fun to place :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I ran my first race of the year, a local 5K that just weaves around town. But I got a PR of 25:46! Very happy with myself and totally tooting my own horn :o)

    I haven't raced that much, so the most scenic yet is the WhistleStop half-marathon in Ashland, WI. It's in October, and the trail is an old railroad bed. So lots of trees, beautiful fall color, and a few bridges over little streams and creeks. Also, flat and fast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ali, your time rocked! I'm still trying to get under 30:00. I love 5Ks!

      Delete
  17. Congrats on the AG win - and on fighting the type A planning mindset and going w/ something spontaneous...something I'm sort of thinking about working on. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds like a brutal but great race! Congrats on the age group win! That's awesome :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Agreed that cameras never do climbs justice! Can't figure that one out. Looks like a great race and way to be spontaneous, you are inspiring me :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just got back from my half marathon that totally sucked. I haven't had a bad race in a few years and this one was a good reminder that we all have bad days. My body hurts (it was only 13.1 miles!) and I'm so ready to be done with running. But tomorrow or maybe Wednesday, I'll be back on the road.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Those 40 to 49 year old "old" ladies are totally the bomb. I'd drink beer with you, race or no race. Congrats on a great race!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congrats! I love signing up for races lat minute but rarely do it due to working weekends and my complete type A personality. I've never done a trail race and your pics make me really want to seek one out. They are few and far between here in MI.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I did my first 1/2 this weekend, the park to park 1/2 marathon from Waynesboro to Starts Draft, Virginia. Met my goal on a beautiful course. Its just up the street from JMU. Come run it next year and do a meet up. I would love to meet you. I would also like to run the Colorado trails too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would LOVE to do that race!! Is it mostly back roads?

      Delete
  24. Well done! I am not usually a spontaneous runner either although yesterday I went out 'exploring' and got completely lost while trying to be spontaneous...Maybe I'll stick to established routes in future! I have a half marathon lined up for the end of May and it's the first I have done in a while! It could be interesting! http://goo.gl/PcRb0S

    ReplyDelete
  25. I DID race this weekend in the inaugural Russvegas 1/2 marathon. I recruited my DIL & her friend to run the first leg of the relay & one of my running buddies to run the second leg with me. It was, how shall I say it, rather warm at the end. They were offering free 13.1 minute massages, but it was the $2 snow cones that really got my attention. I am now convinced that snow cones should be available at the end of every race. May have to write my congressional representative.

    ReplyDelete
  26. And, CONGRATS on your win. And your seriously cute running skirt!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for the inspiration for the Jemez Mountain Half!

    ReplyDelete
  28. No race this weekend. Ran part of the course for a race I'm doing in a couple of weeks. Road race but hilly - ends up the auto road of a local mountain (Pack Monadnock). Most scenic race would have to be the Cape Cod Marathon - awesome ocean views. Congrats on your age group win!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I definitely know what you mean about pictures never doing steep climbs justice. You tell someone all about how brutal one is, and how there was a point where you thought about stopping and just laying down on the side of the road because you really didn't think you could go any farther, then you bust out the photo and they kind of give you that skeptical look like "uh huh, suuuuure", lol. But I do love the challenge of a crazy hill, and that thrill you get when you finally reach the top. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sounds like a fun day and a great way to get the training in. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I didn't race this weekend, just more training.
    I'll do my first trail race in a few weeks, so I hope that will be more scenic than the roads I run on every day!
    Congrats on your great race!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Didn't race this weekend but had a lovely 10-miler with three other ladies Sunday morning.

    Most scenic race is The Other Half Marathon in Moab. The race is along highway 128, which is closed to traffic for the event, and follows along the Colorado river through huge red rock canyons. Absolutely spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Congrats on the win Beth!! I love trail races.

    ReplyDelete
  34. In smaller, local races I frequently finish first in my age group - the 60-65 "old lady age group". Of course, it's simply because I'm often the only runner IN that age group! Hmmm...I guess that technically makes me last in my age group, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just hope I can run at all when I'm in the 60-65 age group. Way to go!

      Delete
  35. No race this weekend, but I was in Chicago for a conference and did some nice training runs along the lakefront. Definitely enough scenery to keep my interest! Of course, being from the vast open plains of the midwest, I usually see nothing but fields and sky on my runs, so this was a welcome change for a few days. The people watching was pretty fun, too!

    ReplyDelete
  36. GREAT JOB!!! You *Are* awesome!!!
    I did race this weekend. A road race. A 10k and it took me a pathetic 1:20 to finish, but it was the longest distance I'd done since my double mastectomy last year so I was thrilled with it. Just glad to still be out there.
    You're AMAZING!!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I ran the Wegman's Family 5K in Rochester, NY this weekend which was part of a two day running, biking, and rowing festival, the Flower City Challenge, It was amazing! I shaved 4 minutes off my last 5K in December and came in 2nd in my age group and 17th woman over-all (out of roughly 600 or so).

    ReplyDelete