Sort of on a whim, I ran a 10K trail race on Wednesday.
I didn’t register online because it was supposed to storm (and, I’m three for four on rainy races this year), but the rain held off, and thankfully the Endless Summer Trail Run Series has race day registration. So, after work, I headed to Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, ran back and forth between my car and registration a couple times (forgot my checkbook, put away my race swag) and was immediately sweating thanks to the humidity.
The race started informally with a quick rundown and bad joke from the race director, who then counted down from 10 and yelled GOOOOOO.
And, just like that, we were off through the woods.
I know better, but got caught up in the race start adrenaline and took off way too fast… waaaaaay too fast. In a matter of minutes, my heart rate jumped to 170. And, by mile two, it was hovering in the low 180s (yikes!), and I knew if I didn’t slow it down (it averaged 172), I’d bonk, and it would be a 50-minute sufferfest, especially given the humidity.
So, with some deep breaths, I slowed my pace and enjoyed every single slippery muddy messy step. How could I not enjoy scenery like this?! MSP is a pretty beautiful place to call home. (And, yes, I was that girl who carried her iPhone because I knew it would be beautiful, and I wanted some pics. I never carry it because, 1) I usually have my sherpa there to take pics; 2) it annoys me to carry it; and, 3) there’s absolutely no need to carry a phone on a race; you’re there to run and enjoy the race!)
The tree-covered trail, a combination of mud puddles, slick mud, muddy hills, cedar chips and grass, kept the run interesting and made the miles tick by pretty quickly. That said, around mile three, I was ready for my heart rate to return to a more manageable beat. And, around mile 4.5, after I’d embraced the suck and humidity, I had no choice but to run through a massive mud puddle, which resulted in some seriously soaked shoes. They sloshed and squeaked for about a mile as the water drained. Glad I wore my old shoes; my orthotics, however… well, they don’t smell the greatest!
The finish line was pretty festive, with folks banging cow bells, chowing on pizza and drinking local beer. All in all, a good time. And, in between wiping sweat from my eyes (the salt stings!), I even got to catch up with a couple friends I hadn’t seen in ages.
OFFICIAL RESULTS // 47:37, 13th AG, 16th OA female
The run was a bit short – my Garmin read 5.66 miles – but, hey, I’m not complaining. Rock Steady Running knows how to put on a good race! Plus, race swag is a really cool coffee mug. Collect all four if you race the series.
Note to self: Neon green shorts were not the right color choice for a muddy trail run! (This picture doesn’t capture my mud-encased calves.)