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Run at the Rock race report ... aka things I learned today (Read 922 times)

    For starters, here's the race website: http://www.runattherock.com. It's a beautiful, mostly wooded course set in hills. Um... lots of hills. The weather was lovely, since it's stopped raining. Um ... rain for the whole week before a trail run is a bad thing. The website describes the course as "challenging." Um ... they meant it! You could sum up my race with two words: woefully unprepared! However, I did learn a lot! Here's what I learned about trail racing today. 1) As mentioned above, rain for the whole week before a trail run is a bad thing. There were parts of the run that were not a shoe-sucking quagmire. Maybe half, at most. 2) Mud can steal shoes. 3) I'm not the only one who falls down. (Note: I did better than many people in this department, as I only fell once and only rolled my ankle once...) 4) If you step really quickly you can kinda-sorta run across a muddy area without sinking in to it. Um... kinda-sorta, anyway. 5) Trail-blazing through dense underbrush can be faster and take less effort than staying on the trail. 6) If you're offered pieces of banana along with your gatorade/water at the aid station, chug your drink first and then try to eat the banana. Having a mouthful of banana makes drinking difficult! Trying to breathe through that same mouth while it's full of banana and gatorade is a waste of time at best! :: ahem:: Blush 7) If a web-site says a course is challenging, they probably mean it. (Without the mud, that is!) For some reason I had hopes that it would be similar to the "trail" 10K I'd run earlier in the year. It was nothing like it!!! 8) Constantly running on the side of the trail so that the swarms of people passing you can get by is extra-wearying. 9) When you suspect at a half mile into the 14 mile course that you got in way over your head... you probably did. 10) A 14 mile course that is really a 7 mile loop run twice... can suddenly become a 7 mile course! 11) When preparing for race day, pack an extra pair of socks and shoes in the car to change into after the race. 12) The trails I've trained on were nothing like these. I need to find harder trails. 13) Racing in shoes wet from splashing across streams makes for nasty blisters. By the end of the first loop, I was half-way through the allotted time before they closed the course, my energy was 80% gone, my joints and muscles were severely complaining from the unaccustomed strains of (muddy) trail racing, and I knew that if I tried to continue on at this pace I was going to hurt myself. So I wisely but sadly decided that I would finish at 7 miles. There was, after all, both a 7 mile and 14 mile division. It's just that I'd signed up for, and had planned to complete, the 14 miles. Black eye However, I don't think I've ever had so much fun getting my butt whooped! I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for more trail races! To do list: 1) Go back to my regular trails and tell them I met their big sister... and that she was ugly and wore combat boots! 2) Rematch next year...

    Roads were made for journeys...


    Needs more cowbell!

      All things considered, it sounds like you had a pretty awesome time! What an accomplishment, too! I'm still scared of trail running...mostly because I'm a super klutz and have a hard enough time running on pavement with the occasional pebble. You have my utmost respect. BTW, what kind of socks did you wear. I highly recommend those SmartWools that Eryn raved about for so long. I did a 7+ mile run today through a lot of cold, slushy puddles and my feet did get wet, but my socks fit super snuggly and keep my feet warm. I still find that they get a little damp, but my shoe were soaked and my feet were really just kinda moist. k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


      Now that was a bath...

        Girl you just put a lot in perspective for me but I will probably save that for another post and not boycott this one. You do like to challenge yourself don't you! The closest I get to trail running is if I run on the grass verge at the side of the road rather than on the sidewalk and I even feel pain doing that. Just the thought of 14 miles terrifies me. The thought of 7 miles on a trail leaves me traumatised. The thought of 7 miles on a muddy wet hilly trail is unthinkable. Huge pat on the back for completing the 7 mile and once again you are my inspiration for making sensible decisions as to making a 'good call' during a race. I was checking out your log earlier - you're pushing your pace quite a bit too with that interval work! Go girl! Be kind to those poor feet honey. Claire xxx
      • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
      • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.
        va


          Nice work Wingz! A 7 mile trail run with slop and hills sounds like quite an accomplishment. Also, thanks for sharing what you learned.
            I forgot to mention: 14) Loose leaves can provide traction on muddy hills! They are your friend here!

            Roads were made for journeys...

              Thanks, guys! It was fun. Like I said. Rematch - next year!

              Roads were made for journeys...

              bas


                Hi wingz, Your 14 points confirm all my suspicions about trail racing Big grin Good for you those finish 7 miles you were not prepared for! BTW: Saw the pictures on the site, beautiful scenery! bas

                52° 21' North, 4° 52' East


                Finished!

                  Great report, and well done - I don't like muddy hills, I can't ever imagine running a trail race! My ankles I don't think would stand for it lol So....how many times did you lose your shoes? Well done on the finish Smile And much luck next yr!
                  Walk + Jog = wog.
                  I'm trying to Lose 5% at a time
                  I support Heifer International - join me by donating via my registry
                    Now THAT's a race report. Good job, Wingz!

                    Runners run.


                    You'll ruin your knees!

                      Well, let's see...I feel I must defend the trails... 1) As mentioned above, rain for the whole week before a trail run is a bad thing. There were parts of the run that were not a shoe-sucking quagmire. Maybe half, at most.Hmmm...shoes, as we've established on other discussions, can cause injury, therefore shoe-sucking mud can be our friend! 2) Mud can steal shoes.see #1...also, can provide a softer landing point than non-mud 3) I'm not the only one who falls down. (Note: I did better than many people in this department, as I only fell once and only rolled my ankle once...)see #2, also, falling can be an acquired skill if one practices...as for the turning of ankles, eventually, the tendons and ligaments stretch out such that the ankle rolling isn't all that painful... 4) If you step really quickly you can kinda-sorta run across a muddy area without sinking in to it. Um... kinda-sorta, anyway....and you could never do this on pavement, therefore, trails are better! 5) Trail-blazing through dense underbrush can be faster and take less effort than staying on the trail.also known as bushwacking, off trail is great as long as we aren't "cutting" the course Blush. It can also be used as a bathroom finding technique Blush Blush 6) If you're offered pieces of banana along with your gatorade/water at the aid station, chug your drink first and then try to eat the banana. Having a mouthful of banana makes drinking difficult! Trying to breathe through that same mouth while it's full of banana and gatorade is a waste of time at best! :: ahem:: also an acquired skill, a proper crew might even "pre-chew" the banana so you can avoid the conflict 7) If a web-site says a course is challenging, they probably mean it. (Without the mud, that is!) For some reason I had hopes that it would be similar to the "trail" 10K I'd run earlier in the year. It was nothing like it!!!the powers of rationalization are particularly acute in trail runners! Heck, we can rationalize just about anything! Cool Constantly running on the side of the trail so that the swarms of people passing you can get by is extra-wearying.I got nothing here... 9) When you suspect at a half mile into the 14 mile course that you got in way over your head... you probably did.lessons in trail running...someone wrote a book about this kind of stuff... it's titled "AND THEN, THE VULTURE EATS YOU" 10) A 14 mile course that is really a 7 mile loop run twice... can suddenly become a 7 mile course!...and sometimes it can even become a 21 mile course... Big grin 11) When preparing for race day, pack an extra pair of socks and shoes in the car to change into after the race.sage advice keemosabi! Actually, sandals are great for this, you get to show off that really cool line between the muddy parts and the clean parts at ankles...evokes lots of praise and admiration at the restaurant later 12) The trails I've trained on were nothing like these. I need to find harder trails....more sagedome! Terrain-specific training is the key! 13) Racing in shoes wet from splashing across streams makes for nasty blisters.good sock/shoe combinations can really help minimize the discomfort, if not, lance the blister, apply superglue and duct tape and continue! "Rematch next year" - Welcome to the dark side... Lynn B

                      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                        Sounds like you had a lot of fun. Wink Very impressive run and great report. I love trail running as long as it's dry. Some of my favorite trails in the area have the type of soil that at the first rain turns into a very sticky mud. After a few steps my shoes weigh 5 lbs/each more. Not fun. I am sure next year you are going to cruise all 14 miles mud or not. Ewa
                        I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill


                        Needs more cowbell!

                          Ha, if I didn't know better I might think Lynn was trying to brainwash us all into becoming trail addicts....nah! Wink k

                          I shoot pretty things! ~

                          '14 Goals:

                          • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                            Great report and great accomplishment! To get in the proper mood, I'm sitting here eating some trail mix as I read your report. Glad to hear you had such a good time.
                            My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                              So Lynn, if I understand you correctly, these are the selling points for running on trails: Shoe-sucking mud is our friend Tongue One should practice falling Black eye Eventually, rolling our ankles isn't that painful Roll eyes A good crew will pre-chew your banana Tight lipped The vultures will eventually get you Dead Yes, of course. I'm sold. Not. I do agree with your statement that trail runners "can rationalize just about anything." Except, I think the word is spelled rational lies. Wink
                              My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                                The mud only stole the other guys' shoes. At least two people. Probably many more - that's just the ones I saw/heard about. And hey, the guy who I think won the 14 miler skidded and fell most magnificently right in front of me. It was, in a sick way, kind of gratifying... Blush Actually, when I fell on the trail it hurt significantly less than the time just a week prior when I tripped on a curb and fell on sidewalk. The sidewalk left a rather large bruise. The trail didn't even hurt! So yes, falling hurts less on trails if you manage to avoid rocks... I'm still using regular athletic socks. The blisters formed and burst before they were even noticed. Guess I had other things on my mind! Roll eyes And the pictures on the site don't do justice to the course. Not by a long shot. They contributed to my thinking that this would be a moderately flat course with some gentle, rolling hills. NOT!!! It is, however, just as lovely as the pictures. And the waterfall looked just like the picture. "Lovely" is an understatement. I did stop to admire it. After all, I was in no danger of losing my last-place finish by giving up 20 seconds to admire it... Wink

                                Roads were made for journeys...

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