I got in a bit after 10 pm Saturday night and after checking in, getting settled, pumping for Max (he stayed home) calling Kyle etc. I was asleep just before midnight with my alarm set for 7:30 for the 9:00am start time. I got woken up around 6:45 by the sounds of people opening and closing doors and decided I wouldn't get back to sleep so went ahead an got up. I threw some clothes on and went to the main lodge to get breakfast. Then I came back to my room, pumped, got ready and then settled in to read to distract myself from getting nervous. I settled on wearing a pair of compression socks, compression tights, a tank, arm warmers, my Garmin watch and a headband. I opted to not wear my water carrying running belt and just wear my small light running belt. I took 3 Gu with me and wore my 13.1 headband that my friend Shanna gave me (you better believe I'm going to be wearing THAT a ton!!!). I walked out the door 25 minutes early forgetting my sunglasses. As I left the cabin where my room was I hear a gun and a whole slew of runners took off. I ambled up to the lodge and commented to someone, "That the marathoners taking off?" I was informed that NO, NOT THE MARATHONERS....THE HALF MARATHONERS! Note to self. Next half marathon....double check the start time. I was the LAST runner out of the chute...by a couple of minutes. The last straggler runner was a good 1/4 mile ahead of me. Way to start off on a good note. So off I go. This is when I notice my watch hasn't located all of it's satellites so it's not on yet. Great. So now my mileage count is going to be "off". Oh! It's pretty sunny out...too bad I'm going to have to squint the entire race. Sheesh. I will say, the good thing about beginning dead last is that you get to pass a lot of people. I only got passed twice the entire race and those were towards the end. The race was on the "easiest" single track trails. Yeah. Their easiest trails are WAY harder than the trails at Lake Arcadia and at Lake Draper (the only trails I've run on at this point). It was super hilly, steep inclines, very steep declines...tons of rocks. There were tons of rocks. OH, AND DID I MENTION THERE WERE TONS OF ROCKS? I never actually saw anyone fall down, but people all around me were tripping like it was going out of style. Myself included. I quickly decided that my goal of "shoes staying trail side down" really might not happen. My ankles were very sore running, not from twisting them, but from using muscles to stabilize myself that I normally don't use. In fact, my ankles muscles are sore today. I can honestly say that's never happened to me before! I also got blisters on both feet, which has never happened and I'm certain they can be attributed to the rough terrain as well. Post Oak Lodge is near the aptly name Sand Springs. There were randomly soupy mud holes in the trail that I had to stop and pick my way across or jump over. I only managed to step in one and had to finish with a muddy/wet right shoe and sock. The bad thing about single track is how easy it is to get "stuck" behind someone. There's just no way around. Most people who know people are needing to pass them, will stop and get over off the track allowing other runners to get by. Also, running behind other people makes it harder to run because you can't see the ground in front of you as well, so tripping is even MORE likely. I had several good stumbles, but no falls and managed to get several tree branches in the face. I also regretted my decision to not wear my water bottles as I was thirsty most of the race. I prefer to take sips frequently, not just a couple of ounces ever 2-3 miles. I took 2 Gu on the run. One at mile 8 and the other around mile 11. The race ended on paved road. I was so beat from battling the trails that I couldn't even enjoy the nice, even terrain (although these roads were quite similar to the roads by our house...and could be deemed quite "trail like" because of the crumbly asphalt and potholes). The race ended with a .7 mile long hill, advertised as "The Hill From He**". I ran the first part of it, but when it came to the steepest part...I walked. I just didn't have it in me. My official time was 2:16:50. (It was chip timed, meaning my time didn't actually start until I crossed the starting line and ended when I crossed the finish line). I finished 51 out of 138 finishers. I'm okay with my time given the conditions of the race. But I want to run faster. I can do better...(I hope!)
The lodge had changed the checkout time to 2pm so I stretched, grabbed a shower and headed home to my beloved foam roller. Then, at 8:30 my friend who is a massage therapist came at 8:30 and stretched and massaged me. That was the BEST idea I've ever had in my entire life. And today? I'm so sore I can hardly walk down our stairs. My quads are KILLING me. I think it was from all the rocky hills and steep declines.
Right before I wrote this recap I registered for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 29th. I will be running the half again. The OKC Marathon is notorious for horrible weather...last year it hailed, so I shouldn't really anticipate better overall running conditions, I don't think. And I have new goals.
1. Don't walk
2. Run faster than 2:15.
I'll be taking tomorrow off from running to continue to recover, but I'll be back at it bright and early Thursday morning.