How cool is it to run a race so close to home. On your home turf even. Thats what I got to do this past Saturday morning! I ran the 8mile loop last year and this year they increased the distance to 15k/30k. I decided early on that I wanted to do the 30k. But the fact was that I run up there so much and run the course so much that several days before the race I decided to do just the 15k instead.
We actually met a group at the park several days before the race to help mark it and found out that we would for sure be running the course backwards this year. This is a tough course with lots of hills and rocks. The 15k had about 1500ft elevation. I made the right choice to change to the 15k.
Race day morning was nice. We were able to get up a little bit later since we only had about a 10 min drive. We actually got there only a half hour before the start which is late for us. But we checked in, got our bibs, said hello to a bunch of familiar faces and made our way to the start!
Race got started right on time and we were off! This year the run starts with a gnarly downhill that has LOTS of loose rocks and sketchy footing. Great way to wake up the quads! Once we got to the bottom we could start the real running. Oh wait, nope, now its time for an uphill. That was pretty much how the first three miles were. More uphill then down it seemed.
The next three miles were much more enjoyable/runnable for me except for an out and back that was actually a down and up. Run down the steep hill. Stop about 3/4 of the way down. Turn around and come back up! One girl headed down stopped in her tracks and asked her friend if it was even worth it. Her friend assured her it was! Other then that hill I felt like I was cruising along much of the time. We had a nice group of 3-4 of us during this stretch and we were jockeying back and forth positions but we basically ran together this part. It was kind of nice to actually be running with other people like that.
The last three miles were more hills and rocks. More loose footing. Again, it felt like I was moving more uphill then down. How does that happen?! During this point the one girl took off from the rest of us. I tried to keep up but couldnt. And eventually had to slow back down. Sue then caught back up to me. But my legs were spent. I let her pass me on the last big uphill. I walked to the top and ended up doing a run/walk the last 1/2 mile to the finish.
I was done. I am again glad that I only did the one loop. I gave it all I had that day. The weather was perfect. It was a GREAT RACE! Lots of FUN with friends!!
Looking back at my time from last year I see that my pace was almost exactly the same. It was much hotter and humid last year and it was my first race back from injury. I think I remember the effort being about the same. So Im not sure how I feel about it. I feel like I should have had a better race with all of the running I have been doing. I have so much more experience now. But also know that I have been dealing with some minor health issues, maybe it all balances out. I know I need to reevaluate some things....
EATS: Just some quick pictures of some of my eats this week!
Love Brussels sprouts now that I have discovered shredding them! They even make a great base for a salad.
|Brussels Sprout Salad|
|Coke & Cherry MIXED Slushy|
|Spring Rolls & Sweet Chili Sauce|
The last thing I want to tell you about is my first ever batch of homemade hummus! I LOVE hummus and eat it often but have never made it before. I know it is cheaper to make your own. But I really love the different varieties I get from Trader Joes and was ok paying the price. Until they didnt have the Eggplant Hummus. For weeks, maybe months, they didnt have it. I couldnt find it anywhere. So that was finally incentive enough for me to try to make it myself. I followed this recipe but left out the oil and added some spices.
It was so quick. And easy. And CHEAP!! Best of all...it tastes AWESOME!! I almost couldnt believe it.