Saturday was my first race of 2014. It was my first race since June 2013. Yikes. I couldn’t sleep the night before this Winter Trail Run Series. Seriously, I woke every hour. While I accepted that I would probably trot in dead last, I worried that the race director, Big Baz, and his crew would be tapping their feet waiting for me to show up before they locked the gate. Or worse yet, they wouldn’t realize I was still out there, and accidentally lock me into lower Blue Jay Campground.
I was nervous.
I’ll say one thing. It felt GREAT to be back. Baz remembered me, and I saw lots of familiar faces. Lots.
I took off not feeling that strong. And my foot was a minor discomfort on the cold asphalt leading to San Juan Trail.
Starting at the back of the pack, I stayed at the back of the pack. And it took a while to get my groove. The trail was delightfully technical; I felt confident running it. For the first few miles, I could hear a couple runners approaching from behind. For the next couple, we passed back and forth. I really didn’t mind, and even helped one lady put something in her pack. I had some good quick conversations. Felt like old times with old friends, though I had only met these two runners on Saturday.
I fell once, and jumped up, pissed off with bloody palms and a scraped knee. Then suddenly I gained a burst of strength and passed my two running comrades at quite a distance. Eventually, the woman I had chatted with finally passed me for good with about a mile remaining. But I had passed another woman along the way, so I was certain that I had two runners behind me. If I kept moving forward as quickly as possible, I probably wouldn’t take home the DFL for this race.
I did not wobble in. AND I finished this race 30 minutes quicker than when I ran the course a couple weeks ago. My foot did ache a bit on that run back down into the Finish Line on asphalt. But it was good. It was all good. Ends up that 6 names were listed beneath mine in the final stats for this 12k. That’s 6 more than I predicted.
Photo op with running blogger Thea who ran this race barefoot!
ps. the race was actually longer than 12k. But that’s one of the things I’ve learned to love about Baz’s races. None of them measure exactly. Some fall short, others like this one, run longer.