Well, I still haven't written up my last race, The Falling Leaves Half Marathon...but I am more motivated to write about today's race than reverse back to that at the moment so...it's to come (maybe!).
This trail race was a combo 30K and 50K. Basically it didn't matter what you signed up for, everyone was to be scored for the 30K and if you went on to 50K well then, yay!
Leading up to it, I planned on 30K as I haven't run more than 13 miles in a couple of months. 18ish miles was doable but probably challenging and 31 I couldn't imagine reaching where my training is at. I just planned to run and give it what I had.
Weather was cool, and the ultra atmosphere at the start is very low key, an aspect of these races I really enjoy. There were just over a 100 people registered and I was happy that I knew quite a few people. The community of runners is very small!
The course itself was about 60% trail and 40% pavement. I have to say I actually was not enjoying the pavement portions. The trail was mostly very runnable, but did have a few climbs that would stop you. I was surprised to see my pace dip into the 8's quite a bit. The more loops I did the more confident I was in opening up my stride. Of course plenty of sections and rocks and roots to check you but it was nice to get that rush of speed.
I felt a lot better than I thought I would. I finished the 30K not really tired nor worse for the wear, and a bit sad that it was over. My hip flexors and hamstrings were a little achy but at that point I was 19 miles in and that is kind of par for the course.
So with some peer pressure I decided to just go for another lap (they were about 5K or so each, ultra world course measuring is very official, or not lol).
I spent that lap knowing I was probably reaching mileage territory that I shouldn't. Even though my body was feeling about what it should for the race, I knew I wasn't trained for what I was doing and with some sadness decided I would check myself and not continue with the 3 more laps to the 50K.
Years of running and racing have taught me well. Just because I CAN do something doesn't mean I should. And I am pretty convinced it is why I don't get injured. Minus Crohn's disease related set backs, I have not been injured. Could I have done 9 more miles? 100% not a doubt in my mind but end of the day best to walk off feeling good and happy with my performance and knowing I can go run some miles tomorrow.
On another note, I threw in a rookie move that could have backfired and wore new shoes and was lucky that they were amazing! The Saucony Nomad TR. If anyone needs a trail shoe try them. Light weight, 4mm drop, and super comfy. PSA over but had to mention it.
Overall, just a great day and 10/10 would do it again!
And I can't wait to return to Alley Pond Park and hit the trails again soon. So happy it is only a couple miles from home.