I have to start by saying that I was really excited to participate in a race that was practically in my backyard and on a course that I have run several times. In fact, I have been running a majority of the course on a weekly basis for about 3 months now. How lucky am I? I definitely think that I had an advantage over those who were unfamiliar with the course.
This was another 10k race put on by Inside Trail Racing. This group does a wonderful job and I’d like to say, “Thank you!” to the volunteers who helped out.
When I arrived, I was a little cold. It was in the mid 50’s with a slight breeze. I had a fleece on and ended up wearing my swim towel as a long skirt. Yeah, I was probably sporting quite an outfit. By 8:00 am, I was moving around enough that I decided to peel my “skirt” off and leave it in the car. I think it would be helpful if I could find a pair of sweats that I can get off without removing my shoes. Once my shoes are tied, I don’t like having to take them on and off again. Right before the race began I took off my fleece and left it on a nearby rock. I knew the temperature was perfect for the race.
The course was a long 10k (~6.8mi). It was an out and back course with a beautiful view of Folsom Lake. The full marathon and the 50k racers started half an hour before I did. The half marathon and 10k racers started together. The start was up a short hill and then down a hill onto the levy for about a mile. This gave us the chance to spread out a bit before we hit the single track trail.
Although there are some rollers on this course, it was nothing like the course I ran last month (Knickerbocker Canyon Trail Race). My quads were happier with the descents on this course, too. Since I knew the course, I knew where I could push myself and where the rollers were. From racing this course, I learned that I’m still very conservative on the downhill and this is my weak area. I guess I will continue to improve with time. After all, I only switched to full time trail running in January. I also learned that I would much rather create the dust than eat someone else’s dust.
I worked hard the first half of the race, downed a gel and was ready for some water by the time I made it to the aid station. I’m still getting used to the idea of seeing all the food (and there’s quite a spread) out at the aid stations during a race. I’m used to running past an aid station and grabbing water on the go. I know that I will appreciate these full service types of aid stations as my race mileage increases. But, for now, I grabbed my 2 cups of water and chugged them as quickly as I could and was back to running.
I knew that I wanted to work equally hard on the way back. I also knew by this time that I was in the lead (first female). I wanted this win and didn’t want to make any mistakes that would jeopardize it. I pushed as hard as I could and since this was an out and back race, I had to pass by the other runners. Everyone seemed to know the trail educate and we were able to pass each other without any problems. Thank you to the runners who let me squeeze by in the few narrow areas. Along the way, I received lots of cheering and positive comments. I really appreciated it. Trail runners are so friendly and supportive of each other! Every shout out helped me run a little faster.
By the time I reached the 1 mile to go point, I was chanting to myself, “You’ve got this……you’ve got this.” As I climbed the last roller, I had to peek to make sure no other gal was too close by. Nope. I had a good lead. I made it to the top of the roller and I knew it was downhill to the finish chute! And, by the way, the view at the end was beautiful! However, the best part was seeing my husband and daughter at the finish line to cheer me on (my son was away at camp).
A little peek at the results: