So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Xterra Trail Race Report

This race was on Sunday - it is unlike me to wait until Wednesday to post a race report.  Work and kids have been keeping me very busy.  Unfortunately, I don't feel the same zing after the race excitement and adrenaline has worn off.  It's harder to write from memory as opposed to emotion...with the latter, I find myself reliving the moment and my writing flows effortlessly from my fingertips.  When I write from memory, I have to think.
It almost becomes work.

But anyway, I loved this race.
It was my first Xtrerra event and it was everything I expected.  Beautiful, scenic, technical and hilly.
Some parts of the trails were extremely narrow, a slight trip or stumble could be a very bad thing, which I forced myself not to think about.

The course even went through a river (twice) with water that went up to my knees. Then with wet shoes, we had to run through sand and across boulders on the river bed.  Leaping from rock to rock was exhilarating and upon reflection, I cannot believe I did fall.
Did I slip? Yes.
Did I scream? Yes.
But I never slowed down.

As usual, the race started fast. I was the first woman as we entered the trail system. "Holy crap, we are running 5:37 pace" I heard a guy say behind me.

It was just one of those days though where I didn't feel tired.  I mean, I did feel tired, but not to the point that required me to slow down. Up hill, down hill, through water, across rocks - I pushed.

Mile 1, Mile 2, Mile 3, Mile 4, Mile 5...I was the lead woman.

When I passed Mile 5, I knew I was going to win. The excitement of winning made me run faster.

Logically, the race should have ended up about 3 minutes and 30 seconds past Mile 5.
But it didn't.
It kept going - and not in the direction of the finish line.

I knew something was off but I followed the men in front of me...until they stopped.
"Wrong direction! We went the wrong way!" they shouted.
"Are you kidding?" I asked. "How far in the wrong direction?"
"A half a mile."

I didn't even process it, I just turn around and ran.
Or should I say I sprinted.

Could I still win? How much of a lead did I have?
My lungs and legs burned as I returned to the course. Now I had a ton of people I needed to pass..."On your left! On your left!" I said repeatedly.

I was able to pass a few women but no, I did not win.
1/2 mile off the course + 1/2 mile back to the course = 1 mile. That is a lot of extra race.

I did come in 6th though, which is not horrible.

And I will admit - I deserved not to win. Part of racing is 1) being responsible for knowing the course and 2) running to the finish line.
I KNEW we were not going the right direction.
My mistake. My loss.

Why did we go in the wrong direction?
The course was marked very well - however, a mountain biker (not affiliated with the race) was covering the arrow that pointed to the finish. And, he was directing people in the wrong direction!

Most likely, he saw someone run that direction and believed he was escorting us correctly. I give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was trying to help.

The only thing that "bothers" me (for lack of a better word) is that if you Google my name or look at my Athlinks page, it now appears that it took me 50 minutes to run a 9K.
How vain and shallow, I do admit.

After the race, I got to help distribute the awards with my favorite announcer. He has an unlimited amount of energy.

Despite running an extra mile, I still managed to get 2nd in my age group and present myself with an award.

As if this race was not awesome enough, at the end there was pie. Not just one kind of pie, but many kinds of pie. And really really good pie. Apparently, Rock Springs Arizona is famous for pie.

It reminded me of Harold and the Purple Crayon when he had a picnic of nothing but pie, "9 kinds of pie that Harold like best."

I did bring some pie home for the family.  This was the longest I have left David with the kids - I did not arrive home until nearly 2pm! But, they seemed unfazed by extended absence.
Worn out by a morning trip to Home Depot and post-lunch trip to the park, Brenna was soundly napping in her crib and David and Hayden were cuddling on the couch.

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