….and My Story Runs On….
Well, I wasn’t really in last place but I was second to last 😉 and you know what, I AM OK with that!
The reason I started this blog was to encourage runners to write their own running story. Everyone’s journey is different..more importantly, I like to encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and try new things when running.
This was my first time participating in this type of a timed event. Basically you pick the time (I was going to do 12 hours but I had to drop down to 6 as explained in this blog post). In this race, there was a 3 mile trail (Brownlow Trail in Prescott) and you get to go around as many times as you want, can, etc. As a first timer, and I’ll speak for the other 3 friends that I convinced to do it with me, it was awesome! People asked me if I was crazy and why would I do this? It’s hard to explain but I’ll give it a try…
You could be someone who doesn’t want to be pressured against the clock that most races impose (like being at the end of a marathon with a swag wagon on your ass because you have to finish by a specific time) OR you might like the security of being on a shorter trail where you have consistency/safety for the run OR you might just want to challenge yourself to see how many miles you can finish in X amount of hours OR you might just want to do your first ultra marathon (over 26.2 miles) and you can pick a time that you know you could do that in (for example if you can’t do it in 6 hours, you could pick the 12 hour event and you would have PLENTY of time to finish 26.2 miles)….not sure I’ve still explained this well enough but long story short, I loved the fact that I knew I had 6 hours on the course and I could do whatever I want!
Since I’ve been dealing with an injury, I decided I was not going to push my body and changed my mind frame from “getting as many miles as possible in” to “I’m just going to have a good time today”.
The race was put on my Solemates’ Ultra Running Events and Mark and Sharill did an amazing job! First, I’m soooo glad that they did a preview run of the course so we could know what it was like. The biggest thing we learned (even though the race was called CYA Cool Your Ass because it’s cooler in Prescott), it really wasn’t that much cooler 😉 Knowing this helped us prepare for the heat on race day.
The course was well marked, there was a major aid station at the start (which you run by every 3 miles…another plus of these types of events) with amazing stuff. There was the usual (electrolyte replacement and water) AND then there was the “other” stuff: dates, potatoes, M + M’s, fruit, grilled cheese, etc. They really took care of the runners! There was also a mini aid station in the middle of the 3 mile course with water/electrolytes. So basically you were covered every 1.5 miles.
The 3 mile trail had a variety of terrain. Some single track but it was mostly double track. Some of it was rockier and some of it was sandier. Overall it was a good mix of trail. Great thing about knowing the trail is you knew when Mount Orth was coming too. This was the big hill at the end. There was only one shady spot on the trail and we took several photos at our favorite bench. It never seemed repetitive to me which was odd. I stayed as present as possible and focused on seeing different things every time. It was also great to “run into” other friends along the route.
Due to my injury, I knew I needed to really listen to my body and take it easy. This is another thing I loved about this event. After 9 miles, I could feel my heel bugging me a bit so I decided to sit a loop out while my friends did one without me. It was a tough decision to make but I knew it was the right thing to do. So I stretched, iced and did some facebook updates. I also decided to ChiWalk most of the race. I wanted to run and I did on downhills and flats but knew I wasn’t in any hurry to get any mileage in so I just enjoyed the scenery and time with my friends.
When I signed up for this event, I’ll admit that I was intimidated by it. I know my friends were too. The great thing is that there were competitive people who were trying to beat the clock but there were also a lot of “regular” people who were just out there to see what they could do in 6 hours.
I think I’m hooked now to a new type of event! Most of these races usually start with 12 hours which is not realistic for most “regular” runners. I appreciate that Solemates’ has a 6 hour option that is a more reasonable time frame for “regular” runners.
Thanks to Solemates’ for hosting an amazing event. Thanks to my friends who decided to get of their comfort zone to join me!
So who wants to join me for their next one: Solemates’ Thanksgiving Tryptophun Rhuns the weekend of Thanksgiving at White Tanks? I’ll probably be marathon training or something by then and it would be a perfect “training run”. Another benefit of these types of events: you can make it a long training run and you don’t have to worry about bathrooms, food and water. Plus you get a medal, shirt and other cool swag!
Not registered yet but pretty sure I’m in…who’s with me?
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)