Saturday, May 10, 2008

Race report

Running Fit Trail Half Marathon
Pinkney, Michigan
Scheduled:13.1 miles
Actual: 13.1 miles
Time: 3:34:25

Let me start out my saying I knew I was not prepared for this half marathon. I'm not sure if I would have PR even if it was flat road I was running on. I had an idea of the terrain that the race would be on, but it wasn't until I rounded the first corner that I threw all expectations out the window and my only goal became to finish.

The race consisted of both a half marathon and a marathon. The marathon started an hour before the half since they would be running 2 13.1 mile loops, instead of just one. Laura and I waited patiently for the race to start. Finally they started the half marathon. I was in the last wave (aka back of the pack) and I started out strong. The first quarter of a mile was on grass before you hit the trail.

As we rounded the corner and started onto the trail I my goal became to finish. And my stretch goal was to not finish dead last. The trail was pretty narrow and the footing was out of control. I had to watch the ground the entire time I ran as to not trip over a tree root, or a tree... As I passed the first mile marker I felt as though I had already ran at least a 5K. This next picture is at the top of a hill looking back.

I started to fall into some sort of of a groove. I realized that this race was not only physically challenging but it was also mentally challenging, Most parts of the race I was running by myself. I had to force myself to keep running. Come on Jaime, just run up the beginning on the hill. Come on Jaime this is relatively flat, lets pick up the pace a little. Around mile 6 I started getting passed by the elite marathoners on their second lap. Everyone was very nice, but as I was gingerly taking every step (especially on the downhills) they were running as fast as they could... almost every single marathoner who passed me during the race was covered in dirt and blood and who knows what else from wiping out.

At mile 6.5 it happened. I must have stopped paying attention and all of a sudden I was tripping. There was not regaining balance, I just started to fall... and the next thing I knew I was in the bushes. I jumped up as fast as I could, just as this man caught up to me. He said: I know sometimes you have to rest in the ground... but try not to have it happen again. Nice. And then at mile 7.5 I tripped again!!! Luckily this time I was able to catch myself, but it put me into this scared state were I thought I was going to trip every mile.

By the time I hit mile 10 I was being passed constantly by marathoners. They were all so nice. Everyone that passed me said good job, or keep having fun, or you are doing great. Then we came to mile 12. Mile 12 consisted of the biggest hill in southern Michigan. When you thought you finally reached the top you were wrong... there was a slight downhill and then it climbed at least another 200 feet straight up. It was absolutely insane.

Finally I reached the end of the trail and the course opened back up to the grassy path. I saw the finish line and mustered all the energy I had to get to it. I crossed the finish line and they gave me my medal. I finished! I didn't finish dead last!!! Here is a picture of Laura and me with our medals.

This race was hard. This race (as advertised) was definitely not for wimps. But in the end I really enjoyed it. I felt strong after I finished that I was able to complete something so hard and so different from anything I had ever done. And the athletes that were running it were amazing. There were marathon finish times that would have been respectable for a flat marathon and they were putting up that time on THIS course. AND the winner was a female. Very cool.


Lindy said...

You are one bad mamma-jamma!!!! You are all set for the Waterfall Glen 10-Mile in Darien on July 26th. It's a trail run, but it is EASY BREEZY compared to this one you just completed!

CONGRATS, you rock, and you are officially HARDCORE!

L Sass said...

Wow! I would love to try a trail race some time--that hill looks brutal, though.

Did you wear trail shoes or your regular road shoes?


I am impressed!!

Lou said...

Congrats Jamie! As per Lindy, you should do the 10-miler in Darien. I am going to sign up for it too! And, how awesome is it that a chick won?!?!? Loves it.

Designed by Lena