Monday, December 7, 2009

50k Trail Race

On Sunday, I had the approval to race a 50k on the sandy WINDY trails of the Mojave Desert. I was giddy and happy and all smiles because I absolutely love me some long running races in the trails. Nothing better!

Race morning brought some freezing cold temps and I mean that literally as there was ice on the ground. It was comical as it seemed many have never seen ice before---what is this ice you speak of? Though I will say ice also has become quite foreign to me and the cold was very foreign to my legs. Poor legs really wanted a pair of spandex on but alas, it was a one loop course so no pants just toughen up buttercup. Well, my legs didn’t so much as toughen up as harden up for the first 22 miles. No bummer here. The beautiful thing about the trail races is that there is no pressure to perform. Now, don’t get me wrong. I always want to crush races though sometimes it simply isn’t in you. The difference between trail runs and triathlons is that in triathlon, no matter the day I may be having, I have to push hard even if I feel crummy and worthless but Sunday I didn’t have to fight it. I was happy shuffling along in the sand AND THE WIND. Oh my---the wind. It was blowing and it made the uphills interesting as I moved at about a 20 minute mile pace. I loved it. The tougher the conditions the more in love I am with my running.

There is something so liberating about running with hundreds of others out in the desert, in the wind, up hills, in the sand…awesome. And even more awesome was that at mile 22 something happened—I suddenly felt invincible and light. I started running. I mean true running even had some 6:20 miles in there. I have no idea where it came from. I flew the last 9 miles and could have run 20 more (at least that’s what I felt like when I finished). The girls I passed at the end looked at me crossed eyed. Fresh squeezed orange juice is my new best friend during long runs! That’s all I drank and all I needed. I will happily take my 2nd place finish and try and convince my coach that I need to run one more 50k before camp in February. On one final note I must sadly admit that Mike, yet again, beat me but I have my revenge with the photo below…