AKA 13.5 miles of hell.
I have only done one other trail half marathon and I thought it was pretty tough. I loved it, but it was definitely a challenge...enough so that I had to go back and do it again another year, lol. Back to Mt Greylock...
It was cool and cloudy at the start which was nice, though it was definitely humid. I decied to carry my camelbak with me, which was a REALLY good idea, I found out later. The race was basically uphill for the first 3+ miles, then a gradual (and somethimes not so gradual) downhill from the top. I love hills, so I did my usual go-out-too-hard on the hills thing, which I paid for later. It was a TOUGH climb. Hand over hand in a few places. Once we got to the top, the view was amazing, despite the fog/clouds. Heading down...oy. My knees and quads did NOT love the relentless down hill. I was praying for uphill! Add to that, the course overall was as follows- when I wasn't running down a river, I was running up one. When not running in a river, I was in several inches of shoe-sucking-off mud. When I escaped those challenges, albeit briefly, I was running over pointy rocks. There was not a flat surface to be found until the last 2-3 miles. By the time I had been running about 2 hours(no idea how far I was) I was crashing HARD. I wanted to be picked up and carried home. Not likely, but MAN I was really hoping for it. Then, I remembered I had a banana in my pack! JOY! I ate it and started to feel the life coming back into me. I was able to run slowly along form that point on. I am not a run-with-reckless-abandon-on-the-trail kinda gal, so the technical difficulty of this trail was a challenge. I had told hubby I would be in around 3hrs, but it wasn't looking good. Once I hit the 5k race part of the trail I started to crank, as I was hoping to beat 3.5 hours. It felt good to be able to really RUN at this point even though my knees were screaming. Came in at 3:32:23. Not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but I was happy and really, overall I had a blast. :)
I grabbed my green smoothie and imediately went and sat in the frigid river to simulate an ice bath. It hurt like a mofo, but I knew it would do wonders for my recovery. Plus we had a 2hr drive home... Sure enough, when we got home, my legs felt great, just a little tired. I did find that despite drinking almost 2l, I lost 5lbs- not good, and could be why I was tanking in the middle. I really need to think about salt replacement or something too as my legs cramped up MAJORLY in the car. Today is a well deserved day off AND a massage this evening!!! I can't wait!
Also, my oldest son ran his first trail 5k yesterday! He came in 2nd in the Under 12 agegroup, and mid pack overall. He did great! His time was 30 mins and change, which is amazing as we thought he would be closer to 35-38mins. He has officially been bitten by the racing bug, he had a blast and can't wait for his next race. We are doing a race on the 4th of July, and there is a 5m option that he wants to do! I told him I would run with him and get him to the finish, though I am pretty sure he will smoke me. I am all about slow and steady :)
Next major race will be my 12 hour race in July. Hoping to get some good long runs in by then, as I am shooting for 50miles!