First ever trail race
This was a one of those races that sort of fell in my lap (or onto my race calendar as it may be). One of the local ladies from the Moab retreat had mentioned it while we were in Utah and it seemed like it could be fun. I waffled about doing it for a bit, only because it was under 3 weeks out from nationals. But when I realized that I would have been running on my own that day as it was, I decided to make the 40 minute trek into NoVa and meet up with 2 of the 3 other DMV gals from the retreat (#3 was sadly unavailable, as she was on her way back from Hawai'i :) So off I went to EX2 Adventure's Spring Backyard Burn #2.
It had rained most of the week leading up to the race, and while it had gotten progressively warmer as the week went, the weather decided to get chilly and windy for Sunday morning. But my trusty B70 long sleeve tech shirt was just right once I got moving.
I tried to remember all the good things I'd learned on the retreat and use them through the varied terrain of this race. It's amazing how 4 days of running at altitude and with massive elevation changes makes East Coast hills seem pretty easy. (Not a planned benefit from the retreat, but I'll take it!). I definitely felt stronger than I expected and when I crossed under the finish arch just a smidge over an hour after our Wave 2 start left (and by smidge, I'm talking 39 seconds, one dodge of a mud puddle over an hour), I was very pleasantly surprised.
Even more surprised I was when they started posting results and I saw that I was fifth in the 40-49 age group! I never ever thought when this running experiment started back in 2019 that I would be on a podium. At a running race. And a trail race to boot.
After the retreat and this race, I totally see how people fall in love with trail running. I can honestly say that I'm now an equal opportunity runner when it comes to road vs. trails. Which has immensely opened the number of places I can lace up my sneaks and go for a spin.
This race also solidified in my mind that I'm more than just a swimmer. So between the retreat and this race, mission accomplished.