Sure, I'll Trail with You!

11:58 AM

I find it completely normal to just say yes when invited to “most” things, and then b$%#h about it until it’s done.

This was no different for my first trail run of 2014. A little history should be shared, so you can really understand what’s going on here. Last year I ran my first trail race – a halfer – one week after a road halfer. Then I did another one about three months later, a little runcation, if you will. For BOTH, I did not train for trail. For the first one I ordered my shoes online and they arrived approximate 4 days before race day. I ran around the local park and considered that “breaking them in”! Apparently, I don’t make the best decisions sometimes…

After my first race, I was semi-hooked. I enjoy the challenge of hills and the speed and technicality of downhill. I enjoyed being thoroughly angry, while attempting to walk up a hill that people have dubbed “K2”! I also never knew that my shins could actually cramp, that was a new sensation! Although it’s a different beast in itself, it is magical. I was enamored with the aid stations – chips, soda, pretzels, potatoes, M&M’s, it was like I stopped at a 7-11 for some goodies. Although, my stomach was not used to all this goodness, I had some stomach issues toward the end of the first race. Nothing too crazy, but enough to remember them!

All this being said, I do like trail. I don’t ever train for it, but I won’t hesitate to sign up for a race if my cousin-in-law asks, or anyone else for that matter. Thus, doing a random 12 miler this weekend in Cool, CA was added to my schedule last minute! Around our area, a popular race is coming up, Way Too Cool. It is a 50K that runs all throughout Cool, CA and is a must for most local trail runners…and apparently many from the Reno, NV area.

Through my CIM training group with FF, I met a few people who run with a local trail running group called “Trail Mix,” too cute, right?! They’ve added me into their little FB tribe. I’ve been completely hesitant to join them, because of my lack of speed for trail. However, the guy who runs the page is really nice and said they have a sweeper and plenty of different paces so I shouldn’t be intimidated. They have been meeting up every week for WTC training runs. I’ve been trying to get to one, but life just keeps getting in the way. However, this weekend’s long run was a little different. Someone by the name of James Barstad (not part of Trail Mix, but I'm sure friends of), set up this run. Trail Mix was going to join as well, so I’ve known about this run for awhile, but had no intention of running it.

Well, that was until Thursday, when my cousin-in-law asked if I’d run with her. Since my hill repeat buddy wasn’t able to make it on Saturday, I said “sure, why not!” I felt guilty for not doing my 13 miler last week and this week’s long run was supposed to be 10 miles, so I felt that a 12 trail miler would work out perfectly to blend the two weeks mileage. 

Me: 12 miles
Her: 20 mies

Here’s some of their Facebook deets:

[The fourth annual Free Way Too Cool Training Fun Run will take place on Saturday January 25th 2014 at 8:00 AM. The run will start and finish at the Cool Fire Station. 

This is a great opportunity to run the Way Too Cool course with friends. The course will be marked and there will be a couple of aid stations set up to support your running efforts. 

There will be a choice of distances to choose from (8 miles, 12 miles, 20 miles or 23 miles) all on the Way Too Cool course. This is a great way to see the WTC course in a safe environment with lots of friends and support.]

Again, I'll reiterate that my decision making skills are not the best at times! I decided a few drinks and a crab feed the night before, were the best choices I could make! Mixed in with only a couple of hours of sleep, I was up at 5:30AM to get ready for my adventure. Oddly, I was up, awake, and ready to eat some hills for breakfast. Mind you, I was crazy nervous, because I felt completely unprepared, but I though “who cares” and “just have fun”. I know I wasn’t running for time, so to Cool we headed!

Once we got there, geared up, and headed to the large gathering of people we realized that we weren’t going to get to run together. The 8 mi and 20 mi courses went left and the 12 mi and 23 mile courses went right. As we stood there at a crossroads, literally, we tried to figure out how to make it work. Sadly, we decided to part ways and do our own runs independently. After five seconds of self deprecation, I smiled and just ran!

The first three miles blew by fast. It was all downhill and I didn’t even hear Mr. Garmin go off for mile 2. So I did a quick stop at a porta-pottie before heading off to run. Worst experience of my life, I literally almost threw up in there. I’m still grossed out by what I saw :/ Although they said there were aid stations, there weren’t. No biggie, I had a decent amount of water and nutrition to last the course (at least I got something write in my decision process)!  I kept wondering if I was going to be greeted with K2 again, but I wasn’t. However, after the fact, I learned that I conquered a new one, Goat Hill. I am in awe of the people who can run these type of hills. I literally hike them, no running in sight, and I am completely okay with this. They are no joke!

As I was coming to the last 2 miles of my run, guess who comes up behind me? My CEO of my company. He is a huge trail runner and lives close to this city, and also at times runs with Trail Mix. We finished the last 1.5 miles really strong. It almost felt they we were competing with one another, but it was nice to chat with my freakin’ CEO. Many people can’t say that! It felt good to finish strong after a 12 miler of trail. I’ve been terrified about running 12 road, 12 trail never had even crossed my mind before Thursday!

All said and done, besides the shin and foot cramping post-run, I had a great time. Sometimes our spur of the moment decisions, turn out to be the best. I already know I’ll talk to anyone, but I REALLY talk to people on trail. Since you don’t seem someone for miles (at times), it’s nice to see another human out there, share some encouragement or commiserate together! Also, I’ve never been so happy to see little pieces of orange plastic ribbon. Those little nuggets meant that I was not lost, it’s the small victories that count! All in all, I’m glad I decided to do this run and I think it only made me stronger for my upcoming road race in March!

Balega Socks & Saucony Kinvara Trails // Gettin' a little dirrrrrty
Mr. Garmin results!
A little compression, elevation, and a nap!

Pro Bar // Trying something new and love it, well besides the 390 calories!
Ikeda's // Curly Fries & Bacon Cheese Burger // BEST reason to run in Cool, CA

Some other weekend highlights:

Crab Feed with the Parentals, the Bestest, and two long time friends!
Kenndy High School PACE Crab Feed // DF - Tony - Bestest - Me
Don't trust girls who don't eat!
My Main Squeeze and crab cracker!

Birthday celebration for a (running ) friend at Golden Bear, post-crab feed.
    Golden Bear // B and I, typical faces!

Dinner and drinks with girlfriends on Saturday Night.
Lunch & Mani/Pedi lady date with Jen!
Dos Coyotes // Adobe Salad w/ Chicken
Double date with Bestest and his Wifey - Dinner and American Hustle, what a trip that movie was!


Always say YES to trail, always..

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    4 comments

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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      1. Ahhh! I accidentally "removed" your comment, when I thought it said "reply"! Geez, look at us! And yes, if you are ever near or around Auburn, CA or Cool, CA - you MUST stop at Ikeda's and get those curly fries AND their fresh baked pies!!

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    2. Oh my gosh those curly fries look amazing!! And I wish every long distance race would have M&Ms at aid stations...I might enjoy them a little more :) Also love the pink compression socks...very snazzy!

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      1. I can't EVER say 'no' to those dang curly fries when we run up in that area! Have you ever heard of people using candy instead of various Gu's for long runs? I've never tried it, but I've heard of people doing it. Thanks, I love pink-running-anything!! Happy running Kelsey :)

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