Well, I guess the moral of the story is be careful what you wish for. I blogged yesterday about races being "easy" runs and this race could not have been much more difficult.
I ran the XTERRA STOAKED trail run this morning in Hanover, NH. The race started at 10 and it was an hour away, but I made it with plenty of time to spare. Little did I know that this would be the last time I wouldn't be covered with mud for the next 5 hours.
During the pre-race meeting, the organizer told us that there were elevations as much as 2,000 feet up and 2,000 feet down. Needless to say, this was a bit of a surprise. Oh, and the trail is beyond muddy (my calf, pictured left). There were plenty of spots where it was nothing but mud and I couldn't get around so I had to go through it.
So we started and immediately went up a steep hill and then another hill and another and another. There were no less than 25 hills all through the 12.5K (about 7.2 mile) course, and there wasn't a one that was easy. I broke my rule and walked a couple of them after it got to be too ridiculous. Though I didn't love walking, it was the smart move. No reason to kill myself when I have plenty of races to go and training to do.
I did have one hiccup during the race. I fell at 3.91 miles but didn't get hurt. I managed to duck my shoulder (my left), rolled and got up without a problem (unlike my one big injury a year ago). I almost tripped a couple of times but managed to keep myself upright--no easy task with roots and mud all over the place.
I finished in 1:11:07 which was last in my group (20-29), but I'm not too concerned. The organizer said that an hour was a good time, so I'm not far off from that. The winner: 43 minutes. Sheesh.
Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted after that race. It was by far the hardest 7.2 miles I've ever run. I was very glad to get back in the car and get home and showered.
My Garmin was more accurate than I expected, but it did miss about .6 miles (assuming the race measurement was accurate).
Finally, below is a before and after with my sneakers. I'm not planning to clean them. As I blogged a couple of weeks ago, my shoes keep my running memories. They aren't more than a hundred miles old, but now they've got a trail run in them. I think they'd be proud.