27 September 2012

Trail Running Rambles

View from the Salmon Beach area of the Defiance 30K course. 
That is the Narrows Bridge in the distance.
Well the time has almost arrived- in 15 days I will be tackling my big 30K trail race (race details HERE)!  I have been so focused on this race since Ragnar that I have not even entertained the idea of signing up for any other races.  Seriously, friends have been racing and posting pictures at events and I am just oddly content to quietly cheer them on from work or my couch.  I was a little sad to miss out on the local You Go Girl Half Marathon since I had done it for the last 2 years, but honestly I just didn't have the desire to do it. 

This is the course.  I mapped it out and carried one with me in
my pocket during my run.  I still got lost.
That, and the fact that up until last weekend I was a little bit nervous about how I would perform on race day.  I mean 30K is no joke, and the fact that it is all on trails makes it that much more challenging!  So I have been out on those trails every single Friday, spending hours just running and running and running to make sure that I am ready.  Since I last blogged I did go out and run 16 miles.  And then last Friday I attempted to follow the race course and ran 18 miles!!  I got lost and off course several times but I think I get the idea- and the race director promised me that the course would be well marked. 

I started my run here at Owen's Beach 
Yes, I know the race director for the Tacoma City Marathon Association- he happens to be a customer of mine and an extremely nice guy.  He is also one of the founders of the Marathon Maniacs- he is maniac number 3 Tony Phillippi.  I was chatting with him a couple of weeks ago and he encouraged me to get in an 18 mile training run and now that I have I am very thankful that I took his advice.  I feel very ready to run this race, and I know that I may be slow out there but I have what it takes to enjoy my run and be proud of my training. 

I thought these trees were really pretty.  I was also pretty sure I was completely lost at this
 moment but- suprise! I actually wasn't lost at this point.
When I signed up for this race it was an early birthday present to myself - my birthday is October 8th and the race is October 13th.  Other women buy themselves jewelry, I buy myself hours of running alone out on dirt trails.  Yep, never claimed to be normal!  Anyways, it will be my first race in my new age bracket since I am turning 35 I will be grouped with the 35-39 year olds.  I have no clue if that will help me, hinder me or make no difference whatsoever but I will find out soon enough!  HA!

I loved running through here, although it was really secluded and I had no
idea where I was or if I was going the right way!
My 18 mile run went really well.  It took me 3.5 hours to finish, which sounds like a really long time but remember that running on trails with rocks/loose dirt and HILLS galore (steep up and steep down) your pace is typically a couple of minutes slower.  Factor in that I have only done a handful of runs ever (and on pavement) over the 14 mile mark and my pace is just pretty slow out there.  I have learned to just turn that function off on my garmin because I don't care about pace when I am running 18 miles on trails- what matters more to me is that I am staying hydrated and fueled and enjoying myself. 

I popped out here not once, but TWICE! 
Definitely not in the right spot.  Oops.
I have learned that I love running the trails.  I love that there aren't any cars.  I love that there are trees and deer and nature sounds and chipmunks.  It is peaceful and my mind stays busy the entire time because the second I stop paying attention I get lost.  Oh, who am I fooling- that happens whether I am paying attention or not but I just don't care if I get lost anymore because when you are running 18 miles you have time to get lost and find your way again.  I love that I can run for hours without music and I don't miss it.  I love that when I get home and take off my shoes and socks it looks like I was actually running barefoot because my feet are caked in dirt.  Ok, I don't really love that part but it makes me feel like a bad ass.

Had to add one nice cheesy photo of me in for good measure!
This is how my run went- you can see I kind of went in the right direction. 
And you can see the lovely elevation chart as well!
I did go for a run down on the nice, flat, paved waterfront yesterday just to be sure there was some speed left in these legs of mine.  I managed to do 5.5 miles at an average pace of 8:53  so it is still in there somewhere!
Crunchy leaves- I think Fall has arrived! 
Don't tell anyone but it is my FAVORITE season.


  1. You are so going to rock that race!!!

  2. Hi! I saw your comment on Lindsay's blog and that you are local, too (I'm in Bellevue), and doing the same event (as Lindsay, not me, haha). Anyway, I came over and followed your blog so I can see how you do. Good luck! I'll be back for a recap!

    1. Welcome Julie! Thanks, it was a fun race. You should run it next year!