I can’t believe how jolly I was at 6:45AM… in frigid temperatures! It was so cold! Our little cottage had some sort of a heating stove that we made the mistake of turning off before we went to bed. We woke up literally clinging to each other so we wouldn’t freeze to death!
I never go out the door for a run without putting on perfume, and today was no exception. I try not to leave an offensive cloud behind me, but I like to smell myself! Joanie would be proud… Plus I read that it’s bad to wear anything scented if you want to see wildlife – which I don’t!!
We made it to registration shortly after the opening time of 7:15AM. I was terrified there would be long lines and poor organization. But the event was well-staffed and thoughtfully planned. We actually didn’t have to wait at all. We picked up our bibs, timing chips, and race tees, and we were good to go!
It was almost two hours before the race start time so we drifted on over to Starbucks to warm up and get our racing accessories ready.
The coffee helps!!! This is wear I made my first of several bad decisions. I was FREEZING so decided to stick with my Lululemon In Stride jacket. Bad. Idea.
I consumed half of a chocolate mint Clif bar. I was hoping it would turn me into Ms.Rugged like the guy on the package. I thought I grabbed a mini, and I definitely need a whole one so I force-fed the remainder to Kevin James.
When we got back to the race start area, the parking was packed so we ended up doing a little warm-up jog to the start.
The Start!! There were a LOT of people there with ROCKING CALVES!! Kevin and I tried to stay towards the middle/back since we really had no idea what to expect from a trail race. I get realllly nervous about getting trampled. I don’t know why! It wasn’t even that big of a race.
I did bring my baby iPhone along in my jacket pocket, but unfortunately there wasn’t much opportunity to bust it out. I really had to concentrate on my footing. I suppose mistake #1 was actually my footwear. My pink Nikes were absolutely terrible for this race. They are totally meant for gym usage so that was user error! But I slid on every. single. rock. I passed.
I ended up actually falling down twice. The first time was in a nice cushy sandpit that I just sunk into and fell because the incline was so steep. The second time was on a rocky downhill. That wasn’t so forgiving, and I ended up really banging up my left shin. This sounds like complaining, but I really learned a few lessons! I also felt every rock through my shoes because they are so thin. I literally feel like my feet are bruised!
I finally took out my phone around mile 2 because I couldn’t go any faster anyways! The path was truly a single file path, and I didn’t really consider off-roading since the path was treacherous enough! I found it really frustrating that people in front of me would WALK on the uphills. The uphills are my place to shine! I was doing my annoying encouragement thing to Kevin, but I really meant it for the people in front of me who were not moving their bodies!!! I was so proud of Kevin. He stuck right behind me. I didn’t even have to look back because I could hear his breathing from a mile away!!!
The first two miles were almost a continuous uphill battle, but honestly did the best we could – given the conditions. Mile 3 was my heartbreaker because that was the downhill. I would be running and then there would be a rock so big that I would literally have to stop and STEP down. I slid more times than I could count. Kevin got ahead of me quite a bit on the downhill portions, but being the sweetheart he is would wait up for me. I was really happy about that because, honestly, I could’ve fallen and gotten seriously hurt. So I was so happy he was there for me! My fellow racers were really kind though when they would see me slipping and shout little encouragements. The ones that could still breathe.
Here we are getting passed by a guy with a dog! Can you imagine Boyd on this course!?! He would’ve been doing his full body flop at mile .22!!
I think this was at the highest elevation point of our run. We had just finished a really long climb, and people just were not hustling the way should which gave me the opportunity to snap a picture. I was trying to resist the urge to start singing BEP songs. I had a lot of energy left, and I don’t think it would’ve been well-received by some of our suffering comrades.
The last mile was really my place to shine because we got on a decent stretch of path, and I had tons left. I finally sprinted past this one chick I really wanted to beat (don’t you always pick someone you want to beat???), and I ended up passing quite a few people before the finish. There was one short downhill, and I kept it strong even there.
My poor shoes!!!!!!!
Check out that elevation!! Holla!!
And our really, really slow pace!!! I can’t believe our average pace was 12:15! Trust me when I say that it did not feel like it!!! The female winner ran in 40 + some change. Guess what? She was 12 years old. I didn’t see her, but I heard the announcer say it. Wow! That’s a little humbling! She probably has zero fear of falling. I was totally just saying to myself on the downhills,”It’s not worth it to hurt yourself and not be able to run for a month!!!” So true for me!! Plus I obviously wasn’t wearing my glasses so not like I could really see! Haha.
Then it was time for a little cowboy breakfast!
Kevin’s plate was more exciting than mine since I’m a picky eater and just wanted pancakes & coffee!
I have never been so happy to take off my jacket!!! At least it kept my top half clean! My face, legs, and feet were just caked in dirt!!! My eyelids felt heavy like they usually do in the mornings because there was so much dirt on them!
Gorgeous, right? We told someone we were tourists so she would take our picture. Lol.
But our workout wasn’t over! The finish line was a mile away from the start + we ended up with a bad parking spot. At least the scenery looked like this:
And we got to see some cutie pies riding some of the ranch’s horses.
Dirty feet! I can only imagine what the guy’s feet looked like who I saw running barefoot. Ow!!
We sponge bathed in a bathroom at a gas station so we could hang in Estes Park for a bit after the race. We decided to be total geeks and wear our race tees. Plus it gave me an excuse to look kinda gross. But we forgot to snap pic before we got home.
They were Saucony technical shirts, and they’re super cool. But it’s my total pet peeve that they never make race shirts small enough for the ladies!! I was FAR FROM the smallest girl in the race, and I was totally drowning in this shirt to the point where I know I’ll never really wear it. And you know this sister could use some clothes!!! Why do they do that? I always check for children’s sizes, but that 12-year-old chick must’ve gotten the only one!
See the hair!! It’s gone from bad to worse! It’s on my to-do list for the week!
*Wear better shoes
*Wear less clothes!!
*Don’t be a little baby – start with a little faster group so they don’t slow you down.
*Get contacts so you don’t trip & fall so much!
*Do some downhill training!
I would love to do it again next year, but I’m hoping my next race will be a road race or a little less intense trail. Great workout anyways, right?