Last Saturday I ran the Run With The Foxes Trail Half Marathon, well, not exactly. I was not at all familiar with the course and about a mile from the finish I missed a poorly marked turn off of the trail. I wasn’t even looking really, just following the runner ahead of me, not blaming her at all. We were on a well-worn trail, but the race course abruptly turned off the trail and was not well-marked at all. By the time we realized our mistake it was way too late to recover from the error. Up to that point I was on pace to run about a 1:51 or so which for me is pretty good for a trail half. After adding on an extra 3 miles (at least 3 maybe more) I wound up finishing in about 2:24. I haven’t seen any official results posted, but I know I didn’t finish in last place. The 2nd time I came by the missed turn they had blocked the trail and put up extra flags. The first moment I realized I had screwed up I was pretty mad because it would have been a trail half PR for me. By the time I reached the finish area I was way too tired to be upset. I was just really happy there was still food left to eat. I had only consumed one little hammer gel during the race so I was starving when I finished.
Other than the missed turn this was an awesome event. The course was not nearly as muddy as I had feared it would be. There were several little creeks that were high enough to get my feet wet, but the cool water felt pretty good. I started this race with the intention of setting a trail half PR. I started at a pace about the same as I would for a trail 15k. It was easy to do because the start was on a steep down hill paved road. With the big gravity assist I was probably under a 6 minute per mile pace when I hit the bottom. Of course that pace didn’t last long, but I did push pretty hard for the first 10 or 11 miles before I started to fade just a little.
At around mile 8 or so I tripped on a root. I was flying down hill at the time and consider myself lucky to come out of it with no broken bones. My hands and forearms absorbed most of the blow. I slid several feet along the trail and somehow got flipped around and landed up on my feet turned 180 degrees on the trail. It was quite a thrill. No one saw it, but runners in front and behind heard it. I’m pretty sure that when I landed upright on my feet I let out a loud yell! The runner ahead stopped to make sure I was ok. No blood, nothing feels broken, not even any torn clothing. Just some dirt ground into my hands and arms. The adrenaline rush gave me a little boost for the next few miles. Now a couple of days later arms are bruised just a little and my elbow and shoulder are a little sore but nothing to complain about. I try not to think of what might have happened if I had slammed into a tree or got my hand caught under a root. Yikes!
After the miserable long training run I had the previous Saturday I considered this a good confidence builder going into the marathon on May 30th. After the race I headed home and started packing for my move. I then loaded up the car with as much as I could and made my first trip to my new abode. Still have a some more furniture and a few small items to move but so far I think the new place will work out just fine.