Monday, June 16, 2014

Heyburn State Park Trail Series #2

On Saturday I ran a five-mile race in Heyburn State Park.  It is the second race of the series, and I signed up since Scott and his brother, AJ, wanted to run the half marathon. 

I haven't been running at all lately; I'd like to blame the car accident I was in on June 2 (I am still experiencing back pain/discomfort) or the recent rain on the Palouse, but what it really comes down to is this: I don't want to run.  As far as exercise goes, I have found some success in my daily workouts on the elliptical machine.  Granted, I wish I could do my workouts outside and enjoy the sunny weather, but I do occasionally go biking on Chipman Trail with Scott, and I enjoy my Wednesday walks during Beer Chasers.  Also, soon Scott and I will be in Greece, walking and exploring new lands, and after that, I will get out on the trail and start my training for August's 12-hour race.  Until then, I'll elliptical and watch Breaking Bad.  I'm watching the finale of Season 4 tonight, and I am dying to know if Gus is going to kill Walt... but I digress.

I signed up for the race knowing that there was going to be an uphill.  After all, trail races aren't flat, and this wasn't my first rodeo.  So I wasn't scared.
Race Start

But I should have been.  The race started at 9:30, and by 9:35 I was dying!  My lungs burned, and I couldn't seem to catch my breath.  In the first 1.5 miles, I climbed over 1,500 feet.

On my way up the single-track trek to the top, I wish I could say that I had a positive outlook on the race, but if I said that, I would be lying.  I thought to myself, "Why did I spend $35 to hike to the top of this damn mountain.  That was dumb.  I am never gonna do this again.  I am no gifted hiker/runner.  Is that the top I see ahead?  Nope - just another false crest.  I'm gonna be here all day." 

The hike to the top was slow, but I kept going.  I never stopped to rest, and at some point I did reach the top.  While the views were not great (only because of the rain and clouds), the feeling of knowing that I didn't have to climb anymore was pretty dang sweet!

The rest of the race was fun.  I was sopping wet, my rain jacket completely soaked to my skin and my shoes actually making "squish" sounds at every foot-strike.  I ran the remainder of the course, my legs and lungs feeling cool and fresh.  I knew that my overall time was going to be slow because of the uphill, but I kind of impressed myself at the pace at which I was running the downhill.  But no one saw me; I was too far behind everyone else to impress them with my lightening-fast descent.

I crossed the finish line with a pace of just over 16:00/mile, and I didn't finish completely last.  That's something.