Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Half Marathon Trail Run- Me a Trail Runner??

Saturday, November 2 I completed the hardest half marathon or hardest anything I've EVER done in my life! I have only ran one trail race and it was only a 4k and I really despise the cross country race that is on the local series that I do. So the question was and is WHAT AM I THINKING?!??!!

 They had a Pre race pasta dinner that was included in your registration. It was a great dinner it was a baked ziti type pasta and they offered both a meat sauce or veggie sauce, salad and blackberry cobbler! (Although I'm not a fan of blackberry) Being the awesome blogger that I am I should have taken some pictures~DUH!! They also had course review where they went over the course mile by mile for that reason alone I was so happy I went!

The weather couldn't have been any more perfect it was 48* when I got out of my car the sun was coming up and there was still 30+ minutes until start time! I showed up not nervous at all and not really caring about any certain time goal just to go out finish it and hopefully have some fun! Only a few of us regular friends/runners decided to give this thing a try, we talked about what kind of pace we thought we would "try" for and was pretty happy settling on 9:55 feeling fully confident we could do it! This was the first time for this race and there was only a 134 pre registered but only 100 showed up!

The Beginning-
When we first took off we was on a gravel path for a little over a quarter of a mile before we hit the grassy path. The first mile wasn't too bad at all, we decided to take it as easy as possible on the first half and if we still had it in us we would pick it up towards the end except that our first mile was 8:54! Yea its time to slow down for sure!! About a 1½ mile the first creek/puddle crossing hit with almost no way to get around it!

I knew we would be getting our feet wet but I didn't expect it this early on! At the start of the second mile was the first pretty good size hill and I was already ready to walk~geez! We trucked on and made it to the first water stop Jenna & Kelli was ahead of David & I but they was nice enough to wait for us.

We stood around and drank our water then up the hill we went
Except for Kelli not being in the pic I really like this photo!
 As we were going up the hill to mile 3 we was talking joking saying that we should just tell everyone we did a tough mudder as we felt it was probably comparable and that we should put mud all over us to kinda freak my mom out since we would probably be the only ones showing up with mud all over us at the end~LOL! Then there I went......DOWN that is! I tripped over a tree root that was covered in leaves so I didn't see it! We all laughed hysterically so much so that I kinda tinkled a little on myself ~oops that was maybe a little too much info!! Anyway David helped me up brushed me off I looked myself over and off we went!

Miles 4 -5 were just as tough as the first 3 and a few more puddles & mud! Even in the grassy areas there was spots with that thick mud that pulls you down and almost pulls your shoes off! Again WHAT AM I THINKING?!??!! Around mile 4 we caught up with someone we knew and has ran trails before, he was giving us tips and pointers and helping us make sure we stayed on the right track thank goodness. At mile 5 we broke up into 2 & 2 and David & I thought the other two took a wrong turn tried to yell for them and asked the water stop lady if she saw them.

The Middle-
I couldn't remember exactly where they said the worst hill was at the informational meeting but I did remember hearing there was lots of down hills in between 6 -8. Those miles were easier but not much, we came across a couple of people on horses I asked if they was willing to ride us towards the end and not tell anyone although I was joking I think I might have just done it (NOT REALLY:). Then it appeared the worst hill in the entire thing. I think it went up (&up & up & up) for at least an entire mile that darn hill was so stinking steep I was almost to the point of crawling up it. They did say at the meeting that starting around mile 9 your GPS watches would be off by about .3 however it was off from the start and by the time we hit mile 9 by the signs our Garmins were off by over a half mile, I kept saying I really think its only going to be 12 miles instead of 13 but I am NOT complaining AT ALL! Miles 9 - 10 were along the single file trail I really liked that part even though it was the worst for footing, thick mud that mad me slip on the big rocks and I almost rolled off the side down the cliff.

This is Jenna on the trail
The gentleman at the water stop for mile 10 was really nice, he said we could throw our cups down stack them up do whatever we wanted or we could stick around and talk with him a little! I said I will take you up on that one, so we drank a few cups of water & Gatorade talked for a few minutes and off we went!

The End-
Oh the last two miles were so hard both mentally and physically. I told David I really wasn't sure I could run anymore, he a agreed but we was so ready to just be done that we decided to try running for 2 minutes and walking for one that helped so much mentally! Then we hit a really nice downhill with a flat stretch after which allowed us to run longer than only two minutes. The last mile was on gravel small gravel that makes you feel like your going no where fast! We walked most of it until we could see the end of it and the final home stretch! We could hear Rhonda (David's wife) yelling so I asked him "How far does her voice travel? Because however far that is that's how much more we have to go!" I was so worn out I really could have walked through the finish. David and I finished in 2:30:52 and I was right it ended up being 12.20 miles but I am not complaining!

That is by far the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life let alone my running career, I really think it was harder than the Flying Pig Marathon which was my first. Usually I am one of the last ones to leave, this day I was GONE! I was ready to go home and hit the bath tub and relax. And usually I'm not very hungry after long runs but I was starving! When I woke up the next day I felt like I had been run over by a dump truck. There wasn't too many parts or places that didn't hurt and places that hurt that's never hurt before. Then I text everyone to see how they was, sorry for there luck but thankfully they felt like me LOL! HOWEVER we all agreed on how much fun we had and how anxious we was to do it again next year! Yeah we are crazy runners like that:)

They had a really nice New Balance shirt! I loved it and the color! (great blogger again haven't taken a photo of it yet~DUH!!)
The pasta dinner being included was really nice!
The grounds were beautiful! 

The medal wasn't the best and can be improved on a LOT!
Lower the cost of adding additional people to join the pasta dinner, it was very good but probably not $25 worth!
Can you cut out some of those HILLS?? LOL

I'm still waiting on my wonderful Mom who is the The Picture Lady to get me photos but thanks to Kelli she took all the photos in this post along the course. Thanks for sharing Kelli!! Wish I would have taken some of you too!! Hopefully I'll have more tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday:)

Me & Kelli

Mom & I


ajh said...

Congrats on the hard race. I like road races and would do awful in this.

Suz and Allan said...

Congratulations on a really tough race! Trail running is soo hard! Blackberry cobbler is actually one of my favorite desserts so I would have loved that.