Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How about a little mud?

Yes I ran a cross country race this weekend, but that does not mean I enjoyed it.  It was TOUGH and MUDDY, but let me start at the beginning.

After arriving at the race course on Saturday morning, I met up with the girls running the race.  We have a bunch of women who are in the open division (19-39 yrs old) but most of the fast girls were running in another XC race on Sunday so they needed some girls to take their places.  That is the only reason I ran this race - for the team.

Guess I missed the memo to wear my hot shorts instead of capris.
It was a chilly 45F at the start and I was freezing my butt off waiting for the gun to go off.  I had a goal of just trying to stay with one of the faster girls.  She is more experienced with XC races and so I thought that if I could stick with her then I would do well.

I also promised myself that I would NOT look at my garmin during the race.  I knew that would psych me out if I looked at my garmin and saw that my pace had dropped because of the mud or a hill.  I decided that I would go off of my "perceived effort" and just go as fast as I could for as long as I could.

Soon we were off and running across the open field.  And then I hit the mud and it was so hard to go fast in the squishy, muddy grass.  I was not happy already with the race and running and I wanted to be done but I still had a long way to go.

I rolled through the first mile in just over 7 minutes which was way too fast considering we had two hilly climbs in the first mile.  My legs were on fire and I was already tired.  I couldn't resist so I looked at my garmin to check my pace and was pleasantly surprised.  I pushed on and headed into the second mile and also the longest hill.

I knew that Brian was out on the course as a marshal but I had no idea where he was.  I also had no idea where the two mile marker was so I just kept pushing on.  I hit an especially muddy area and just got frustrated that I could not get solid footing on the ground.  When I finally came out of the mud soaked section, I rounded a corner and saw Brian.  I must have had an extreme death face on because he stopped mid cheer and became quiet and just clapped for me. I just wanted the race to be over.

The next section was probably the easiest with only a few muddy sections and a small hill.  I resisted the urge to look at my garmin and just pushed on.  Finally I rounded the last corner into the final straightaway to the finish.  The clock was in sight and I saw it had just ticked over into 22 minutes.  I was shocked - I thought I would finish so much slower.

My final time, unofficially by my gamin was 22:35 and I was pretty happy with that.  It was a tough, muddy course and although I hated almost every second of this race, I knew that it just made me stronger as a runner. 

After the race, I became aware of how much mud I had managed to get on myself.  Good thing I wore my old Brooks shoes!  Here is a picture of my shoes before the race:

 And this is my shoes and the back of my legs after the race:

And my shoes after the race:

Ugg I hate mud.  I don't think my old brooks will ever look the same.  Overall it was a good race - I guess I always say that post race.  Our team ended up winning the race which was an added bonus.

Official results:
Time: 22:34
Place: 28/36
Female: 7/11


Marlene said...

Way to pull off a STRONG race, especially with the mud/terrain/hills. It may have sucked but you rocked it! GAH that is a lot of GUCK!

Rena said...

Wow. Great job! I can't believe you had such a good time on a tough terrain. I always have a really hard time staying strong throughout the entire race.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

That is an amazing pace off road...or on for that matter! Great job. Congrats!

Chic Runner said...

Nice work, even though it was in the mud. :( I hate mud! Glad your team ended up winning too :)

Allison said...

Nice job! I only did one year of cross country in high school and really disliked it(and running in general), but my favorite race was one that was super muddy. There's just something fun about running through giant mud puddles, especially when you don't care about your time.

Elizabeth said...

Congrats on the team win! I totally admire anyone who does cross country. It looks like it's so tough.

Nicole said...

nice job girl!!!

Kim said...

Great job!

That is a lot of mud! I don't mind getting muddy, but hate having muddy wet shoes!

I don't understand the whole XC thing - you had to have enough people there from your team to win as a group? That is why you ran?

Fruit Fly said...

This looks like so much fun! I never ran AT ALL before 2 years ago. Now I'm wishing I had done cross country back in high school!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome "mud" run! :) And congrats to your team! Woo hoo!