Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sooner State Games Trail Run

Yesterday, Saturday the 13th, was the running of the Sooner State Games Trail Run. This is a race held on trails within Oklahoma City. The course is a 3.5 twisty hilly rooty trail. For the record, that picture is not from this course. This race had 3 distances, 3.5, 7, and 14 miles, 1, 2, or 4 loops of the course. The starts were staggered 5 minutes apart to keep it from being crowded. This race had been postponed two weeks because of the big ice storm we had. The day was almost perfect, the trails were a bit muddy with small water crossings, but not bad. I decided to run the 7 mile race because I felt like that was a distance I could push all the way. We started and I ran fast to not get caught behind slower runners once we hit the single track. After about a mile you come to a fork in the trail. I've run these trails before, but I don't run them often. Needless to say I took the wrong turn. I ran for awhile, but noticed I wasn't seeing anyone else. Then I passed a marker, and it was meant to be read from the other direction. At this point I left the trail and got on this paved path that is nearby. I started running a loop of it, debating whether to drop, or take my lumps and go back to where I made the wrong turn. I ran a mile on the pavement, then decided, what the heck, I probably won't medal, but I'm going to complete the race. I saw someone who knew the trail better than I and she explained to me where I went wrong. I picked it back up there and went the right direction. Almost an hour to finish the first loop, but I was over 6 miles according to my Garmin. I was really feeling good, so I started pushing the second loop. Many of the people I knew thought I was lapping them, but I told them I was just catching them. I finished around 1:37, 1st loop 58 minutes, 2nd loop 39 minutes. Oh, and 1st place in age group. The 2nd guy finished about 3 minutes after me. I told the timer what happened in case I should still be disqualified, and he said as long as I returned to where I went off course I was OK.
Today our marathon training group was scheduled to run 16 miles. The weather forecast said the temperature would be dropping below freezing, it was around 58 yesterday, and we would likely get sleet and snow. When we started it was cold but nothing was falling. Within a mile a light sleet started and by mile 7 it was coming down hard and stinging my face. A friend said she was only doing 14 so I took the shortcut with her. I wasn't tired, but I was tired of the sleet hitting me, and we were running right into it. With the turn around it was now at our back. But it soon turned into a light snow, and it was just a beautiful run. As I got closer to the end I was feeling like I could pick up the 2 miles I had cut with no problem. I had been running by myself for some time now, so I decided to keep straight where I should have turned to get the extra mileage. I felt good and did an out and back to get the total to 16. A great start to Valentine's Day.
Congratulations to all my friends that ran the Austin half and full marathon today.

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