Monday, February 9, 2015

Bristow Trail Run ~ First race of 2015

I had some fun this weekend at a local race! 

My dad and husband were kind enough to shuffle the boys to their basketball games and practices so I could race in Dexter, OR, for the first time since September
(first "real race effort" since last march!). Without their help I doubt I'd be able to do this thing that I love. As a mom, I hated missing the games, but since we have another month of them, I should be able to catch a few more :)

Since it was raining steadily for days and the forecast called for 100% chance of rain Saturday morning, I thought that it might scare some people away from doing the Bristow Trail Run (My usual race strategy: eliminate the competition). And it might have... 

It's hard to know for sure.

This lonely photo is the only proof I have that the parking lot had standing water up to the hubs on the pickups, and that the ordinarily lovely trails at Elijah Bristow State Park were flooded with rain and mud.

I'm pretty sure the race director looked for the highest, driest, island of land possible to place the finish line and refreshment tents.


Friends on strava can have a good laugh at my splits, but I assure you I worked pretty darned hard for them! My pace barely broke 8min/mile over 5.3 miles of trails, but my heart rate was equivalent to running 6:40/mile on the track during some recent workouts.






Whenever I race, I try to have as good a time as possible and also try to take something away for the next time.

This time I gleaned these nuggets of wisdom: 
  • Sometimes it's OK to pass early. You can't know what's in the other person's mind when you are considering a pass on muddy single track. With 3/5 of a race to go, sometimes it's a good move. In my head, I might be thinking "If I pass now, she's just going to pass me again later." But in her head, she might be thinking "I am going out too fast and need to run my own race". You don't know until you take the chance.
  • Mud is slow. Ordinarily "fast and flat" courses are not fast at all with standing water and thick mud. Ignore your Garmin. Really.
  • 5 mile racers have a better shot at post-race food than people running the 10 mile or the 50k (Some people were crazy enough to do the same loop I did 6 times). Go ahead and run your long races... I will help myself to the food :D (And then go change into my warm dry clothes before the unheated bathroom floors are covered in mud and sand.)



During the race I could have pushed my heart a bit harder at times, but probably not my legs. This was really just the sort of workout-race I needed to kick-start a new season!

***
Have you ever ran a race where you had to just forget about your pace?

Go read Camille Herron's post on ditching your GPS if you haven't yet!


37 comments:

  1. Nice start to the year!! Looks like some tough conditions.

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    1. Thanks Robin! It was a fun, muddy, blast. :)

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  2. Tough conditions, but you look pretty happy ;-)
    Congrats and bye the way nice medal!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment Peter!! I was very happy, the medal didn't hurt either :)

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  3. Forgetting about my pace is almost every run for me these days! These trails mess with a girls head. I'm impressed Raina!! A sub 8 on trails and mud! You rock!!

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    1. Ah!! You should have been there. I think this is on the way between us. would be fun to drag you through the mire on a garmin-free muck stomp, Amanda!

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  4. Hey nice win! That's a great start to the year!

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    1. Thanks Gracie! Things are feeling very optimistic!

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  5. Congrats on your your win in the muddy race! When I run trail races where I'm looking out for objects I might trip on, I hardly look at my Garmin. Safety first!

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    1. Exactly! Best to keep your eyes ahead..

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  6. Awesome job! Especially coming back from the long break you had to take! That's a lot of mud, I think once around the loop would have been enough for me too :)

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    1. Thanks Karen! It was certainly enough that particular day. I hope to get back soon when it's less wet, though.

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  7. I'm proud of you. You did awesome on your first 2015 trail race. You are a beast...keep on running,,,,never stop,,,

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    1. Takes a beast to know a beast! Thanks, Nivaldo! Glad to see you running again, friend.

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  8. That is a pretty amazing pace for a trail race!! Not to mention the mud. Way to go, Raina!

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  9. Way to go Speedy! That's awesome!

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  10. So you got first place? Or it as your first race? Or both? Proud of you.

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    1. Both, if you count 1F as a first. Thanks a ton Jodi! Looking forward to our planned outing :D

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  11. Looks like such a mess. But it also looks like you rocked it FIRST FEMALE! Congrats! Sheesh I hope that pineapple express lets up on you guys!

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    1. Thanks Marcia! It finally let up.

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  12. Fun! Bet it took a while to get the mud out of your shoes (and everything else!).
    Thanks for the link - I'll go have a look. I ditch my GPS for all races (well, it's going, but I never look at it) - I tend to run much better going by feel. Most of my runs are by feel too. Might look at the HRM a bit on some to make sure I'm comfortably at MAF effort.

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    1. Good for you! I have a hard time not looking at mine Ewen.

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  13. Congrats on your 1st place - love the medal! Looks like FUN! :)

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  14. I would have DNSed - I hate mud! But I am a desert flower and could not handle all your rain!

    The medal is very cute.

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    1. Ah.. I think you're a lot tougher than that!

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  15. Hey Raina, Congrats!!!, and thanks for the enjoyable race report. Beautiful medal also :)

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  16. Great job! I have to admit, last Saturday I was simultaneously feeling bad for all you Bristow runners and rejoicing that my race was next Saturday. Also, I had to laugh about your food and clean bathroom comment...I don't know how many times I've cursed the "shorter distances" for running less and getting all the good stuff. I love your take on it! Again, great job!!

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  17. Nice work in some atypical conditions. just like cars can't go fast in mud, neither can we! Ms. Herron has some good pearls of wisdom, doesn't she?!

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  18. I know what you're saying about having a better shot at the food before everyone else finishes their race. Been doing shorter races myself lately and I must say its kind of sweet munching on some post race grub and watching others make another loop! :) Congrats on a well run race and 1st place finish!

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  19. I never succeeded in not considering my pace. You made a great job with all that mud. I remember long time ago (1997) a similar trail with mud and under a heavy rain: it was a nightmare but I had to run as fast as possible because it was the Navy championship.

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  20. That is a really cool medal! Congrats!!

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  21. I thought I had already commented on this! Crazy. Anyway - you did a fantastic job considering all that mud ! First female - that's just brilliant! Well worth what it took to get there!

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  22. Looks and sounds like is was one wet amazing run! Love the medal how fun! Hope all is well! I'm just getting around to visiting and catching up since my Daughter's Cross Country season, and basketball seasons are over! Carri~A Running bee

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