This was my very first race that I ran on my own. Friday evening Chris and I met for dinner, then I drove an hour and a half to my motel. I have to admit, staying in a motel by myself was a bit creepy. However, I did enjoy having a king size bed to myself. I did miss Chris and my snuggley kitties though. When I checked in, I asked the woman at the front desk what time she though I should leave for the race. She informed me that every nearby hotel was booked at that the roads would be packed in the morning. I hate being late, and it is known that I have the worst sense of direction ever! For these reasons, I decided I wanted to leave extra early. For my 7am race, I decided to leave by 5 (my mapquest directions said it would take 30 minutes to get there... and I was anticipating packed roads). I woke up at 4:45 am, threw on my clothes, and brought my bagel and banana to eat on the road. I arrived by 5:30 am since there was no one on the road. The 50 mile race started at 6 am, so there were some people there. I ended up taking a nap in my car. This was easy to do given that we were in the middle of nowhere and it was very dark. In fact, I do not remember the last time I saw so many stars! It was pretty amazing!
At 6:30 I stood in line for the restroom which was where I met Kris and Denise. They came from New York to run the 16 mile race had not run in temperatures above 40 degrees F! When they heard I was running alone, they invited me to join them. I was so glad I did, because it was nice having someone to talk to for those 16 miles. We followed their training plan which was to run a mile then walk for a minute and to walk up any hill that water could easily run down. Every time we walked, I made sure to drink from my hydration pack which had a combination of water and gatorade. I also took a gel or a shot block every 5 miles.
The weather was perfect that day! I'll admit that I was warm by the end, but it definitely was not horrible. The scenery was beautiful! We ran though an old sink hole that was grown over. However, I did pay more attention to the ground than anything else, because I was worried about tripping. I love trail running!!! The only downfall of the actual race was that a whole group of us got lost. Rather than running 16 miles, we ran 16.69 miles. Even though I was not well trained for this distance, my knees did not hurt at all! In fact, the next day the part of me that was the most sore were my arms... go figure!
I definitely want to do some more trail running! All in all, the race was fantastic! Getting home on the other hand was not so fantastic... My car Garmin told me to turn down a dirt road that was very narrow. The road was two miles long and a mile down the road I got caught in a loose patch of sand. My car stalled. I spent several minutes putting my car in reverse then forward. I kept stalling, but I did eventually make it. I was praying pretty hard that I would be able to get out, because it was pretty scary being stranded in the middle of the woods. I did see wild turkeys and a huge black snake on my drive out of the woods though. I was very happy to arrive home to Chris, the kitties, and my own bed.
My goal was to go out and just have fun, and that is exactly what I did for this race. We finished in just under 4 hours. While the pace was not record-breaking, I had a wonderful time! I would run the Croom Fool's Run again in a heartbeat. And who knows, maybe one day I'll run the 30K. Next time, I will remember to run with my camera. The photos of the race from below were taken by the husband of one of the amazing women I ran with. I absolutely loved running with Kris and Denise! Racing is a wonderful way to make new friends! And if I had not run this race on my own, I may never have met them.
I hope that you all have a fantastic week! I will leave you with photos from the race.
|My motel room|
|Ready for race morning|
|I had to leave an OperationBeautiful note. (o:|
|An orange has never tasted so good!|
|I think this was at mile 8|
|Starting back up after a short break|
|Right before the race started|
|bbq at the end|