Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hocking Hills Indian Run 40K 2013

We watched the weather all week.  It looked like it was going to rain overnight on Friday and maybe on Saturday morning.  What should we do with the baby?  Sure the race started at the lodge, but what fun would that be for either Dave or Anderson to be stuck inside the lodge during my race?  We would have to leave for the race around 6:00am; could we get Anderson over to my parents' house before we needed to leave?  Could we make a morning decision?

The day before the race I checked the weather one last time and it said 70% chance of rain race morning.  All morning.  Crap!  I called my mom and before I even asked her anything, she giggled.  She already knew that she and Dad would be watching the baby all night long.  We were leaving the baby all night at Grandma's and Grandpa's.  This was a big step for us and I wasn't sure I was ready, but it was really, the choice we needed to make.

And what a good decision it was.  I was awoken that night by POURING rain.  It didn't stop either.  I woke up and it was raining.  We drove to the race site and it was raining.  I lined up for the race and it was raining.  And it kept raining the ENTIRE race.

I mean, if you're going to do a trail race it should be in the mud, right?

 This wasn't a big race, maybe 40ish people, so I started conservatively in the middle of the pack.  But not a mile into the race I discovered I was running second female with first place right in front of me.  For the next couple of miles we traded places until we struck up a conversation around mile 5 or so.  And she was nice and I thought, "you know Meredith, you haven't made a whole lot of friends being super-competitive".  So we talked and we ran and talked and ran.  And before we knew it we were done with the first lap, refueling our packs, heading back out for our second loop, and sharing first place.

As I mentioned before it rained this entire race.  The ENTIRE race.  There were several races going on too: 60K, 40K, 20K, 10K, 5K, all of them sharing the same course.  So the second loop was more congested and more muddy.  This course had a lot of road running, something I was not expecting.  Mile 3 and 15 go down, down, down, down, down to the point it hurts and you'd rather walk downhill.  Then you make a left onto Steel Hill which goes up and up and up.  I hiked this hill both times.  You stay on the trails for a while which are fire trails, nice a wide, and my new friend and I could run beside each other and talk.  The last part of the loop is pretty technical with lots of single track and roots and switchbacks.  The second time around this was messy and around mile 21 I just kept sliding down a hill until I fell.  Thank goodness it wasn't a hard fall this time and my new running friend waited on me.

We ran the whole 24+ miles minus two uphills two times.  We crossed the finish line together in a time of 4:05:19 (9:54 pace) for first and second place females and 6th and 7th overall.  I asked if they could give us a tie, but they said no.  In the end I guess my time was a fraction faster, so I won the race.  But, really we tied. 

With the win in this race I set one of my "super secret running goals" from my 13 in '13 list, which was to win a race.  I'm kinda liking this trail running stuff.  It really suits my running style.  I'm looking forward to a few more longer trail races this year.

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