So, in honor of my goals for the year to try something new each month, I decided to finally take the plunge and try a trail race, the 2016 Lost Pines Trail Half Marathon to be exact! I signed up mostly because I got a super sweet deal thanks to a coupon code at a previous race (yay expo fun!), and thought I’d cross this off my bucket list. 

I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve done trail running before, but I wasn’t sure if that was “it” — was it the trail running that all the runners talked about? It didn’t seem that hard so maybe? 

Anyways, gearing up for this race — I really had no idea what to do. I treated it like a normal race and even wore normal race gear:

Crazy Running Girl | Pre-race runner

Except for the shoes — I wore the Brooks Running Cascadia 11. I seriously don’t think that I would have survived the race without these, btw. They kept me from slipping down some major hills and my feet would have been wayyy more sore without them. 

Rocky Hill Ranch | Smithville, TX

 

So anyways, I ended up getting to the race start about 20 minutes before and started to panic — usually I like to show up at least an hour before. And then I remembered that this is a LOT smaller than all the marathons I’ve run. It was a super casual start — they had us line up, sang the Star Spangled Banner and gave us some pre-race instructions — including what signs and things to follow to stay on the trail (this is important). 

We kicked it off and I fell into place behind a crew — it is a single track course so we had to run single file. I had some room to run in front of others and fell into a nice pack. The first mile seemed to last forever, but when I got to mile five, I was literally thinking why didn’t I sign up for the marathon? 

Seriously, running makes you crazy. 

Then I got to mile six, where we ran through a meadow filled with bluebonnets (I really wanted to take a picture), and that lasted a few miles… my legs were starting to get really tired, so it wasn’t a surprise when this happened:

Lost Pines Trail Half Marathon | Battle Wounds

 

This was when my Garmin said mile 9, and I literally do not know what happened. At one point, I was thinking about how gorgeous everything was around me, and the next, I was on the ground. I shook it off and got up (and didn’t notice the blood until after the race). 

I caught up with a girl I had been following for awhile, and she asked what I had on my watch. At that point, I had 13 miles and we were in the middle of the woods, so I figured it was off a little bit. Turns out, it was off a lot. We somehow took a THREE mile detour! Apparently, there was a group of us that followed some wrong signs and added on a few miles. 

You know, a few miles. Not a big deal. 

Ha. My legs were SO mad. I finally hit the finish and saw the clock: 2:40.30. Not a bad time for a 16 miler 😉

Lost Pines Half Marathon | Finisher

So, what did I think? Would I do another trail half marathon again?

The Lost Pines Trail Half Marathon was a lot of fun… it was a great experience for my first trail half marathon. The organizers did a great job with it and I loved the overall vibe. 

Of course, like I said on Instagram, I have to run another one — this time, hopefully I won’t add on three miles. There is something that I love about being alone with nature and I feel like trail running gives you that time. It helps me keep my head straight and I feel like it helps me find that true love for running. 

So yes, I’ll see you again, trails. 🙂

 

Have you ever done a trail race? What did you think?

Ever get lost during a race or run? Did you laugh or cry? 



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