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:
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.
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:
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 😉
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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