Apparently I’m anxious, and I have a brief moment of time and want so desperately to share how much I LOVE trail running!
The Bighorn Trail Run was a great gateway ultra race!
I cannot begin to express the level of joy and happiness I felt the entire 32 miles.
Typically at road races I am a bundle of nerves.
From beginning to end of the trail race I was happy, cool, calm, and collected…I just felt at home.
I was fortunate to get to run with a great group of people as well. For the first 14 miles or so I had a “tour guide” (aka seasoned trail running pro) guide me through the miles letting me know when challenging downhills were coming up and where the next aid station would be; he and I even got off trail together and helped find our way back as a team….you don’t get that same feel at a road race.
The heat of the day ended up being around 100 or so degrees. You were literally exposed for 3/4 of the race and I couldn’t have drank enough water; but, I’m so glad I did stay on top of my nutrition and hydration…I think that is what allowed me to do as well as I did and let me really enjoy the race rather than worry about feeling so lousy during the process of running those 32 miles.
Some things I learned and now love about trail running:
- Aid stations include watermelon, grapes, and salt (and a million other yummy eats)….dipping watermelon in salt is heavenly…an unworldly experience after 20 or so miles.
- Ultra runners are the nicest of nice! Sorry road racers, (don’t worry I am still one)…there is no feeling of competition or cutthroat between runners; everyone is truly geeked out to be running in the mountains.
- You can never wear enough sunscreen! My burns are a testament to that.
- Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2s are legit! I ended up with zero blisters and I got to keep all of my toenails!
- I didn’t realize what a true runner’s “high” felt like until I ran in this race. I didn’t have music or distractions the entire 5 hours and I didn’t need it! I was humming with joy and I was also way too busy making sure I didn’t fall on a rock or stumble down all of the steep hills we ran on.
- Walking/hiking is welcomed/required in trail races. I don’t care how fast someone is…there will be a hill that will ask you to take it slower…or you will be hurting later.
- It can be HOT and you still have to run your race. I took a picture of our thermometer while the car was in the shade! it was hot that day!
- Running like I do cannot be done without the love and support of family!
These guys are my rock! I call my mini men and husband my running mojo; they literally are. I think the thought of knowing that they believe in me so much and love/support me in whatever I try to do is what makes me propel forward with such confidence and fearlessness.
This lady; Ryan’s mom….words cannot express how grateful I am to have her in my life! She was not only the best cheerleader a girl could ask for, but she was a great grandma to her grandsons and never once did I worry about Bodhi and Trout being happy while I was out running…I just knew they were in a wonderful place with an equally wonderful woman!
I am really excited to bring Ryan on in a video blog in a couple of days to share his first trail running experience as well as my own, (in case you didn’t get how much I loved running this last weekend 😉 ).
Anyone on the fence about trying a trail race…don’t hesitate, just do…you won’t regret it.