RR: Little River Trail 10 Miler

Woohoo! My first Trail Race! New Year’s Goals are already getting crossed off! Hitting  the trails was a big, scary goal for 2011. I survived!! It was harder  than I thought, and there were times I really wished I was on a road,  but I loved it. I can’t wait to do another! Some highlights:
  • Hands  down the most well organized non-mega race I’ve been to. There were  zero glitches and fabulous communication. There was none of that  pre-race stress I normally feel when information is missing before road  races.
  • It was super green. The race allowed you to purchase  carbon offsets, they had prizes for the best carpool (based on #people,  MPG of car, etc), requests for people to carry hand-helds, recycling  Nazis to make sure waste was in the correct bin, compostable containers,  etc.
  • OMG what nice, laid back people!! I felt like I was at  summer camp (not math camp…but the one summer I got to go to a camp  for non-asians) and everything was fun and games. I’m probably  stero-typing but I really hope not. Maybe more trails will make me into a  nice person too??
I really couldn’t have asked for a  better day. The weather was crisp – high 20s/low 30s and sunny, which  was a bit cold to stand around in but quite comfortable once we got  moving. I ran into my friend Chris, her friend Erin, and Erin’s husband just  before the re-race pep-talk. Poor Chris wasn’t feelin well but I  think we all knew she’d kick some major butt.
The  first half mile was on the road leading into the park and then we  entered the trails. There was more snow that I expected. My area got  snow around Christmas but while the rest of NC had snowstorms earlier in  the week, we had gotten nothing but freezing rain and ice.  After the  first mile I lost track of the number of time I slipped and almost fell.  Somewhere in mile 2 I slipped on some ice coming down a hill..flat on  my butt.
It felt like being a kid when you fall in the middle of  a game – it didn’t hurt and you’re not embarrassed so you pop up and  get right back in. It’s good I had that mentality because I fell two  more times! I walked a lot…but there were times the ups and downs were  so steep that I had to pull on trees to stay upright (esp on this part  when I was scared of falling in the rivier). There were also times the  mashed down leaves seemed to disappear and I had to stare at the ground  like a freakin’ Magic Eye for the path to appear. To top it off, I was  completely alone except for a lady who decided to use me as a pacer for  the last 4 miles. Who the heck would want to use me as a pacer??
This lady.
She  was nice enough as a shadow, I guess…and I didn’t fall at all in  front of her. It felt weird talking to someone without ever seeing her  face. But we chatted the past few miles. I was wearing tights so I hope  she wasn’t staring at my butt. I never heard her fall so I guess not.
It  felt good to enter the sunny, open space at the end of the trails. I  finished way later than expected – 2:12, which is my flat HM time. I def  need more hill work and I’d love to practice on the trails some more. Chris and her friends stayed and waited in the cold…even though  I’m sure they were thinking “where the heck is she?? I’m cold” for  about  25 min. Thanks guys!!
I think I should be dizzy from all the switchbacks
Turns  out someone really did fall in the river during the 7k so I guess my  first trail experience could have been a lot worse. I’m ready to get  back out there and do it again! How can you resist races that look like  this?? Just don’t fall in the river.

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