Lost my Trail Pikermi Virginity – it was sloppy.

Life post Asheville has been going well and I had some pretty awesome runs last week, including a kick ass 7 miler in which I smashed my long standing 10k PR (1:01:10) by hitting 6.2 in 58:06 (thank you intervals)!!!! 
 
So, with my confidence back up, I signed up for a trail half marathon with NCathlete!
 
The race was in Charlotte, so of course I went back to my $1 beer Bar Friday night (lordy, I sound like such a lush!)….but I managed to only have 2 and fall asleep on my friend’s couch by midnight!
 
It was pouring on the way to the race. In fact, it had rained about 4 days straight leading up to the race. Sloppy trails? Yes, please! 
 
Hey Rain, BEAT IT!
 
Luckily the rain started to subside as I pulled into the parking lot. The race took place at the White Water Center, which is basically Disneyland. I really need to get back here! Running and mountain bike trails, lakes, man-made rapids, ziplines, rock climbing…and a restaurant that serves beer. I really cant think of a better way to spend a Saturday!
 
 
Once the jets were turned on, The calm water got CRAZY!
 
NCathlete spotted me shortly before the start. She always finds me first! You think being an amazon and gorgeous, I’d spot her in a crowd (or right in front of my face) but no, she kinda pops up out of no where like a creepy butler (only not creepy. Gosh I hope that made sense!).
 
I got to meet her “little” bro and we watched him run across the start. I threw up after my first 5k and still avoid them like a psycho ex bf so I def wouldnt want to trade places with him. A trail 5k sounds tough!
 
After the 5k cleared out I went back to line up with the slow people. The post rain mugginess made me nervous. Why couldnt the deliciously cool weather from last weekend have stuck around? This was going to suck!
 
Surprisingly, the first 4 miles weren’t bad. I was in a groove, following a line of people. It was like a congo line snaking through the woods except everyone was pretty much on beat. My garmin was way off the mile markers, so I asked the line if they were off too. They mumbled back something about switchbacks and trees, Dummy. I noticed they all seemed to be waring TIMEXs. Poor Mr T was home in Raleigh…he never gets to travel.
 
Gary was off so much, I’m sure he missed some of the switchbacks 
 
I lost the line up a steep hill, which really are my nemesis. This is when switchbacks get evil – I’d see and hear people….but just as I think I’m getting close my arrow told me to go into a different direction. I finally caught up with another congo line drop out on one of the few straight sections. I said the humidity was kickin my butt. She said her 1 month old was kickin hers. 
 
Wow lady, way to call me a pansy! Not only did she just have a baby, she was shirtless. And doing awesome. I tried to make a bit more convo, but I was getting the middle school “Dont talk to the weird new girl” vibe. Booo. 
 
Frolicking!
 
Around mile 6 two girls about my age popped out of the trees (prob a pit stop) so I dropped hot mom, who seemed to be fading, for them. I figured two females together might be chatty. No, they weren’t talking either and weren’t really feeling me. After being the center of attention in Asheville, it was sad not having any company. But I’m Jenster!! Why dont they like me???  
 
They eventually split up with one girl running ahead and the other dropping back, and I was alone again. I knew I was slowing but it was impossible to tell how much with my GPS off. Ok, it was possible to start paying attention to when I hit the mile markers and manually figure out my time…but I’m dumb. 
 
Around mile 10 it started raining. It was a hard rain but I like running in the rain. Esp being in the woods in the rain. I was glad I wore my Miniumus Trails, as any other shoe in my collection doesnt do well while wet. I tripped on a tree root, or rock, or maybe some Brownies (Willow, anyone? Anyone?) threw up a rope to trip me. I went down HARD . Ouch! 
 
 
You know, Brownies! Madmardigan HATES them!
 
It was still raining when I hit mile 12, which was when the HM trail met back up with the 5k route. Things got really interesting here. It was really slick and muddy, but there werent a lot of tree roots to try to find footing. I was sliding everywhere and having a really hard time not falling on my face. There was even a hill so slick and steep I slipped twice trying to walk up it so I CRAWLED UP IT ON MY HANDS AND KNEES! Where’s the darn photographers when you need them! That would have to win a BA award. 
 
 
Instead they get me when I look like soggy death!
 
The rain magically subsided as I exited the woods and the sun came out. OMG it was hot and muggy!! Bring back the rain! I was dripping wet, my water logged shorts were trying to fall off. I was on the hot mess express! The finish was up a gravel hill (always a mean surface to the Minius Trails) before getting back on pavement.
 
A Personal Worst – 2:47:57…but still a better pace than my first trail race (a 10 miler in much more comfortable January) so I’m feelin ok about it. It was def one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I didnt even get a medal to add to the collection on my guest room floor 😦 I def have way more respect for you Ultra peeps. I seriously cant imagine pulling insane distances out of those tough courses! Wow People!
 
NCathlete was there to greet me at the end! The BA kicked major butt! I was happy with survival 🙂 
 Swapped my soggy tank for a try shirt…that was obviously a fail!
 
I went back to Charlotte to play with my friends and actually stayed out in heels all night! Nothing could prepare me for Sunday’s soreness. I was so sore, I skipped plans to tailgate for the Panther’s game (good thing too…rain sucks!). I seriously can’t remember the last time a half made me that sore. Not just my legs…my abs and back (I guess for tensing up and trying not to fall) killed me. 
 
Is it too soon to resume wearing skirts to work??
 
Funny, when I was looking for a picture of the Brownies from Willow, I stubled on this video, 
which pretty much describes how I felt about the race: It took forever, there was nothing waiting at the end but a whole lot of hurt, but  it’s way more fun than being at home!
 
Happy Weekend, Loopsters! 
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