So the other day, I'm on Facebook, and one of my friends asked - "anyone want to run 20 miles on Saturday?" Well. I did want to run 20ish. Actually, I had 24 on schedule. So I asked for more information. She told me about the Southside Fatass run. Lucky for me, it was taking place only about 20 minutes from my house. On a day I was supposed to do a long run anyway. With available distances ranging from 15 miles to 50K, I was pretty sure it would be a nice change from the treadmill.
Yes. You heard me right. After 9 weeks of doing my double digit runs on the treadmill, I decided to take it outside.
Date: January 21
Time: 7 am
I was warned that I shouldn't be late, or I would miss getting a map. I was very concerned about getting that map since I have only run a teeny tiny section of the trails. And THAT was about 2 years ago. Two other girls needed to use the bathroom, so I went with them - and we informed the group we would be back for the start. Had some nice conversation, the women had actually done the relay of the 100 miler I'll be doing in a few months. One is running the Leadville 100 this year!
Anyway, we are heading back to the start, the sun is coming up:
And then we see the runners heading toward us. They started without us :( Which meant... no map for me! OH NO!!! It looked like they were running fast. Not really surprising since Boulder is known for super freaky fast runners. I ended up at the tail end of the pack and spoke with the organizer. She said she would get a map for me and ran off. Unfortunately... she never came back. Lucky for me, I latched on to apparently the only other average runner. And yay for me that she turned out to be AWESOME. She gave me her map, and said she was familiar enough with the trails that she probably wouldn't need it. And she was super great company. I never ONCE turned on my iPod. And for pretty much the only time EVER, the miles seriously did fly by. I didn't really look at my watch, and actually enjoyed most of my run.
|This IS pretty nice to look at|
I had chosen a VERY unconventional (for me) outfit for running. My new YMX Winter flower long sleeve jersey and my Athleta Headwinds jacket. PERFECT. As you know, I am 99% of the time a tank top wearer. But. 27 degrees. Windy. January. I didn't want to take a chance.
We stopped to use the bathroom around mile 7. First aid station at mile 8. Yes, there were aid stations. The organizers husband ran a "mobile" aid station. Waited for the last people to arrive then headed to the second point down the trail. I downed a 1/4 PBJ sandwich, small cup of coke, a few pretzels and some animal crackers. (Did I mention this event was FREE???)
Hope (the woman I was running with) and I were having a great time talking, and we finally encountered the first section we really couldn't run. It was steep single track, lots of mud and ice. Neither of us fell. Bonus. After scraping mud out of the soles of shoes, we continued on. Second aid station at mile 11. We beat the van there by a couple of minutes. Refueled - this time with a chocolate chunk rice krispie treat, some chips and M&Ms. We added another runner who only wanted to run the end, and headed out again.
She turned out to be MUCH slower than we were. We talked and "ran" (her jog was my brisk walk pace) for about a mile, then when she slowed to a walk, we went on without her.
It's hard to see, but in the picture below on the hill there is a big animal. We could not determine if it was a wolf or coyote. Luckily he never came close enough for us to find out.
We had a nice section of fairly flat and downhill. Then we turned and the wind picked back up. I took off my jacket around 10:30, tying it around my waist. That was not as annoying as I thought it would be either.
Since Hope knew where she was going and was only running 20, I decided to scrap my extra miles and finish up the run with her. Even with over 20 minutes of stopping and standing around (between the bathroom stop and aid stations), we still maintained a pretty decent pace.
She is training for her first 50k in May (the same one I ran last year!) and we plan to do another run together this spring.