Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rail Trail Ten Miler

Today was my longest race to date, a 10 miler, on the Rail Trail in southern York County, Pennsylvania.  My day started early at 5am.  I picked up my friend Kelly at 6:15, and we headed to the finish line.  The crazy worrier I am, I was afraid that if we did not get there at the crack of dawn, I would not get a parking space in the small lot at the finish line where we met the bus.  Kelly and I were one of the first cars there.  That gave me plenty of time to stretch and pack up my SPIbelt.  Then it was off to the bus!
I am not a fan of busses, but the ride was not that bad.  Once we got to the starting point there was a long walk up a hill to the porta pottys.  I am not a fan of porta pottys either, but when you got to go, you got to go.  We headed back down the hill to the starting line.  Once they yelled “Ready, Set, Go”, it was back up the big hill again.  The race began in the small town of Seven Valleys.  Many of the town residents were out cheering for the runners at the beginning of the race.  After weaving through the small town for about half a mile, we hit the rail trail. 
The terrain of the rail trail is loose gravel.  I had never run on gravel before.  It was a totally different feeling than the treadmill or the blacktop track around my neighborhood.  While running, as I pushed off with my back foot, it would slip a bit.  It felt like it took a bit more power to push off than running on blacktop or the treadmill.   
The weather this morning was not to hot at about 78 degrees, but the 86% humidity was awful!  It took me a while to get used to breathing in the heavy air.  I don’t think I have ever run in that much humidity before.  I got used to the air after a while, but I feel like it slowed me down a bit.  The humidity had me soaked from head to toe!  By mile three, I was soaked!  My tank was as wet as if I had just jumped in a pool.  My hair was as wet as it is about an hour after a shower. 
The trail was really pretty to run on.  A creek ran right next to the train.  We passed by several farms and lots of country scenery.  Around mile 5, the trail passes through a really long train tunnel.  The tunnel was especially hard to run through because the pavement was very uneven.  The tunnel was dark and shadowy.  Around mile 9, we ran past my alma mater, York College. 
Around mile six, I could feel my stomach growling!  I was not sure what to eat for breakfast before the run.  I wanted to eat something to fuel the run, but not to much that it would upset my stomach.  I decided on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I figured it was a good mix of carbs, protein and fat to fuel my run.  I decided against my usually morning coffee because I did not want to much in my stomach.  It seems like the PB&J was not enough.  I did take a gel right before the start and a few Clif Bloks on the bus ride, but they don’t really fill up the stomach.  I do wish I would have had my coffee too.  The caffeine would have helped.  I thought that the caffeine in my gel would have been enough, but my body is used to more caffeine!  Live and learn…
Around mile seven, my blisters busted back onto scene!  I had really babied my feet this past week, using blister healing products, being careful with the shoes I wore, and not over training.  On my to-do list this week is to take a trip to Charm City Run and see what ideas they can give me. 
Overall the race was a huge success for me.  I finished!  That was my goal going into the race—to finish!  My time was 2:24:02, or about 14:24 per mile.  This time was for sure not my best, but I am happy with it.  I feel like the humidity and a different terrain added to my time, plus I had never run this far before.  At the finish line, there was a group of people cheering me on, including my husband and children.  It was nice to have them there, watching my accomplishment.  My friend Kelly finished one second after me.  It was so great to finish together since we planned and trained for this moment together for months.  Kelly’s family was there too, cheering us on.  My kids’ pediatrician was also there as a fellow runner, as well as two of Andrea’s former NICU nurses.  One complaint I have for the race organizers is the lack of water stations.  There was supposed to be four of them, which seems like a small number for a ten mile race, but water station number three was already packed up when I got there.  Now, I realize I was at the back of the pack, but I was not last and my time was not that terrible!  Besides the low number of water stations, the race was a great experience.  It is one I plan to make an annual run for me.  The best part, after finishing ten, I now know I can do 13.1 and finish the Disney Princess Half! 

A dream is a wish...


***Don't forget--one more day to enter my Shakeology giveaway!!!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the distance PR! The conditions did not sound favorable, but you did it!! I'm not a fan of humidity! It definitely slows everyone down! I did a 5k a while back and it was slower than the last few that I did, but it was really humid. My time, though slower than in the past, was good enough to win my AG. The sweating (uncomfortable at times) is good! It's your body cooling off. It's only a problem if it stays that hot and humid and you stop sweating (dehydration!).
    For blisters, I use Body Glide (before long runs and races on spots that may blister and on "hot spots" and blisters). Good socks can help, too!
    Kick some Disney butt!