This past Sunday was Red Top Rumble, my one trail race for the year (as much as I love running trails, I’ve not run as many races on trails – maybe the reason is outlined here). In the 11.5 miles of mostly solitude, I had time to reflect on the race and stuff and and learnt somethings about myself.
Always show up, even if you don’t want to
I woke up at 5:45am to downpour and radar showing no letting up until noon. My mind was almost made up to bail on the race, but Barry and Barbara were going to give it a game time decision and so I tagged along. It surprisingly stopped raining just as the race was about to start, even as it was pouring minutes before at packet pickup. While I still had my doubts, I’m glad I didn’t bail. I put my tiara visor on and went for it (because du’h, doesn’t a tiara make everything better?)
Radar screenshot borrowed from a friend’s post.
Plenty of crazies showed up! Misery, I mean having fun, loves company.
Don’t follow me. No really, don’t.
Now, I’m a solid back of the packer. There is no way I’m getting in front of people. But as it happens when you stop for photos and chatter and stripping off extra layers, I found myself ahead of about 7 people after the first aid station. And I followed the trail and the blue ribbons, very careful not to cross over any! We were surprised to see one of the volunteers heading towards us with a trash bag and she asked us if we were ready to be done. Oh hell no! But that also meant we went off the track and she had no idea how to get us back. We went back up, but then every trail path looks the same when you have no clue where to go!
Finally Barbara found the little off path to take us on to the correct race trail. To my annoyance, it was the exact same place I’d gone off track last year. Except this time, I had added on more mileage that I’d wanted to.
In real life, I’m great at directions and reading maps, but something about this trail race makes my mind go blank and I end up missing directions.
I hold on to embarrassment for a very long time
After I went down the wrong path and 7 others followed me, I was embarrassed and mad. So much that I took off without a word to others and before I knew it, I was all alone on the trails. Not the best idea when you are already lost once and there is strength in numbers, but if I got lost again atleast I’d be responsible only for myself.
So happy to see Joy and be back on track – I’d already lost most of the people I was with at that time. The runners behind were headed back to the finish.
There’s a reason I haven’t tried obstacle races
And it’s not just because I can’t do the obstacles. I don’t deal with mud and squelch. There were places where the cold water was a tad more than ankle deep and then when we were passing through them, the muddy monster would grab on to my shoes and try to stick me into the ground! A few puddles are great fun for me to splish-splash in but full on streams of trails, not yet.
That stream – actually a trail path. You were supposed to run IN it.
Even though I’d surged ahead of the little group I was lost with, I still am very much a back-of-pack (BOP) runner. I came a little past the official cut-off time (even though they included us in the results), I was 12th from bottom in a field of 180, last year was 10th from bottom in a field of 339. Common factor – countable placement from the bottom. Momentarily putting aside all thoughts of how I’ve cemented my place in the BOP, I gave the last 3 miles a good attitude and a fair try, we all had fun and pushed through some rough patches, literally.
It was great to see fast runners go by and plenty of friendly faces, given that we had done that extra loop of getting lost. And cheers from the ITL group and ultra group at the end.
Shutting down the finish line
All in all, could’ve been better, but for a day that started out with me not wanting to run the race, it was a lot fun to slip and slide through the trails and enjoy the camaraderie of the running community.
These are some of the weekly linkups hosted by great bloggers. Check out some of the posts in the linkups.
Meatless Monday – Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands
Tunes Tuesday (first Tuesday of the month) – KookyRunner, Run With No Regrets and RunSteffRun
Tuesdays on the Run –No Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice
Running Coaches Corner – Running on Happy, Suz Lyfe, Crazy Running Girl and Coach Debbie Runs
Friday Five 2.0 –Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness
Weekly Wrap up – HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home