Winter Trail Series – Race One

The local Winter Trail Series started on Sunday. Last year I took part in about 2/6 and this year I hope to get to pretty much all of them.

I set off on Sunday a little apprehensive; I hurt my shoulder two weeks ago doing a forward roll and although it had been getting better so long as I didn’t put it into the stress position, it was giving me grief Sunday morning. That and I’d only climbed/trekked up a rather large hill or small mountain – all about perspective here!

I arrived early as usual and thank goodness too – I was in the wrong car park and in the wrong area.

Eventually I parked up and headed inside the pub to collect my barcode and pay up.

I was lucky enough I saw a young seal pup in the waters at the start line and unlucky enough I started an update on my Garmin rather than pressing the start button!

So I quickly set the run going on Strava as I passed the start line! The first 1/4 mile was up hill, not fun! And all the runners seemed so fast! I couldn’t get a pace reading for 1/2 a mile because my Garmin was still updating!

It felt like my legs were going but it was taking effort. My lungs kept up for a good mile just as the terrain was changing.

I’d ran a route around here before, listed as ‘trail run’ but when I showed up it was all tarmac so I was happy to be off road! However, there were steps involved!

Up and over the steps I couldn’t keep the pace up, I had a quick glance behind me as saw three runners and that was all. I started at the back of the pack and everyone seemed to overtake me on the first hill.

There was this mental “oh shit I’m going to be last” so I pushed on. I gave up and walked it off for a few seconds. My hips felt tight again. Nothing serious. But if I came last at least I turned up.

I plodded on again, down a narrow path in the middle of the three runners I saw behind me coming up and over the stairs. This pushed me on because it wasn’t like I could stop!

My watch pinged for two miles so I knew I had less than a mile to go. I couldn’t remember how far in I was when I pressed the Go-Button on the Garmin!

The final loop was the dreaded first hill. And the Marshall was telling me Janice was going to over take me. Well I didn’t care, she could! I had a hill to climb. I couldn’t quite climb it…I walked up half way before running down to the finish line.

Runners where smiling and congratulating me, saying “well done” etc which was kind of nice but I knew they’d all finished 20 minutes ago…I felt like I had worked just as hard as them and my Heart Rate will say so too, but it was a struggle. I was frustrated in myself. The past few Parkruns have been relatively non stop. It felt like I was losing what stamina/strength/ability I worked up to.

I crossed the line and a young girl gave me a spot prize to which I heard someone complaining about. Not necessarily that I got one but they didn’t get one. It was my lucky day! A spiky ball, toffee crisp and a new pair of socks!

I paused the Garmin and the Strava app over the line as got a glimpse of my time being 35:+ which I couldn’t complain.

That’s seems to be my good average about now. My official time was 36:06 which again, I’ll take.

My previous run before this was 4 miles on the trail and my hips were giving me so much grief I thought this run would be similar. Although I had to stop for a walk break now and then to refresh my muscles, all in all it was a good run and I have a time to aim for at the next race!

I just hope there’s some more slow runners! I hate the feeling of coming in last, although I’d rather come in last than not take part at all!

Although I was a little frustrated at myself for having to stop a fair few times in the last mile or so, I’m still grateful for being about to get the run done.

(And I know I need to get that foot under my knee!)

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