Friday, January 21, 2011

2010 in review - Part I The Dog

I'm starting with a record of how 2010 went, with race reports.  I am rededicating myself to this blog, driven by a passion of mine, to fight obesity in our community.  More posts to come!

May: The Dirty Dog 15K Kanawha State Forest, Charleston WV

In late March, about the time I began running again after a 5 year hiatus, I got the wild idea to train for a 15K trail race.  I figured it would be a good way to push myself way past my comfort level and force me to get out there!  Friends of mine organized this race, so I felt comfortable attempting this while amongst folks who would be looking out for me.  I convinced my brother and husband to do it with me, and suddenly we were a united racing team, motivated by each other to push our limits and train hard.  None of us had ever run farther than about 4 miles at a time, ever.  In addition to our training team, girlfriend Lindsey is an avid runner, and she was a wonderful resource in helping us get ready for our race.
Before the race
On race day, after an embarrassing and unfortunate wipeout in the parking lot by Jay, our adrenaline ran high and we were excited to get started.  Daisy, our everlasting running mutt, was ready to go too, as one of the many canine participants.  The gun went off and we were moving...running our first big distance race!  There were some newbie complications.  I forgot to sync my GPS watch, and somehow simultaneously dropped my pod and sunglasses in the first 100 yards of the race.  Daisy was spooked by the crowd and immediately pulled off to the side, forcing us to wait for the crowd to pass, then quietly coax her to run with us.  Once we got through our initial setbacks, the majority of the run went beautifully.  I felt fast, whizzing through the trees and flying down the hills.  I time-travelled back to my childhood, growing up on a farm, running through the woods like a wild animal.  I immediately fell in love with trail running.

Husband Jay Finishes First!
Other complications arose when Daisy decided to excitedly swim in the creek, Vance twisted his ankle, and the bottoms of my feet were on fire at about 7 miles in.  However, we made our final decent to the finish line, smiling, proud and happy.  We busted out of the woods and sprinted through the field to the finish.  Husband led the pack, followed by me, and Vance and Lindsey chased me down at the finish for some hilarious finish line pics!  Daisy spooked again and stayed in the woods, forcing us to run back into the woods and bring her across.  We were sore, scraped, bruised, sweaty, and tired, but we were hooked.

Me cheesing, while unknowingly
being chased down by Vance & Lindsey
The race itself was well-run, and well staffed with relief stations scattered throughout.  Post race food was especially yummy, with watermelon, homemade cookies, and other goodies.  Race organizers collected items for donation to the Humane Society.  I can't wait to do this race again in 2011 and would recommend it to anyone!

Our proud Dirty Dog crew post-race


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