Gruelin Newlin 25K

Oh, the joy of running in the rain all day!  It takes a special kind of crazy to drive out to the woods and set-off for a 15.5 mile run on a day that is predicted to rain all day.    But the truth is, it was fun.  It’s like being a kid again.  Running through the woods trying to figure out the way to go.  I was initially nervous about this race.  It was a small event (30 finishers) and seemed to be filled with fast runners who all knew each other or were coming with friends so my social anxiety was turned up a bit, but I chilled out and figured I would be running alone and that was fine with me.  I was able to finish in 3:53 in 2nd to last place which only occurred because someone took a wrong turn and ended up behind me.  I was focused during this race in a way that I haven’t been able to achieve in other events.  I was able to relax and enjoy the journey more than I have in the past which is something I struggle with life in general.  I am always trying to look forward to something: the weekend or an upcoming vacation.  Just dealing with today to get to tomorrow but this race wasn’t just about “dealing” with the conditions.  It was about enjoying them.  Enjoying the time, I set to myself to remember myself and be myself – Not mommy, wife or employee.  Just me; left to my own thoughts for four hours.  Yeah, I have enough rattling around my dome to keep me entertained for that long and my thoughts became my meditation  and it was pretty awesome.

The course was intimidating when I first saw it in my email:

CourseI thought for sure I would get lost, but the course was really  easy to follow and there were volunteers in any area that may have been confusing for anyone.  I was also careful to pay attention when the Race Director was giving directions at the start which was VERY helpful.  I really like the course, it had a great assortment of grasslands and trails with hills and a couple of stream crossings which are always fun.  It was a constant battle of fighting falling from the start but somehow, I did not end up on my ass.  All of the volunteers were very friendly and encouraging regardless of being stuck in the rain and maybe they were just happy to almost be done with the race since I was the second to last runner, but they seemed sincere and very encouraging.  I knew I would be very sore the following day, which I am.   The muscles used fighting falling while running those conditions are not normal and even my shoulders are sore.  But all of the crazy areas gave me a good excuse to stop and take some pictures:

Overall it was a great run and I think I found my race mojo again.  It feels good to have the first race of the season done.

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