Awhile back I saw a flyer at the gym advertising a 5 mile trail race to be held at Saratoga Spa State Park the first weekend in November. I picked up one of the flyers thinking it would be a fun race and a good one to do the week before the half marathon trail race I’m signed up for next weekend down in the Catskills.
As I do all too often, I set the flyer aside and forgot about the race until I was asked this past Friday if I was planning on running it. Seeing as though I had 16 miles on my training schedule that I needed to run on Sunday I decided why not. If 5 of those miles were the race it meant I only had to do 11 or so more by myself which is much less boring than running all those miles alone!
Sunday morning dawned cold and windy. Not the kind of weather that made me want to jump out of bed to go running. I decided I’d rather get the majority of my miles done before the race so I scooted out the door around 8AM so I could get parked, pick up my race stuff and then head out to log some easy miles around the park.
I bundled up and brought lots of extra layers and cold weather gear but it ended up not being so bad. I managed to squeeze in 5.7 miles prior to the race which I was happy about. I wore my awesome Pearl Izumi lined running tights, Under Armour tank top and Cold Gear long sleeved top, Brooks running vest, a fleecy hat and a pair of gloves/mittens from EMS. Of course I also had my trusty Pearl Izumi EM Road N2’s, my Garmin Forerunner 910XT and my iPhone.
Those 5.7 miles flew by like nothing and soon enough I was prepping for the race. I made one more bathroom stop, ate a banana and some sports beans and found a spot against one of the buildings out of the wind but in the sun to hunker down until the race began. Soon enough the race was starting and we were off. It began in a large grassy field so it was rather cold with the wind whipping across the way but we were in the woods within the first quarter mile and sheltered from the worst of it.
All in all I really liked the race. It was the first time I have run a trail race before and I really enjoyed it. I’ve run trails, but always in a casual setting, never a race. It was definitely a different experience. Passing people was interesting and a few times I found myself just having to slow down until an opportune time came around to make a move. I crossed the finish line in 50:41 which I was very happy with. The course was technical in spots and not at all flat so averaging a 10 minute mile after already running 5.7 earlier was great. I’d say it was about half single track and half double wide trail. I liked the mix and found it to be a fun way to get 5 miles in for the day.
I hung out for a little bit, got some chocolate milk and half a muffin to refuel and got back in the car to head home to finish my miles with my boys. We bundled Owen up and tossed him in the jogging stroller and ran another 3.4 miles at home. That brought me to a total of 14.1 miles for the day. It wasn’t the 16 that I had on my training schedule, but oh well. That fact that I got out and got it done on a nasty, blistering cold day was awesome. I had so many excuses in my head as to why I couldn’t run but I got out there and got it done.
I’m looking forward to the trail race I am registered for next weekend. It’s a little bit different than the Fall Back 5 in that it is all on carriage trails, not the single track type of trail from this past weekend. It’s a little hillier, should be interesting, but should be fun, too. You can look for the race recap next Monday!