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VHTRC Women's Half Marathon Trail Run - RunHalf Marathon

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Fairfax, Virginia
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 41m 41s
Overall Rank = 132/188
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 19/23
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 6:30am, ate a bagel, and got dressed. The race was in the local area and didn't start until 8:30 so I left my house around 7:30. I picked up my race number and I ate a few Chomps about 20 min before the race started. I stood in line for the bathroom but it was going ridiculously slow and there were a ton of women in line so I finally decided to just run into the woods and go about my business. I made it to the start line with 5 min to spare.
Event warmup:

Not much. I stretched for a bit while the race director went over all of the course details. I laughed when the men of the happy trails running club sang the song 'happy trails' and then we took off shortly afterwards.
  • 2h 41m 41s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 20s  min/mile

This was a TOUGH run for me. I am used to road running, not trail running, so though I expected it to be tough and much different, I had no idea that it would be as challenging as it was. The course was mostly single track with a lot of tricky steep downhills and extremely steep uphills. Most of the women in front of me would walk the uphills as they were too steep to actually run up so I followed their lead. Their were a few areas of nice flats which I savored - it felt so good to stretch out my legs while sprinting through those parts of the course. The aid stations were great and the volunteers were very supportive. The toughest part of the run was passing by the finish line while moving onto the second part of the course. I was mentally completely ready to be done but I still had a little over 6 miles to go at that point so I kept pushing myself and telling myself that I could celebrate like a champ once I finished this daggone course. The second part of the course entailed several 2.5 foot 'stairs' that we had to climb up while going up an especially steep hill - that part killed my quads. Other than that, the second half was definitely much easier than the first half. My calves started cramping up around mile 11.5 so I took a bit of time to massage them out and moved on. I started sprinting when I was about .75 miles out from the finish line and even though my calves were cramping like crazy, I made it to the finish line and was never so happy.
What would you do differently?:

Since my nutrition plan at last weekend's half marathon really worked for me, I decided to do the same thing this week (Gu chomps before the race, one Gu between miles 6 and 7). I should have taken two Gus with me though and taken them around miles 4 and 8 because my energy level was definitely fading pretty early.
Post race
Warm down:

My calves were cramping like crazy so I stopped and massaged them out as soon as I crossed the finish line. I stretched for awhile, grabbed some food (there was a loooot to choose from!), stretched some more, and then left.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not having practice on the trails.

Event comments:

The Happy Trails Running club did a great job of putting this race together. It was nice to run in a local, smaller event.

Last updated: 2009-08-31 12:00 AM
02:41:41 | 13.1 miles | 12m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 19/23
Overall: 132/188
Performance: Below average
Course: The race started off in the parking lot at Fountainhead Regional Park, turned into the woods and followed the blue blaze hourse trail.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-09-13 10:29 AM

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Subject: VHTRC Women's Half Marathon Trail Run
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