The past few weeks have been tough training-wise, well and in other areas of my life as well. I have been so busy that it has been very difficult to head out for my weekly training runs. This makes for not so great marathon training. The one good thing is that I have been able to get everything single long run completed these past few weeks. They haven’t always been easy but they’re done.
Along with the lack of consistent training has been inability to improve on my pace. It was at this time last year that I started on an amazing tear and my pace just kept steadily improving. There is still time and I’m still going to go for my overall marathon goal but will be ok if I don’t. I’ve had an emotionally up and down year so I’m not surprised that my training is mirroring this.
But today brought some pure enjoyment.
Way back in July I signed up for the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon. This one had been on my to do list for the past few years but I always shoed away because of my marathon training. Obviously I said,” screw it.”
But, when I did sign up I had this idea that I would be back to where I was last year with my pace and feeling great conditioning-wise. Ha!
Soooo, going into this week I had no other plan than to finish this, my first half marathon on the trails, and just enjoy this. And this is exactly what I did.
There was some high humidity today and my quads have not been happy so the climbs on this course were a bit tough for me.
But this was an amazing course! It reminded me about why I love running the trails every once in a while and the fact that these trails are in my neck of the woods is a huge bonus.
I run many races that give the finishers medals and while I have earned every one, there is that occasional medal that holds more weight and this is one of them.
As I made my way along the trails and teamed up with a few other women along the way I never felt down on myself or disappointed in my time. I finished about 15 minutes slower than planned but I’ll gladly take it today!
There is a certain camaraderie when running the trails that is a bit different from road runners. We support each other out there, offer words of encouragement, and even water and gels. It’s what goes on the woods. We’re all in it together and appreciate the journey.
This was a tough first trail half marathon for me but one that I am so proud that I did. These are the type of events that you feel as though you really earned that medal, and chocolate milk, and yes, even the hot shower at the local high school!
I’ll be back next year!
It’s what goes on the woods.
Hey, what goes on in the woods stays in the woods.
Glad you enjoyed the race and hope to see you again next year.
(FYI…we estimate these trails will add one minute per mile to your road pace…so you pretty much nailed it.)
Well said. This was a fantastic race. My first time doing it. I can’t believe I went to that high school and barely knew those trails were there, let alone that you could do nearly a complete half marathon on dirt and rocks.There’s nothing like the NYC marathon but NYRR races have become noisy, soulless events where an increasingly large percentage of the runners and volunteers are there primarily to earn marathon credit. By comparison the P2P was run by people who wanted to enjoy a morning on the trails and staffed by volunteers who were fully engaged (and necessary!). What a great race to put on the calendar for next year.
I operate the WestchesterTrails.com site and am writing an article for Trail Runner magazine about the race. I may use some of this for quotations. Could you drop me a line at Joe.jpgarland AT gmail.com or leave a comment at RunWestchester.com with information about you that I could use, in particular your name?