Trail Run Trial Run

Posted by Christy. Lest anyone mistake me for Dave.

When I started running last January using the Couch-to-5K Program, the idea was that at the end of the program I would run in a 5K. Before the end of the 9 weeks I was running 4 miles a day, 3 times a week. But I had trouble finding a 5K that worked with the family’s schedule, so I kind of let it go.

Around the end of June I happened to see a sign for a 5K in Conifer, near where we live, so I finally decided that this should be it. Run the Rock! It was scheduled for August 14, our 17th wedding anniversary, and I had at that time about 6 weeks to get ready for it. I figured if I had been running 4 miles at a stretch just a few mere months before, getting ready for a 3.1 mile run in 6 weeks should be no problem. Right.

I started my re-training in Missouri, where the heat and humidity and torrential rain made my training runs brief. I had an interim goal, to run with my runner/writer friend Cara, who was running and blogging for 31 days straight, so I was working on speed as well as distance to prepare for my debut with a “real” running buddy. I experimented with running with some ladies in my neighborhood to help me prepare. Let’s just say that I was less than ready to run with a group or even a single buddy, to put it kindly. I also discovered that I prefer to run alone.

So as the 5K race drew nearer, I began to grow uneasy. In re-reading the description of the course, I paid closer attention to the mention of a 500-foot elevation change. I measured the elevation change on the 3-mile loop in my neighborhood, which continues to be quite daunting for me. Approximately 288 feet from the lowest point to the highest. Hmm. What have I gotten myself into? First I decided that I shouldn’t be worrying about this, it’s voluntary, it’s for fun, who cares if I can’t do it? Then I decided I needed to check out the course first hand to alleviate my concerns. So much for not worrying.

I arranged with a friend to meet me at the park with her 3 kids, and I took along 3 of my kids. We met in the heat of the day, at around 1 pm. My 4-year-old pooped out right away, so as soon as the trail turned uphill he started whining for me to carry him. Okay. I tossed him on my back. Then my 6-year-old started whining for me to carry him. Sorry, full up. So I had to wheedle and prod and cajole him up the 500-foot elevation change in the heat of the afternoon while carrying a 43-pound kid on my back. As I reached the top, my husband called on my cell phone and I answered the call, breathless. We only ended up hiking 2 of the 3.1 miles, but I was very glad for the practice, because I’m pretty sure that running the whole 5K, even with all the uphill, is going to be a lot easier than hiking it with my entourage, cell phone, and the extra 43 pounds.

Bring it, I’m ready!

Almost.

Plan for the day:
6:00 am – rise, read my Bible and pray
6:15 am – yoga and more praying
6:45 am – make oatmeal and coffee
7:00 am – wish hubby happy anniversary and eat oatmeal together
7:15 am – wake kids, feed kids, dress kids, load up family in car
7:30 am – leave for race
7:45 am – check in for race
9:00 am – race and more praying. lots more.

After that, who knows??? I’ll let you know how it goes!

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