Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Boston (NY) Trail race/Mud run Recap

Let the record show that on August 5th, 2013...I survived a trail race.

My first trail race was in 2010, where my ankle decided it wanted to roll itself like 23047230 times over the course of the race.....leaving me with a pretty ugly looking bruise and swollen ankle for a few weeks. Since then I have maybe rain trails 10 or so times and have refused to race on them. Facts are facts: I am a clutz, I trip over my own feet, and I fall....a lot.

I agreed to do this short trail run last night, advertised as a "mud run", knowing that I wasn't going to go all out....I didn't want to bust an ankle, or get all beat up--I'm a girl on a mission, and injuries don't suit that mission. John and I had friends that would be there, and it seemed like something fun to do on a random Monday night in the middle of nowhere.

It's a true no-frills race: no restrooms, no food (well, they did end up having ice cream...), bib was smaller than a note card and hand-written, start line was a rope on the ground, $20 entry fee that didn't break the bank....

Liz and I before the race
Last year I found some +Saucony trail running shoes on sale and bought them. Weird, I'm not a trail runner but for some reason couldn't say no...they were a steal. Well I finally got to use them last night, and I tell ya what- it made a huge difference. As a girl who has never ran in trail shoes (always just used old higher mileage shoes), I now appreciate the stability and benefits of trail shoes. Don't read this as I am going to start running trails all the time, because that just won't happen. Just because I didn't fall and injure myself or die last night doesn't mean it wouldn't happen next time! But I might be open to running them once in a while.

Girls raced at 6:30 and boys at 7:20. This was kind of nice because the guys could watch our stuff, and cheer us in and then we could do the same (read: we finished first, therefore Liz and I could have a beer while waiting for the guys).

Okay the actual race:
I started kinda fast, but was quickly reminded that I did 16 the day prior. I told myself to just relax and have fun with it. When I came up on the first mud puddle, stepped in and stepped out.....without my shoe. Yep- I'm THAT girl. Lost my shoe in the first mud pit. I quickly grabbed it and went on my way (ignoring all the little high school girls laughing at me).

I got passed a lot on the front end of the course. It was actually pretty easy to avoid the mud, at least most of the time. I wasn't wearing a watch so I had no clue how fast I was going or how far in I was. About what I assume to be half way through we ran on a path next to the road....that horses walk in. It wasn't about dodging the giant "plops", but dodging the giant divots the horses had made. I must have felt my ankle roll over 5 times. I slowed down a little and a few young girls passed me but I wasn't going to risk injury.

After going back into the woods I actually felt a lot better. I was passing people (those high school girls that were making fun of me earlier, they were left in the dust). There were more hills on the back end and I actually managed pretty well and never walked.  I noticed more and more people fading and at this point I was grateful for my ability to pace and finish strong. I ended up finishing in 7th and Liz took 6th. Placing or timing was never a goal going into this, but it certainly was a nice plus.

It's advertised as a 6k(3.72 miles) race but everyone I knew there wearing a Garmin had closer to 3.2-3.5 miles. So I'm recording my time in the middle.. I'm saying I did 3.3 miles in 25:05 (7:37 pace). I'm definitely happy with that pace, in general AND for trails. I'll be 100% honest in saying I avoided most of the mud (there wasn't THAT much though... especially on the back end of the course) which helped me go quicker.
Post Race: Liz and I finished close together which was nice, we quickly found the guys as they were getting ready to run. We assessed our "mud levels", took pride in beating majority of the high school girls there (honestly, the majority of the girls field with high school XC runners), and promptly cracked open a beer. Our work was done.

We won mugs as both of us took our age groups, and both got cheers for going up with beer and ice cream in hand to get the awards...double fisting at it's finest.

We hung out while the boys ran, cheered them all in (John ran his first race since the surgeries earlier this year! He did great!), and then went back to our friends house for pizza, beer, and snacks. It was definitely a much needed night of fun with good company after a hard week last week.

Have to ever done a trail race?

Do you fear getting injured doing trail races or obstacle races?
(yesssss, very much so...I have had multiple injuries due to trails, but I am trying to step out of my comfort zone more and try new things again)

Favorite Beer?
(Stouts and porters for this little lady!)


  1. That race looks really fun! I would so do it, I like the smaller ones because it seems like they are really thankful you're doing your race and you feel appreciated. Plus those prizes and the free beer at the end are pretty impressive for a $20 race.

    Stinks that you lost your shoe... but wow, with the way they looked AFTER the race I know you were glad you had them! I'd hate for my nicer running shoes to get that dirty (esp. since you can't really wash them in the washer you know?)

    Congratulations on winning your age group and a stellar time for a trail race!

  2. I don't run trails for fear of injuring myself. I can't even walk to my car without almost breaking my ankle (which happened back in March). Congrats on doing so well!! My husband loves mud/obstacle races so I am happy to cheer him on.

  3. High school girls...they are all skeezers...I'm glad you had such a great time and I think that trail/mud running is such a great way to change it up and relax. You can't force yourself to run quickly but you can truly enjoy the journey! I love the glass by the way. :)

  4. I am terrified of doing a trail run...I am not the most graceful person and I'm afraid of hurting my knees and ankles. Congrats to you! My fav beers are lagers...Kona Brewing Co Wailua Wheat is my fav right now

  5. How fun! I can so relate to you, though. I am a huge clutz as well. I recently started trail running just to switch things up a bit, and wow - I tripped SO much the first time I went out. So many roots and things! It's crazy!

    I just saw a pair of Saucony trail running shoes on sale last week and wasn't sure if I should buy them. I totally need more stability though so you've sold me! Hah!

  6. I really want to do a trail race but there is no way I would go all out on the trails around here and risk any kind of injury. I do a fair amount of trail running during training but am very cautious when the terrain is too rough

  7. I just found your blog off of another's and its great! I've run on trails a few times- never for a race though, but I've always thought it sounded fun!
    I've never really been afraid of hurting myself, but mostly because I fall alot anyways so its not really preventable..
    Anyways, favorite beer (I'm calling it beer even though I know it isn't) Angry Orchard!

  8. Looks like it lived up to it's name as a fun run! Confrats on placing

  9. I am not sure I would ever run on trails or do a mud run. My race last weekend was a lot of trails and uneven grass ground rocks roots etc and it freaked me out.

    The race looked like a lot of fun and glad you got to try out your new trail shoes!

  10. Nice job! I'm impressed. I love trail races because you don't worry about time as much. They're more about having fun and pushing yourself. Injuries are always a possibility - but you just have to be aware and be careful.

  11. Fabulous job! You should run trails more, the more you run them, the more comfortable you get, I swear.

    Congrats on the AG win!

    I only get nervous when I'm running on the rocky areas of trails.

    Favorite beer: Guinness.

  12. I've never done a trail race for the same reason...fear of getting injured! But I always admire those that do them! Great job girl!

  13. When I tutor students, I remember how absolutely stupid I was as a high school girl. It's funny how in high school you wouldn't dare go to school without makeup and now I just don't give a damn. LOL You just learn priorities and realize how immature you really were about DUMBEST things. Congrats on an injury free trail race! I never do anything which might hurt me, which stinks sometimes because it's a lot of fun stuff (cliff jumping, mud runs, etc)... especially since I'm very much a clutz, as well :P I'm not a beer drinker anymore, but I used to love corona with lime/becks!

  14. I always think I'm going to fall and bust my head open when I'm just HIKING trails. I think I'd be too nervous to do an actual train run at any decent pace. Maybe if I did it in a place that was currently in drought season. I'm very impressed with you!

  15. I've only ever done spartan races when it comes to getting muddy and dirty! My bf did his first one last month...he lost his shoe 4 times lol

    Isn't ice cream awesome after a race?! I had a large cone after mine :)

  16. I have yet to do a trail race or a mud run. I'm such a klutz! Not sure I'd survive, haha.


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