This morning I ran the 5k portion of the Whiskey Flat Trail in an organized event. I got a "free" tee-shirt! Whoo-hoo! I went with my training partner, Dany. We train together by shooting each other emails every so often. We've never actually "run" together at the same time- two mommies who live 15 miles apart can be hard pressed for time.
It went something like this:
Announcer: "If you guys would line up back here.... thanks. Okay, there are some water crossings, watch for the bridges. Also, there are two EMT's on bikes that will be riding the trails. If you get hurt and can still walk, find the shortest way back. If you can't move, sit where you are and help will be there shortly. 10k runners will veer to the right at the beginning, and 5k runners will go up to the left. Remember, if you get hurt... Also be on the lookout for stinging nettle and poison oak. The EMT's..."
Okay, TWO things. EMT's? I asked Dany, "I wonder if they've had people get hurt before?" with my crazy look. What, was this dangerous? It's a run, for goodness sake. And then, UP? I could see a short distance of the trail to the right, and it went slightly uphill. Sure we were on the side of a mountain, but...
So I was unprepared for the UP portion of the run, which was at least the first full mile (no joke) and then interspersed the last two miles. The turn around point was S-T-E-E-P and everyone in front of me was walking up the incline; I joined in. I also now know why the emphasis about the rocks and EMT's- you could easily twist an ankle. I did run most of the way. I was d-u-n done at the end. I timed myself, and I was in the 37 minute category. I'm not fast, but I'm very happy with myself because I pushed myself, with minimal walking. I loved the "bridges"- two skinny logs tied together with an overhead guide rope. They were fun! Plus it gave me a chance to slow down just a bit to catch my breath. All in all it was an excellent workout. It was not a "fun run" at all- the trail was single track (for cows probably) 80% of the time and there was no room for walkers.
So, I'm thinking that although I'm not a great runner, I can do it, and I enjoy it. I love how it is social in the aspect of the race, but solitary in how you compete mostly with yourself. The farthest I ever want to run is 10k, because that is the running distance of an Olympic Distance Triathlon. Later this summer I want to do a sprint distance (not to sprint, but to finish).