If I had my way, I’d magically be whisked away to trails far and wide. I would step out my front door and onto endless trails of my choosing.
I love my town park and its trail system, but I’m outgrowing it a bit. I can eek out about six miles without backtracking, and by doing a little bush whacking. I find myself looking furtively off into the woods while driving trying to find snowmobile trails to poach. Completely unsafe driving on my part. I talk to complete strangers willing to give up their secret trail spots. I scour online trail finders.
I don’t love, or even like running on the road. But sometimes it feels like less of a secret agent mission to simply run where it’s most available. That would be the asphalt between this trail and that one. And maybe, just maybe, a little road racing while I’m at it.
So, I found myself doing my first half marathon. On the road. That’s right. I said it. And I didn’t love it. But I’m proud to say I finished it.
It was way too hot for early September. 70 degrees and 65 % humidity for the 9am start. Hubs ran the first two miles with me, then took off to run his own race. A few more miles, and I was feeling good. Six, seven miles. No problem. I got this. Wait, am I getting sun burned. What the? Isn’t this September in VT? As a happy New England trail runner, sunscreen is rarely on my list of essentials. Trees are enough. Why yes. I’m starting to poop out. I’m cooking like a fatty slice of bacon. I’m carrying my stupid cell phone cause I forgot my watch and two energy gels and I want to threw them away cause they are slipping out of my hand. I wanna go dive under a bush for some shade. Why am I doing this?
It wasn’t really that terrible, I’m just not used to pushing yet. On the trail on a long run, I walk if I need to or stop and stretch. Here, I was afraid if I stopped, I wouldn’t start again. So, I kept shuffling along.
I did end up walking a bunch the last two miles. I didn’t have much left in my hips to power it in. I finished in 2:46:23. I’m really glad I did it. I appreciate my trails even more now.
Not sure if ill do another road race. I do know I will drive further and further for more and new trails. Just be careful if you see me driving.