Saturday morning I ran my first 1/2 marathon trail race. I’ve ran many half marathons, but all road races. So 13.1 miles on road versus trail-what could be different right?
Well, alot! First, lets talk shoes-you definitely need different running shoes. Running through grass, rocks, gravel, and climbing/descending lots of hills.
Second, these trails are pretty narrow. When you run road races, you can span pretty much the ENTIRE road. The beginning of the race was a cluster. Finally, it started to space out! I found a group of three other runners that were pacing the same as I. We ended up running almost the entire race together and they provided great energy and support during the run.
Finally, enjoy your surroundings. This race took place in Pennypack Park. I had never been there to run before, but after this I will be back for sure. It was absolutely beautiful and a great change of scenery for me.
This trail race was set up by Uber endurance sports– 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Trail Race. The race bused us over to the park and back to their German club. After the race you were provided one ticket for a drink and one ticket for a food item-many partaking in the traditional beer and bratwurst! I went into this race with the mindset that my long run this week was 13 miles, so why not change the scenery and challenge myself a bit along the way. I did wear my garmin, but I did not track my pacing during the run, I did what felt comfortable and pushed it out at the end. I am happy to say I came in 4th in my age group at 1:57. This was a surprise to me and confident booster for sure. There were many sections in the race I really wanted to walk up the hills, but I never walk in a race, why start now. The narrow trails with steps and stones really gave me a run for my money. I stuck to my fueling plan, water and honey stinger energy chews. This works for me and I will not take your nasty Gu sir, it makes me gag!
My support system was there along for the ride. My Mom was also racing and Will was able to show up to celebrate! Sunday, I was going to take as a rest day, but Will convinced me to go on an easy recovery run and I got to try out the Nike Run Club app. I actually talked about this app with the New Yorkers I ran with and they had nothing but great things to say about it. There’s tons of cool options for different lengths of runs. Once I try it a few more times I will share some more details on this!
Have a great week!