As I lay in bed last night listening to the sound of the rain come down I knew what that was going to mean for my first trail race; wet and sloppy conditions! I had signed up for the Dirty Damsel as a way to keep my mind engaged in running.
See, I know myself. Left to my own devices my inner sloth will win. I will sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing. However, if I sign up (read pay for) a race than I guilt myself into continuing to train and continuing to run. It’s not an ideal solution, but until I can figure out how to banish my inner sloth it is what I have found works to keep me engaged.
We got to Rosaryville State Park and it was quite lovely. The race wasn’t a huge one, and I know the park fairly well given the number of times I’ve been there for the horse trials, and the occasional hunter pace. I knew the trails were going to be sloppy, but I had laced up the pair of running shoes I was going to ditch anyway. Bring on the mud!
I was super lucky that this time I had multiple friends that were running the race with me. G, C, D, and A were all running it! The other bonus? Perry! Yes, Perry was running the 5k too! My day couldn’t have gotten any better.
As we were stretching out and just chatting this woman came up to us and in the most judgmental voice said, “what is up with the tutus!?” So I explained to her all about Glam Runner and their mission. I even joked with her that I keep my secret rocket boosters in there. She wasn’t amused. What was worse was no more than 10 minutes later she said (again in her judgmental voice), “Are you really running with the dog?” Why yes, judgey-wudgey eyebrows yes I am. And I am going to look DAMN fine and sparkley while doing it too! You need to run this race for the endorphins, cranky pants.
My only complaint about the Dirty Damsel was that they started the 5k and the 10k folks together. That could have worked, but they also didn’t have approximate time per mile corrals for everyone. So the start was painful because for some reason the walkers decided to go up front. It wasn’t until we hit our first big mud puddle that D, Perry and I managed to catch a break. Many of the runners slammed on their breaks trying to figure out how to avoid the puddle (seriously ladies, it’s a trail run, go through it). We just plowed right through it, and that is how we tackled the rest of the course. We just plowed through it.
There were parts of the course where the sandy loam had drained beautifully. Then there were parts of the course that were sloppy and soggy. During the last downhill of the course it was so slick I just water skied down it.
There had been a lady playing hop scotch with me. She’d be in front then I’d be in front. The sloppier it got the more she let me lead. I think she was watching were I was putting my feet. Probably not wise on her part since I was like a bull in a china shop, just plowing my way through. I warned her as we got closer to the finish line. “If this comes out where I think it does we have one more major hill to climb.” She thought I was kidding. Then she saw the hill. I wanted to say “told you so”, but I held back.
I had managed to stay on my feet the entire race. As we came down the final hill heading for the finish shoot I got a wee bit cocky in front of the camera. The universe scolded me by making me land firmly on my ass. The photographer was horrified. I laughed. Perry was terrified that he was the cause of it. I laughed as I got up, “that will teach me for being too big for my britches.”
It was nice as I headed for the finish shoot to hear D&G cheering me on! Made us want to go just a little faster to finish out. Perry had a huge grin on his face. He thought that running through the woods through the mud with his mama was the best way to spend a Saturday morning EVER! I have to agree with him, it was an excellent time.
We changed into our flip flops and then waited to cheer C in! She told us later that when she heard us calling her name she said, “Oh crap, I guess that means I need to run now.” Hehe. She did an amazing job and finished strong, I’m very proud of her.
The finish area had a nice spread and I even managed to score a wee bit as they had SmartPop there. While, yes, I will admit I probably smelled C’s pizza a bit longer than I should have, it was still nice to have something I could eat at the finish line. That’s a nice change.
As I stood in the shower scrubbing the dirt off of my legs I just smiled. First, because I had an amazing Saturday morning with some great friends. Second, because I know many women who pay hundreds of dollars to get covered in mud and I got mine for next to nothing. Suckers! While I won’t be signing up to do 13.1 miles of that slop, I think that adding trail runs to my repertoire is a good thing. Bring on the mud!