Been quite lax in blogging. I fell, which running, almost a month ago now and broke my left wrist. Not fun, but it is healing nicely. Surgery to put in a plate to hold everything together, so I have no cast, which is great, all I wear is a brace that I can remove when I want. The last Dr's appointment I had, I asked the Dr. if I could run and he said " I guess so, as long as you aren't running a marathon or something!" He didn't say Half Marathon! Broken wrist has slowed me down even more and threw me off my training schedule, but about a week after the incident I started running/walking, more walking than running, but I am improving again. Still a little fearful of falling again, hopefully I will get over that.
Anyway, I was registered for this trail race before and I really wanted to do it, as I have never run a trail before. My running friend in Detroit loves trails and she has been after me to run a race with her. So I packed my bags and traveled to Detroit on Friday. We drove to near Hell, Mi to pick up our packets. The race is Run Woodstock and including a 100K, 100 miler, 50 miler, marathon, half marathon and a 5k ( I think I got that right). It really was a big field, people camp for the entire weekend if they want. Families are there for their 100k, 100 and 50 mile runners ( I can't even imagine). 60's music being played by live bands, it was great. Headed back to Detroit and kept hearing dire messages of really bad weather rolling in. It started raining some before were arrived back to the house. It did storm, but not too badly where we were, but power was out in a lot of Detroit that night. Went to bed early, but kept waking up and hearing rain, ugh! Got up for good about 4:30 a.m. and it was still raining,although not too badly. Left for the race at 5:30, race start was 7:30. Arrived and it had stopped raining and it didn't seem like they had been hit too badly by the storm, temps were probably in the upper 50's and overcast.. As usual, I was getting apprehensive as I always do before a race, thinkng this is going to be the race that I DNF. I don't have trail shoes and I was a little afraid of falling. The atmosphere was much different that that of a big city race, everyone seemed so laid back and friendly. Not that runners aren't friendly at all races, this was just different. I began to relax, feeling absolutely no pressure to run for a PR , just to have a good time and experience the trail. We started
On the trail they just trust that you will obey the rules, to to the turn around and turn around! There is not one there to surpervise. Not too long after we turned around we were directed to the right, not by a human, but by a blue flag, and into the woods. At first, it was just so different for me, single file, dirt path, so quiet, there really was no one around us running, just Lisa and me. Out there all you can really hear is your breathing and the sound of your feet hitting the path. I was a little leery, trying not to think about falling again, but Lisa was running ahead of me and warning me of rocks or roots that might trip me up. I think we really started running more on the path then we were out on the "road", You could hear if a runner was coming up behind you so you could move and let them pass....every single person who passed yelled out " good job" or something similar, even though they had probably been out running for hours before we were. Eventually we came to my first fallen tree across the path, one of many to follow.
We did come to a small clearing and it was a shock to see the sunshine and realize how really bright it was out after being in the woods for so long. I asked Lisa if we would ever get back on the road during the race and she said No. I was so glad, loved being in there! We were getting closer to the end at this point and entered an area of tall pines! It was breathtaking! These huge, pines all together. Lisa kept mentioning the pines and I didn't understand her fascination until that point. Now I know. It was like being in Church, but better, much better. The floor of the woods was just covered in pine needles and it was so soft. We ran there for quite a while and kind of circled around to come back through. We could hear music now so we were getting near the end and, I have to say, until that point I wasn't really anxious for it to come to an end. Once I heard the music it was like my body said, ok you are getting tired. We came out of the pine woods and there was a volunteer there and said we had less than a mile to go! Finally we came out of the woods and approached the finish line.
Started running a little fast, so fast that our friend waiting at the finish took this picture