This morning I ran a 20k trail race [which, by the way, is significantly harder than a 20k road run] in Driggs, Idaho.
I spent the night before at my friends’ [Anna and Dan’s] house. Woke up in the morning; it was cold. Anna [one of my last-minute coaches] and I decided that I should wear one of her shirts for the race. It was a bit of a turtleneck in a color I like to call, “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green.”
So, we’re standing around before the race and I’m starting to get a bit intimidated. I see a group of people, mostly all older than me*, across the way and I think to myself, “Those people must be like the trail running posse of the valley… All hanging out together… Looking intimidating… Staring at the rest of us…” I tried not to think about it… Whatever, so I’m not in their stupid club… I’m ready to run… but I have to go to the bathroom first.
– Hey Anna, where’s the bathroom?
– It’s over where that huge line of people are standing.
Yeah… the “trail running posse” was actually just people waiting in line for the bathroom. Schwoops.
We finally all line up and get to running. Countdown. Go! A good start, but I start notice the temperature rising and the fact that everyone else running is wearing short sleeves [or no sleeves]. Well, dammit… this could be bad.
And it was, oh boy it was. Picture running up a steep incline on the ridge of a mountain, in the beating sun, in a long sleeve turtleneck… not awesome.
But I kept running, kept on keeping on. Running, running, running and then all the sudden I see a group of people running back towards the people I was running with and myself. This was very confusing because we were supposed to be running a loop.
– What’s going on?
– We think we missed the turn.
– What? Really?
And then there was a group of runners standing, trying to figure out which way to go… very confused. A woman wearing an Ironman tank top, turned to me and asked…
– What do you think?
– Me? Oh, I don’t know… I’m wearing a turtleneck.
We finally figured it out and made it to the top of the grueling ridge before the amazingly fun downhill portion of the trail.
I approached the finish line with the most encouraging hollers from my little support crew [see picture] and a huge smile on my face. All in all, an incredible race and a wonderful day.
*Because most people my age are doing things like being in frenzied love, drinking wine, traveling the country for concerts and climbing… not training for crazy long trail runs. But here I am, flirting with the breeze just because it touches me.