Dirt Inspires! Women's only Trail Half Marathon takes place in Aptos, California, which is aproximately 3 hours away from the Sacramento area on the coast! (yes, Pam and I had to leave Sacramento at 4:45a, needless to say we were just a little tired) It's in the The Forsest of Nisene Marks State Park, which is absolutely gorgeous. One day I'd like to go back and walk the trails so that I can truly take in the beauty of this trail. 90% Redwood tree cover keeps you nice and cool and rarely the need for sunglasses. Although it was not a hot day, the weather was perfect for a morning race. I was quite comfortable in my Trail Turtle shirt and leggings.
There were 7 of us there representing the Folsom Trail Runners which was really cool!!
Aptos Village Park which is up the road to the entrance of the State Park. When you start the race, you first have to climb out of the Village Park area, then you continue on a road for approximately 1.5 miles before you get to jump on a single track (which is a climb up), then at mile 2 you come off the single track to your first of 5 aid stations - yes, you heard me right, there are 5 aid stations for this half TRAIL marathon - unheard of!! Then you are back on a fire road for another mile or so, then a short jaunt on another single track, then back on road til you hit aid station #2 at mile 4. The road portions of this run are the hardest for me and I really struggle with them (knees). But after that you are on single track until you come back up out of the "forest" at mile 9.
|Pam & Shannon's blurry pic on the trail|
Coming up out of the "forest" area put me back on the same route we were on to get into that area and I found that to be a major bummer, cause now I was back on the roads - yuck!
I find that I struggle on the flat stuff, especially flat ROADS. I tend to slow down, so I really have to think about picking up the pace, but sometimes its tough. My knees starting talking to me with approximately 2 miles left, but I ignored them. I told 'em I didn't have time to chat and that they needed to be quiet!! LOL - oh if only it were that easy.
Anyways, I made it to the finish line upright and not in too much pain. I was really disappointed when I saw my time! This was the second time we did this race and this year I'm in much better shape, better trained, 14 pounds lighter, ran through the water, pushed the hills, etc., etc. and I finished 20 seconds SLOWER than last year - WHAT??? How can that be???? Can someone please explain this to me, because I'm completely flabergasted by this!
|Shannon & Pam with their finisher's medals|