June 7, 2013
Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Cool and foggy morning greeted me and Aidan as we entered the park. Aidan was going to be my helper today. I was going to have a table set up for me so that we could hand out samples of Aquaphor and Kidz ZonePerfect bars. We got set up and then hung out for a while. Since this was a women's race, there were mostly women there, but husbands, boyfriends and fathers were there to cheer on the women. My Florida friend Kim was vacationing in the area and decided to come out and run the race. So we chatted a bit, then I waved good-bye to Aidan and headed to the start line. Soon we were off!
The race starts in a park that is located at the bottom of a very steep hill. We head up that and then turn left out, heading towards Nisene Marks. About a quarter of a mile later, we run down a very steep hill, turn to the left and run right back up another steep hill. Thankfully the next couple of miles are mostly flat dirt road. We cross over a bridge, run down and up a small hill and then find the turn around. Just passed the turn around is a water stop. I grab a quick drink and keep going. I am feeling "OK" I could tell I wasn't as hydrated as I should be. It's harder for me to tell when I am in cooler conditions. I've been drinking a lot of coffee since I've been back in CA. :)
We run back over the bridge and then head off to the left to finally run on the single track trail portion of the race. I've got one woman right in front of me and one on my tail. There is no way to get around the woman in front of me. This is an up and down trail with lots of tree roots to look out for. I watch my step closely. I don't need a fall with just a week until my double marathon race weekend! Finally, I am able to pass the woman in front of me. I catch up to another runner and then have to wait until just before the trail ends to pass her. Finally, we hit mile 4. We head down the steep hill, turn right and head right back up that other steep hill. We've got flat paved road for a bit and then finally enter the park were we started. We make the run down the hill. It's hard not to go fast. Gravity wants to pull you down! We hit a nice flat road all the way to the finish! Aidan is there cheering me on.
I ended up getting third in my age group! What a great day! Overall, not my best time at all, but happy with my effort. :)