Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the beginning I attempted a trail run…

I recently entered a competition for a pair of Saucony ProGrid Xodus Trail-Running Shoes. The task was to share your favorite trail running story. Here is the article I submitted below – fingers crossed!!!


I am sure that these are go-fast shoes! They certainly look it! I could have used these go-fast shoes on my first trail run.

I have only competed in one 5km Trail Run, and should qualify that with a 'so far'. This particular Trail Run was part of a family fun day organized by the YMCA and they also had a 3km walk for those not able or not wanting to run. I signed my husband and kids up for the walk. My youngest at the time was about 18 months old, so he was carried in one of those trekking back carriers.

This race was held at the beginning of summer, and although it was an early start the Texas weather did not disappoint and made sure it was amply hot and humid. Although it had been 10 years since I had done any sort of running I was feeling slyly confident – I used to run 5km comfortably circa 22 minutes. Adding a bit of fudge for not running in a decade would mean that I could finish around the 25 minute mark, right?

The 5km race was to start before the 3km walkers. As the runners were called up to the starting line the air sparked with that electric vibe that you find with most races - oozing excitement, nervousness and impatience. The gun sounded and we were off!! The trail was through horse paddocks and forested areas. There were slow inclines, sharp bends, and twists and turns that could put you in a pond or a mud puddle. It didn't take long for me to realize my unfit state. At first I thought it was because I went out to fast, then it was the inclines, then… it was just me not running in a decade!

Now, the 3km walk kicked off not long after the 5km start with my husband (with baby on back) and my 6 year old son. Their course deviated in parts from the 5km track. Half way through my run I remember seeing my 6 year old running and jumping a puddle on a trail over. I mustered all my energy and called out to him. He waved, smiled and continued along his path. By this time I was totally spent! Instead of getting all worked up and feeling humiliated about it I decided to put one foot in front of the other and concentrate on finishing.

That 5km Trail Run was definitely the longest run of my life, or so it felt. I was certain I was going to collapse as I passed the finish line! As I crossed over I was greeted with cheers from my husband and kids who had somehow managed to finish their walk before I finished my run!!! "Yay Mom – you are a champion!"

This is the race that kicked off my now running passion. I will get up early on a Saturday morning and complete my long prior to returning to a sleeping house. Once the house wakes we breakfast and head out to a local trail (chosen from my 60 hikes within 60 miles of Houston book) and walk, run and be one with nature. I am looking forward to competing in this event next year! And, I plan on running it "Super Fast" (to quote my 6 year old)!!


Middalia Wayman said...

good luck winning the shoes and I loved your story! Kids are the best cheerleaders :)

Run2NY said...

Thanks !! Bummer - missed out on the shoes. Winning story was very good though :)

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