It’s raining? So?

December 31, 2007

After last Saturday’s group run, someone suggested a Sunday morning run, which sounded good. That the forecast called for rain didn’t seem to be an issue, since we were going to run trails at Little Mulberry park, and as we all know, the muddier the better.Three of us showed up at the Hog Mountain entrance, undaunted by the inch of water that came down overnight. After poking fun at each others clothing (Roman in a cotton shirt, me in a full rain suit and Brad bundled like he’s headed to Alaska), we took off. After crossing the dam, R&B headed off to the horse connector trail to run across the ridge, while I continued around with the plan on meeting them somewhere along the back stretch. (They both run considerably faster, so the extra mileage is no problem.)

I continued around the lake to the get to the Carriage trail, and start heading up. I debate taking the dirt route, but decide against it since the guys will meet up with me sooner. At this point, I have a daydream about beating them back to the car and having the camera setup so I can capture the splendor of them covered in mud. As I head up the hill, thinking about how dang steep it is, my dream is quickly fading.

Getting to the intersection of the trail, with a loud war cry, I head into the woods. Ah, actually it’s not to muddy. For the first mile of this, traction is no problem at all. I’m heading uphill for a lot of this, which helps. Across the backstretch with no tree’s, it’s also not bad. Starting the descent though, things start to get a little hairy in some places and the slipping and sliding begins. It’s not horrible, but definitely need to slow down a bit. (Okay, whoam I kidding…I was already going slow. I’m now going at a slugs pace.) The nice thing is, it gives me plenty of time to plan setting my camera setup, since I’m back to thinking I can beat them. There are a few spots that I’d set up along the trail if it weren’t raining. Next time…
After the run
The descent continues, and it gets even sloppier. I’ve found that the areas the water is running through tend to provide the best traction, probably due to the lack of leaves, so that’s what I’ve been aiming at. Yes, my shoes got muddy and sock are saturated. But I’m have a great time, which is the point when you’re out in 40 degrees and rain.

Ah, I think I hear voices behind me…yes, they’ve caught up. We mostly hang together for the last few hundred yards of the trail, and come out just as some other guy goes by on the paved trail. So much for us being the only idiots. (Well, he was staying on the pavement, so maybe we were.)

A nice casual 1.2 miles back to the car, and there it was, the last run of 2007.

Happy New Year.


I Won!

December 2, 2007

Saturday (12/1), I ran in the Braselton 8K Race for Reading. Having been looking forward to this for a number of months, it was all as expected:

  • The course was as expected. (Having run it once before, there were no surprises.)
  • The timing was exceptional,. It was done by the Tennessee River Athletic Club, who came out from Alabama for this. Ryan knows these guys and wanted them to show the locals how a race should be run.
  • The food supply was plentiful. There was a snafu with the pizza, so it didn’t arrive until almost everyone was gone, but that’s okay. (Papa Johns was one of the sponsors, so they provided for us.)
  • The weather was perfect. Started off really cold, but it was fine once we started moving.

I started the morning hanging out with friends, both other runners and some of the volunteers. Once we started, I lost everyone, which was no surprise since they’re fast people. Then almost a mile in, I spotted the back of someones head who looked familiar. I caught up, and ended up running with Ryan and his friend Eleanor for the majority of the race. We had a good time joking around.

We (Ryan and Eleanor) hit the first mile at 9:48, which was about a minute and half faster than expected. Woohoo. Mile 2 was at 19:08 or something around there, and I was feeling good. Another gal was with us the whole time, but I don’t know her name.

Knowing a lot of the people working the timing stations, we had a good time joking. An ongoing joke for the whole thing was that I wanted to win in my category. This started because a person was upset about the age group categories, so I asked for a “38 yo Clydesdale run/walker” division. So, as I passed people, they would yell out “First in the Clydesdale…” or some-such nonsense.

As we finished the last turn, I saw the clock read 49:22 and I thought “Wow! I can make it in under 50!” So I sprinted to the finish for a 49:48 time! A PR, and I won in my (own) division. In their divisions, I came in 12/15, which is also cool since I’m usually last in my age group.

I’d definitely recommend this race, and if Runners Fit starts timing races, they’ll be good.