Backside Trail Half Marathon | Back Home Again: Backside Trail Half Marathon

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Backside Trail Half Marathon

Sunday I ran the Backside Trail Half Marathon after doing the River City 10 Miler the day before. I wasn't sure how my legs would feel going into this race but they surprisingly didn't feel that bad Sunday morning. The arch in my left foot was sore and that is also the foot that is prone to plantar fasciitis. Other than that, the only issue I had was that it had dipped into the upper 30's and I was freezing! I had capris on this time but short sleeves and no jacket. I knew I would warm up eventually but until then my hands were going numb. 

This was my first half since before Cameron and since I wasn't able to do the Disney half I had signed up for, I decided I was wearing the shirt I would've worn for that race. It's the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland...I'm weird and like the villains :-) I said I didn't have any expectations for either race this weekend and I really meant it for this one. I almost never run trails because I'm a klutz and I have a healthy fear of being hacked to death in the woods by myself. When I do run them, they are pretty flat. This race runs through two parks in Louisville, both of which are hilly. I've ran the Healthcare Classic and Urban Bourbon on the roads through Cherokee so I had an idea of what to expect. Or so I thought, ha! My fastest half was right at three hours so I was hoping to finish between 3.5 and 4 hours. 

Mile 1: 15:02
Mile 2: 18:00
Mile 3: 17:38

We started out running through grass to spread out before entering the single track trails. My initial plan was to stick with my friend at first and then go from there but I had lost her within the first mile. She took this picture of all the runners and all I can think is how skinny I look from behind so I thought I would share. 

Before I completely lost her, I told her that I could definitely feel it in my legs that I had run the day before and I remember telling myself that it's all a mental game and I would be fine later on. Once we got into the woods everyone really spread out - there was a married couple behind me and a girl in front of me, but those were the only people I saw. I was trying to stay close to the girl in front of me to make sure I was going the right way but within mile 2, I tripped and lost my shoe and got passed by the married couple. We wound up running mostly together through miles 3-6.

Mile 4: 15:22
Mile 5: 16:25
Mile 6: 18:24

I didn't take many pictures of the trails but during the early miles I was thinking that there is something to be said for being out there running in nature. We were running along a creek and it was pretty nice. I had warmed up and the temperature had warmed up and it was perfect running weather. Once we got into the second park I stopped at an aid station and the married couple kept going so while I could see them, we weren't together anymore. I was keeping them in my sights so they could navigate instead of me :-) The route was marked and I good with directions, but you never know. I found out at the finish that a girl I passed had actually missed a marker and wound up running 15 miles instead because she ran a section twice. Oops! 

I did take one photo of the trail, immediately after the aid station. We basically were on a "trail" that was on a rock outcropping. Part of it was so scary that I went down on my butt so I didn't fall. If only I knew what was in store for me later...

Mile 7: 17:52
Mile 8: 20:13
Mile 9: 19:22

Between miles 7 and 8 I tripped and fell. Faceplanted. I was so stunned I just kind of laid there for a few minutes. I got up and kept going, but after that I was way more careful and walked a lot more. I got to another aid station and when they asked me how I was I told them I was over it. They told me that I'm now an official trail runner because I fell and that I wasn't the only one that day. I knew I would finish but I was still over it. It was somewhere in here where there were these two guys mountain biking on the trails and passing me over and over again. I know they were just out doing their thing too but they were getting on my nerves because I kept having to move out of the way. I was just like really, you have to choose this particular path out of all the trails out here?!

Mile 10: 20:22
Mile 11: 25:08
Mile 12: 19:53

I had completely lost the couple ahead of me when I fell so aside from the annoying bikers, I was alone and beginning to lose it at this point. My knees had begun hurting around mile 6 and after I fell it got way worse. I just kept telling myself keep moving because if you don't you're gonna get stuck. I was also seriously contemplating texting Alan to tell him to send me an Uber because I was done. I was almost at 11 miles when my friend texted me telling me she was at 10 miles and asking where I was. I told her that she was gonna catch me and that I was never doing this again. I stopped at the final aid station, chugged some Powerade and water and kept going. A large chunk of mile 12 was on the road that connects the parks and I was so excited because I thought we just ran up the road to the finish. Oh no, we had to go back on the trail we had run to get there. I just remember screaming noooooo and that I hate trails. 

Mile 13: 17:38

The last mile ran along a golf course, as had mile 5. Trying to distract myself to the finish I thought how funny it would be if my father-in-law was out golfing at this course...I found out later that he was although he didn't see me. By this point I was getting passed by the lead marathoners who had run the course twice. They were all super encouraging, letting me know how close we were to the finish. I finally came out of the woods, asked the person directing traffic where to go and sprinted to the finish. I came in just under my goal of four hours, finishing in 3:58:28, even though the course was short. I knew my friend was probably right behind me so after getting my medal and post race snacks I waited for her to finish. Here I am, barely able to move.

I'm glad I did it but I don't know if I will again. Never say never though, right? Trail running just isn't my thing so I will probably stick to shorter races on trails next time. 

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