So yesterday was my 11th annual 29th birthday. I have been 29 now for 11 years because I honestly don’t feel nor think of myself as any older than that. I still like to play and chase the kids, and have even been known to bounce on the trampoline with them (I have a post coming next week that outlines how I do that without wetting my pants). I may even be a faster/stronger endurance runner now than I was then, mostly because I go to bed at a more consistent time and fuel my body with such things as fruits and veggies instead of beer and wings. I really hope that I can continue this last year of my thirites still feeling 29 and perhaps even for a few years into my forties – that would be really nice.
I would love to share with you all the awesome things I got or did for my birthday, but the one thing that really sucks about getting older is that birthdays stop being a big deal. My kids did buy some cute cards with hubby at the store, and decorated them inside to the best of their ability, but that was pretty much the extent of the birthday goodness. Even dinner was low-key as we had pretty much nothing left in the house to eat, and we had my 7 yr old daughter’s soccer game to rush out to afterwards. I managed to scrounge up some meatballs and a banana for my awesome birthday dinner:
I seriously can’t make this up – I’m really this lame, but on the plus-side it’s mostly healthy right?
My birthday weekend won’t be completely lame though – on Sunday I’ll be running the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon Trail Race. This is like my birthday present to myself: Several hours alone to test my endurance and strength at an adventure race. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that sounds incredibly exciting and fun!
So as excited about this as I am, I’m also VERY nervous. I received the course guide yesterday, and the course description says:
Runners can expect wooded terrain throughout the mountains, as they run from the top of escarpments to the bottom of valleys. The course will keep coming back for more with constant elevation gains and losses in excess of 800 feet. High bluffs and wide valleys provide excellent views of the rolling countryside and will leave runners humbled by both the beauty and the unique terrain that this area has to offer.
The elevation graph looks like this:
Wowsers! I haven’t trained on ANY hills! I’m going to have to rely on all of the strength and stability workouts that I’ve been doing with my strength coach to get through this. I keep reminding myself that I am way stronger and stable than I have been in my whole life right now in order to give myself some confidence.
Which brings me to my race plan:
- Don’t get lost. I am directionally challenged, especially in a forest. Just ask my friends Juliette and Jason who trusted me to go on a 10k run with them. 15k later we finally found our way back and were incredibly tired and exhausted. Apparently GPS phones and watches don’t work very well at this race location, and the distances won’t be marked on the course, so I have this suspicion that I’ll miss one of the coloured ribbons in the trees and end up running 30k.
- Don’t get hurt. I have a bit of a history of tripping and falling when I run on dirt paths. I’ll likely fall a few times, but I really hope that I don’t injure myself severely.
- Take it slow and easy. 21k of trails is completely uncharted territory for me. The furthest trail run that I’ve ever done was 10k and that felt like 16k. I’ll have to try and not let the competitive race beast come out so that I can actually make it to the finish line.
- Finish. Even if I have to crawl across the finish line like Julie Moss did at the 1982 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, I want to complete this race. (I hear the medals are pretty cool).
- And most importantly… Have fun. I’ll be meeting up with Ang of Eat Spin Run Repeat and hopefully Robyn Baldwin too! I love meeting up with fellow local fitness bloggers, so I’m really looking forward to this part.
All in all I will be there to race against myself, whoever shows up, the terrain and the weather. Hopefully I’ll be back Monday with an awesome race report for you… wish me luck!!
Do you have any advice for this trail running newbie?