Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival- 5k

Saturday promised to be a beautiful, if warm, day.  Five of us piled into Puma's car to head to Pineland Farms for the Saturday events: 10k, 5k Canicross, 5k, and Barefoot 5k.  We'd have representation in all but the Canicross, a 5k run with your doggie.  Puma, having just come off a 5 day through hike, would be taking the day off and enjoying the festival.
Me, Mrs. Strong, My Runner, and GB (photo by Puma- thx!)

And festival it was!  Tents with food, beer, free-bees, and music were spread out in the grove on campus.  Farmland, mostly hay fields, rolled out around us, inter-spaced with shady wooded areas.  There were dogs a-plenty, some ready to race, some just kickin' around.  Start and finish for all races were in this grove.

Mrs. Strong was participating in the 10k, starting an hour before the other events, and we got her registered and in line just in time.  Thank goodness the race started late!  Since the Muddy Moose where she ran 14 miles for the first time, Mrs. Strong has been running with her neighbor and, while rushed to get started, seemed very confident in her abilities.
Mrs. Strong, putting her sneakers on at the starting line

Shortly after the 10k, the Canicross event started.  I think they wanted all the poochies off the course when the other 5k events begin.  It was fun to see all the different kind of dogs that were running.  From huge labs to tiny terriers, just about every type of dog was represented.  Personalities of the dogs matched the owners, as the elite runners moved to the front, and their competitive dogs barked, jumped, and pranced.
Canicross start.  That little pup almost got hisself CHOMPED.

The 5k start was next.  I'm the only one participating in this, with My Runner and GB both participating in the Barefoot 5k, starting 10 minutes after mine.  This is the first run I've done in 6 weeks.  Other than one hockey game and a couple of workout videos, I haven't moved since April 24th, the day I tore my left ankle to shreds.  My goal was to finish uninjured and see if I would be able to participate in tomorrow's 25k.

My Runner sees me to the starting line.  I'm nervous, but ready to get out there.  I feel good, despite the MASSIVE hangover I woke up with.  My ankle is in check, and as long as I don't space out, I should be able to run these trails without falling.

I am SO. OUT. OF. SHAPE.  I walked about 30% of the race.  Running alone isn't my favorite, but not many folks were into chatting.  Still, the scenery was pretty, and I was focused on scanning the trail for potential hazards.  The elite runners in the barefoot start passing me just before mile 2, and as the course folds back in on itself I see My Runner and GB.

Waving and smiling, all I could think was, "don't let them catch you."  That motivated me.  That and trying not to get my picture taken while I was walking (fail, see below)
See that ripped dude behind me?  Yeah, he's running.  Not this girl.

Still, they were a bit behind, and I was getting winded.  I "ultra walked" the hills to conserve and catch my breath.  Then I'd walk the flats.... that was an ego blow.  Chatting with another 5ker who was not used to hills helped pass the time, but as more and more Barefooters passed me, and as I got closer to the finish line, I kicked it in gear (not high gear- don't have that one right now... just not neutral).  Finished the race in 34:38.

Mrs. Strong had come in shortly after I started at 1:05:28- an excellent time.  The Barefooters came in 26:09/10, yes, less than 2 minutes behind me.  Was happy to catch this bit of action:

In my good days, an 11 minute mile would have made me sad.  Saturday, I was happy to have finished feeling good, and even happier that Smuttynose had sponsored the race, offering unlimited free beer to runners.  I still wasn't sure participating in the 25k was a good idea, but it was at least still an option.

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