Sunday, June 7, 2015

Webster Trail Classic

Thanks to Eric for the pictures!
Yesterday was the inaugural Webster Trail Classic, a 9ish mile trail run through Webster, Whiting Road and Gosnell Parks, put on by Flour City Raceworks. The weather was perfect for running: sunny and 60 degrees. I ran a couple of pre-miles with Jeff and Michael, which I think really helped because then I wasn't standing around thinking about the race and getting nervous. I don't really get nervous anymore, per se. Now I consider races just more fun on feet. But there's always an element of uncertainty. How will I feel today? Will something hurt? Will I fall? Anything can happen.

The course was fantastic, primarily single track with some roots, bridges and fields. There were no huge hills and I ran most of them, except for a few spots that were muddy and slick from last night's rainstorm. I had to walk a little at the start because there was a bottleneck getting onto the trail. I don't like scrambling to try and pass people on narrow trails, but I also don't like to start out near the front and then inadvertently be in someone else's way. I went out at a comfortable pace, getting into a good rhythm. Sometimes I sing the chorus of Ani Difranco's "Joyful Girl" in my head while I run because it simultaneously relaxes my breathing and my brain. I feel so much more comfortable on the trails now than I did when I first made the roads-to-trails switch 2 years ago. I'm not holding myself back on the downhills anymore. I'm not holding myself back in a lot of ways anymore. It is a nice feeling.

I knew a lot of people at the race and it was the first time I'd seen many of them since Pete and I got back from Oregon, so a bunch of people were congratulating me on the engagement. Every race or run these days puts me in the best mood because I'm surrounded by this amazing community of awesomeness. But today I felt especially lucky. Is there such a thing as being totally overcome with happiness? I think that is my life now.

I didn't feel like I was, but I must have been speeding up because I caught up to Steve and then Alison, the superstar of the womens 50-59 age group. The three of us ran the rest of the way together and I was talking and not paying attention to my watch, when one of the volunteers told us we only had one mile to go. I looked at my watch then and it only said 8 miles. I was under the impression the course was 10 miles but it turned out to be about only 9 and half or so. At that point Alison turned on the speed and I just tried to keep up with her until the finish.

My favorite part of races is cheering for others at the end, though a lot of my friends are too fast for me to ever see them finish. The faces of people finishing are priceless. Because even if, or maybe especially if, you've had the most anguishing race, once you see the finish line you are suddenly the happiest ever. Because you get to stop. And there is pizza. At this race, there was so much pizza they were giving away whole pizzas to people to take home. Trail race + free takeout = win.

Another awesome day. I feel like I say that a lot. But it's true. I felt great during the race, but I even enjoy the runs where I feel so much less than great. I often wonder how I got here. And now I think it was just having the ability to love everything.

That ability came in handy on Sunday morning. I had agreed to a run on the Crescent trail at 6:30am which is no big deal in itself. I need to put in miles before Finger Lakes 50K next month. But when I realized it was going to be Jeff, Todd and Prem (who I never see in races because they're so far ahead of me), Mike (who came in second at Webster Trail Classic) and Jason (who came in second in yesterday's Mendon Mauler), and then so-much-slower me, I had this oh shit moment where I was like what have I gotten myself into. But it's those moments where you know you're in the right place. Lucky for me the guys were going an easy pace and, even though I got a side cramp at mile 8 that never really went away, I felt good otherwise and it was a fun 14 miles on a part of Crescent that I haven't run before, so that was neat. And two run weekends are my favorite.

Lyric of the moment: "I do it for the joy it brings, because I'm a joyful girl. Because the world owes me nothing. And we owe each other the world. I do it because it's the least I can do. I do it because I learned it from you. I do it just because I want to..." ~Ani DiFranco "Joyful Girl"

No comments:

Post a Comment