On March 29th, my husband Steve and I both raced The Fools 25K Trail race again in Peninsula. That is a terrific race put on by our friends at Western Reserve Racing. There is a 50K option as well for those who want to go longer - but the 25K distance on a hard course like this is a great effort to get ready for marathon season! Because of the difficulty of the course and longer time it takes to complete this race I consider it one of my 20 mile training runs.
This year it was 14 degrees at the start. Brrr! We got down to Pine Hollow to park and pick up our bibs around 8am. This gave us plenty of time to get in a warm up, use the restroom, etc. The ground was full of frozen footprints on the warmup mile so I knew this would make for hard footing throughout the race. The 25K race starts at 9 so we lined up with some of our Cleveland Tri Club friends that were running as well. The race start is downhill into a field before you make your way to the trails so it's usually a fast start. I went out a little faster than planned but then quickly settled in after 2-3 miles into a more sustainable pace for this course. The temperature started rising and I quickly had to roll up my shirt sleeves and lose my gloves.
|My speedy husband w/ his award for winning Masters!|
I felt pretty good through the half way point but then the frozen, uneven terrain started to weigh on me. By Salt Run, which is the hardest part of the course in my opinion (at least in terms of elevation) I was whooped. The stairs were especially tough and I ended up walking near the end more than I had anticipated. I think this was a combination of lingering fatigue from the GJ50K as well as the tough trail conditions for the day. While it was faster going than last year, it hurt more physically this year. I ended up finishing in 2:43 and change for 6th female, 1st in 35-39AG so it was a course PR and improvement over last year even though I was hoping to be closer to 2:30. Maybe next year I'll get there! Steve ended up finishing 7th overall and 1st place Masters so he had a great race with a time of 2:11. After the race we headed over the to the Winking Lizard with our friends Mark, Frode and Phil for some hoppy beers and hard-earned food.
|Enjoying an Easter Sunday on the trails!|
Much of last week I was fighting off a strain in my right calf from the Fools race so I mostly focused on my swimming and cycling and just got in an easy run later in the week. Then yesterday on Easter Sunday, Steve and I hit the trails of Penitentiary Glenn so I could get in one last long one before the Toledo Marathon. I ended up Taping my calf with KT Tape and that helped me get through it along with stretching it periodically. The weather was perfect for running and the trails felt good on my tired body. I am very happy to be officially tapering now on the run! 20 days to go and then 41 days until the Cleveland Marathon! I am unsure if I will run the half or full at this point as I have to see how I recover from Toledo. Either way I am excited because I love the new Cleveland Marathon course and the energy from this local race!
Today is my first rest day in a good bit of time. Then the balance of this week I will do some running including an easy one tomorrow and a tempo run and easier run Thursday then a tune-up race Sunday at Lake Health Running's 10 Mile Drop. I really loved the 20 Mile Drop last year so I am looking forward to running the shorter course this year and trying to find some speed. I will also be swimming 2 x 2400 yds, lifting once, and I have a bike TT tomorrow along with a 30 mile ride Saturday.