So about 3 weeks ago Lisa and I set out on our first trail race, the 5 peaks Rattlesnake Point race. Well in the lead up we had been preparing to move and as we all know that can be all consuming. So running took a back burner for about a week and half, only exercise besides lifting was soccer on Friday nights. I am sure you can all see where this is leading.
The eve before race we had our soccer game and thinking that we would not likely be placing well the next day at the race, Lisa and I did not hold back. We then followed that with a few beers and some appetisers to celebrate a great game, again thinking that we were doing no harm on our chances the next day. We would be mistaken.
The next morning came all to early and the breakfast was rushed and incomplete. The drive gave us time to convince ourselves further that this was going to be an unfavorable race. We arrive with plenty of time to warm up and get the bathroom stuff out of the way, even had time to enjoy watching the kids do there little run. It is always a good feeling to see kids being active and enjoy the outdoors. Then the warning that the first groups are to go to the start line, cause they have staggered the people into 5 groups to help with the single track areas. Group 3 is called and Lisa and I line up, here we go, fist bump to Lisa and then wait for the whistle.
So we start off running up a tiny incline up a grass hill, that felt massive for heavy tired legs. I was convinced I was doomed as I came up to the trail, I was already feeling drained and huffing. Though a few meters into the actual trail and everything changed. I was energizer and passing people like they were standing still. It had started to make me wish I had prepared better, but I was still sure I was not going to place in the clydesdale division I had entered. So the race continued and it was glorious I continued to pass those ahead of me all the way to the turn around at the first aid station. Up till now it had mainly been a steady decent, now it was time to go back up. This was a steep single track that was mainly boulders you had to scale. Every slowed to a crawl, legs began to burn and lungs seared in pain. Cause of the terrain I had no time to check my watch, though if I had I would have realised I was off the pace I had set before the race. So I plugged along and ran when I was not ascending in single file up at least two more steep and rocky climbs. I felt drained as we left the trail and head to run the grassy hill in reverse to the start/finish line. I sprinted across and finished my first trail race, Lisa was about 10 minutes behind. She had been running even less than I, cause of a new job and the move. We still both felt good and despite our lack of training we enjoyed the race. Then the standing were posted. I was two minutes back of the first place clydesdale and was sitting in fourth. Anger set in cause I now knew if I had prepared properly and taken it easy the night before at soccer I could not just have placed but I maybe could have challenged for first in my division. So again I let that little bit of doubt we find leading up to a race take over and the cost was potentially a first place finish. Needless to say these mistakes and set backs are not going to happen again. Next year will be all business, and no excuses as to why I failed.
Always remember, the voice in your head saying you can’t do something, is liar. Word that I will remember next year are and all other coming races we enter.