In the end, my leg had healed up enough by Saturday that I couldn't resist the chance to combine a training run with some time hanging out with friends. The fact that the race was for a good cause was just the icing on the cake. It was a fundraiser, in part, for the HALO Learning Center, which "provides art therapy and educational workshops for foster and at-risk children in the Jefferson City area. Kids from HALO made the winners' medals, which was a very cool touch.
|The Bobby Showers Band onstage|
|POW! Right in the kisser.|
With this year's Kicks in the Sticks being the inaugural event, attendance was decent but not overwheming. The 7.5 milers got the first start, and I lined up about mid-pack.
|7.5 mile start group|
|Crappy picture, but these are the bridges that freak me out every time I have to ride across them.|
I have to say, I wasn't all that heartbroken by the short course. My lack of training this summer has been well documented, so I went into the race knowing that I was going to struggle, but I felt weirdly bad during the run. My legs felt weak, my breathing was all over the place, and I spent much of the race feeling like I was on the verge of vomiting...despite an effort level that didn't seem at all puke-worthy.
|I absolutely love sections like this. Such a pretty trail.|
And on...and on...and on...
Finally I saw the finish line ahead of me and pushed as hard as I could to the end. 1.1 miles after the 7-mile marker, I crossed the finish line to the cheers of race staff and my friends Bob, Cara, and Stoney. Big thanks to them for waiting around for me!
|Very cool finish line structure!|
We had some beers and cheered in Christina and Susan, who finished their first trail race looking strong. Everybody else grabbed some food, but while the bean/salsa stuff and curried chicken croissants sounded good in theory, they weren't appealing given the iffy state of my stomach. We hung out, clapped for the winners, and listened to music for a while, but eventually I had to head back home. It was definitely a good time, and despite the drive I think I'll be back next year.
- GREAT trails
- free beer
- reportedly good post-race food
- loved the live music by the lake
- cool vibe all-around
- several water stops--great on a hot day
- seriously off mile markers
- maybe Gatorade at one or two of the water stops
- might have been a good idea for them to have a course sweep because they had no idea who was still on the course.
- the heat
- running too hard in the first two miles
- food issues: I've been reading up about the Paleo diet, and initially experimenting with easing into it, starting with eliminating grains. I've lost 6 pounds while eating quite a bit, though my snacking is down because of the time spent staring into the pantry wondering what, exactly, I can eat. I'm still getting plenty of carbs through fruits and vegetables, but I'm struggling with what to eat to fuel before a bigger effort. Eating vegetables before a run has never, ever ended well for me. Given that, I think it's possible that food contributed to me overall feeling like crap (during the run...I've felt really good otherwise). Definitely something I need to figure out.