Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run into the Darkness Night Trail Run on Saturday

This past Saturday was the 4 mile (ish) Anthem "Run into the Darkness" night trail run with my 10 year old son and husband.
I've been "training" for the last month or two for this specific race. I was a little worried about it because two weeks ago I did a 5k trail race for Mercy Ministries and it was HARD!! scroll down a couple posts to read about it.
This past Wednesday I decided to do a trial run of the race, and jogged around my neighborhood in the dark with a flashlight. I was really pleased with my time and I only had to do my inhaler once. It was a little creepy running around in the dark by myself. I was really hopping that I would have more fun on saturday.

This is a screenshot from my Iphone using the app "runkeeper". Its free and I love it!! It appears to be pretty accurate against my FitBit.

I got ready Saturday afternoon for the race. I had a light dinner of a Luna bar (love them!!), banana and water. I was really nervous and didn't even feel like eating but I knew I would feel sick if I didnt.

Here I am still at home, getting dressed for the race. I got a new Sparkle race skirt in the mail, so I was really excited to try it out for this race. (separate blog post on my skirt later!) Note, I am still loving my Pink laces from Fit Approach website!! :-)

Here I am right before the race after I got my racing number, jacket and racing belt (no its not a fanny pack!) on. It was starting to get really really cold!! We hung around for a while, put on our glow jewelry and walked around to warm up.

My husband was in the first wave-called racers-so he started right at 7pm. My son and I stayed in the back because we didn't want to get run over my intense joggers. Mountain Junkies LLC announced this was their 6th race year and they had over 500 people attend!!

I started my fitbit a little early because I thought we would start jogging, but I don't think we actually went until 7:10 or 7:15. We hung out in the back and I was amazed by the sea of people up ahead of us, bobbing up and down with flashlights. We jogged for a couple minutes before heading into the woods. From then on, it was a trail race in the woods.

Through out the race, they had markers and signs and cute little halloween things like ghosts and pumpkins around. Very family friendly.

 As we continued to climb up and down this trail, I'm pleased to report that Steven and I were able to maintain and keep a good pace through out the entire race without stopping. However, because we were in the back group of people, as we tried to pass the slower people going up the trail, there were several times we got stuck for several minutes because (1) it was too narrow to pass them or (2) they were rude and purposely wouldn't move around for someone to pass. That was by far the most annoying thing!! We tripped several times on the trail because there were alot of loose sticks and rocks so it was hard to get a great pace for this race because of that and it was in the dark. It made me very nervous a couple of times with looking down some steep drops in the trail, but thankfully we didn't get hurt.

At one point there was a photographer on the trail that was taking pictures of people. Here is a picture of my husband, me and my son on the actual trail.

It was hard to figure out how much farther the race was in the dark, although I had my iphone RunKeeper app to tell me how far we had gone. I was a little bummed when we hit the 60 minute mark and it seemed like the trail was going forever. Then I heard my husband shouting my sons and my name and to keep going. I couldn't see him but I heard him so we started picking up our pace again and did some jogging. We passed a couple more people and started heading up our last hill. My husband Mike came back for us to cheer us on and to help encourage us up our final stretch. My son passed me with super light speed (because he wanted to be first LOL) and I was struggling to keep up with breathing but we finally did it!!! WHEW!! Took me a couple mins to catch my breath so we could take final pictures.


Here is a iphone screen shot of when I passed thru the finish line. As you can see, it was a little short of 4 miles.

This is my FitBit screen shot. You can see how many steps and calories I burned!! WOW!!

After we took pictures and stretched, we went inside a building for some water, pasta and yummy pumpkin bread!! We didn't win any door prizes or age group prizes, but that was okay.

Here are some stats from the race: 
Mike placed #62 out of 513 people and 9/33 in his age group.
Steven placed #482 and 25/27 in his age group.
I placed #485 and 35/38 in my age group.


Some final thoughts about the race:
* Glow Jewelry was fun to wear
* I must remember to bring gloves and a hat for next year
*Don't get stuck in the back with the "even slower than me" people because it will make me very aggitated.
*Jogging with a racing skirt and hand free hydration bottle was awesome
*Most impotantly, bring a "cheerleader" with you to the race!! My husband was my hero because he truly helped me get thru the last 5 minutes of the race cheering me on, gave me his gloves for the race, and brought me a jacket after the race to keep me warm.

Although it was a hard trail race, I feel like I keep doing better and getting stronger; so this will probably be a race that we do again in the upcoming years!!

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