I probably mentioned at some point that I was doing my first trail race in October but didn’t really talk about it much since. Truth be told, I’ve had to cut down on running a bit during these past weeks due to a budding injury that I was healing up. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but my right hamstring started to get really sore at the end of my runs quite a while back like maybe five or six weeks ago. As I’ve said, all my regular trails are super hilly and I’m 98% sure that my glutes were slacking and my hamstrings were having to do much of their work to get me up those hills. Eventually my right hamstring just got so overworked that it started hurting and cramping. I’ve done more running on flatter trails now and ran way less these past two weeks and finally I hope to have healed my hamstring completely.
Back to the matter at hand. I signed up for this 10k trail race over a month ago and it was quite a bummer to be forced to stop training as I would’ve wanted to just a couple weeks before… That’s running I guess! As if the leg pain wasn’t enough, I’ve had a persistent cold for the past week and a half too. On race day I wasn’t too worried despite all this because I’m just generally good at not worrying about things I can’t help. I showed up overly relaxed, got my bib, did no warm up whatsoever and just chilled until 10 AM when the gun went off 😀
This was a completely different kind of event than the previous race! There were over a hundred people at the start line and this was also the first ever Finnish Championship in trail running. The trail was pretty brutal and for the most part it was super narrow single track so passing was hard. For the most part I ran with the same group of people, running in a single file along the twisting trail over treacherously slippery rocks and roots. There were bits where you just couldn’t run because of how slippery or narrow the path between the rocks was. I came close to rolling my ankles probably 10 times and very nearly face planted once!
All in all, I’m very content with my underdone performance despite my time being pretty slow (1h 33min). I got a pretty bad headache around the 2k mark which was strange since I thought I had hydrated enough. Apparently I hadn’t because a cup of water at the 4,6k aid station made the headache almost disappear and luckily it didn’t come back.
One thing I realized was that I’ve done nowhere near enough actually technical work on trails. My legs were on fire at around the 7k mark and I really had to slow down because I felt like I wasn’t in full control of them anymore and the trail just got more and more technical. This is where I started rolling my ankles… And the Speedgoats didn’t help with that at all 😀 Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love them and they have more pros than cons but the downside of all that cushioning is the increased stack height that will not save you from rolling your ankles!
I was just absolutely wrecked afterwards but still feeling good for having the courage to participate, having the discipline to train for it (even though I had to rest my injury) and pulling through on the day! For now I’ll just focus on getting back into a training routine and start easy after a quiet couple of weeks. My next race will likely be in December and I have to think hard about gear and/ or clothing I need for running in the winter. We probably won’t have snow in the beginning of December but anything could happen. I wonder if running is even possible when winter really hits and the temperatures drop to -22 degrees Fahrenheit and everywhere is covered in snow and ice…