Saturday morning I got to sleep in a little. The race wasn’t starting until 8:30! I don’t usually sleep well out of town though so my first wake up was at 4:20. Then 6am. We wanted to head out at 7am so we could be there by 7:30. We mostly hit that goal. The parking was unfriendly…we were well warned it is a tiny tiny parking lot so carpool (who would we carpool with?) or park on the street. We parked several blocks away and walked in.
It was cold. The irony was not lost on me.
It was 35* with the promise of a 65* day. I didn’t care. It was cold.
I wore my capris and a tank with a Nike jacket over it and a headband and gloves.
As we waited for the race to start, it was so cold my feet were freezing. Sean finally took his shoes off and stood on my shoes. He probably saved me. My toes were so cold. This is why I keep him around. Halfway through the race I took the black jacket off and wrapped it around my waist.
Then I got cold.
It was too much work to put it back on so I just stayed cold.
This was a trail race, I think I said that before but it’s really really important information. I’ve never run one before and I have to be honest…it really wasn’t that awesome. Okay, let me try this. I had a GREAT time and figured out I really do not want to run another one. I am a city runner through and through. I am the anomaly. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love trail racing. I feel…a little broken. But I LOVE hiking with every fiber of my being. I just don’t want to run on the trails.
The hills were so intense. It was seriously hiking. I ran for the first three miles or so, then I had to break it up and just run what I could. I was sure I would run out of steam before I got to the end. I don’t mind the hills but the climbing over dirt and limbs and rocks is just too much and I’d rather not have to focus while I run. My love of running is about the ability to sink into my thoughts and whatever I’m listening to while I put one foot in front of the other. Having to focus so intently with every footfall is not the relaxing zen I’m looking for. As much as I loved the race and the experience, I wouldn’t do it again or any trail race and I really feel like I learned so much about what I love and what I don’t love. I would, however, run a Brazen race again, if it was not a trail race. Those people were awesome.
The downhills were just as intensely steep as the uphills (what goes up must come down). I was seriously afraid my knees would kill me the next day but they weren’t too bad. We won’t discuss my quads two days later. Holy smokes.
The hills were so bad, we would stop mid-hill to just catch our breaths. And I DO hike in Colorado. They were insane. Then at the top of the hill there would be a curve…and there would be an equally steep hill to climb. It was work. But whenever there was a downhill or a flat…there would be running. Sometimes I felt like there was nothing left in my legs to run, but I did it anyway and eventually the energy would come. At the end of the race I still had some left and finished pretty strong. I love that feeling.
Here are a few photos from the Brazen website to give you some idea of the hills and trail. They don’t show the whole picture (no pun intended) but they give you a taste of what work it was and horrible scenery we had to suffer through. *sarcasm.
*brazen racing photos taken by Allen
After we finished, Sean and I headed back to the castle so I could shower. Sean napped while I stretched and cleaned up. We went to Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers (amazing) and then we headed into San Francisco and did a quick evening tour of Coit Tower.
It was closed for renovation, unfortunately, but we could enjoy the views and the outside of it. And we loved walking around and checking out the stairs down to the street. We even had a total stranger take our photo (actually we had two…the first one really cut us off so we had a different one give it a try).
I think we could take a million photos of this city. It still wouldn’t be enough.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.