I first started running on a country road because of a cute boy who lived down the road. My love of running stayed long after my crush disappeared. Running has been a regular part of my life ever since.
Living in the country, running on dirt roads happens quite often, but I had never entered a trail race as an adult. While I was a cross country runner in high school and absolutely loved it, I really wasn’t interested in trail racing. The races that I wanted to run were all road races. Besides, most trail races that I had heard of were ultras. What I am finding out now is what I was thinking isn’t reality. Really, are all road races like the Boston marathon, the NY marathon or the Toronto marathon. Of course these are the ones that we all hear about. But as a road runner, there are many, many, many races out there, from the local 5K to Full marathons and everything in between.
My trail journey started in the September of 2017, long before the April 28th 2018 race morning. While on a the Multisport Barrelman 70.3 Girls Relay weekend with 3 other amazing women, in the thick of my un diagnosed depression (that’s a story for another blog post) is where the story really began.
Most, if not all of my getaways involve a race of some kind. This particular weekend was no different. The 4 of us carpooled, shared an Air BnB and decided to head up a night earlier, for a fun girls weekend. There was a lot of talking, sharing and laughing. What do athletes tend to talk about when they get together? Racing, training, food and finding balance. Pick your Poison is one race that came up a few times. Two of the runners were looking forward to running that race again. I was intrigued.
One of the athletes brought some clothes to share, as she was minimizing her closet. Yoga pants, race shirts, bandanas etc. There was an assortment of things and something for everyone. I managed to score an awesome pair of light grey yoga capris, a red lulu headband and now my favorite shirt. A pick your poison shirt. A black fitted T shift with purple logo at the front. It fit perfectly and it soon made my T shirt rotation to wear. Now that I was wearing the shirt, I had to register for the next race.
Rebecca signed us up when registration opened and as they say, the rest is history. I have found a love of trail running and now have a new Pick your Poison shirt.
On this Girls relay weekend, one of the athletes brought some of her exercise clothes and race shifts that she really wasn’t wearing. She had been clearing out her closet and thoughtfully wanted to share. I scored a great Pick your Poison t-shirt. It soon became one of my favorites to wear. While I don’t usually wear shirts for races I haven’t done. But this was different. This was given to me by a friend who had done it.
That’s when I decided I was going to race Pick your Poison in 2018. A few weeks later, I signed up with 2 of the girls from that weekend.
While it was a crazy month to begin with, mother nature just didn’t cooperate. The race organizers were on the trail chipping away at the ice to make the trails safe for us.
Race morning anxiety set in and I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into. I decided I was going to embrace the new. I also knew that I would be slower than road running and I was prepared for that as well. My coach encouraged me to run the nice sections but also wanted be to safe out there and when in doubt, slow down. This, after all, was a training race.
Mud, snow, Ice, slush, hills, oh th
e mighty hills, especially the last hill up was very slushy, and going down, you had to run fast enough not to slip. It was crazy. Trying to take it slower, I just couldn’t do it. Watching the pros finish the second loop as I was finishing my first, running like a gazelle, effortlessly, their legs briefly touching the top of he snow. When I sped up a little, It got easier. I love trail running. I am hooked.