Trail Race Weekend

Mike and I both had trail races this weekend, and both were a TON of fun. On Saturday, Mike ran the Pacific Coast Trail Runs 17km race at Huddart County Park in Woodside. As you can see in the above photo, Ellie was thrilled.

There was a LONG line of cars waiting to get into the park…

but the view was fabulous. Our weather has been so amazing lately.

We were up at a ridiculously early hour on Sunday so I could run a trail half marathon up in Marin (thanks to Alyssa!)

It was incredibly cold when we got there, but the geniuses who run this race set up heaters that everyone clustered around. I wish all races had those! Before the race started, Mr. Ultra Marathon Man Dean Karnazes had a few words for us.

He asked everyone who was running their first marathon to raise their hand. Anyone doing this as their first half is a lot more hardcore than I am. Check out the elevation…


I did not have ANY expectations for this race. I’ve run one double digit run since Ellie was born (10 miles, two weeks ago) and I have not set foot on a trail since the 50K almost a year ago (which actually went on a lot of the same trails as this race). I figured I’d finish somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30.

The first two miles felt like they were taking forever (maybe because I didn’t warm up at all). That first climb felt interminable, but the views at the top were phenomenal. After making it over that first hill, the rest of the race was really fun and went by incredibly fast. The second hill was rough and I walked when it got steep, but the last big hill was a lot more gradual and I was able to run the whole thing.

I definitely need to work on my speed running downhill – people were FLYING past me – because I get nervous that my feet are going to slip and I’ll fall.

My Garmin beeped at Mile 13, but we were a LONG way from the finish. That last .8 (not sure if my Garmin was off or the course was really that long…) was on pavement and slightly uphill, so it was my least favorite part of the race. Finally, I reached the finish in 2:10!

And there’s the obligatory unflattering finish photo.

This race was really well-marked, organized, and fun. They have these races all over the country so if there’s one near you, I HIGHLY recommend it!

7 Responses to “Trail Race Weekend”

  1. 1 Cara Bailey December 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Ahh I was supposed to do this race! (well, the 5K that day) But I got a TERRIBLE cold. How was the swag? I literally thought about driving all the way up there just to pick up my t-shirt…haha I did one of the North Face races last year, and the shirt was awesome!

  2. 2 Krysten December 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

    OMG, the statement “obligatory unflattering finish photo” made me laugh…no matter how many races I do, I always end up looking exceptionally heinous in that photo. Way to sum it up perfectly. Nice job on what looked like a difficult course!

  3. 3 Beth December 5, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Congratulations! It was a weekend of great racing 🙂 that elevation profile is insane! Downhill running makes me a little nervous, even when I’m on roads and not trails. Although my knee has been better for nearly 6 weeks now, I’m still skittish about hurting it again.

  4. 4 Angela @ SF Road Warrior December 5, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Wow, that’s awesome! And on a long course! Congratulations! 🙂

  5. 5 Aron December 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    WOW that is a really GREAT time for a trail race like that – nice job!!! I have always wanted to run one of the NFEC races but it was always CIM weekend (or this year Vegas), maybe 2012 will be the NFEC year 😉

    And can I just add that I am SO impressed with your post-baby recover. It really gives me hope for “some day” down the road… you are amazing!

  6. 6 Kate December 7, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I have the same problem running downhill. I worry about my knees, ankles, and falling!

  7. 7 Naomi December 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I’m a little behind on blog reading but congrats to both you and Mike on your races! I have been wanting to run at Huddart County Park so I’ll have to get some info from you on it!

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