After some time in my racing schedule for the roads, I got the pleasure to hit the trails for a 5k this morning. However, getting there almost didn't happen....
With my increasing mileage for my ultra debut this summer, Sundays have been my bread and butter for my long runs. And considering I am two months out, I don't want to lose those precious days. Which leads me to the mileage dilemma and how it played into the race. It's pretty simple, the race was on a Sunday. Now before you say, I could always do the long run after...ask yourself if you think a race effort followed by an 18 miler is wise? To me that is not wise. Doable but foolish. So that lead me to consider some other possibilities several which included skipping this particular 5k trail race.
Option 1: Run my long run on Saturday and race Sunday.
Option 2: Change the race to a Half Marathon trail on Sunday 3 hours away.
Option 3: Run a trail marathon 2 1/2 hours away on Saturday and whatever Sunday is, it is.
Option 4: Just skip racing and do the long run on Sunday.
In the end the leaders were 1 & 3. 3 nearly won out but I woke up in the night 1/2 after I would have needed to. This happened because I let sleep aid in my decision which is always wise to consider. Since I was up, I decided to go out for my long run and use the time wisely. After all the sun had yet to come up. This helped because in the end, my long run was done 24 hours before the race giving me a full day to recover. Marvelous.
Of course that meant, I still had to run the race. My goal going in was to put in a solid effort but not risk hurting myself due to the previous day's mileage. I felt I achieved that.
The race itself was called the Iron Hill Challenge and was the 1st race in the Trail Creek Outfitters series. Because of wanting to compete in the series, this is why the race created such an issue. If it was not a race that I kind of had to be in for the overall series, I probably would have scrapped it. Thankfully, things worked out and I didn't. Why? Because I got to run some great trails in a new place, Iron Hill Park in Newark, DE. Let me tell you, Delaware has some great trails. Every time I get a chance to experience their parks, I find them terrific. Once the race was done, I switched out of my Inov-8 Talon 190's and did 6 more miles loving each bit of it.
And because I felt so good this afternoon, I did another 5 more miles near my house on trails.
Overall very happy to be back on the trails and I feel my technical ability is getting better as it was put to the test on today's course. Now to see what my next trail race offers up. Just hope, it works out as well as today.