I am ridiculously behind on race recaps, to the point where I kind of just want to let them go. But while I don’t know if anyone will read months-old posts, I’m too Type A to not publish them. Plus, I like to go back and relive the races and learn from them. And who knows—maybe someone else will too!
So I’ll use the next few days to post about all my summer races, starting with Ridge 2 Ridge this past weekend. Off we go!
I was excited for Ridge 2 Ridge because A) I haven’t run it before, B) Southeastern Trail Runs always rock, and C) it’s great training for Pinhoti. Plus, who doesn’t love a day on the trails?
I shifted my racing mindset before the Run 4 Kids 12-hour race (post coming Saturday!) and it’s worked like a charm this entire season—I toe the line just wanting to have fun and finish feeling strong, not feeling pressure to race hard. The past few summers I ran hard and felt like shit in every race, so I wanted no more of that. Nice and easy has been my new racing mantra this summer, and I’ve finished each race feeling like a million bucks. Plus, every slow step I take is another step closer to finishing Pinhoti.
Course—David Tosch does a fantastic job using the hills at Oak Mountain to make his races more exciting. While the Yellow-White Connector wasn’t terrible the first time around, the second go-around was hotter and suckier. But we survived! And the rest of the course was lovely—the Blue Trail reminds me of my first few months as a trail runner (and trail faller).
Fuel—Once again, I relied solely on Tailwind, with a handful of chips and M&Ms at each aid station. And once again, I felt fantastic the entire race. No bonking, no dehydration, no stomach issues. That white powder is pure magic!
Friends—I ran with my friends Sally and Amy the entire time, which was beyond awesome. Racing itself is fun—racing with friends is basically a long party.
Sally is one of my Pinhoti pacers, which is SO GOOD because we run together a lot and I can rely on her to keep me alive and in a good mood. So it was fitting that we tied for winning our age group! Amy ran her longest run at the race—with a broken arm! Tell me that there are tougher athletes out there than trail runners. You’d be sorely mistaken. Between the games we played and wacky stories we told, I didn’t even notice the heat and hills.
Outfit—I have been inseparable from Under Armour HeatGear Pace Shorts since Run 4 Kids. They don’t chafe or ride up my ass, and my thighs fit nicely inside them. And at $25 a pair, I can have ALL THE SHORTS. I got to test a pair of Feetures Elite Light Cushion socks, and I fell head over heels in love (see what I did there?). They hugged my foot in all the right places, didn’t slip, didn’t cause hot spots or blisters, and kept all the rocks and dirt off my feet. These have jumped to the top of my Pinhoti gear list!
Finish—We finished in 5:40, which was actually much faster than I had anticipated. The more hours I spend moving, the better. I crossed the finish line feeling like I could have easily done another loop—exactly where I need to be, training-wise. And having run 10 miles the day before and not feeing sore at all Sunday after the race really gave me a confidence boost.
Next up is the Georgia Jewel 50 at the end of September. That one will be a tough little race—I can’t wait!