Tuesday, January 14, 2014

River, Roots, and Ruts Half Marathon Recap

Miles today: 5.01 miles, easy
Miles in 2014: 42.87 miles

I know I still need to do a race recap from December, but this was such a fun, unique race to SW Florida, I couldn't wait to do the recap. The River, Roots, and Ruts trail half was on January 5th at Caloosahatchee State Park. I am currently obsessed with this place. One of the few places in south Florida with trails. Good, technical trails with hills and awesomeness. You totally forget you are even in Florida. Basically if you like to run, live in south Florida in January, you need to run this race. 

Saturday before the race, we kept it low key with Oh She Glows vegan, smokey mac 'n cheese....
 and beers from Larry's Christmas "stocking" 
(Also the mac 'n cheese was phenom)

Anyway, it rained ALL day of Saturday so I was nervous that the race was even happening on Sunday. Luckily rain stopped sometime during the night and the course was somewhat dried out by Sunday morning.

I picked up my friend Jen early on Sunday and headed north to the park. The race started on the south end of the park. Parking was easy and it took all of 5 minutes to get out numbers and shirts. (Tech shirts - cute, but the XS was still really big) We ditched our stuff at the car and headed to the start. 
Thanks to the lady who told us she broke her ribs last year and then took the blurry pic. Hope this year was a better race for her!

Anyway, I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces at the start. The first 3 miles were on the south side of the park. Flat and pretty easy, with minimal mud. We crossed over to the north side of the park and hit the familiar areas of the trails. 
Honestly, I felt like crap from mile 3- 6. Those are miles over mini hills and in trails like the pic above. After that, we got into my favorite area of the trail. It was actually the reverse of the race we ran in December. 
The technical part of the trail was really muddy, but hilly and SO MUCH FUN. Did I mention I wanted to run out there every weekend?

After mile 7 things started to click and I started feeling better. I ran with a couple of different people and started passing people around mile 9. The support on the course was really good for being out in the middle of nowhere. Volunteers were super nice and helpful. After mile 11, we crossed the road and headed back to the finish. For the first time that morning, I felt like I could just keep going. I passed a bunch of people and relaxed on the way to the finish line. 

We crossed the finish line in 2:29. Although I was not thrilled, with the amount of walking, trying not to bust ass in the mud, I am satisfied. I had a blast and seriously cannot wait to run up there again.

Muddy, but so happy. See you next year, River, Roots, and Ruts!