Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Trail Run 10K Race Recap

Yesterday Ryan and I ran our first trail race! He had been saying he wanted to try one for a while now, so when I saw there was one at a local trail we have hiked in the past (check out my blog posts here and here) I figured it would be perfect! I mean any time the hubby is excited to run, I try and take FULL advantage of it :)

It was the Eighth Annual Cinco de Mayo Trail Run at Lake Poway. 

We didn't stick around for the 'after party' but there were piƱatas and sombreros around before the race! 

There was a 5K option and a 10K one. We read the descriptions and somehow still decided on the 10K...


Although we have hiked these trails a few times and KNOW the hills (or mountains), I would say we still weren't QUITE prepared for them. This 10K course is NOT to be taken lightly. I told Ryan if I didn't fall (which I was slightly worried about due to all of the loose gravel, steep inclines, large rocks, sand pits, and trails terrain) and if we were under 1:15 that I would consider it a major success! {SPOILER ALERT - IT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL FOR US...}

They allowed for race morning bib pick-up, which was nice since we didn't really have time on Friday to drive down to San Diego. We received an email the day or so before the race letting us know about the parking situation (they had 300 spots at the park - which you had to pay $5 for and needed to be one of the first 300 cars or they had three other lots which were free, but you had to take a shuttle to and from). We figured since we had to pick up our bibs anyway that we would try and get down there close to the time that registration opened so that hopefully we could park near the trails (even if it did cost $5). 

We left the house around 5:30am and got down Lake Poway Recreational Area around 6:10 or so. We used the restrooms and then checked to see if we could pick up our bibs a little early - which they allowed {THUMBS UP}. We grabbed our bibs, our tech shirts (which we paid to upgrade, since neither of us normally wear the cotton race ones), and walked around a bit. We saw there was a Starbucks tent that had all kinds of free goodies, so Ryan got a coffee and we split a plain bagel (figuring it was still over an hour to the race and thought it would digest fine before we had to start). We went back to the car to eat our bagels, attach our bibs, and rest our legs a bit. 

"Flat Carlee" the night before - just in a little different format

Is my bib straight?!

Ryan really likes the shirts :)
"Where the secret to blazing a trail... Is getting a little dirty"

The 10K started at 7:30am, so we got out of the car, used the potties one last time, and headed over to the start line around 7:15am. We hung out around the start for a while, and this is where I had an issue with the organization of the race. While we were waiting we were told that there was a shuttle on its way and they were going to delay the race start. This is a bummer for many reasons - 1. we had a heat wave this week and starting the race later meant it was warmer for the race (I say we could have started around 6:30am and it still would have been hot), 2. you shouldn't make folks that were on time wait for people that were late, and 3. if it was a wave start, why not just start the early waves and the late people could start in the last wave when they get there? We didn't end up getting to hit the trails until closer to 7:50am... LAME SAUCE!

Not sure why Ryan thought it would be best to have me COVER the start sign... 

This is the face I made when he told me there was a bus in the shot and it would look bad...

Yup, we wore matching PRO Compression socks!

Ready to hit the trails!

As I alluded to, we were not fully prepared for this race. Normally I would at least look at the elevation of the course or a map... Nope, nothing. But don't blame it all on me. The website for the race is pretty craptastic; it's hard to navigate and doesn't have much information on it anyway. The lady at the Starbucks tent gave us a little hint when she said "I don't know how they do it, but it is up hill BOTH ways - that's why this year I am just handing out coffee". 

To say it was tough would be an understatement. I think it would be more accurate to say we ran two mountains in the course of 6.2 miles. And somehow it seemed like we ran further UPhill than downhill... We made it up to the top of the Ramona Dam and thought we were home free, only to find out there was a SECOND mountain we needed to climb. Ryan needed to walk a bit, which my legs did NOT argue with (although normally my motto is "The faster you go, the sooner you're done"), especially seeing as I was running the OC Half Marathon on Sunday morning. I grabbed a couple scenery shots while we were having a walk break.

Dusty and dry... Thankfully the fires have stayed away for the most part this past week!

Yep, there are people on the trail in the distance, we were there earlier... 

Evil Carlee taking pictures of struggling Ryan :)

The lake was in view the last third of the race

"If we are going to walk, you are going to take a selfie with me!"

Although the heat and hills were tough, the view was BEAUTIFUL!

These are SERIOUS hills...

Don't worry, we didn't see any mountain lions or rattlers!

I think if we run this race again in the future we would do two things differently. First, TRAIN PROPERLY/ BETTER (with more trail training runs). Seeing how vertical the course was, training on hills (with the different terrain other than just pavement) would greatly help. Second, bring a hand held or hydration vest with us. There were water stations on the course, but when you are running in the DRY heat, your mouth tends to dry out quickly. I think we could have used a little more water along the way, especially on the hills that were in DIRECT sunlight. 

As I said before, we had a successful first trail race. We ended up finishing in 1:10 (my watch has us at 1:10:06 and the timing chips had us at 1:10:10). And no trips or falls!

Looks like my Garmin had the course a little short...

Not quite sure how they got "Carree"... 

Not too shabby. Right in the middle of the pack. We were #149 and #150 out of 306 runners.


PS I got TONS of compliments on my outfit :) One lady even said it was "HAPPY"

I have to say, this race made us feel pretty B.A. Even though we had to walk a bit, it was a super tough course and we finished it together and with smiles on our faces! (Don't tell Ryan, but I'm hoping we can do it again next year to see how much we can beat this year's time by with adequate training.)

PS There weren't medals for this race, so on the way out we grabbed a rock and are MAKING OUR OWN :) 

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