I LOVE RUNNING ONCE AGAIN!
I have had the first good race in say, a year and a half. Well, I had other good races, but this was the first race I'm supremely happy with!
I've run the Greenbelt Trail a bunch of times, but usually the southern (easier) part, mainly b/c it's easier to get to via trains and it's right by my aunt's. I wasn't trying to erase that horrible race that was the Bear Mountain 50 Miler last week, but was trying to run my own race - run however fast I wanted, take it easy if my asthma was acting up without anyone getting annoyed at me, just run my heart out. And I did.
My legs still were a tad tired from last week's race but were fresh enough to get my 3rd woman overall.
You start out on this annoying road out-and-back. But then you're on the trails, which are primarily single track with lots of rolling little hills. The hills aren't so putrid that you'd want to walk all of them, but you might walk some, especially the second loop. There's some rocks, sand, all sorts of fun stuff, even poison ivy if you're (un)lucky. I ran out pretty hard, to Mary yelling, "You're running too fast." The idea wasn't to race this race hardcore, but to see how much I could push myself on my tired legs. And I did a good job.
I found myself passing people, smiling, and feeling good. My hamstring felt a little sore, but my hammie behaved, so I ended up running fairly well. I dodged hikers and a boy scout troupe.
The weather was hot - it got to the upper 70s today. I ran in just a sports bra and running skirt and only had a handheld, which was fine, since the aid stations were so close. I didn't have enough food - only four gels, not even three of my chewy chompers, as I like to call any kind of chewy running snack. But I made it.
The course is two out and backs for the 50k, and one out and back for the 25kers. I got to see Mary, who unfortunately hurt her ankle, and Donald, and several awesome people from my running club were doing the 25k - Anna, who of course won it b/c she's just that awesome, Ken, Karen, and Tennessee. But besides seeing their beautiful smiles (and bloody knees), I saw everyone - multiple times, which was great for the spirits. Most everyone said, "Good job," or would tell me I was the third woman, that I was in the top twenty, etc. And of course, I would give them a wonderful response right back, "You look great" (though one guy told me, "I look anything but great." Poor soul.)
It was a lot of fun. Ups and downs and the heat. The road crossings suck (especially since it is a fact that Long Island drivers suck (I grew up there so I speak from experience) and most of them were driving way too fast) and sometimes it was incredibly difficult to cross a street. But overall, an absolute blast of a race. Besides the Burning Man 50k, which is really just dessert, this 5:55:08 is my fastest 50k time - and on MUCH harder trails. YAY!