loop de loopy

Sunday, April 03, 2011

I kind of feel like I've been steam-rolled.

The Loop de Loop was brutal. Tag pick-up was chaotic. There weren't enough parking spaces or port-a-potties. (In fact, there was only one port-a-potty, and you could smell it from a mile away.) And a lot of people -- both race organizers and runners -- seemed confused. But Dana and I, a.k.a. Team Hangover (she was out having cocktails last night too), made it to the start.

Dana ran the first leg (our age handicapped start was 8:12 a.m.), so I had some time to relax.

Yes, folks, I am Asian. Socks and flip-flops? Winning!

Dana finished her leg just before 9:30. We high-fived, and then I was off. And my loop -- which was the opposite direction of the course Dana had just run -- began with a long, steady climb.

Of all the completely and terribly wrong things I did during yesterday's blatant lack of pre-race preparation, it became instantly clear on that very first hill that I should not have gone to power yoga. My hamstrings -- which had been dully achey while I was standing around waiting to start -- began to scream bloody murder. I felt like I had no leg strength whatsoever. Even the smallest incline hurt, and the hills just kept on coming.

Thankfully my friend Cara was right behind me. She had just returned from a trip to Vegas and wasn't feeling 100 percent either. (In fact, she actually fell at one point -- it was pretty scary. I was running ahead and heard her kick a rock, and then she was down.) We ended up sticking together throughout the race, encouraging each other and, yes, taking the occasional walk break.

It was the longest seven miles I've ever run, and I couldn't have done it without her.

I ended up finishing my leg in 1:27:48 -- a 12:47-minute pace (according to my Garmin -- official times haven't been posted yet). Not stellar, but you get what you deserve, and I definitely earned that crappy time.

At least my shoes looked bad-ass even though nothing else about me was.

And at least now I've run my first trail race and have a better idea of what the Annadel Half will be like when I tackle that beast in two weeks. (In fact, I think today's race covered some of the same trails.) And I know that race prep -- and above and beyond, pre-race rest -- is a must. No more blasting my legs before they even get to the starting line!

Anyway, as always, even the most pathetic of runs is followed by a recovery meal. We went to East West, and I had huevos rancheros.

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