This past weekend I think I had a brief moment of insanity - and loved it. I was signed up for the 10-mi Lord Hill trail run. Last year I did the 5-mi and the year before I did the 10-mi (both years I set the course record for the respective distances). The night before the race I started getting nervous about the marathon I'm training for (Big Sur) and wondering if I could do the full distance mentally.
Come the morning of the race, I woke up feeling strong. I got dressed thinking "I can go further than the 10" and when I got to the check in, I asked if I could "upgrade" to the 20-mi route. When I said the distance "20-miles" got stuck in my throat - that's a long distance!
The race started at 8:30 sharp. There was a small field for the trail 20 - maybe 100 or so people (the majority of the runners were doing the 10 and a crazy few were doing a 50K). As Roger (race director) gave instructions such as "follow the ribbons - if there is a lineup to the right, turn right..." all I could think was "do I have enough music? Did I drink enough water? What if I get lost? Can I do this?!"
The beginning of the race put us through a large puddle (I'd say more like stream) then up the first of many hills. I globbed on to a group of dudes to pace myself and got into a comfortable pace. We scaled the first hill slipping down in the mud, then coasted for a bit through the trees. Another hill scaled, then more rambling over tree roots and weaving around trees. For a point around mile 7 there was a long decline down a single track - awesome! Towards the end of the first 10-mi loop, I started passing people who had started at 7:30am (the early start time).
After the first loop, coasting down a steep decline hill, I had "Eye of the Tiger" ringing in my ears and felt ready and pumped - the first 10 was a warm up! I looped through the check point, then was off for another loop.
In the end I cam in 3rd woman - no more course records. I felt GREAT finishing the race - mentally high, physically tired, and all in ready for a nap.