Fall is fully upon us and that means ideal running season! This weekend my friend Asia and I ran the Pt. Defiance 30k trail race. I won, but it was BRUTAL! I'm now vowing not to race such a long distance without training again.
The race was two loops around Pt. Defiance with a gain / loss of 1,300 per loop. At the end of each loop was a rope to help guide down the hill - it was that steep. The race was beautiful, though - behind Big Sur Marathon, this is hands down my favorite. There are views of Gig Harbor, a 500 year old tree, and beautiful forests. The race started with a flat road, then a stair climb up the side of the hill - after that, it was all hills.
In the beginning I was having a great race - loving the views, loving the hard footwork. At about mile 15, though, I crashed mentally - physically I was fine. I more than crashed - I went from awesome runner's high to weird hallucinations where I was literally seeing the trees and plants glow. Not rad. The weird part of this hallucination was that there were teenagers on the side of the hill picking mushrooms - I'm sure they were going for a different type of hallucination.
From miles 15-18 I struggled to push through the mental wall - a little walking, a little running, and I made it, though. Miles 19-20.5 (yes, this was more than a 30k) were just go time - I could feel the finish line and I was ready.
All in, this was a tough one. I'm glad I won! And I'm encouraged to reinvigorate the training (again).