Just to give you an idea of how cold it was here's what I was wearing to try and stave off the chill of the wind. A pair of running shorts (as a wind shield) 2 pair of running tights, a compression short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve technical shirt, a long sleeve thermal technical shirt, a wind proof jacket, a pair of winter running gloves, an ear warmer, and a face screen. With all that I was still quite chilly before the start of the race.
As the race took off there was about 200 feet before the trail went down to a single track so there we waited for the bottle neck to open up a little. Then we meandered on a two loop course of trail and paved trail through Eagle Creek Park on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Some of the hills were very steep and probably topped out at a 20% grade, or so it appeared. With the headlight on and running with a friend (Matt) we were out in the woods. Everything was going well until we got to about mile 4, then the mud started and didn't let up until we were almost finished with the first loop. For those keeping track at home that's almost two and a half miles of ankle deep mud, muck, puddles, etc... My feet were frozen, and according to the race director who ran the course the day before and today it was "a lot better conditions today than yesterday" Holly Cow! I couldn't imagine it being much worse, everyone was slipping and sliding all over the trail, and I think this caused extra fatigue for me. Especially my hips which were already calling in for reinforcements. But I was having fun, and it helped that I had a friend to run it with, who was taking pity on my lack of endurance after taking almost two full months off by waiting for me when I needed to take a breather.
The second loop was much the same but I did shed my outer layer at the half way point because I had built up so much heat I was now frying. After going through the second batch of mud I was trying to save a little energy so I'd have enough left for a kick at the end. (As stated before, I'm very competitive and like to finish strong) Making the final turn there was about a 5 foot drop that I had forgotten about and I almost took a header into the mud. After barely catching myself we sprinted to the finish and in a virtual tie (Matt beat me by 7 one hundredths of a second) we had a great time and congratulated each other on finishing what I am referring to as The Muddy Mucky Winter Half Marathon.
I look forward to doing some more trail races in the future, since this was so much fun. But I think it will be more fun once I have my endurance built back up.
Speaking of endurance, I've begun my training for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis this year as you might recall from the 35th running. This year I'm running for charity and fund raising or fundracing for an organization called Back on My Feet more to com on this in the future but if you would like to help me reach my goal of $1800.00 you can visit my fundracing page and help out, any and all amounts help.
Until next time, run fun!