A Few Box Jumps Won’t Get It
About mile 8, after two face plants, one twisted ankle and a wrong turn that cost me at least 5 minutes, my head was screaming “Come on legs!” My legs said “Hell no bitch. You’re always so busy working or writing or taking care of your family. You never make time for us, you don’t take us out for runs. So what if you do box jumps? A few box jumps isn’t going to get it done. But you expect us to be there for you when you need us. Let’s go run 13 miles of tough trail you say? Legs can do it, I know legs can do it. Well what if we won’t?”
By mile 10 I was happily running and feeling great. At mile 13.06, I was still happy. See?
The alarm went off at 5 a.m. It was time to go. I had signed up to run the Cossatot River Corridor Trail Half Marathon a few weeks ago and as usual, trained very little. No short runs, a few runs of 5-9 miles, and a lot of my usual circuit training days. The run would begin after a shuttle took us to the opposite end of the 14 mile trail. We would be running back toward our cars, dry clothes and the hamburgers that had been promised. Standing at the start trying to stay warm I noticed a number of runners wearing Brooks shoes. I got us all together for a quick photo. I think mine were the oldest in the group. I know I need new ones, but I’m waiting for the new line that comes out in a couple of months.
I started off easy, chatting with a guy named Josh about work, other runs he’s been doing, just stuff. Could I have gone out harder? Yeah. Should I have gone out harder? Probably. About mile 3 I went ahead of Josh but at 4.5 I made a wrong turn that cost me about 5 minutes, and he got ahead of me. At the mile 5 low water bridge I saw my husband who was taking photos for Arkansas Outside.
It’s nice to get to see your cheerleaders in the middle of a race. At mile 7 I tripped on a root in the middle of the trail and twisted my ankle hard just as the trail passed in front of a full campsite. One of the ladies there says “Someone else has done that already.” It didn’t lessen the pain but I know she was trying to make me feel better. I walked it off before mile 8 and started running again. This part of the trail alternates between river bluff views where you can see and hear the water roaring over the giant boulders that give the Cossatot its name, Skullcrusher. River runners love this place and when the water is up, the kayakers speed down the river in their candy colored boats. While running by myself I could hear the roaring water and then the silence that replaced it when the trail turned back to the interior of the forest, punctuated by the occasional Cawcawcaw and the sound of my own breath. If I dared to look up from the trail I was greeted with the river valley maples just beginning to go to gold.
I was feeling good, so much better than the first half of the run, and I was able to catch up to Josh. We ran together for a couple of miles then I got ahead of him just enough that I couldn’t hear him anymore. I could see Joe waiting for me at the last bridge and was encouraged when he said “You’re coming in a lot faster than I thought, you’re almost done, GO!” I see the sign that says <——0.4 mile, YEA! I’m almost there. And then I see that the trail has changed to a loose gravel road. An uphill road. A rather steep uphill. Okay, I can do this. I couldn’t run the whole hill but I did see a familiar shirt up in front of me. I tried to catch him, he was my rabbit. I missed my 3 hour goal by a minute according to the official time but beat it by 2 minutes according to my runkeeper. I’ll take it. Because despite stopping to snap a few photos, the face plants, the twisted ankle and the wrong turn, and never really pushing myself into the pain cave, I finished.
I can go out faster, it does take me a while to warm up but I can’t sit back too long. I can’t continue to conserve energy during a race. I ended the race feeling like I could go on, that shouldn’t be the case. My time was second place in my age group with about 15 minutes separating me from 1st. Hello. I need to learn to go to the pain cave.
I should train more, not just go out for the long runs but do speed work and hill work.
Compression socks rock. They look stupid peeking out of my tights but they rock.
I need a new pair of Brooks Cascadias, now. This is my 4th pair and they’re old.
After the race Joe and I went to explore the park. The water is low right now and we could walk far out into the river on the exposed boulders. I can’t wait to come back and camp here soon.