Ok, I may be going a little overboard with running races. This one literally was a spur of the moment decision yesterday. As in, 2 hours before the race was supposed to start I thought “oh, I was planning to run today anyways, I might as well go run a local race that looks relatively challenging because I’m crazy like that and enjoy running at 2 in the afternoon which is usually the hottest part of the day”. So it was decided, I’m insane.
Run the Ridge 5K was put on by the Erie County Metroparks as a way to kickstart their Go Take a Hike! Program. Essentially, it’s a program designed to get people up and moving, by combining exercise with exploration of the Metroparks. This particular race was at Edison Woods Metropark, which is one that I had never run. I tend to stick with my usual stomping grounds at Osborn, because I’m boring. Edison Woods is by far the largest metropark with numerous walking, hiking, bridal, and running trails. Hubs had warned me the trail he had attempted to run before was covered in horse poop. So my goal was mainly to get a good training run in while avoiding manure.
Apparently photographers never like to capture me running. But this is proof that I was there. Riding in a wagon. Erie County corn style son. I have the visor on.
The race started promptly at 2:30 in the afternoon and even though the temperature was not nearly as hot as earlier in the week, it still felt warm. I had zero clue what the course was going to be, since it was a trail run and I have not done a trail race in probably 2 years. The field for the race was pretty small, maybe 75 runners total, which was fine by me. We lined up facing towards the prairie fields and shortly after, we were off! The first 3/4 mile wound through the prairie, which consisted of medium length grass surface and slightly rolling terrain. It was also felt baking hot under the sun. At this point, I was probably 4th female? and was following a girl (believe me I never body snark on anyone but this just bothered me) whose rear end was eating her short shorts. I had to pass her because it was really grossing me out.
We veered onto a dirt wooded trail for the next 3/4 mile. It was a huge descent and I could feel my quads trying to help control my speed. All I could think was, this is REALLY going to suck if we have to run back up this. Spoiler alert: we did. The trail ended at a road, where we turned left and ran about a 1/4 mile on the road. Another left turn back onto the dirt trail for the joyous uphill climb. I could tell my pace was slowing down. Big time. I was 3rd female at this point. I could see the girl in 2nd ahead, and when we approached the super super steep incline she started walking. So I attempted to slowly jog up this stupid hill because, hey, why not? I kept telling myself, “Self, this is easier than childbirth. Your lungs are not going to explode even though they feel like you are climbing Mount Everest”. I wound up doing the slowest pass of a fellow runner ever with this technique. We both told each other great job and expressed how terrible the hill was. You shouldn’t be able to have a conversation during a pass.
At the top of the hill, I saw the finish line (finally) and had zero energy to even attempt more than a slow jog. Go me.
Finish Time: 22:57
2nd Place Female, 1st in 20-29 Age Group
For being 7 weeks post-partum, I’ll take it! And my body is definitely going to take a rest day today. But I for sure will be going back to Edison Woods again for some hill training!