Trail Racing Madness
On Friday night I decided to take part in a small but festive local 5K trail race in Franconia, NH. The Fox Hill 5K is a small end of summer 5K that benefits the Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country, a fantastic non-profit whose mission is to “Enrich Quality of life for people with disabilities through year round opportunities for sports and recreation.”
The event participants included some awesome girls who had previously participated in Girls on the Run as well as the Cross country team from the White Mountain School. I was very familiar with the Fox Hill Trail that we would run on as it is one of my favorite regular trail runs in Franconia. I warmed up on the trail to loosen my legs up (still a wee bit tight from Jay Peak) and to remind my body about how to navigate over wet roots at a faster pace.
We line up at the start with most people hanging back. At the start I push forward at a quick pace reaching the stop sign at a sub 6 minute pace. I settle down as we head into the cool crisp September woods feeling my heart pounding searching for rhythm in my breathing. I am leading into the woods only passed by a few members of the cross country team and their coach. I do not look at my watch instead focus on my feet, the fresh trail trying not to feel the slow burn beginning in my lungs as I push the pace. Fancy footwork, nimble steps like a dancer are needed to move quickly through the winding wooded trail. I am alone. Chasing only my goals and my personal determination. My mantra-“don’t stop, just go.” It’s important to not think. If you do your brain recognizes the hurt and begins to listen to the temptation to give in. Don’t.
Just go. It is freeing.
I know I can pick my pace up at the end. Negative splits are how I train. Picking it up I gain speed and focus only on finishing.
I cross the line. Breath stolen. Legs quivering. 26:33. It may not be a PR but I am the first woman.