Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run - 17K (~10 miles) - Race Report

Date: December 12, 2010
Location: Crystal Cove State Park
Start: 8:00am
Finish: 1:45:11

I've been curious about trail running since I discovered a couple of trail runners' blog awhile back. Then I started seeing Glenn running them and writing reviews about them on his blog. This got me more interested because he was the first person that I actually have met in real life (outside of the blog world) that did these races. In particular I saw this XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run on his calendar a few months back and decided to go to their website to check it out. It was appealing to me for a couple of reasons. First, I've been lazy as heck about running lately due mostly to my busy work schedule and the crazy holiday season. Second, I wanted to get a longish run in this past weekend and needed something to motivate me to run faster than I normally do. Third, this race was not too far from me and the distance was manageable. So about 2 days before the race, I went to their website to sign up only to discover that they were sold out. Glenn twitted and asked if I was still planning to run this race and I told him the sad story of how I had waited too long to sign up. It was at this point that Glenn asked if I was interested in using his race entry because he was still recovering from some knee issues. Of course, I was interested! So after some brief communications and some very minor paperwork on race morning, I was officially signed up and stood at the starting line at 8am this past Sunday. Glenn ended up being at the race as well as a volunteer at the 3 mile marker water station. That was the station right after a steep climb. I looked like death, ate a GU, said hi/bye to Glenn, had some water and headed back out. Glenn said that was the worse hill, lies...all lies! There were so many others and some so steep, I could not even run up on. But mentally glad that he had told me that the other hill was the worse one because I would have been really discouraged had me told me otherwise.

I did some searching on this event the other day and found out that the race date had been moved twice already due to weather conditions. Didn't know this race had such a sordid past. LOL.

Regarding the race itself, I want to start off by saying that this was my first trail race. I'm a road race runner so this was very different and difficult for me since I rarely run on dirt or hills. I didn't even train very much for this, that was stupid on my part but it was really fun out there. Once again HOT but really fun. It was scenic, quiet and with barely 300 runners, it was not crowded and had a very small race feel to it that I love. Running those hills had me breathing really hard out there and running down some of those steep downhills freaked me out a little. I kept thinking that I was going to slip and fall on my behind and roll down a hill. Yeah, good times! I did a lot of uphill walking and then running as fast as I could on more flatter areas. Lots of different surfaces on that course...dirt, gravel, mud, grass, a little bit of everything that a road runner is not use to. I liked it but...I think I am only going to do these once in a while, all the ups and downs really messed with my mind. The parking near the base camp for this event filled up quickly so I had to park down the street at the beach parking and walk about what felt like a mile to get to the starting area. That kind of sucked but they did serve breakfast, complete with scrambled eggs, fruit, muffins, croissant and even coffee, so it wasn't all bad. :D

This was an eventful weekend because I got a call Sunday afternoon from my Sisters informing me that my parents got a new puppy. So of course I hopped in my car and drove there to see him. Bruno...that's his name. He is adorable. This was on top of the fact that I was on my way up to Los Angeles to attend and prep for my boss' holiday party. I woke on at 5:30am and didn't go to bed until 2am. What a long day it was! But after some sleep, I jumped out of bed this morning and was ready to go. For the most part, I think I was just happy because the month is almost coming to an end and my work load will shortly lighten up so that I can go out and run again.

Volunteers preparing the breakfast.
I don't know why I took this porta-pottie photo.
Late Reg table - that was where I did the minor paperwork for the bib transfer.

What a pretty day!
Runners waiting around the Starting Line around 8am.
You can see the line of runners on the edge of that hill and the ocean in the back ground. Amazing!


Managed to get a photo with Glenn before he took off.
My best buddy helping me model off my new medal.

This medal is actually really small.
Gettin' ready to par-tay!
Taking Sister K back to her dorm.
New addition to the family, Bruno!
Finally got to the holiday party after battling traffic on the 101 and Wilshire.


Nobel4Lit said...

T-lee looks so cute wearing medals!

Glenn Jones said...

Glad you enjoyed it and glad you were able to use my entry! It's a little different from road running, no?

Let me know if you want to do some real trail racing - there's a great series of races up off of Ortega Highway that I try to do. Mostly single track. More technical than the XTERRAs. In fact, one of them is a half marathon with a 1000' elevation gain in 1.4 miles. Not too many run much of that hill!