Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tecumseh Trail Mix

The last truly muddy long distance trail run I ran was in 2011. It was not fun. I vowed never to torture myself that way again. It's funny how time makes us forget.

I had signed up for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon expecting a snowy run in December. It was so snowy, in fact, that the run had to be postponed due to a snow storm in Indiana. The Race Director opted to reschedule the event to January 11th. This was a hit or miss proposition with the harsh winter the Midwest had been having and continues to endure. Up until a couple of days before the race, I wasn't even sure that running it was going to be an option. Tecumseh was originally a point to point course which happens to be my favorite type of course. There is something about someone dropping you miles and miles from your car and then saying go! The harsh weather conditions this year turned this course into a lolly pop with 3 loops and then back. Not my preferred option, but I really wanted to kick this year off to a good start with a January marathon. It also helped that Jim was as brave (or crazy, whichever you prefer) as I and had planned to run Tecumseh, too. Difficult times are much easier when shared.

The beginning section of the trail was on road. Normally this feels a lot like cheating because it gives you some faster miles, but not on this day, on this course. The road was completely covered in ice. This was the only time I fell during the entire event. I slid on the ice and some lovely soul behind me grabbed me and helped me get up off of the ground. No clue who you are, but thank you! After that slip, it was time for a water crossing (in the middle of the road?!) that had ice along the bottom and water that went up to my knees. Rather than go into all the gory details of the trail portion of this race, I will just say that we were usually either running in 1. mud or 2. water with ice floating in it or 3. on ice. We did that loop 3 times and then it was back to more ice water and then onto the icy road. While all these things were impossible to ignore, another thing that was impossible to ignore was the volunteers. They were all so nice and friendly, and they stood out there in the freezing cold helping us so we could finish this race. We both managed to finish without any major injuries which was not a given on this trail in these conditions. That said, we didn't get out unscathed. I am very thankful that the falls, slips, slides, blisters, brier scratches and multiple ice water crossings didn't do more damage.

I also must say I have never had so many pictures taken during a trail race. That means I can show you some of the fun we had.  I also want to give a shout out to Ed who I bumped into after the race. Good to see you again!

On with the pics...

Icy roads...
It begins...

Ice water trail... 
Might as well run through it.










Creek crossing....

Yep, hills, too.
Mud and hills!
With my January race complete, my February marathon will take me to a warmer climate. Is it too early to be ready for Spring?

2 comments:

  1. Yep, runners have selective memories -- they're sure to remember the good things long after a race, but are quick to forget any pain or misery! But I bet it will take you longer to forget the mud after this time . . . . .

    It was great to finally see you again at a race! It'd been a while. If I can stay healthy, maybe we'll run into each other again soon -- see you then.

    Lots of good pics -- looks like you're having fun!

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  2. You always have such a great smile!!!

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