Friday, March 15, 2013

On my first (organized) trail run...

Santa Barbara has this summer running series called Nite Moves, which has been around for I don't know how many years 22 years (!!), where a big group of people gets together every Wednesday for like 12 weeks and runs a 5K near the beach at sunset. (And I guess there's also an optional swim in there, but I ain't no crazy lady.) I actually have yet to do Nite Moves even once, though I keep telling myself I will do it one of these summers. Maybe this summer will be THE summer!

But anyway, one of my friends just started a brand new running series called Stellar Nites, which is a 5K sunset trail run at Elings Park which runs for six weeks before Nite Moves starts up in May. I've done a couple of informal trail runs in the last year (nothing too serious or challenging), so I wasn't really sure about signing up for this one. Then my friend Laura said I had to at least do the first one with her, and we all know I buckle under peer pressure when it comes to fitness activities. ("Sure, I'll go for a run right after my morning spin class AND strength training! What's the worst that could happen?")

So this week was the inaugural Stellar Nites run, and let me tell you: IT WAS AWESOME. It was extremely well organized, the trail was clearly marked, the weather was amazing, the views were stunning, the people were friendly and encouraging, and there was beer at the end. The only not awesome parts were:
  1. I was so slow that they ran out of food before I finished, and 
No joke, out of 168 runners, I came in 156th place. I only beat 12 people, you guys. (And there were some REAL old dudes and some freakin' toddlers, all of whom are apparently in better shape than I am.) Fortunately, whenever I am competing in any way (game night, sports, running), my goal is usually to NOT come in last. Therefore, I count this one a win.

The second I crossed the finish line, I'm pretty sure the exact words out of my mouth were, "I am NEVER doing this again." Aaaaaannd then about twenty minutes later I had reconsidered, and now I'm planning to do it the week of my birthday (in three weeks). Hopefully next time I will manage to at least beat like twenty people.

As I was approaching the photographer, I yelled, "Don't take a picture of me!"
Then I fixed my shorts a little (they were riding up somethin' fierce)
and was like, "Okay, I'm ready!"
The guy said, "You got like four more pictures than anyone!"
To which I responded, "That's just because I'm so slow." *grin*

Laura and her daughter Alexa, who both kicked BUTT on the run.
Pretty sure they finished like 18 minutes before I did.

As far as the course itself, it was really varied and fun, albeit extremely difficult in a lot of places. The most insane section, in my opinion, was when we were climbing up this steep hill of deep, fluffy sand. I don't know how ANYONE could possibly have run up it, since it felt like walking up a hill that was two feet deep with freshly fallen snow. Seriously, I think my shoes -- and socks -- were full of sand before I even made it halfway up that hill. It was like a circus fire.* But now that I've done it once, I think I will (theoretically) be more prepared for it next time -- at least mentally, if not physically. I'll let you know.

*(that is to say, intense...geddit? Circus fire? "In tents?" Baha, I crack me up.)


  1. Hahaha. May I use this blog for the SBR website? I'm glad you did it. And you may have only beat 12 people, but YOU BEAT 12 PEOPLE!!!! Way to go, Lady!

  2. I'm so excited for your birthday week!! :)


Thanks for your comment! I try to reply to all comments within the post itself so we can keep the conversation going.