This title of this post was going to be “Trail Racing > Road Racing” but things changed. Let me explain. Throughout the 27km mountain race I ran a couple of weeks ago I was in love with trail racing. The whole time I kept thinking:
“omg trail racing is so sweet”
“never road racing again”
“this is BADASS”
“ I am so good at blowing snot rockets out of my nose” (OK not really the last one, I was spraying in 6 different directions but you get the drift.)
I had to cut the race short in order to catch my ride home but I actually wanted to keep running! That never happens to me, usually I think about dropping out every 5 meters.
BUT the title of this post has a question mark in it and that means it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies… mostly just rain. I had an unfortunate incident where I ended up at the bottom of a mountain village: cold, wet, lost, dirty and bloody. The high I had felt while running in the pouring rain through traditional rice fields in China was long gone. I forgot every word I knew in Chinese (I know 6 now!! Pretty much bilingual, holla!) I was literally holding up my cut hand (blood+rain+dirt= looks way worse then it is) and crying, trying to get someone to stop and pick me up and take me back to the hotel so I could get home. Thank you 3 drunk men in a taxi for letting me in. Sorry about the snot on your coat.
Anyway, the morale of this story is that most of the time, trail racing is pretty sweet.
This is why I think so:
#1. Running through nature is way better than running on a road. Cars vs. trees= no contest.
#2. How HC do you feel when you fall or slide down mud! BAMF
#3. It’s easier on the body. Technically this race should have been really difficult. 27km up and down mountains is pretty gruesome but there were so many start/stops and technical parts where you couldn’t run that it didn’t feel as tiring as racing.
#4. Trail racing is new to me and I never know what to expect so I go into the race without any time goals and therefore less disappointment if they aren’t met.
#5. I like beating other people more then myself. (I know! It’s wrong. The only competition is yourself, aim for your best, beat your time, etc, etc. I’m working on it…)I know I’m not a good trail runner so the competive side of me doesn’t appear. I have learned to take it slow and steady. Turns out slow and steady is a lot more enjoyable than fast and furious.
#6. It’s an excuse to wear a camelback! This was my first time wearing a camelback during a run and those things are actually pretty awesome. I didn’t even feel it, my hands were free and I did not get thirsty or stressed about the next water station the whole race! I wouldn’t wear one on the road but trails= acceptable (in my opinion).
#7. Getting lost in a road race would not be cool, getting lost on a trail… kind of fun. You can make up all kinds of crazy scenarios in your head…
I might be here for at least 3 days…ok I have 1 clif bar left…i will eat one bite every 5 hours…that spot over there will be my bed…there is the bathroom…I think I can build a shelter out of these branches… i will probably become best friends with a squirrel…i’ll need to devise some sort of sling for my arm…I hope I don’t bleed to death…
It’s like being 10 all over again!
#8. Nothing fakes a tan better than dirt!