Hard to believe it’s already been a week since the Pineland Farms 25k. A very busy and fun week, too! After the race I finished out a great long holiday weekend, had a free trial week for my new outdoor bootcamp business, went mountain biking for the first time this year, and finished with a course preview of the Sebago Lake Triathlon course (and a swim in the lake). Holy moly! But let’s back up a little bit…
I started training for this race around early April. Or that’s when I started building up my milage anyway. I basically only ran two days a week. Occasionally three if they were shorter. One “short” run 4-6 miles with some speed work (tempo or pick ups… I think I only went to the track once) and then one long run a week where I would add a mile or so each week, finishing with my longest run at 13.1 miles two weeks before race day. You may ask to yourself: is that enough running? For me, definitely. For those of you who don’t know I injured my ankle 4 years ago skiing (ironically at Pineland) so since then I have kept running to a minimum and I definitely make sure to not run every day, so as not to aggravate it. So two days a week works for me and then I cross train with spinning, road biking, weight training, and swimming. It works 🙂
I’d say about 5/15 of the race miles are “fun”. Conveniently 3 of the fun miles are the first three so the race starts out on a good note. The race starts out FAST (by trail standards) and mostly downhill. And then the hills begin. There are no serious multi-mile climbs on the course but Pineland is LOADED with steep uphills and steep downhills. Non stop. For many many miles. Most of the course is in the woods on double track said hilly trails but there are a few field sections thrown in there. The fields were actually my least favorite part. They’re pretty- and you’ll see cows and sheep and that might distract you from how awful they are but the footing was very difficult on them and the grass was just long enough where you were never quite sure where to put your feet, but hey, I signed up for a trail race and a trail race it was!
So the first three miles were fun, then I started to wonder if I could even finish 15 miles, there were two more fun miles around mile 11 when the hills decided to take a little break, and then the last 5k went by SO. SLOW. One foot in front of the other and I got to the end! I wasn’t sure what to expect pace wise for this race since I knew the terrain was very difficult and trails definitely slow you down. Walking slows you down too. That happened a few times. Going into it I was thinking that I would be very happy with sub 10 min miles and I hit my goal! I finished in 2:30 averaging 9:43 miles for 25k or for all you americans reading this: 15.5 miles. This race is very well organized and there were fantastic aid stations about every three miles where you can guzzle gatorade or water and feast on delacasies such as gummy bears and potato chips (true story that’s what I ate). I didn’t carry any water or snacks with me but made sure to have something at every stop. I saw lots of people carrying their own water so it’s totally personal preference. I don’t like carrying things.
After this race is a fun time. There is a bbq, free stuff (darn tough socks and kind bars!), and free beer if you’re into that after racing. I am not. I ran into some friends and chatted for a while, got some food from the potluck bbq, sat on the grass and almost stayed there the rest of the day due to some seriously sore legs, and then made my way home. I didn’t realize how bad it was but I had a serious blister situation on my feet! I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the dog on the couch and then actually ended up going to a concert later in the day. I was very excited that it was a cold evening for an outdoor concert because the only shoes I could even think about putting on were uggs! (and that’s what I wore to a concert in May… ugg boots.) Overall it was such a fun time and something I’m so proud of completing and I’m excited to do it next year!