Weekly Tuesday Night 5K Trail Races at Catamount Outdoor Family Center
Up until June I had never done a 5K road or trail running race…ever! I sometimes do things backwards in life and this is no exception. I ran my first full 26.2 mile marathon this past May before ever running a 5K (little over 3 miles) race. I have a few half marathons under my belt now and have done a couple 10K charity races within the last couple years. Because I’m built for distance rather than speed, I have shied away from those blistering fast short 5K races. Even back in my bike racing days during my twenties, I so much preferred long mountainous road races over the short fast city criteriums. Sprinting and fast twitch muscles were not in my bag of tricks back then, but I loved to climb hills and enjoyed the long distance bike races.
So when Jack, my running coach asked if I was interested in doing the Catamount weekly Tuesday night 5K trail races, I was a bit tentative. He said it was would be excellent speed work and great trail running practice. And he was totally right! These 5K trail races are a blast and awesome training! They are also super hard because you are going as fast as you possibly can for 3+/- miles and it can be technical. So far I have done 4 races and have had great experiences each time. There are 3 courses: blue, pink and yellow. Blue is my favorite with lots of fun, fast singletrack. Pink is hard! It starts off in a beautiful field but then dips into the woods for some very tricky technical running. There’s even a huge crazy dip that is designed for the mtn bikers. It is a total scream to run down and back up! And the yellow trail is full of good steep climbs and descents! All three courses are very fun and challenging!
Almost at the Finish!
The best thing about the Catamount races are the great people who participate and organize the races. Trail runners truly rock! I’m so excited to start getting to know everyone. It almost feels like I’ve found my “tribe”. Everyone is so nice, friendly and very supportive. And for me it’s also great because some very fast and super strong women show up to these races each week! Thanks to Liz and Kate, I have never run so fast on a trail until these races! They inspire me to dig in and gut it out on those trails. And there were a couple nights where I thought I had coughed up a piece of my lung! It’s all good! It’s truly some of the best training and speed work! I’m learning a lot about trail running! Come down and give it a shot! I highly recommend these races!
I want say that Catamount is also a nice place to mountain bike! With a ton of rain on Wednesday night, most of the local trails in the area were saturated and closed on Thursday. But Catamount dried out quickly and was very good. We rode the blue course a couple times and had fun. There were muddy and wet spots here and there, but it was still easy enough to get around or through. And it was so nice to see all the Thursday night trail runners! I hope to join them next Thursday!
On the Fourth of July, Scott and I drove up to South Hero, Vermont to partake in really great 5K road running race. This was my second ever 5K on the roads and first one that was officially timed! The race is well organized and run by the Green Mountain Athletic Association (GMAA). They did a great job! I was impressed with the huge turnout, awesome competition, and overall vibe of the race. And I was very grateful for the bagels and fruit afterward!
I don’t have any photos of the race because my running photographer and husband was racing too! He did great and I’m so proud of him! I’m also very pleased with my own race. The morning was sunny and very warm but absolutely gorgeous. As soon as we started I was right behind Sarah who is a great runner. I knew she would be a smart person to try and stick with for as long as I could. We started off pretty fast. I looked at my Garmin and we were doing a pace of 6 minutes/mile. Wow! Thank goodness we started to slow a bit and settle in to a good pace of around 6:20. I tried to take a turn setting the pace but Sarah was just so strong and came back to lead. For 2 miles our pace was 6:20 but things picked up in the last mile. At this point, I was almost at my max. Mile 3 felt like the longest mile ever and it was starting to feel hot. The course was out and back and going back was definitely harder! I stuck with Sarah and we caught up to a young and very fast Taylor who battled it out with Sarah at the very end. Mile 3 was a 6:15 pace and this was all I had in me. So I watched them cross the finish line. I was 8 seconds behind. Overall my time was 19:41 and I was first in my age group. Here are the overall results.
After the race we did a nice 33 mile bike ride with Jack up to North Hero Vermont. It was a gorgeous day and so nice to enjoy the beauty of Lake Champlain. It was fun to ride with Jack who’s strong on the bike too!! Here are some photos:
On June 25th, 2011 I ran my first 5K road race! This was a benefit to help a local animal shelter called Save Our Strays. Being an animal lover, I couldn’t resist a chance to run and help some stray cats and dogs! It was a nice cool and windy morning that threatened rain the whole time. We got very lucky with a few sprinkle here and there. But it made for a nice cool morning to run. And I love running in cooler temps!
This was a very small and laid back event that took place right in Richmond, Vermont. It was also the first year of this event. My friend Chris came down to run with a buddy and his dog (Matty?) There were runners with dogs which made it a lot of fun. Jack had advised me to start off with a pace of about 6:45 minutes/mile and then go from there. I ran my first mile at about a 6:40 pace and still felt like I could push it so I kept pushing it to the end. I didn’t start my Garmin until a couple minutes into the run but my overall average pace was 6:30 which was the goal for that day. The run wasn’t timed but I did win and received a Vermont Teddy Bear which really made my day. Overall it was a fun morning. I had the honor of meeting Jess Cover who is an amazing runner and coach. I enjoyed chatting with her and everyone else. It was so nice to socialize a bit after the run. Overall it was a good running experience and excellent speed work!