Monday, August 5, 2013

"The Legend" trail half review

Some people race and don't care what the medal looks like, or if they get one at all. Others - ahem this girl - will do a run specifically for the medal. I read a really good description at the entry blank
A single run can be chalked up to a fluke. But put all those trips on the road together and you’re looking at 1,200 to 1,500 miles per year for four years, and you’re looking at medals won and not won, and finishes where your place didn’t matter but the finishing did, and you’re looking at a habit, a lifestyle. The achievement is not in the singular medal but in the collection of medals. And yes, you can run all your life and never get a medal and still have the achievement of thousands of runs, but I like to have the record. Every one of those medals represents a time when I got out of bed instead of sleeping in and somehow made it to the starting line even if we were running so late it shouldn’t have been possible and then continued through to the end even if it was hot or freezing or I had a torn groin or I bonked or I couldn’t keep up with my nemesis. Sometimes I was by myself or with my mom or sister or Jack but in a race you’re never really alone. Every medal has behind it many more miles than the race itself. They’re all those days, collected, in view, in case I need a reminder that in fact I know how to do this.
The Legend had three things I was looking for: it was a half marathon, which Hal said to run next weekend, pink tech shirt, and a medal of the Headless Horseman. Sweet! I'd never done a trail run, but I didn't think too much of that. To be honest, I wasn't sure if "trail" meant dirt roads, or if "trail" meant a single lane through the woods, over grass, through mud and over countless tree roots.

It was hosted by Running Fit, so I knew it would be a quality race. It was a smaller one, but they always do a good job. I felt pretty clueless about preparing food and hydration in the morning though. Did I need as much as I would for a full marathon?

Woke up early, foam rolled and headed for Sleepy Hollow State Park which is north of Lansing. The main parking lot was already full when I arrived at 7:45, but the next lot was 1/4 mile away so no problem to take back my shirt after I picked up.
Registration was right next to the beach. I had looked up my number beforehand and they had a printed list for those who didn't know their numbers ahead of time. I got my shirt and a button. No flyers for future races, nothing else. I always look at the flyers, but I didn't miss them this time either. I saw Jeff from Detroit Runner and said hi. Ran into one of the teachers from my yoga studio. It's always good to see familiar faces.

There were shorter races that started first and Randy (below pic with his arms raised) organized us by approximate pace, then we were off. I took zero pictures during the race because I was more focused on not tripping over the branches and roots. I twisted both my ankles numerous times, but nothing was damaged.

The best part about the race - I ran and IT DIDN'T RAIN!!!!!! Actually the weather was great - mid 70s and sunny, but I was pouring sweat and seriously dehydrated. There were three water tables, but I needed tons more than that and really wish Randy had recommended bringing a water bottle or belt in his email. They had Gu at two of the tables, which was a nice surprise.

The last 0.4 miles or so were on concrete and flat grass and I was flying, after sludging through the course. I really think I'm more of a street runner. Trail running is completely different and I don't think it's my cup of tea. 

This presents the problem of what to do about Woodstock? I had been planning to do the 50k, but I'll need to find out about the course. Running Fit organizes that race as well, so I need to ask Randy about the course. Is it serious trail? Or just dirt roads?

Anyway, after the finish, a little girl and boy were running back and forth between a kiddie pool and the finish line to give runners bottles of water and I was so appreciative to see the girl meet me just steps off the course. I drained the water in about 40 seconds. They had bagels, bananas and muffins. Evidently they also had cookies, but those were long gone by the time I finished.

I had a 500-calorie-bomb muffin, refilled the water, chatted with the yoga teacher then got on the road! Somehow I always forget to pack dry clothing for the drive home, but I was in my convertible, so I dropped the top and air dryed. Ewwww!

The shirt is great!!!! It's pink! Whee!!!! More importantly it's a Brooks brand tech shirt that is women's cut. So often the smaller races give the same shirt to everyone, but I really prefer the gender fit. For what it's worth, the men's shirts were green.

The only logos are Running Fit and Brooks, which is great! I'll probably wear this as actual clothing, rather than just toss it in the exercise clothing basket.

Running Fit gives buttons to the participants, which I really like. They probably cost about 3 cents each and I really like the extra touch. I'm never sure what to do with them though. Right now this one and both Martian buttons are next to my computer. I have tons of pins on my backpack, but this style tends to fall off and I'd be really upset if I lost them.
The medal - meh. It's a cute design, but kind of cheap and flimsy looking. Although I paid under $50 for the race, so I can't complain too much. I don't have any room on my medal hanger and I don't know if half medals can go there anyway, so it's on top of the tv for now. Maybe I'll hang it after I get another hang bar, maybe I'll toss it in a drawer. I don't have to decide now.

After the race I felt tired, but not nearly as beat up as I do after a full. Bath, a late lunch and relax, then I had plans for a 40th birthday party for the guy I've been dating. It seems all the pictures I post on here are from right after a race when I'm exhausted and dirty and not looking my best, so here's a picture of me looking more like ME :)

Perhaps teetering around on 3" heels that night wasn't the best idea. The next day my left quad hurt, as if it was bruised, but there is no visible mark. Both calves are a little tender as well and I feel worse than after a 13-mile street run. I really think trail running will be a one-and-done experience for me.


  1. Woodstock is most definitely all trails and very technical!!

    1. Thanks for the heads-up!!! Do you know any street ultras?

    2. Unfortunately I don't. You should check out Dances with Dirt. it's all trails but its so much fun!!! One of my all time favorite races to do.