XTERRA Black Mountain Trail 5K Recap

March 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm 4 comments

Mornings are for RUNNING.

My friend Nicky is in town from Utah this week, and a few months ago she invited me to run in the XTERRA Black Mountain Trail Race with her. We chose to do the 5K but there was also a 15K option. Normally Sundays are my rest days but I switched it up earlier this week with my bike ride.

Neither of us had ever been in a trail race before so we didn’t know what to expect. I originally planned on keeping a slower-than-normal pace, because I didn’t want to go way overboard on my workouts this week. I’m running 18 miles next weekend! I told Nicky that it was totally fine if she wanted to run ahead of me. Here we are posing pre-race…

Before the race, I took a quick look at this topography map that was given on the race’s website. By quick, I mean very quick. It didn’t really settle in just how much incline the trail had. The race started completely down hill. I’m used to running on flat courses and roads so this was somewhat of a nice change. I had to slow my pace down initially because 1) There were a lot of rocks, dips, and cracks on the trail 2) Some part of the train were covered in high grass and I couldn’t really see my footing 3) If I let go and allowed myself to run any faster I’m sure I would have face planted into the people running directly in front of me!

The trail was scattered with switchbacks, one of which being right after the first hill. It was nice to reach some level ground after pushing through, though. I kept focusing on my feet and I did my best not to look up too far ahead when it was really steep, because I didn’t want to panic if I saw that there was more hill left to climb. It literally took my breath away but it felt so good!

The trail met another down hill stretch about mid-race. I think this is where a lot of racers were able to gain some ground beneath their feet and put some distance between themselves and other competitors. This was my favorite part of the race because of the view. Of course I watched my step during this stretch, but the view was amazing! This photo is blurry because I took it while pounding on the trail.

The last half of the race was a real struggle for me. The saying “what goes up, must come down” really describes it well, in my opinion. I did my best to keep running at a steady pace for the last 1.25 miles, but keeping an average pace up hill is really challenging for me. It’s something I want to get better at.

I’m so incredibly proud of Nicky! She rocked the hill like a real champ, and watching her take off ahead helped me to keep going. As much as I was fighting I ended up biting the bullet and eventually slowed down to a walking pace, alternating between running and walking for about 20 seconds each. I absolutely hated feeling defeated by the last hill once I reached the top, but now that I look back I’m glad I didn’t completely quit.I was able to finish the final stretch with a jogging pace.

Finishing time – XTERRA Black Mountain Trail Race 5K:

  • Nicky: 36:22 / Overall place- 21
  • Me: 36:48 / Overall place- 23

Nicky and I even placed in our age division! Nicky received first place, and I received second.

Overall it was a fun race! I’m so glad Nicky asked me to join her. Things I was reminded of and things I learned today:

  • Don’t give up, even when it’s rough.
  • It’s okay to slow down while running up hill!
  • Enjoy the view, enjoy the race… running is fun!
  • Finish what you started.
  • Running with a friend is  lot more fun than running alone.
  • Trail running definitely gets you nice ‘n dirty!

I totally see myself signing up for a trail race in the future. It combines some of my favorite things: being in nature and seeing the environment barely touched by humans. It was a nice escape from my usual runs 😀

Where is your favorite place to escape to? Where do you usually like to run?


Entry filed under: All.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. provocativeedibles  |  March 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I’m so happy you enjoyed your race!!!! It sounds like you had a lot of fun.

  • 3. Kelly  |  March 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I haven’t gotten too creative with my runs yet. I am hoping to go online and find some fun run routes around DC….
    my favorite place to escape to is the beach…but I cant do that here….but if we had the beach that would be where i would go!

  • 4. Alexandra  |  March 15, 2010 at 4:43 am

    I normally plan my routes on the Nike+ website under maps. It’s pretty easy!

    Beach is awesome! I like the beach, and mountains too


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Hello! My name is Alexandra.

This blog is a chronicle of living a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness! I'm a student, a gardener, an environmentalist, an athlete, and I love to cook and eat food that is locally grown. I love our planet so much, and I think it's important to treat it right so it can treat us right in return!

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