This was the gorgeous setting of the second annual Catch Me If You Can Trail run held in Rocky Gap State Park on Saturday. Knowing I had this view to look forward to made getting up on time easy. After the normal race morning routine, I went over last minute instructions with Army Son who would be in charge of making sure that S'ghetti girl and LBM got to the soccer field on time. With no doubt that he would handle everything I headed out the door for my drive to the state park.
Unlike last year's event (2010 Catch Me If You Can (CMIYC))I made it there with plenty of time to spare. The morning was cool but I knew with a 9 a.m. start time the day would quickly warm up. I wore my brand new One More Mile "I may not pass you but I will outlast you" shirt that I won from http://www.superfoodsuperfood.wordpress.com/ and my black running skirt. I almost changed after picking up my race packet because this year's skirt was a two-tone yellow running skirt. It would have went nicely with my shirt but I didn't want to risk a skirt malfunction during the race.
The course was your choice of one (5 miler) or two laps (10 miler) around Lake Habeeb to benefit the Allegany County Habitat for Humanity. With all the recent rain there was several areas of mud to deal with but that only added to the fun of the race.
The ladies lined up and started 4 minutes before the men. During my first lap I had trouble getting into a groove and finding an effort level that felt right. In hindsight I feel I ran this first lap much too conservatively for only a 10 mile race. Another runner, orange skirt girl, fell into running behind me, she chatted some. She would pass me when I slowed to grab water at an aid station. Since I knew she was only running the 5 miler I used her to help encourage me to push a bit harder throughout the last part of the first lap.
The second lap I felt much better. Those miles concreted for me that I am an endurance runner. I no longer love running fast. I would rather run all day long then run at puke pace for a 5k. I did check my watch during the first lap but simply ran the second lap off of my effort only being aware of staying ahead of the female runners who might challenge me. While I saw a male runner fall during each lap (at the same spot) the course was very runnable even with the roots, rocks and mud.
As I came up the final grade toward the finish line I could see the finish clock and saw my 1:30 wasn't going to be but I continued my sprint across the line knowing that I had run a strong race and feeling very confident that many of my goals had been meet.
CMIYC Trail 10 miler ~ 1:32