Trail running: take 2

Last year, Maya and I had decided to celebrate our anniversary in style (by our standards) with a 30km trail run, including over 6000ft of climbing, in the Bay area. And it didn’t disappoint. Stunning views, steep hills, shot legs and a few extra miles for Maya who decided to ‘explore’.

This year, as we were spending a few days in the Pacific Northwest, arguably the most beautiful region in the US, we were lucky to find another trail race, just a few days after our anniversary. Lord Hill Trail Run, here we come. A nice little half marathon with a little over 2000ft of climbing, just off Snohomish, WA.

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As usual, we arrived with about 14 seconds to warm up, and an additional 4 seconds to check the course. Plenty enough. The god of blue skies and warm temperatures was there, spending her usual 2 weeks in the Seattle area. We had planned to run together and I would pace Maya. However, after a little over 2.5km and 17min of racing (yes, it started with a nice steep hill immediately), Maya politely told me to bugger off and let her run the 10km on her own as her Achilles was bothering her. After 2 years, I know better than to argue, and decided to switch pace a tad. That was also the first occasion to test an injured ankle (injured since February) and run a bit faster than the last few months.

I was quite surprised actually and able to push the pace for a little over 1h20 with no pain and caught up everyone but 2 that were running well and clear off the front. I also got to see Maya twice in the out and back sections.

Trying to run downhill

Although 2nd place was within reach, I got lost a bit with 3mi to go and lost a couple of minutes wondering where to go, which were added to a few minutes lost trying to figure out how to run fast downhill with such short legs.

So, despite zero running faster than about 8min/mi in the past few months because of the injured ankle, it seemed that I could still move my legs a bit to pretend I can run. Not bad all in all. The best part was seeing Maya’s gorgeous smile at the finish. The second best part was that the race director (sorry, I forgot your name!) was awesome. The race was very well organized, well priced, with goodies to win, all done in an incredibly friendly atmosphere, and Maya didn’t get lost. RDs, learn from this guy! We will be back!