We lined up for the start and the race director informed us "there is water out there, you can't avoid it so don't even try."
Hmmmm .. apparently he hasn't met stubborn Heidi. :) Does he not know that I havee pretty much BRAND NEW SHOES ON!!! I can't be getting those babies soaked to the bone. I knew they'd get muddy, but soaked ... I don't think so. I actually looked at my husband and said "Wanna go home?" I was half joking, half serious - not that he'd ever let me leave - LOL.
So, race starts and I got a clean break. Last year at this race I got caught in a mob. Really throughout the whole race I had my own space which was great. My pace was a little slower than I would have liked to start, but it was steady and I figured I could hold it throughout the whole thing.
This route goes along a crushed gravel path that is slightly soft packed as it's a shared horse trail. Just after the 3K mark you turn off this trail to a single track narrow dirt trail. Quite narrow, fairly slippery, some logs to jump over or duck under. There were a few little puddles but nothing worth the description the race director gave us - until ......
About the 4K mark the trail is completely closed in with blackberry bushes, grasses and trees on both sides. There is nowhere to go except through the trail. Suddenly in front of us is the mother of all puddles. My sweet, dear, loves-me-without-question husband stops, squats down and instructs me to HOP ON.
He CARRIED me through the muddy part. And when I say muddy, understand that we're talking 8" or deeper
After that section it was super muddy for another 1/2 Km. We were slipping everywhere and I'm still shocked I didn't go down. There was some walking required to get through safely, alot of very careful tip toeing. Certainly not ideal conditions.
And once you broke out of the muddy single track trail and came back onto the gravel horse trail ... up you go. Though the more I run that hill, the easier it gets. The first year it nearly killed me, today it just slowed me down some.
And when you get to the top ... you get to do it all again. Yep, that's right, two loops through the mud bog ... and hubby carried me both times. Can you say love??? Can you say awwww?
My time was slower than last year by 50 seconds, but I'm not surprised. I had hoped to improve, but given the conditions I'm pleased. It was not the day to PR on this course.