Saturday, November 21, 2009

dirty du off-road half marathon: mud mud mud

My Dirty Du Souvenirs:
3rd place prizes - Clif bars and race mug
Muddy wet shoes

Today I did the Dirty Du Off-Road Half Marathon. This was the longest trail race I have ever done and my second one. It rained all day yesterday and was still drizzling this morning so the course was nice and muddy. Really muddy with the kind of mud that sticks to your shoes and makes them feel like weights attached to your feet. Peanut butter mud. The course, at the Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville Texas, was non-stop undulating hills for a very challenging run.

Besides the mud, the trail was a river of water for much of the way, not to mention there had to be at least 30 water crossings within the 13 miles. At first I tried to jump all the crossings to keep my feet dry, but it didn't take long to realize that my feet weren't going to stay dry. I couldn't jump all of them and landed right in the middle a few times. From then on I came to the conclusion that I may as well just run straight through them with no attempt to stay dry. The cold water rushing into my shoes (and up to my ankles sometimes) felt refreshing. I was lucky that I didn't get any blisters from this. For a lot of the race I was running alone in the woods, with no reminders that it was actually a race event. I enjoyed the peaceful surroundings and had fun.

Finishing in a time of 2:12, I was moving slow by road race standards but it was super-technical and my mind had to constantly stay alert to stay on course and to navigate the terrain. I came in as the 3rd overall female finisher.

I ate Paleo before and after the race (dried fruit, apple, paleo turkey burrito), but had a Clif mojo bar and some Skittles while running. I didn't want to test dried fruit during a race in case of any GI issues and I know the processed sugar stuff works for me. I did my best to stay Paleo and in the ballpark of reasonable Zone quantities today, even though after a tough race I have a tendency to be really hungry and eat a lot. My Zone stats for the day came out to 17.5 protein, 23 carb, 19 fat. That's quite a bit more food than I ate in Week 1 and 2 of this diet, however it's less than I would have eaten on a day like today before I was paying closer attention to quantity. The key food lesson I learned today is that a tough workout is reason to eat a little extra, but not an excuse to binge.

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