Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race Report - Dirty Dog 15k

Dirty Dog 15k Trail Run
Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ah, the Dirty Dog. The toughest race I've ever done. And probably, no not probably, definitely one of my favorites.  I run races not because I think I can win them, but because there's a small part of me that doubts my ability and thinks I can't. So, I run races to prove to myself that I can.

For me, each and every time I stand at the start line, no matter how many times I've been there before, I'm faced with a challenge.  The 5k is a time challenge - how fast can I do this?; the half marathon is a distance challenge - can I really go 13.1 miles?; the Dirty Dog is just a challenge - can I do this at all?

Dirty Dog Elevation Profile
The trails, the hills (the steep ups and the steep downs), and for this year, the mud, all added up to one heck of a challenge. I knew it when I got to the start line- this was going to take all that I had. So I gave it all that I had.  I met the challenge; I beat the challenge; The Dirty Dog did not defeat me again this year. I started and I finished.  I proved to myself, yet again, that I can do it.

Thoughts from various points of the race:
  • Climbing Pigeon Roost - this isn't as hard as I remember it being.
  • Heading down to Dunlop Hollow - I need new trail shoes - this is killing my toes
  • On a rocky part of the descent - fellow runner says "we don't want to break any bones... well at least I don't"; no, breaking bones is definitely not high on my list of priorities for the day
  • Heading up White Hollow - remind me again why I think this is fun?
  • Still heading up White Hollow - this would be so much easier if I could breathe or if I was a mountain goat
  • Almost to the top of White Hollow - I can't do this anymore; I can't go another step.
  • And upon turning around and looking back down at what I had just climbed - I don't have a choice; I can't stay here, going back down would be harder than going up was, so forward is the only way to go.
  • On Middle Ridge Road - this mud is annoying - my feet are either sticking in it or sliding on it.
  • On Middle Ridge - I hear people, are they behind me or in front of me? Am I last?
  • At the turn onto Johnson Hollow - the forest sign is spelled wrong; i'm pretty sure it's  "Johnson Hollow" and not "Johnon Hollow".
  • Going down Johnson ("Johnon"?) Hollow - oh my feet.... oh my knees....  ouch ouch ouch. this really hurts.
  • Still going down Johnson Hollow - Hey you're going the wrong way (to the 2 people who were going back up)
  • Almost at the bottom - I hear music!  I did it!
  • Coming out of the woods - I see the finish line!  i really did it!
  • Heading towards the finish - There's my mom!  I really really did it!!
  • Crossing the finish - I did it! I did it! I did it!  my feet really hurt, but i did it!

Race Stats:
Dirty Dog 15k Trail Run
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Finish Time: 2:34:04 (garmin); 2:34:09 (official)
Place: 252 of 277 overall; 29 of 32 age group

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