Hmmmmm…….where to begin? How about the Parke County 50k? This was an exceptionally hot and humid, trail race that I completed in May of last year. To be clear, it was mostly a combination of trails and gravel roads, so running through covered bridges and maneuvering around potholes was on the agenda for the day. I don’t enter many trail runs since I prefer the speed that can be attained from racing on pavement, but every now and then it is nice to get out and play in the dirt.
I found that trail runners are a different class of athlete with different goals in mind. Sure, trail races can be 5 and 10k’s but many are for the distance runner. In the longer events most of the participants don’t seem to be worried about running for time and are more focused on overcoming natural obstacles or simply finishing the race. This mindset allowed me to enjoy the countless covered bridges and thick forest much more than I would have if I were worried about completing this journey quickly. It is a more relaxed atmosphere than a pavement race, for sure.
Apparently trail runners love potatoes. When we all took our first steps in the 85 degree sauna that was the Parke County 50k, I ended up running next to a woman that had managed to force a whole baked potato into one of the gel loops in her fuel belt. I didn’t question her, but wondered, “How do you run for countless miles with a large potato strapped to your waist?” It just seemed uncomfortable to me. Upon reaching some of the aid stations, you will find that most are VERY well stocked with food and drinks to keep you going. Everything from candy, cookies and chips to pieces of licorice in the shape of red whips. There are sandwiches of all kinds, some with tomatoes. And let’s not forget the boiled potatoes. Oh sorry, I went all Dr. Suess there for a minute. Let’s just say you will be well taken care of in most trail races.
The tagline for this blog is “It’s not how fast your are, it’s how fast you look” for a reason. I used to be overweight and unhealthy and running was one way to reverse my poor eating choices of the past and subsequent low self-esteem. It had limited success and I required more motivation if my goals were to be attained. I needed a better image. Trust me, if you look like you are the runner to beat, eventually you WILL be the runner to beat. I tossed my boring blue and white shoes in the closet and bought a pair of bright yellow 903′s. By the end of the year I was thinner, ran faster and now have confidence when showing up to a race because self image is a very important component of motivation. New Balance has always made a high-quality running shoe and now you can customize the appearance to make the 993′s as awesome as you want. Take action now and be noticed, as I did years ago. Looking good and having confidence will eventually translate into a faster, healthier you. Improve your life, be popular and don’t pass up this opportunity!
© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running