I traveled home to Maine 2 weeks ago for a nice family visit. It was great being Maine again especially after the rainy spring that we’ve had here in Colorado. The weather was sunny and warm. I spent a lot of time at my sister’s beautiful lake house on Forest Lake. I even went on a nice 4 mile run around the lake on mostly dirt roads.
A few months ago I was looking at the trail running calendar online, and found a race in Maine during the time I planned to be home, The Salomon Trail Running Festival at Pineland Farms. There were lots of choices for distances and I decided to go with the 25k since I am training for the Leadville Marathon in a few weeks.
Sunday the 24th finally came and I was feeling very ready to race! The weather was sunny and warm and my mom and a couple of her friends came to cheer me on. My mom and I got there early so that I could check out the start and get warmed up. The 50 mile and 50k races had already started earlier in the morning on the same course, and they each did two or three laps, as each lap was 25 kilometers.
I was so excited to race at sea level, but it was hot and muggy, which I am not used to. I totally forgot to put on sunscreen and luckily most of the course was in the woods. They finally announced that we could line up at the start and I found a middle of the pack spot, set my watch and waited for the start. At 10:01am they counted down and the race began!
I started out way too fast. Everyone around me was running the same pace at around 8:30, which was a lot faster than I had planned. I slowed myself down to my comfortable 9:30-10:00 minute pace and held that for most of the race until the end. At the aid stations I ate mostly watermelon and bananas and refilled my water. It was a very well supported race and I was glad for that. I had lots of honey stinger snacks with me to keep me going. I recently started eating the Gold gels and I love them almost as much as I love the waffles. I also had Scratch in one of my bottles and that helped tremendously with the heat.
The course was so beautiful. I had been to Pineland Farms before but never on the trails. The course wound through the hiking trails and skirted on the edge of fields. It rolled up and down through out the whole 15 miles, with really no flat sections at all, but no big descents or ascents either. Some of the hills I walked, some I ran. It just depended on how I felt at that moment.
At mile 11 we passed by the finish line for another out and back before coming in to the actual finish and it was such a tease. Soon after the next aid station my legs were extremely fatigued. I kept moving though and only walked when there was a long hill. I knew if I kept running I would get to the finish line faster! I finished at 2:46:53 with very tired legs, happy to be able to sit down.
After the race I went back to my sister’s lake house and went on a nice little canoe ride around the lake. I’m so glad I went home to visit my family and friends, it made me miss Maine summers so much. I wish I could live in Maine and in Colorado so I could have the best of both worlds! For now though I’m settled in Colorado and looking forward to my next race! From sea level to 10,000 ft and above! Bring it on Leadville!