On Sunday I ran the 10K at the Coyote Springs Trail Runs. I went to this race with no pre-conceived ideas of performance or time. It was my first race post-stress fracture and I really just wanted to do it for a good time. Coyote Springs is amazingly beautiful desert terrain! I ran technology-free, although I maybe should have carried my camera throughout the race! No Garmin, no music.
I was mentally and emotionally exhausted by the time race day rolled around. We had moved into a new house, and then my husband immediately had to leave town for two weeks for work. So each day I would work my full 8 or 9 hours for my full-time job, head over to our old house to pack things up and work on cleaning it, throw in some coaching work and get in my own running. Jade The Boxer got really sick during this time as well, she had to be hospitalized! (She got some kind of stomach infection, which spiked a high fever. Due to not feeling well, she stopped eating and drinking and got really dehydrated.) So two weeks felt like about 20 weeks.
My friends’ company, Elemental Running and Training, organized the event, so it was good chance to support them. Plus I knew I would get to see a few other friends that I haven’t seen for a while. Coyote Springs is about 50 miles north of Las Vegas, but since my race started at 8:30 AM it didn’t feel like I had to get up extremely early. (5:30 AM – eat, get dressed, covered in sunblock and drive, pretty much like waking up on any normal day. In fact, I often have to get up earlier than that to run in the mornings before work, since I start working at 7 AM!)
The full marathoners started first, with a video send-off from MMA fighter Randy Couture from the set of The Expendables 2. The half marathoners started next, followed by those of us running the 10K. I really wanted to run the half, but I wasn’t going to push myself to do too much after my injury. I don’t have any reason to push myself into a certain race distance too quickly.
I started the race with my friend Kendall. Her husband was volunteering at the race and her two little kids were doing the 10K. They were supposed to be hanging back with another friend just taking it easy on the trails, but her son stuck right with us. He did trip and fall at mile 3, which is when Kendall told me to go on ahead while she played mom & coach to get him running again.
Between mile 4 and 5 (I think) I got a little confused by the trail markings, so I ended up back tracking through an area… then realized I was on the right course and started going forward again. My little moment of confusion let Kendall and her son catch up with me. I lost them again in the last mile when I pulled ahead.
The course went up some great single-track switch backs, through some really cool canyons, past desert cacti and other plants, across rock, sand and hard dirt. The worst part of the run was the little dog-leg section we had to do in between mile 5 and 6. I hit that and it was flat, wide dirt road at first. My thought was, “Great, start your speed toward the finish.” But I got a little ways on that and the rocks got bigger and bigger. Since there were loose egg-sized rocks all over, it was pretty unstable footing and I rolled my left ankle a few times. Nothing too bad, but I did back off a little so I didn’t do anything worse.
Post-race they had tons of food… bbq chicken, hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs… as well as salads, chips, brownies, candy, various baked goodies, etc. Chicago Brewing Company was out there with kegs of 3 different beers as well as one with fresh homemade root beer.
Swag bag goodies from packet pick-up: Coyote Springs tech socks, tech race t-shirt, a camo buff, a copy of Trail Runner magazine, several printed pieces for various businesses, a rubber bracelet about supporting troops in a drawstring bag to hold it all.
In the spring there will be several ultra races held at Coyote Springs, a 50K, 50M and a 100K. I highly recommend the area and races!
- Coyote Springs Trail Runs (elementalrunning.com)