Last week I was contacted by Outside Media and asked if I would like to participate in the XTERRA West Championship triathlon or trail race as a sponsored guest of Footbalance. I typically run in fairly minimal shoes (Brooks PureDrift, Altra Intuition) and asked if they still wanted to send me, even if I’m not usually an advocate for insoles. They said that YES, I could still participate as the guest of Footbalance and I could be molded for custom insoles to learn about their process. Sweet!
On Friday, I took the afternoon off work and drove to Lake Las Vegas to do packet pickup and get molded for my insoles. A note on the venue: Lake Las Vegas is pretty and kind of sad. It’s just so empty… they have so many empty storefronts and there were a few random senior citizens playing the slots, but it was the quietest casino ever.
Anyway, the expo wasn’t fully setup when I got there so Footbalance wasn’t ready to check my feet. So I made arrangements with them to do the molding on Sunday when I came for the race. I grabbed my race bag that contained my bib number, the race shirt, a Powerbar and a bottle of Paul Mitchell shampoo.
Saturday Alex was really not feeling well. I wasn’t sure if it was teething-sick or sick-sick. She had a really runny nose, was kind of grumpy and developed a fever. I was an emotional wreck, thinking that I was going to go “run in some dirt” and leave her behind. But I set my alarm with the assumption that I was going to run. She slept really well that night and didn’t seem any more miserable than she’d been. Not really any less miserable either though. I fed her and I pumped. I used to spend so much time before races thinking about what I needed for ME. Now I’m an afterthought and it’s kind of a rush to make sure I have things ready for Alex’s needs.
I drove to Lake Las Vegas (about a 45 minute drive) and parked in the garage. I walked through the “village” to get to the start area.
I asked a woman to take my picture. I always feel like a dork asking people to do that!
I headed to the Footbalance booth and did the custom molding. They had me stand on a glass plate that took pictures of my feet while standing still and when doing a squat. I thought it was interesting that they commented “You have neutral feet. You have REALLY neutral feet.” I have had 3 different checks tell me I have neutral feet and one said I needed super-high stability. Just kind of weird the differences that can come up. They will be sending me a PDF of my foot pictures and their analysis. They didn’t have internet access there, so they had to save everyone’s scans and promise to email them!
After taking care of my Footbalance fitting and having them promise to hold onto my insoles until after the race (they didn’t recommend that I run in them the first time at the race, which was smart. I wouldn’t have done that anyway!) I went to line up for the start. The half marathoners started at 8:30, the 10K and 8:35 and the 5K and 8:40. I got to the start line right as the half marathon was being counted down. The racers cheered them on as they started, then we lined up for our race.
The race started out on pavement to run over to the trail. There was loose, soft sand on the trail, areas that were washed out from the rain we had on the Monday before, broken tree branches… basically, a trail run where you have to watch out for your footing. Headphones weren’t allowed in this race. I’m glad, I would have been tempted to listen to my audiobook and that could possibly distract me from my footing.
There were some steep climbs and it seemed like the downhills never matched the amount of uphill we had to climb. I would have loved to see Scott Jurek or Killian Jornet or some other super-fast mountain ultra runner bound up these hills. But then again, if they were running it they wouldn’t have been anywhere near me! It was beautiful and clear, but it was definitely warm out there too. I felt slightly baked, and I don’t mean that I’d been smokin’ something funny. I should have carried an electrolyte drink with me instead of just carrying water. I stopped and took Gatorade at two aid stations, I needed it… plus it was cold. My water bottle got warm fast.
I finished the race in 1:13, which I was pleasantly surprised at. I’m always slower on trails, that’s a given, and there were a lot of super steep inclines that required power hiking up them. I didn’t wear my Garmin, so I had no idea where I was timewise until I got to the finish line.
I grabbed a cookie and refilled my water bottle, then stopped at the Muscle Milk tent to grab a bottle to take home to my hubby. (He likes Muscle Milk a lot, they had Banana at the race and he’s never tried that flavor.) I stopped by the Footbalance tent to get my insoles. They had a whole goodie bag for me, that included the insoles, a pair of socks, mints and a bell (which is made to hook onto a bike, but it’s going on my BOB stroller!)
Gear I used/wore at the race:
- Bondi Band (from my pal Stephanie)
- TheRUNiverse.com shirt
- Athleta Hana Run short
- Nabee Compression Socks
- Saucony Peregrine shoes
- Clean Bottle Runner water bottle
- FlipBelt with Running Buddy looped on it.
During the race I realized that I need new trail shoes. Mine are old and have lots of miles on them. I haven’t run in them since I was 6 months pregnant, that was the last trail run I did! I’m going to have to decide if I want to get a newer version of the Peregrine (figure out if Saucony is still making that shoe!) or find a zero-drop trail shoe.
I went back to my car, wiped myself down, did a few stretches and then made the drive back home. I was so excited to see my little girl army-crawling on the floor to me as I came in. I went to shower and when I came back downstairs I found her asleep on her daddy’s legs. Which was super cute, until Kevin told me that his body was asleep from the waist down and we needed to move her! LOL!
I always stress over doing races since I had her, I feel like I should be the one that gives up everything in my life to take care of her. But I’m always sooooo much happier after I get the chance to do something for me. I’m hoping it will be easier to get in these moments once May rolls around and my CPA husband is no longer in his “busy season” at work.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Footbalance and Outside Media for allowing me this opportunity!