This years experience was a stark contrast for me from last year and on the positive side. I PRed by 8 minutes without even trying. It was a fantastic gauge of my fitness from last years race and I had more fun feeling stronger and more graceful jumping over logs and scrambling up the sides of hills.
My time from 2009 was 1:21:11 and I came in 679 overall woman and 84th in my age group.
This year I was 333 overall out of 3649 women and 41st in my age group out of 543 with a time of 1:13:51. I am really wanting to race this next year!
Zensah tights under my brown pin stripe pants and skirt. I had a Merrell shirt on under my blouse and lacy strapless repurposed brides maids top. All these running gear tools kept me quite warm under the cold wet race conditions. I have been wanting to test out the tights like this and they did not disappoint! I stayed warm despite being wet and as long as I kept moving I was nice and toasty.
It felt strange not to be barefoot however a minimal shoe like the VFF did well in allowing for enough ground feel to feel confident in my posture and movements and yet protect my feet. I hit my foot on one of those little cut off 2 or 3 inch saplings hidden under some leaves that probably would have damaged my foot if I had not had some protection. I don't know how Forey does it!!
|My helmet really accentuates my pitbull jaw line and dimples.|
Not long after we had the usual lurching start and stop followed by laughter and a trotting start to the funnest race ever. Gravel roads quickly reassured me that my choice in using FAT (Footwear As Tools) was a wise one. The cold increases the discomfort of stepping on sharp pointy objects. I wanted to enjoy this race not just get through it.
But its ok to laugh by yourself especially at events like this!
We ran through the different areas of the old town area of the farm. The race was sponsored by the Iowa Beef Council and there were signs along the way.
This guy looked cool but must have been freezing in that suit. It has a blower in there to keep it inflated. Humans are brilliant in the comedy department.
This photo should be in one of those caption contests. Fairies running next to the Bung Racing guy. This is Beavis and Butthead heaven right here.
chased by Cougars oh wow. Alright enough with the cheese.
I had to shove the kid up the hill at one point when he was falling and starting to pull his dad down with him right on top of me! Sorry to grab your arse kid but I wasn't going to let you loose all that ground you had just gained and land on me in the process. They both made it up and I laughed out loud at the top when I realized that it was the same hill that I had to stop and bend over trying not to throw up last year!!
Its good form to help your fellow runner out when they can't get up the hill and are stuck. At one of the middle water crossings I grabbed some chick under the arm and hauled her up out of the water when she tripped trying to get up out of a creek bed. It wasn't all altruism when she was going to take me down if she fell and she was slowing me down but I was glad to be there and keep her from going in the water up to her neck!
This is the first of nine water crossings and the easiest by far. I realized quickly that it takes too long to get my frozen hands out of my gloves to get my camera put away in the plastic water proof pouch that would tuck into my SPIbelt. I didn't want to bunch up traffic and just bounding in the water and then scrambling up the bank on the other side in one big mass of movement was the best approach for the water. If you take too long someone would eventually push you in anyways and I didn't want to find that out for myself!
I found that my gloved fingers and VFF toes made for super easy ascents of the muddy banks. The ground feel of the VFF was incredible albeit painful at times over the larger rocks in the stream beds.
This is the last of the photos from the actual race course. After that first dip in the icy water I found that the faster I ran the warmer I stayed so at that point I ran like a barbarian. I love the light quick steps of being a barefoot runner. I zipped in between people and felt confident of my footfalls since they were right under my center of gravity. It was one of those days when everything seemed to be in sync with my body. I think it must have been the goggles.
I recognized the finish line just past a line of evergreens at the base of the downhill with a log to leap over. I kicked into high gear and finally thought about beating my time from last year.
I gave it what I had left and sprinted to the finish to see my time at 1:13:51. There were many volunteers waiting to cut off the timing chips and hot apple cider was calling my name up the road.
Here are some dirty Things with saggy pants and a dirty dude in a red dress. Oh how I love this race!
Have you ever noticed that photos never do justice to hills or mud?
They served stellar hot apple cider of which I had four scrumptious cups. Maybe it was five...
They also served donuts, bagels, and hot beef stew with homemade biscuits provided by The Machine Shed.If you don't know already, I have loads of ridiculous food intolerances. Two of my four sons share my intolerance to gluten, casein, soy, and most nuts. The limitations are appreciated when I am trying to maintain healthy eating habits and that hot cider made the call of those donuts a little less tempting!
The race shirts are awesome this year with a bright blue color and sweet graphic and go well with my goggles.
Goggles always look better with a little bit of mud on them.
Until next year Living History Farms Race, its been uber fun and thanks to the volunteers that make this race the best race of the year!