down2Earth Oleta Trail Run

by rchackman

What: down2Earth Oleta Trail “Half-Marathon”

When: Sunday, June 23, 2013 – 7:30 AM

Where: Oleta Park, North Miami, Florida

I was not sure what to expect when I signed up for this race on Thursday and I certainly got more than I bargained for with this one. I had an 11 mile run on the training schedule for Sunday and decided I might as well do a half-marathon instead. I knew that my run could benefit from the camaraderie and excitement of a race as opposed to the usual routes around my parent’s extended neighborhood.

However, had I any idea what was in store for me, I most likely would have settled for the neighborhood run around my parent’s house. The race was called a half-marathon yet it was far short and much worse than your average road half-marathon. Just to give you an idea, here are the mile splits from my Garmin:

Avg Pace
Summary 2:57:15.9 11.91 14:53
1 11:30.1 1.00  11:30
2 13:15.5 1.00  13:15
3 15:09.2 1.00  15:09
4 11:48.7 1.00  11:48
5 14:31.9 1.00  14:31
6 15:55.0 1.00  15:55
7 13:40.7 1.00  13.40
8 16:00.0 1.00  16:00
9 16:18.1 1.00  16:18
10 14:03.3 1.00  14:03
11 18:28.8 1.00  18:29
12 16:34.7 0.91  18:11

Pre-race Nutrition: English muffin + Peanut Butter, soymilk + banana blend, and coffee with almond milk @ 5:30 AM.

The trail we ran is normally an advanced mountain bike trail in Oleta Park. I figured that South Florida only has so much elevation so I though the race company, down2Earth, called it “trail run” because we would be running on a relatively flat mix of gravel, dirt and road. Oh, how wrong I was. In reality, it felt like a leg workout disguised as a run. By the end of it, my quads and glutes were screaming for me to stop as I was constantly going up and down steep sloped obstacles.

Race Nutrition: I had 1 pack of Clif blocks, 1 gel and a salt tablet throughout the whole run. No idea I would be running for this long though and would have brought more to eat had I known in advance.

The race itself for the half-marathon distance was 4 loops of the trail. Loops 1 and 2 felt tough but I felt good. I had to adjust mentally because I was not expecting such a tough trail.  In loop 3, I entered the “shut-up and run zone” to just keep myself running and focused on the trail. The 4th loop was akin to chasing an ice cream truck that is constantly moving just a little bit faster than you. It seemed like the finish line was getting further away. I walked some of that 11th mile as you can see in my splits above so I did not wreck myself for this week’s workouts. All in all, I had a good time and was just glad to finish this race in one piece. I normally hate it when races might be less than the distance advertised. In this instance, I was extremely happy about it! With all due respect, those 11.9 miles were far worse than any road half-marathon I have ever ran.