Boney Mountain Trail Run 2022
7K of wonders!
When I participated in my first trail race back in December, I remember feeling incomplete after the race. I wanted more despite the exhaustion and did a road 10K by myself on Dec 31st, to close out the year. Stepping into dry January, it finally hit me, I needed to do another race.
I initially planned for a road race in February, but the particular race I wanted clashed with my work schedule so I decided on another. I also managed to sprain my ankle in January, which slowed me down on training. With all the grumpiness of that month, I browsed through endless races until I found the one that clicked, Boney Mountain, oh yeah!
The problem was, I had not even started any hill training and it was already the first week of February. The training in January was mostly steady runs on crumbly grounds and steady inclines. I was a little lazy on my research about the route on Boney. I decided to use the Las Llajas trail for my training and The Northgate Trail opposite it. With the self-induced pressure of not enough training, I ended up pushing myself too hard and in the process, induced too much strain on my breathing, topped with silly allergies, and I became a terrible mess. Most of my symptoms seemed related to exercise-induced bronchospasm and yet I won’t let my body rest.
I kept feeling tired, dehydrated, and sore as the week progressed, I knew it was becoming foolish of me to not listen to my body and just stop, especially with having to work alongside, as I trained with all the aches. I signed up for the race, completed my last two trainings which were brutal to my breathing, and decided on two days of rest with absolute hydration, massages, and fuel. I did just that!
I would admit, through my foolishness, I managed to get myself Lemon and Peppermint Tea, Elderberry, Acetaminophen, and mixed up some throat concoction (Tumeric, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Honey). So for that, I am proud of myself. Another admission, I almost gave up on doing this race due to nervousness, and fear of coming last, based on all the reviews read online of how tough this course was. I honestly felt inadequate overall as I was only 3 months into running at this point and still felt like I sucked at my pace and breathing tactics.
So, what did the final push of motivation? I told myself if I come last or not, it doesn’t matter and the only personal record to set is the one at the finish line. I can’t run to beat a personal record that hasn’t been created, nor should I try to beat the personal record created at the Paramount race because every trail race is different. If this is the last race I do, then I will bow out in style.
Race day and I was ready! I packed up snacks, chews, gels, hydration mix, water, and wrap just in case. I ended up having a slice of Sourdough Bread, one Clif Shot Double Expresso (100mg caffeine) gel, and water, before heading out. I mixed my Nuun hydration ahead of time in one water bottle and had water in the other. The snacks, gel, and chews all made it back home with me.
Getting there was a breeze, along with registration. However, the first problem happened on my way to the restroom before the race began, my camera chest mount clip broke as I was adjusting my camera. I couldn’t believe it! Luckily, I had my monopod in my bag, which I lazily kept in there the night before in case of random selfies at the finish line. This led to a handheld documenting style as compared to the usual chest mounting of my camera. A bit of an inconvenience but ended up with good results.
The route was painful. It had its beautiful moment, fun moment but going up?! Oof! Not what I expected at all, it looked more like an uphill to the radio towers but a shorter distance. I couldn’t believe it, My breathing was getting strained, it didn’t matter how fast or slow I walked, it all felt the same. I was in and out of my mask, trying to follow the moist air advice I saw online, I still don’t know if that made it better or worst… I will never know.
The runners all brought their A-game. It was a mixed crowd of various ages and colors, I loved it. It was a very friendly group and we all encouraged each other by running ahead of one another, clearing the way for faster runners, and little chats along the way. LOVED IT!
There were about two aid stations on the 7k route, one at about 1.3 miles or thereabout and the other after the climb when you feel the burn! There was also medical staff around, did I mention it was also pretty hot? Yea, it was a breezy hot day.
The crowd was very encouraging and the runners were motivating… this is a new observation of mine. It might be the competition thing about race but I also believe it has to do with running alongside others, and the motivating need to keep up. You get pumped to see others acing it, you get pumped to see others dying alongside you, and you get pumped when you pass or catch up to others, running to that finish line. I tend to do better than expected in races as compared to running or training on my own. When I ran Paramount Ranch, I beat my training record and with this race, the same thing happened. My last 7k training finished at 1 hour and 20 mins and I wrapped up the race at 1 hour and 8 minutes.
Yes, I finished at 1 hour and 8 mins, despite all the hiccups. I couldn’t believe it! I am getting better at trail racing, 3 months in, and more to go!
I crossed the finish line and forgot to grab my medal, it just felt so good to be done! I did find my way back to it and then the hunt for tacos began. I didn’t take advantage of the massage opportunity, instead, my hubby and I walked back to the car, taking in the view and saying hi to the horses munching away.
The week to follow was a week of healing with no running or hiking. Just a 30-minute walk on Day 3, Yoga on Day 4, and a 10 min HIIT workout on Day 5. Here we are in the second after the race. I resumed training with a hike up to the radio towers at Stough Canyon trail and a consistent downhill run, all the way to my car. My breathing was a lot better. I am seriously considering another race…perhaps the Singletrack Stampede or Tough Topanga… We shall see.