It was a little after lunchtime on December 3, 2021 when Lisa (my running partner in crime) and I packed up the car and headed north to Elkridge, Maryland for the Bigfoot Endurance Trail Run. I’m inserting a brief sidebar here so you can checkout Lisa on her blog here or her Instagram page here; she is so inspirational! Now back to the regularly scheduled program…..I was very excited to run my first trail race, but a little skeptical of my performance because I had beginnings of a cold flare up Thursday into Friday morning. I should have known something was askew because Thursday morning my Whoop showed a recovery score of only 2%! I made sure I was in bed early and allowed myself to sleep in some on Friday. My recovery score improved to 10%, but by this time I could feel the cold symptoms starting with sinus drainage and a cough. Despite my worries regarding my race performance, I was still eager to run my first trail race, especially one raising money for charity.
Bigfoot Endurance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that raises money and awareness for Parkinson’s research by organizing and participating in endurance events. “Members of Bigfoot Endurance participate in running, cycling, and triathlon races all over the globe. We enjoy the festive atmosphere, the excitement, and the unique feeling that comes from challenging ourselves at events and being surrounded by a group of people who are living in the now”. I highly encourage everyone to checkout their website for upcoming events, to buy Bigfoot Endurance apparel, or to simply make a donation.
The morning of the race it was cold waiting at the start but perfect weather for the run. The race started with an uphill climb and I started off way too fast considering my cold peaking right in time for the event……ugh. By the time i got through the first mile I felt so sick and told myself to just keep moving even if it means taking lots of walk breaks. Although the terrain wasn’t super difficult, it was tricky for this first time trail runner. The fallen leaves were slippery in some areas when running downhill and the tree roots tripped me up a few times.
After the first 2 miles or so the trail started to thin out from the other runners which allowed me to relax quite a bit. I was self conscious about my walk breaks and didn’t want to feel like I was in the way given that many of the trail was very narrow. After the third mile I was falling into a good run/walk groove and feeling better about my race performance despite not being anywhere close to my anticipated pace. I enjoyed the beauty of the course and my time out in nature. My finish time ended up at 1:10:12 ( definitely not my goal time of 55:00); now I am a trail runner!
My dear friend Lisa was patiently waiting for me at the finish line and as I heard her cheers for me, I felt all of the tears! I had to take a bit to cool down and get myself feeling somewhat back to normal – breathing in all of the cold air had my throat feeling extremely raw and not happy.
After showers back at the hotel and grabbing some lunch at Pub Dog Pizza (highly recommend!), we set out on our drive home in our new Bigfoot Endurance shirts. Traveling to this race with Lisa is one of my favorite race trips to date and I am very blessed to have had this weekend with her.
“Miles don’t seem quite as long when your friends are by your side” ~ Unknown