Trails! If you didn’t fall, did it really happen?!
By: Asia Shah
Last year I managed to complete the Rogue Trail Series in one piece. One muddy, bloody, tired piece. And it was great!! Due to the distance, 30k, and the difficult terrain on the second and third courses, I really got to dig deep to push myself to maintain pace and finish it out. In my opinion these races are similar to the marathon in that they work that stubborn muscle, the brain, to the max. Obviously, tough 20+ milers and race preps do this as well, but there is something different about being out in the wilderness with the heat and sun, possibly alone for an hour at a time, with every reason on the planet to just lay down on a rock and rip off your chip. My husband always says to me when I’m struggling, “just slow down,” and maybe it’s just my brand of crazy, but that suggestion just does not compute with me. I might slow down, but it will probably never be voluntary. I’ve definitely had my share of bad races and disappointing endings, but not giving into it mentally, even if it doesn’t change the outcome, allows me to keep one last shred of fight for the next time out. As I recall, my finish in the last race of the series was more like a reverse kicks, that is, slowly slowing to the finish. Even so, I managed to win the series and more importantly, complete the challenge that I took on at the beginning of it all. So, did I love every minute of each race? HELL NO. Did I regret doing it? HELL NO. Should you give it a go next year? HELL YES.
This year was a bit different in that I only competed in the last race of the series due to conflicting race schedules. Boston sat right between the first two races, and since I was training full bore for that, I didn’t think it wise to run two tough 19 mile races on either end. Hopefully next year I will be able to enjoy the pain of all three courses again. If you have ever wondered what these races are all about or toyed with the idea of running one, I highly recommend it. Not only are they extremely well organized races, but there are neat things specific to this series that are not to miss like the tech shirts in cool colors, hand-made awards, and the opportunity to camp out before the finale. Check it out!!
Don’t worry, you’ve got some time to commit and train with a Rogue trail group. 🙂