Turkey (Trample).

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To Black Friday or to Not Black Friday?

I used to do it all the time, but without my Parter-in-Crime-Shopping Sister, it is just not the same.

And there is no fun in trying to shop online together 3000 miles apart.

So, I think I’ll stay in my PJ’s,  thank you. (Bonus: my Post-Race Legs weren’t really planning on moving anyway).

  Yesterday’s Turkey Trot might as well have been called a Turkey Trample. 2 miles into 9, I felt like I’d been trampled on.  The first two miles were about a 60% grade – no nice flat warmup or rolling hills to ease you in. Straight.Up.Hard.Core.  I honestly think I underestimated trail running.  It was SO tough.

I headed up to Topanga State Park bright and early.  The parking situation was minimal and confused so I wanted to have enough time to park and catch the shuttle to the start.  Well, seems like everyone had a problem with this because there was only one shuttle and it was a bus that could barely clear the steep, windy roads.  FAIL.

Race started 30 minutes late because no one could get up the hill on time.

There were actually 3 Races – 5k, 10k. 15k.  Why didn’t I pick the 5k?

So the first two miles were pure hell.  And I only give 10% of the blame to the 2 Martini & Truffle Fries dinner the night before.

Miles 3-5 veered off the main trail into a single track called the Garapito Loop.  The Upper Rustic Garapito Loop Trail is an adventurous course on poorly marked trails through one of the most rugged areas of the Santa Monica Mountains.  Three pieces of advice on this trail:

1.  Low Hanging Branches, specifically the Second Low Hanging Branch beyond the first one you’ll duck.  It’s the second branch that will get you.

{Figure out how to duck with your eyes looking up}

2.  Muddy Hair-Pin Turns.  Listen for the person in front of you to call out Hair-Pin Left or Hair-Pin Right.  If you’re not listening, you’re running right into Poison Oak.  

{But if you finish the course and shower within an hour, you can wash it off successfully, so run fast}

3. On a single track trail, there is not a lot of room to pass.  If the person behind you is kicking your heels, find a place to step aside, and let them pass.  

{Drop your ego and the urge to kick dirt in their face.} 

Surprisingly, this part of the race was actually pretty fun – the Amazing Race jungle journey I never did. (and now don’t need to).  Orange and Grey man was the guy didn’t fail me with the Hair-Pin Right signal Once.  Good Runner Man. 

Miles 5-7 were Hell. Again.  Straight Up Hill.  Unfortunately the volunteers at the water station coming out of Garapito told us it was all downhill from there, so I was a little dismayed when the molehill we were on coming out of the loop turned into another Everest-like peak.  I may have walked a little.  Not going to lie.  Saving Grace was that it was really pretty.  Cloud-covered, mountain trail kind of pretty.

Downhill...FINALLY

The last two miles delivered on that forgotten promise. All downhill.  And it was Fast.  I think I clocked the last two miles at 6:47 and 6:52.  Crossing the finish I was Dead. Dead. Dead. The I just got hit by an 18 wheeler dead feeling.

Thank God they had Breakfast.  Thanksgiving-Sized Breakfast.  Muffins, Croissants, Fruit, Scrambled Eggs, Juice and Coffee.  What? Post-Race Fuel is more than a half a banana and a mini cliff bar? It was like they knew I’d been duped by the course and it was payback time.  Thank you.  I’ll eat. and eat again.

  I have mixed feelings about the race.  Probably because running up Mt. Kilimanjaro is not quite my thing.  I had moments of agony, moments of adventure and moments of freedom (downhill) during the 9.3 miles.  The one branch-two branch duck, then jump over a crag, avoiding the rocks when you land, and don’t forget, listen for the hair-pin was not for me.

I don’t run to create stress. 

But the XTERRA team were super nice, there was plenty of fuel and water on the course and despite not having the most organized parking situation and the blatant lie about the “all downhill from here” piece, they did serve a kick-ass breakfast at the end which kind of made you forget that you hated your life so much for the last hour and a half. 

Glad I did it. Glad its over.  Next year I’ll be thankful for Trotting vs. getting Trampled.

{MF Dre} 

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