Monday, September 22, 2014

Four Stars Trail Race - Recap

So I did my 20 miles yesterday and I want to recap it, but I need to do this first! So, on Saturday, I ran the Muddy Monk Four Stars 4M Trail Race. I was looking forward to it because the weather was supposed to be cool and cloudy, and I was going to keep it easy because I was planning on 20 the next day with my husband. Plus, I've never run a 4 mile race before. Spoiler: It was not cool and cloudy, but that's okay!

I drove to this race by myself because it was all but my backyard. Unfortunately, I nearly missed it - because my directions stopped a half a mile short of the actual turn, so I assumed I'd missed it and turned back. Oops! But I made it, picked up my shirt and bib (it's a nice tech shirt - white and light blue, and a shirt I'll actually use, so score!), used the portopotty and hopped into the crowd to wait for the race to start...with about 30 seconds to spare. I'm not kidding, I cut this one close, but I made it!

My plan was to keep it really easy and/or run walk if it race day enthusiasm got the best of me. We were in the Old School Forest Preserve and they warned us we'd be running up and down the Sled Hill, but somehow, the impact of that was lost on me until we got there.

Hill perspective!

I actually had fun doing that hill the first time. I joked with someone next to me that running up that hill was like running in slow motion, but she stopped to walk and I think she thought I meant her walking. Oops. I'm not a rude person, I would never criticize someone for walking, I promise!  I ended up walking part of the downhill because it was so steep anyway, but the rest of that mile went nice and smooth. 10:50 first mile.

The second mile was pretty easy, came in at 9:50 and not much to say although, I saw the overall winner coming through when I wasn't quite halfway through the second mile. Wow, she was fast! It was warmed and sunnier than I expected - I had on a thicker tighter tank than I would have planned if I'd realized it would be warm, but I was doing fine. The course was nice, mostly flat and the woods were pretty...although someone was joking about bears at one point. I didn't know while until I ran past a pile of excrement larger than my head. Oh my!

I had my handheld so skipped the water stop at the turnaround point, which means they didn't catch my pic here, so you'll have to take my word on it, haha! The sun was irritating but there was intermittant shade and I wasn't run walking, but I wasn't doing a good job keeping it easy, either. I wasn't pushing, but the third mile came in at 9:40.

The fourth mile I was just like, okay, last mile, and I kicked it. It came in at 9:15, but I forgot two, they had told us the course was long (he said .02, but I came up with much longer than that so I wonder if I misheard or the RD misspoke, not that it really matters). And two, we had to go up that hill again! I walked it this time, because mile 4 beeped in for me at the foot of that hill and I was just like, forget it! Haha.

Finish line! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

But I booked it to the end after that, for a final finish of 42:51.
Usually I'd add a pic of the finisher glass group, but I forgot. So here's one of me getting my glass instead?
 Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

Next up, unless I sneak in a local 5K, is the Chicago Marathon...but more on that tomorrow when I write about my 20 miler, the keystone run of my marathon training!


  1. I ran this race last year when it was on the DPRT! Was it on the crushed limestone trail in Old School or did you get to go in to the woods? Old School is such a pretty FP!

    1. Stayed on the trail mostly! We ran through some grass but never really off the beaten path, I think. Is it weird that I was so in my own head I don't totally remember? Apparently I completely zoned out once we got past that hill!

    2. Yup, it was all on the trail with the only exception being the grass and hill area immediately surrounding the starting pavilion. A beautiful trail!

    3. I thought so. I am embarrassed to admit how much I zoned out on this run!

  2. That is quite a race to do before your 20! I've always wanted to do a race with a glass. Maybe a Muddy Monk is the answer!

    1. I kept it really easy, I promise! The hill was the worst it, the rest was really just an easy trail.

      Muddy Monk is giving glasses for each race this year! Do it!