Insanity Confirmed–Paris Mountain 15k

It’s conventional wisdom that anyone who runs a marathon is just a touch crazy. What does conventional wisdom say about someone who runs their first marathon and then 7 days later runs a 15k trail run with nearly a 1300 ft. elevation gain?
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Early this year I “knew” I wouldn’t be able to run this race. Conventional wisdom told me that. I’d have just run my first marathon the week before. There’s no way I would be ready. I decided I would try again to run the whole series next year.

Conventional wisdom is wrong sometimes.

Even when I was still feeling sore on Sunday I wanted to run the race but told myself I wouldn’t. Tuesday came around and I felt normal. I wanted to get out there and sweat. I told myself I would wait until after my first post-marathon run Thursday to register. The run wasn’t amazing but I didn’t die either. Within half an hour I had registered.

I’m so glad I did. I love this series of races. They’re small but the organizer puts his whole heart into these races. The trails are well marked. The post-race refreshments are spectacular. (Seriously, today we had pancakes!)

I had no idea how I would do in this race. It’s a more challenging course than the 11k I ran in May plus I just ran a marathon last week. (How many times can I shamelessly promote that?) My only goal was to not finish last. (I may or may not have looked up the time of last year’s last place finisher.)

(before the start and a little before sunrise…ready to go!)

Miles 1-2.5 I went out quickly since we started on the road. I don’t think that made a difference. The initial trail is fairly flat and familiar. I’ve run it in all of the trail races I’ve run. Things were flowing well.

Miles 2.5-3.1 This was the major hike I remembered from last year. Then we turned left at the “top” instead of right and continued on a trail I’ve never explored. The climb continued.

Miles 3.1-5.5 I felt strongest here. We descended and then had a “flat” section for a little while including running past a little lake that I didn’t know was there. So beautiful. We also ran past a camping area. Where the trail curved around a boy sat on a tree stump waiting until just the right moment to tell us we were on the blue trail. He got such a kick out of it. I almost had to do a double take though. The kid looked almost exactly like one of my cousins when he was that age. (He would have done something similar too.)

Miles 5.5-7.25 We entered a second climb here, not as high but it really doesn’t matter at that point. The views were incredible though, absolutely amazing. I love fall. I especially love the mountains in the fall. This run reminds me of the Thanksgiving camping trip I took last year.

Miles 7.25-7.75 I did not like this section, the descent. This descent is steep and scared me a little. A couple passed me on this section. They looked like they were just hopping down the hill like deer.

Miles 7.75-9.37 At one point in here we merged with the portion of the trail we started on. I seriously had a “am I going the right way?” moment because right then no one was close by. I used my best deduction skills and chose a path. (I may or may not have asked an older couple walking the other directions if they’d seen any other runners pass.) After that I relaxed and new I was close to being done. My left IT band (I think) was bothering me but bad enough to stop. (As soon as I finish I’m going to roll it out.) I knew I was close to being done though. As I was finishing my legs still felt fresh. Finishing time: 2:01:14

Not bad.

I didn’t have my phone with me to photograph the pancakes but they were there.

To reward myself I headed to On On Tri to use my 15% off coupon to get some new shoes.

Sweet huh? Though it looks yellow it’s actually neon green. 😀
They’re not lunar flys (they didn’t have my size) but lunar glides. I really liked how the felt plus the colors are awesome!

Btw…the next time you want to say that running isn’t expensive…

Here’s to a successful race! I may or may not run them next year but at least I have the set.

Next up: TreesGreenville Turkey Trot 8k



Filed under race recaps, running

12 responses to “Insanity Confirmed–Paris Mountain 15k

  1. haha Jen, If you just finished the 15k you are awesome!!! In 2008 I tried the same thing…except the now 15k was then the 11k…Anyway my Spinx 26.2 was a total d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r as I literally crawled the last 6 miles and finished 5:09:00… My right knee among all the other parts of my (poorly trained) body were rebelling…. 🙂 Anyway I rested the following week and showed up at the starting line at the Paris Mnt 11k and started normally and about the half way point…things started to wiggle, wobble, shake and hobble,,,,,until eventually the wheels cam completely off…. I walked off the trail and every step of the way to the closest park road access…and then down the road to my car where I proceeded to cry all the way home to Greenwood… To this day that is the ONLY Race out of nearly 300…that I have a DNF (Did not finish) So If you are indeed insane….I guess you have company…and Im sure your training prior to Spinx saw you thru Paris Mnt 15k without a DNF….So I guess we are both insane….you are just a better ‘trained’ ‘insane’ one… 🙂 lol Congrats… That’s a tough post-marathon [cool-down] run huh? lol 🙂

  2. Thanks! I don’t know if I was better trained or just better at recovery (aka taking it easy on the other days this week)
    It’s definitely the toughest race I’ve ever run. 😀

  3. Great job!! The PM Trail patch trifecta!

  4. See, you admitted it!!! I knew it, you are crazy. Of course, you come by crazy naturally, cause crazy runs in your family,it just takes different forms..:D

  5. fitnesscheerleader

    Great job! I once ran a 15k race a week after a marathon too – isn’t it such a huge feeling of accomplishment when you’re able to do that? Congrats on being on such great shape and for completing the whole series!

    • It totally is! Every time I started to doubt myself or just to give myself a boost I would ask (in my head :D) “how many of these people ran a marathon last week?” total confidence booster

  6. Darin

    Great Post! I ran the Paris Mtn 7k and 15k for the first time this year and posts like these helped me learn what to expect. You did fantastic to finish a difficult course like this a week after your marathon! I ran my first half at Spinx last week and figured for a half a week was the perfect amount of recovery time to go run the 15k, though I felt a few minor aches early on. I’m glad I went though, it was fun and challenging. When it got easier at around mile 8-8.5 I had an embarrassing face-plant when i forgot where I was and got into full race mode! The PMTR organizers do a great job…hopefully I’ll do them all next year!

    I love the lunarglides! I think you’ll love them too. I have an old pair of Lunarglide 2’s which had some of the Volt color as Nike calls it (the neon yellow-green tennis ball color.) They quickly bacame my favorite running shoe, staying comfortable in any length run I did. I bought some Lunarglide 3’s for the Half and alternated between the new and old during training.

  7. I’m glad I could help!
    I nearly took a face plant on the 11k in May. We had just come off that first steep climb and I was feeling great so I decided to look at my garmin. I joked that I needed to get my alignment checked because I started to veer towards the left and slipped in the loose dirt beside the packed portion. I ended up with some filthy knees (thanks to the humidity induced sweat) but no injuries thankfully)
    Thanks for the good words about the lunar glides! I saw them in the garage this morning and can’t wait to run in them! 😀

  8. John

    Great job. I considered running the Spinx half but settled on the 5k knowing this race was the following week. Looks like it will be the same next year, so I may just go for it after reading your story. These trail runs are great. I actually enjoyed this one more than the other two. I stopped for a moment to admire the views you are referring to in miles 5.5 to 7.25. Great times.

  9. Pingback: The Start of a New Training Cycle–Resolution Run Half Marathon | Stepping Out

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