Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter 0 SPF Trail Run

This weekend, Mike, a few friends and I embarked on a trail running journey. We decided to take on the TrailsRoc 0 SPF Half Marathon course!

Last year, Mike and I volunteered for the inaugural 0 SPF the week after we completed our first 70.3. Even though we weren't going to be racing, we did attend one of their preview runs of the course in March. We have also run most of the course between varying training runs, with the exception of about a mile or so, but we have never run the course in its entirety at one time.

I wanted to get a double digit trail run in over the weekend and while brainstorming with others about where to run, Mike threw out the idea of the 0 SPF course. He has wanted to run the course for awhile now, so I guess this was the perfect time!

We met up at the start of the course, and a pretty large group had arrived to endure the pain with us! This course is no joke, through varying sources there is about 5,000 feet of elevation change over the 13.1(ish) miles. A lot of the course is on single track and there are a few hills that will almost make your heart jump out of your chest!

 Mike making his way up chair hill around 7.5 miles in, photo courtesy of Steven

Smiling, even though I was in pain, photo courtesy of Steven

I started out going a little bit fast, for me on trails, and then stuck with a smaller group of about 8 people and we would regroup on the way back. The course is a semi-out and back, the way out was about 7 miles and the back was about 6.4 miles (I got a total of 13.4 miles).

This run was a great reminder that I still need to work on my mental game. I was complaining a bit while I was struggling, and I wanted to turn around before the official race turn around point, but I pushed on.

All in all, I had a great time yesterday! I love running with our friends and we had some laughs along the way. I am also proud of myself for sticking it out and running the full course, and running my second-ever double digit trail run!

Unfortunately, we won't be able to race 0 SPF this year because of Ironman training but we will volunteer again! We might be race participants in 2015, though!


  1. That's awesome you have this trail running community at your fingertips. It's also awesome you casually ran 13.4 miles; "Oh, it's no big deal, I just ran a half-marathon this weekend." Keep that in mind when the going gets tough!

  2. Holy cow that's insane! Awesome workout!

  3. That trail looks and sound brutal. Great job pushing through.

  4. 5,000 feet???? I did a half marathon once were I gained 1000 feet and I seriously thought I was going to die. Way to kill it friend!

  5. That seems like such a challenging course! Everywhere and everything in Chicago is FLAT FLAT FLAT, so whenever I get near a hill, I want to die...

  6. That seems crazy to me to think of 5,000 feet of elevation gain in 13 miles. I ran bridges and got 700 feet of gain and thought that was a lot. Nice job with the mental strength getting through that. I'm sure that will all pay off in Louisville!