Pinelands 25k trail race recap (and weekly wrap)

Happy TuesdaythatfeelslikeMonday, friends! I’m back from a chilly but awesome weekend in Maine, and I have another race recap to share. Back in the fall, three of my running besties and I signed up for our first 50k. Then, life happened. Boston happened. One friend got a stress fracture and was out. The rest of us regrouped and decided to swap from the 50k to the 25k. I knew this was still a stretch for me post-injury, but I was determined to run it smart and enjoy the day. My goal was to finish injury-free and with a smile on my face, and (spoiler alert) mission accomplished!

My running buddy Denise (who had flown in from Cali) and I were anxiously watching the weather all week leading up to this race. We definitely both had some PTSD from Boston. We made our way up through Portland on Saturday, stopping off for some lighthouse views and lobster rolls (#basic). Amazingly, it only rained for an hour or so, and we were treated to this stunner of a sunset up at the cabin. All signs were pointing to a successful day on Sunday!

In the morning, we drove the hour or so to the race start in New Gloucester. We parked, grabbed our bibs (which were marked with white tape to indicate we were swapping from the 50k to the 25k–shame!), and met up with our friend Danielle and her friend Rachel for the start. Everything was smooth and easy, and the whole start/finish area felt like a big party. Right on time, we took off across the start line together. My plan was to run the flats and downs and hike the uphills, but the first few miles felt pretty breezy as we chatted and ran. Turns out those first few miles were mostly downhill, so that makes sense 🙂

The course twists and turns through grassy fields and up and down dirt trails–definitely not many rocks and roots, but it was a roller coaster hill-wise (as you can see!). We all stayed together through the first half, when Rachel and Denise drifted ahead. I encouraged them to go on and tuned into my body, letting myself start to hike the uphills to catch my breath.

Once I was on my own, I kept my eyes on some of the runners around me, aiming for a steady effort. The cool but humid weather had me feeling toasty with all that effort! The second half of the race was a LOT of climbing, but it evened back out near the end, and I was able to keep up a steady run through the finish. I crossed the line feeling spent but strong–pretty darn good for my longest run since the marathon by 10 miles!!

After we all finished, we changed and made a beeline for the post-race BBQ–which was probably the best post-race spread I’ve ever seen. Burgers, salads, desserts… YUM! I loved that the race provided the basics and the rest was potluck-style. So many great homemade treats (including lots of gf options). Pro tip–spectators can join for $6 a plate 🙂

We settled in and chatted with some of the other racers (holy moly the people doing the 50k and 50 miler–so impressive) while we listened to a fantastic bluegrass band and chowed down. I had always heard that trail races have the best atmosphere, and I’d say this one was pretty darn fun. The race swag was pretty phenomenal too–mini cowbell keychains (full-size for the 50k), metal water bottles, and Darn Tough socks (the best!)

Overall, I loved this race and hope to incorporate more trails into my routine going forward. I’m so glad we did the 25k, too–I may run a 50k someday, but this wasn’t that day. The 25k was really fun and plenty challenging for now. The rest of my recap for the week is below–the big highlight being my first track workout post-injury. It was hard but good. I’m definitely itching to start building up that mileage again!

Weekly total: 26.2 miles

  • Monday: off (post-race rest day)
  • Tuesday: Track!! 800, 400, 200 x 3, 3.5 total miles
  • Wednesday: AM-4.2 easy miles, PM-75 minute yoga class
  • Thursday: rest day
  • Friday: 3.5 mile shakeout, PT exercises and foam rolling
  • Saturday: pre-race rest day
  • Sunday: 25k trail race!

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

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2 thoughts on “Pinelands 25k trail race recap (and weekly wrap)

  1. Congrats on the 25k trail race. That’s still a very respectable trail race distance! I know I would enjoy a trail race such as this (not many rocks and roots and all the food!). I love it when race organizers give away useful items — such as the socks. Nobody needs another T-shirt. Thanks for linking!

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