Race Report: Old Tucson 4-Mile Trail Run

Coffee up, buttercup. This is going to be a long post.
Coffee up, buttercup. This is going to be a long post.

So this weekend was the Old Tucson Sunrise 4-mile Trail Run.  I signed up for it as a “baby step” between a 5k (3.1 miles) and a 10k (6.2 miles).  Except I somehow managed to not pay attention to the part where this is a trail run.  No wide, smooth, paved paths here.  So I also managed to get my first trail run – ever – in the books this weekend.  Is that a thing I’m interested in continuing?  I don’t know.  I haven’t ruled it out, but it also wasn’t one of those “THIS IS AWESOME AND I HAVE TO DO IT MORE!!!!” experiences.

Anyhoo.  I got there at 7am to secure good parking and get my timing chip.  Then…. I waited.  A lot.  See, because the track is so narrow for the middle two miles, they split this into two separate races by gender.  The ladies went first at 8am, then them men at 9am.  So I tooled around Old Tucson for a while taking selfies and waiting for our turn to run.

Once race time got there, things got awkward.  See, there was also a family 1-mile fun-run at the event, which did the same loop as the first mile of the 4-mile route.  And they did that run along with the men.  So there was lots of dodging around kids, but that’s okay.  At the split-point near the end of the first mile, it was off into the desert along the tracks used by the Old Tucson horseback tours.  Much of it was only wide enough to go single-file and while none of the hills were huge (I’m looking at you, Saguaro National Park East 8-miler and A-Mountain half), there were quite a few of them.  Definitely had to walk a few of the steeper ones.  But I made it through and didn’t biff it, so I’ll call that a win.

I know, I know, get to the results, already.  I finished about where I figured I would.  My personal trackers had me finishing around 43:30, but I also didn’t get to stop them right as I crossed the finish line.  I’m usually pretty good about noticing the big clock at the end of the course, but I just…. didn’t this time.  So from the official results, I actually finished in 42:08.7 for a 10:32/mile pace.  I’m pretty thrilled with that because on most of my runs lately I’ve been just below 12:00/mile.  I finished 168th out of 196 men, and 19th out of 21 in my age group.

Finished
Sitting down with coffee and a burrito. Also, TIRED.

After the race, they provided breakfast burritos which were… nothing spectacular but definitely appreciated.  Then we were free to enjoy the park for the rest of the day so I rode the train, went through the haunted mine tour, browsed a few shops which hadn’t been open while I wandered and waited for the race to start, and went home to shower and get lunch.

A finisher is me!
A finisher is me!

Then it was off to Cy’s to have her mom work on my gig vest.  About this time last year, she made us some super fancy clothes for super fancy gigs – which was convenient since we had a super fancy gig coming up.  Unfortunately, that was also when I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been.  We’ve got that same super fancy gig coming up in a couple of weeks, so I figured I should probably try on that vest in case it needed altering since Cy’s mom is in town again.  Yeah… it was a friggin circus tent, but no longer.  She was able to take the vest in by about 12 inches.  I’m excited to have a comparison photo from that gig.

Speaking of the gig and vest, that also meant I needed a new black button-front shirt to wear with said vest to said gig.  So I stopped at the thrift shop on the way home to test my luck.  Grabbed a couple of XL shirts mostly out of habit and… too big.  Tried a couple of Large shirts and wouldn’t you know they were just right!  (Last year, I had to buy a 3XL black shirt for this gig, just for some perspective.)

So then I got home and decided I should probably go through my “too small” bin again.  I tried on item after item and nearly every single one fit.  A few things even went straight into a new “too big” bin.  And my “too small” bin now consists of exactly one tee-shirt and one pair of jeans.  So that felt pretty good.

So that was Sunday.  Saturday was pretty ordinary – gym day, then lots of errands.  Skipped the ParkRun because of Sunday’s race.  (Also, I slept late so didn’t finish at the gym in time to make it to the run.  But I would’ve skipped it anyway.)

Friday was my first meeting with the cookbook club at Bookman’s.  I was really stressing about this because I just didn’t know now to make the logistics of prepping a pot-luck dish in time for it were going to work.  Then I found granola recipe in the featured book and was able to make it a couple of days ahead so Friday I just had to get home, feed the cats, get my stuff together, and get to the book store.  (Also, that granola is good!!!)  They were a lovely group of people, and everyone’s food was delicious.  I’d pretty much talked myself into bailing after this first meeting – largely because of nerves over “new people” combined with stressing over food prep schedule logistics – but I think I’m going to stick it out at least one more month.  Though the next meeting is the same evening as my blacksmithing class, so that may be a challenging schedule.  At least I have lots of time to get to know the cookbook this time around and maybe find another good make-ahead dish.

I think that’s probably more than enough for now. As always, thanks for reading.

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