I was excited to run the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon again. Last year, I ran well and enjoyed myself. My husband also ran and won the entire thing. This year, he ran faster and was fourth, and I ran 22 minutes slower. But, going into the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon, I had a lot going on. As I mentioned a couple of races ago, my only goal for running now is to have fun. I am having fun, but as I figure out my medical issues, I don’t really have a goal or timeline for running. Maybe once the doctors figure out what’s wrong (and why I still feel like garbage 5 months after the flu), I’ll make new running goals. That isn’t to say I’m not running, because I am, but I’m taking it day by day.
Before the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon:
The week before was nuts. We wanted to get one more SoCal peak in before winter and the snow season (any day now at 8000+ feet), so we decided to climb Mount Gorgonio on Tuesday. I have no regrets about doing so, but 10 hours on your feet and 5500 feet of vertical doesn’t exactly lend itself to running fast at a race, 5 days later.
Then two days before, my husband found out he had a month-long work trip, so we were all over the place for that. Finally, and likely the most damaging to running fast, I had blood drawn the day before…7 vials worth that Friday. Some people feel okay after getting blood drawn, and I’m not one of those people. It usually takes me a few days to feel ok again.
So going into Spacerock Trail Half Marathon, I had no goals, just not to hurt myself. Realistically, even if none of that happened, that is my goal until the doctors figure out why I feel like garbage from the flu after five months. It would have made sense to get blood drawn nearly any other day, but I didn’t have an option since I was on a work trip the following week and didn’t want to keep pushing back blood work. (which is far more important than running/racing fast).
Getting to the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon was pretty easy. It’s about an hour from our house. Originally I planned to keep driving to my hotel in Los Angeles but ultimately decided not to and just went home. This year, they decided to nix the buses and have everyone park in the Vasquez rocks. Truthfully the roads were narrow, and people were in a hurry (likely because they felt late). This caused several pretty close calls with cars hitting pedestrians. I do hope they go back to buses next year. They had just seven porta potties for over 1000 people—all for a $175 race.
Before the race and after running it last year, I knew it was hard. AT the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon, there is about 3000 feet of climbing over 13.8 miles.
Spacerock Trail Half Marathon:
The Spacerock Trail Half Marathon went off about 10 minutes late. I didn’t mind. It was a little humid and windy, but the weather was generally good. The first mile went downhill and ran along a ridge. I remember that from last year and remember it being fast. This was the same, and I ran my fastest race mile. Not because I took it out too quickly but because it was just a fast mile.
The next mile of the Space rock Trail Half Marathon begins climbing, but it isn’t as steep as the third mile. We went through some more rocky terrain which made running fast hard. I ran mile 2 in 11:19 and mile 3 in 14:03. Most of mile 3 was climbing a neverending hill. I knew we were going way up, so for the most part, I walked easy. I remained conscious of how I felt after getting blood drawn and didn’t want to push too hard and feel dizzy or sick. Luckily that never came. And really, no one knows or cares about your time in a trail race…I don’t even care about my time in road races. A few people passed me, but I let them go.
Mile 4 of the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon is probably the hardest and most steep. It was my slowest, and I kept telling myself to make it to the top. I saw little dots running at the top and wanted to make it there. I ran a 17:12.
The next few miles of the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon were on a fire road. I remember this being some of the fastest parts of the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon. But not easy. I ran at 12:46 and 10:46, including a brief stop at the aid station. We did have a few climbs as well.
Around mile 7 of the Spacerock Trail, Half Marathon was the next aid station with mini cinnamon rolls. I also took a Maurten Gel. I didn’t know how the cinnamon roll would feel, but they seemed fun to try. They sat well the entire time. Mile 8 of the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon continues climbing. I had a couple of men that latched on behind me. I don’t love running that close to people on trails, and I let them go. I told them I was enjoying the view because they didn’t want to pass me.
Mile 9 of the Space rock Trail Half Marathon is on the PCT, and this was probably my favorite part of the race. I randomly ran into one of my coworkers who was going on a hike. It was hilarious, considering we were 70 miles from Edwards. I rode that high for a couple of miles as we finally started running downhill. I felt like I had waited so long for the downhill.
I also knew the final couple of miles of the Space rock Trail Half Marathon were not easy, and they weren’t. Mile 9 was my only other mile under 10 minutes this year at Spacerock Trail Half Marathon in 9:54.
Tim finished and came back to watch the end around 12 miles. I knew Spacerock Trail Half Marathon was long, but I couldn’t remember by how much. He let me know it was about 13.8. He ran the finish with me. Which is probably good, as I would have walked more. There is a lot of climbing in the last 2 miles of Spacerock Trail Half Marathon and it feels neverending when you’ve already climbed about 2500 feet.
Finally, around mile 13.3, it evened out, and I pushed it to the end. I passed two people towards the end and felt decent.
I crossed the Spacerock Trail Half Marathon at 2:52.
Spacerock Trail Half Marathon Thoughts:
I’m happy with my time Spacerock Trail Half Marathon. While it’s not my fastest, it’s where I am now. As mentioned, I have zero expectations for running or racing right now. I felt fine the entire time. Would I have loved to have been faster? Of course, but that’s not where I am right now.
You can see Strava here or more race recaps here.
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Questions for you:
Have you run Spacerock Trail Half Marathon?
What is your favorite trail race?