Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Knight's Virtual 10K Race Report

I was on Johann du Plessis' blog Run Tall, Walk Tall a few days ago and read about the Black Night Army Virtual Race, which is being hosted by Stefano from Run With The Black Knight.  The rules are pretty simple - run 10K at some point between November 8th and the 28th while wearing black, and then send Stefano the results.

We've had a lot of rain in Southern California this weekend, so all my usual OC Velo weekend rides where cancelled.  However, since it cleared up for most of Saturday afternoon, I figured it was the perfect time to dress in black and run a 10K.

In Black...
I decided to lace up the trail shoes and head over to the Bolsa Chica Reserve, which is a local haunt of mine when I don't want to run on the street but I want to stay local.  The entire run was about 12.5K, so I am using the first 10K as my race result.  With the exception of the northwestern corner of the course, where the trail climbs and then descends a 50 to 100 foot mesa a few times, the course is flat and is a mixture of graded path and single track.

The Course

When it rains in Southern California, the storms can leave just as fast as they come.  But the storms are usually followed by high winds, and yesterday was no exception.  Throughout the afternoon there were 10 to 15 MPH gusts coming in off the ocean.  And since the wetlands are right across the Coast Highway from the beach, I felt the full force of the wind during much of my run.

It was also still very wet.  The trails that crossed well drained land were fine - there were only few puddles to contend with.  However, the trails in the lowlands with less drainage were still very muddy with at least an inch of muck on the trail surface.

Muddy Shoes
More Mud

The kicker was that all the "dry" trails where exposed to the wind.  The muddier trails where somewhat sheltered, but it didn't really matter because I was sliding around like crazy with every step.

But the conditions where what they where.  I simply found my inner Man Vs. Wild and ran.   However, this run definitely kicked my butt.  Sliding around in the mud made for some serious quad busting and calf burning action.  That said, I still managed to keep a smile on my face, at least most of the time.  My final time was 52 minutes, 13 seconds.

Was this my fastest 10K?  No.  Was it a super fun Saturday afternoon run?  Must definitely.  In fact, I'd trade a route with conditions like this for speed (almost) anytime.

Thanks to Stefano a/k/a The Black Night for hosting this race, I really enjoyed taking part.  Since it's a holiday week (which might give you some extra free time) and you will probably be eating an insane amount of food on Thursday that needs to be burned off,  this race might be something you might want to fit into your training schedule.  The race ends next Sunday, so you've got plenty of time


KovasP said...

Nothing like getting muddy and blown around on a run! Couldn't have been too bad, though, since the tops of your shoes a re clean. :) That's a great time as well for the conditions.

Black Knight said...

Thank you for entering the virtual race despite the weather conditions. You made a very good job.
My wife doesn't allow that I come back home with all that mud on my shoes. She is more powerful than the Black Knight!

Johann said...

Great run and that is still speedy in my books, especially on the trails. Thanks for the shout out! I love muddy shoes...and really laughed at Stefano's comment above.

Laura said...

SuperFun beats out speedy any day. Nice virtual race!

Christi said...

What a great lookin' run! Congrats!

Pahla said...

You ran with a smile on your face?!? I don't believe it. :P

Allison said...

Glad you are feeling better and got in a fun muddy run!!!!!

Jarrett @ "PaddlePedalPlod" said...

Sounds like a ton of fun! I might just have to sign up-- the forecast for next Sunday is right around freezing, much better than the -20 C (-4F) we've had for almost a week now... And my long run on Sunday is 10k, AND all my cold-weather stuff is black.

Jason said...

That is a Bad A** pic with the hat, shirt and sunglasses. And from the looks of the mud you had fun....glad the healing was there for you to enjoy this.

Doing the Turkey Trot 8-miler on Thursday and will include the first 6.2 as part of the Black Knight run.

Jill said...

Nothing soothes the soul like a good muddy trail 10K! Nice job!! Totally studdly pre-race pic!!

Emz said... vs. wild. sucks peanut shells.

Can you smile?!

Caratunk Girl said...

I want photographic proof of that running smile!

I need to get my Black Knight race under my belt! :)

Unknown said...

YES! Channel your inner Bear Grils! LOL.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Nice run, getting dirty is just the icing to the cake

Kate Geisen said...

Fun! Well, not so much the wind, but the mud. It completely makes me feel like a kid again to be running around (or, a couple times a year) playing volleyball in the mud.


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