Last week, my friend Rachel asked me if I wanted to run a half-marathon with her five days later. I looked it up, saw the “Dirty Damsel” ZOOMA trail half-marathon and said, yes! I was in town, it was nearby and I’m training for Marine Corp Marathon — why not? Who doesn’t love women running together in good spirits?!

I am a ZOOMA fan and was so excited I go to meet the founder, Brae Brackley! It’s so hard for me to get up early on the weekends so I knew meeting Rachel (who lives in my apartment complex), would force me to do it.

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We left at 6am for the 8am race in Upper Marlboro, MD. We were there plenty early…..Rachel told me that trail races are much smaller and thankfully, you don’t have to be there super early. Ooooh, that’s nice!

We were there in plenty of time…and thankfully, still warm weather. It was supposed to rain but stayed pretty dry. I have only done one other trail race before and wasn’t sure how this would go after last weeks’ 22-miler but I knew I would be fine,

Rachel ran a marathon a few weeks ago and is training for a 50-miler now…we are around the same running pace so it was a good match.

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As usual, when I started, 13 miles felt like a million at the beginning so I pined for hitting 6 so it feel more do-able. Trails are so unpredictable and this one had plenty of hills, mud and roots. I nearly fell at least four times and twisted my left ankle twice. I’m shocked I never actually bit the dust.

Something new for me is sore calves. I think my quads are stronger but my calves aren’t. Thanks CrossFit! Rachel and I decided we’d walk up bigger hills because…trail running 🙂

I hadn’t taken the race that seriously and eaten a massive bowl of ice cream the night before. Thus, some yucky stomach issues during the race. I was mostly able to ignore them but towards then end it got rough.

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For the most part, I loved the trails. Lots of downhills and the sunshine eventually came out. The last two miles were tough but I knew we were close. I think I crossed the finish line at 2:24 but had to keep reminding myself that trail runs aren’t for time. I didn’t run my fastest and I walked hills — what more could I expect?!

I felt good and luckily got a turn at the the free massage table. A therapist did active release therapy on my calves, which did wonders. Sometimes I feel like I am a professional athlete that needs constant readjustment…ahh, not ,just a lowly wannabe 😉

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After the that lovely little massage, I raced home to put on my new Zensah compression socks. I always forget about compression socks but I recently got this pretty red pair from BrightLife Go, a new small business in DC that specializes in all kinds of different socks. Of course, the business is online so you can buy them from anywhere!

This was the perfect time to try the socks — so I put them on and wore them for about four hours. I felt the compression for sure but they weren’t too tight and were pretty comfortable. I really think it helped with my tight calves — which have been quite the issue lately. Overall, I was happy with the socks and will continue using them during and after runs.

Check out the store — they have tons of athletic brands, but also more stylish socks with all kinds of awesome patterns. I wasn’t paid for that endorsement,I just think they have some good stuff to choose from! 🙂

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Did you do any races or training runs this weekend? Do you like to wear compression socks during or after a long run?

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