Running and Biking Mom: Galena Fest

There have been a couple events in this area of Reno in the past and I enjoyed them. Galena sits at a higher elevation (6100 feet) with lots of trees and just a jaunt away from one of the local ski resorts. It's beautiful, a little cooler, mountainous with trails everywhere.  Galena Fest is a day full of activities including the Wicked Thorn running race and the Bloody Rose mountain bike race. Race map Elevation map. I didn't want to see this beforehand. Ignorance is bliss.  Started at 6100 feet in elevation with a 1400 foot climb I've done some training on these hills and I ran the course once so I knew, without question that it was a tough one.  So naturally I wanted to sign up!! 7.25 miles of rocky, hilly terrain, constant elevation changes and scenery that leaves you breathless??  Yes, please! Of course I found the porta-potties!! Kids brought their signs The other side of the signs The band they had playing for us - Eye of the Tiger started off the race Six of the kids decided to come along.  Glad they did, too.  It's always nice to have the support and my kids are THE BEST at cheering, holding signs, ringing cow bells, etc...  What was fun for them, though, were the kids activities - Arts and Crafts tables primarily.  For most of the hour I ran, they got to hang out and make pet rocks, paint signs for me, make picture frames, etc.  The Galena Fest activities really were a blast. Ashlea was my photographer for the morning Gabi and Alana at the craft table Arts and Crafts table - Kezia and Sam I already knew the race was hard.  Some days, though, it just feels more difficult than usual.  I wanted to finish in under 1:15 but my "real" goal was 1:10.  Trails are slower and with all the hills this one was particularly difficult.  For almost 2 miles I felt like I just couldn't get my breathing right.  I was waiting for that "big, deep breath" that fills your lungs up and just never got my breathing in the groove, which is usually something I don't even think about.  I wanted to walk at mile 1.5 but when I passed a young man he said, "Good job, Jennifer!" so of course I couldn't walk.  I had NO idea who it was and I felt horrible - I said thank you and kept going racking my brain for how I knew him.  His encouragement made me want to keep going though.  I did walk some of the hills going up and this gentleman and I pretty much played tag nearly the entire race.  At one point I thought maybe he was my friend (and teammate) Lupe's younger brother because I knew I'd seen him....  Drove me crazy!! (Later I found out that it was Lupe's brother, Jaime!!) I finally felt like I was enjoying the run at about mile 4.  There are a few sections of this loop that are just beautiful - I run them and wish they could go on and on...  There were still very difficult segments in the last half of the run where I felt like curling up under a pine tree and taking a little nap, but the support, my fellow runners and the views were just beyond amazing.  It's one you love to hate and will do every year because it challenges you. Ashlea caught me at the finish coming through happy to see them!!  Wore my Recofit Sports compression sleeves, Sophie bra from BodyRock Sport and my $9 on sale Target running skirt which I really liked.  When I had my tank top on it was an old beater that I adore from Lulumon. Me with all the kids post race - they made me more signs at the painting table I found Jaime after we finished the race to thank him for pushing me and to make sure I knew who he was!! Lupe's brother and great kid to run with!! Plus, he told me he follows my blog so he's currently one of my favorite people! I knew what my Garmin told me, but waited for the official results of the race.  I was 40th out of 177, 4th in age division with an official time of 1:10:34 averaging 9:48 minute miles.  So even for a run that didn't feel great, I met my goal which made me very happy.  It was a relaxed post race environment with lots to do for the kids, more booths than in smaller races and several familiar faces to hang out with.  Even on days that the run isn't great, the experience is amazing! Me with some of my teammates - those who didn't participate came to show support Lupe and me post race - he was overall first place finisher. Probably because I pace him during training??  As in he does 2 1/2 laps for every one I do... Mario from Complete Nutrition who does our teams supplements had a booth there.

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