To Grandmother’s House We Go is another repeat race for me — held the last Saturday in October at Brown’s Woods — in fact, it was my FIRST trail race last year and celebrates my one year of running trails!

So, naturally, I wanted to PR the course.

Grandmothers House trail race 2017

The race has three distances (depending on how many loops you want to do) up to 15k. Since I completed the 10k last year, I wanted to test my trail fitness from the past year. Which… the weekend after running a 50k, my finish time was basically in the hands of my legs (that sounds weird, but let’s go with the idiom). My training so far has included SO MUCH slogging through miserable long miles and enduring races that felt defeating and humbling. Last year’s race was also humbling, and I was in a very, no-good, bad mood. I was focused to have a different experience. And I did!

The weather was a LOT colder this year (last year I wore shorts!), though the trails were just as dry. Packet pick-up was easy the morning of the race. There is a small lot at the trailhead, but most have to park down the road in a separate lot – which also fills very quickly; any spillover parking is on the road leading away from the park, but all within a reasonable walk (even on a chilly day). Also reasonable? Registration! Run any distance for $30 (there’s a $5 discount for Capital Striders’ Members) or $40 on race day. There is a small race pool, but I WILL TAKE IT!

I kept looking for the hills that kicked my butt that I could barely hike up last year — they never came. I logged a whole mile on the trails under 10 minutes… which, have I done that ever on the trails?! I FELT SO FAST. I was having FUN. I even dressed in a sorta costume. Everything last year was not.

Grandmothers House Iowa trail 2017 race recap

I finished the 2016 race in 1:14:08… Not only did I PR the course, I beat last year’s time by nearly 6 minutes, and I got 2nd in my Age Group (40-49). Since there are no finisher’s medals for this race, I was excited to take home an age group award.

2nd in 40-49 Age Group

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