Ravenna Run the Ravine Review

Posted by Annie Reed, SnF Racing Team Member on

Some days running is a struggle and I don’t like it very much. You know the days I’m talking about – time passes slowly and it is hard to put one foot in front of the other. You question the activity. Other days I love running so much that when it’s time for me to stop I just want to keep running and I feel like I’m on top of the world. Running at Ravenna, part of the Trail to Grill Series by Northwest Trail Runs, gave me one of those days when I loved running. The course was both beautiful and challenging.

Ravenna Park bridge and trail
One of the downhill slopes midway through the loop course.

I ran the 12k, which was three loops. Oftentimes I hate running loops because I get bored and it feels like the run is never going to end. Ravenna was different. It was really helpful to run loops because I knew the course so well that I could always tell where I was and what was coming up next. The twists and turns and ups and downs were no longer a surprise, but instead were a welcoming and familiar. I could prepare for the ups, get excited about the downs, and enjoy the ride of the zig-zag course through the ravine. 

Before Ravenna my last race was the Woodland Park Zoom 10k so I was a little nervous. My workouts have been going well and my mileage has been increasing, but even after I have gotten over my illness I can still tell that it takes my body longer to recover than usual. The additional intensity and mileage along with the fact that Ravenna was my eighth day in a row running (usually I run six and then cross-train) made me a little uneasy as to how I could handle a 12k at a harder effort. I had a few goals for the race but none were time-oriented since it was a trail run.

  1. Don’t start out too fast
  2. Don’t let the third loop be the slowest
  3. Work the downhill more than the uphill
  4. Win

Here’s a brief summary of how the race went compared to my goals:

I definitely started out too fast. I got too competitive from the start and regretted it when I went up the first major hill. Even though I scouted the course a week earlier and (which was a HUGE benefit), I was still surprised at what a challenge the hills were. When I scouted the course I walked it, and it felt much different to run it. 

Annie scouting the Ravenna Park course
Having fun scouting the course!

 My first loop was the fastest and my second loop was the slowest. I felt pretty good about my third loop and thought I had a strong finish – especially after having a start that was too fast. 

One of my major weaknesses, especially during trail runs, is running downhill. I wanted to use this race as a way to practice and I ended up feeling really good about the downhill sections. As for the uphill parts, I tried to just lock into a good rhythm and work on pumping my arms and keeping my form.

I ended up winning, which was really nice. 

Overall the race and the experience was a great time. The location was perfect, the weather was perfect, and the food was a perfect wrap-up for the evening. Going off of the vibes I got from fellow racers, they thought so too.  

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