Today I ran the Natural Bridge Cavern Half Marathon Trail Run – the world’s only half marathon to begin in the belly of a cave. It was my third time to run this race and as before, it didn’t disappoint! There was something special about today though – my friend David ran with me and it was his very first half marathon! David is a fellow yogi and yoga teacher, but not a runner. Actually, I should say that he was PREVIOUSLY not a runner, haha! Somehow I talked him into signing up for a half marathon a mere five weeks ago. The fact that he finished easily and injury-free with barely any training at all is awesome! Way to go, David!
As I mentioned, the run begins in the cave which is approximately 70 degrees and 100% humidity (I’m being totally serious). This morning it was about 35 degrees or so at the start of the race, so when we emerged from the cave, we hit very cold air as a dense fog was created from the hot cave air escaping into the open. Jarring, to say the least. It was actually really cold – on my drive in, I hit 28 degrees a few times. They said it was 35 at the start, but at one of the water stations, they said there was still ice on the table!! But the run was very nice, though – a few tricky spots (rocks were the biggest challenge in places), but in general a very smooth run. There were gentle hills mainly, with only one monster downhill and one monster uphill. We ran alongside the Cibolo Creek in three different places (which also serves as the county line between Bexar and Guadalupe if I’m not mistaken).
Being yogi’s, we stopped a few times for photo opp’s and attempted our handstands which we are both currently working on. We tried to do duallie handstands alongside a beautiful big tree with a timer on our camera, and it was next to impossible, haha! You can see our attempt below in the photo collage.
All in all, it was a great race and I enjoyed it so much! And we even earned sliced and polished geode medals too! I am so blessed to be able to enjoy this beautiful world on foot in ways like this and today I acknowledge that and give thanks.
My next running adventure is the New Orleans Marathon (my third full) at the end of the month which I’m doing with another first timer. Our training will climax with this Saturday with a 22 miler. But the upcoming marathon won’t be my last running adventure this season… I just signed up for my first ever 50k (yes, there’s a zero after the five, lol) which will also be a trail run. I’m a little nervous, but pretty stoked too!! I believe it equates to 31 miles.
Here’s a quick little interview with David after the run…
M: What was the best thing about today’s race?
D: My first answer would be finishing (laughing), but running in the cave was pretty cool too.
M: What about the worst?
D: The cold when we first left the cave, the difference was a little abrupt.
M: I would have totally said that big hill.
D: That was the hardest part.
M: Yeah, that wasn’t the question I guess, haha!
M: Anything surprising that you didn’t expect?
D: The fact that I felt like I could have kept running!
M: That’s awesome!!
M: Would you do another one?
D: Oh hell yeah!
M: What is the next race you’d like to run?
D: I don’t know. I’m half way in between fascinated and terrified of running a full. That’s kind of where I am right now.