First of all, Friday I got a brutal migraine. Not cool. Unfortunately said migraine usually arrives around that time of the month. Awesome timing, huh? I took my meds, tried to eat anyways, and hoped for the best for Saturday morning. I told my hubby if I woke up with a migraine, I would just bail on the race. (the advantage of it only having a $15 entrance fee)
Saturday morning I woke up with a medicine hangover, but very little headache. I was still a little on the fence about racing-which is unusual. The kids got up ridiculously early for a Saturday, so that sealed the deal. May as well drive to the race!
The race was only about 45 minutes away, and we got there in plenty of time to get parking and pick up my stuff. Pretty low-key start, which was great. They did a kids dash around 9am, and started the 5k and 15k together at 9:30. I lined up at the front not because I wanted to go out fast, but because I didn't want to dodge people, strollers, and dogs. Yeah, people did this race with their dogs. (only 5k)
You know sometimes you start out in a race, and you can tell in the first mile it just isn't your day? It was like that. I didn't feel bad, but I didn't feel good either. My legs felt heavy at the very beginning. Not encouraging! My friend Amber and I pre-race. She won first place female, 5th overall!
The first 2 miles are uphill. Not super steep, but a steady climb. After that starts the rolling hills. Lots and lots of them. The course loops the whole lake, but you can only see the lake from certain points.
"Make sure you keep the kids out of the water-I didn't bring extra clothes" (yeah, I wasted my breath-they were soaked)
I decided to try the Galloway run/walk knowing I was going to have trouble racing the distance. Since I have not practiced doing this, it didn't go all that smoothly. First, I would forget to stop at regular intervals. Then, my walks were poorly timed with the water stops, so I would have to walk again. The water stops were off the road, so you really did have to walk through them. (the road was not closed to traffic). When I would start running again, I think I would take off too fast, wanting to make up the time, and it was driving me crazy having people leapfrog me. I looked down and was running a 7:42 shortly after a walk break. I am NOT in shape to maintain that!
We looped around the back side of the lake around mile 5, and then it got ugly. More rolling hills, but more uphills than down. The downhills were short, but steep. I was trying to take it easy on the downhills to save my shin, but that meant I trashed my quads instead. Crap. I slowed down.
Lake of the woods is about 6000ft in elevation, so pretty high up, and cold. It was about 40 degrees at the start. Running around the back side of the lake, we were having to run in the tire tracks that were mostly clear of snow. Otherwise there was between 2-3 feet of snow on the road. Nice, huh? Some June weather!
So add snow to that back loop with punishing hills, and I was suddenly really wishing I had run the 5k. I felt like I was getting a blister on the ball of my left foot. It was on fire! Not a good feeling.
We come down off the back side, and have to run along the highway for about 1 1/2 miles. As soon as we turned that corner, the wind was blowing hard in your face. Awesome. That mile and a half felt like forever, but I did not want to walk on the highway with all that traffic.
Turn off the highway, last 1.4 miles or so. It felt so much longer! Gradual uphill, but it felt horrible. I was glad to not be the only one walking on this stretch. Finally, the last turn to the finish. It was blessedly downhill! Which hurt an amazing amount considering. I did chick two guys on the last half mile, that made me feel better after being passed by several people the last two miles of the race.
Final stats: 15k 9.24 miles
Time: 1:32 11
Pace: 9:57 So glad to be done!
Elevation: 2509 Ascent, 2451 Descent
Next year, I am going to be prepared to RACE this and kill my time. This year, not so pretty, but glad I did it anyways.