I was looking forward to another Lake George race because I love the scenery. This race is even more scenic than the Adirondack Distance Run and just as hilly.
I ran this race in 2012 as my first 10k ever. I finished it at 1:09:07 but I was still recovering from ankle surgery.
After that, I ran more 10ks and this race again in 2014. I finished in 1:04:54 (A big improvement).
This year, I hoped to improve upon my Camp Chingachgook Challenge time but not to PR due to the hills. (My 10K PR is 57:03). I suck at hills.
The course is out and back – which means hills both ways.
We’ve had an awfully hot, humid summer. Today was no exception. 99% humidity and close to 80 degrees at the start. There was a threat of rain and thunderstorms. Normally I hate to run in the rain but rain today would actually make things bearable.
I had my usual breakfast of hot cereal and left around 6:45 am. I got there with no problems around 8:15 am, found parking, used the (real) restrooms and wandered around for a while exploring the grounds. I chatted with many runners who asked about the course. I felt like an expert since I had run it twice already.
I quickly bumped into Lara, a fellow runner and former tennis teammate.
As I mentioned, although you run along the lake for the whole way, it is HILLY, I mean very HILLY. I have run 2 races on the other side of the lake and this side, the hills are a lot steeper.
Lara and I run around the same pace. Sometimes she beats me and sometimes I beat her. So we started out together and stayed together for awhile.
I started out too fast, of course, and I even tried to run up the hills. But since I don’t train for hills and hate them, I soon tired and realized that if I wanted to finish upright, I better walk them and so I did.
Lara continued to trudge up the hills without walking.
Walking during a race does not make me happy but at times, the hills were so steep that I had trouble walking up them. The only good thing was that many runners were walking and even those who did not, were running slow and I could pass them on the downhills.
So I used the same strategy as last week. Walk, run, walk, run, walk up the hills and run fast down the hills.
It seemed to work. I got way ahead of Lara and many other runners that I started with.
What was strange was that since this race was also a half marathon that started an hour before but had the same finish, you saw the fast runners heading to the end when we slower runners barely started. (The half marathon winner finisher in 1:11:xx!!!)
As with all Lake George races (this being my 3rd this year), the road was not closed to traffic. You had to move over to let cars go by and sometimes they were going in both directions and there were runners running in both directions.
The views were decent. You had the lake on the right the first half and on the other side the second half.
I got to the turn around with a decent time – under 30 minutes but I had to battle the same hills to the finish line.
Now I was running with the faster very sweaty half marathoners. I am not a sweater but the sun kept peaking out (I could wear my sunglasses because they kept fogging up due to the humidity) and it seemed that it was not going to rain. So I was dripping in sweat.
Around mile 4, at only the 2nd water stop, I took a gu and a long walk and then continued my run/walk the uphills and sprint (if you can call it a “sprint”) the downhills.
Finally we turned left toward the lake and the race ended. I was happy that it was on a downhill. I even mustered up enough strength to sprint past a few runners. I crossed at 1:02:23 (gun time)
Yes, this was over 5 minutes slower than my 10K PR, but considering the conditions, I was pleased. It was actually a course PR – over 2 minutes faster than the last time.
I got my medal and just walked around near the water. Believe it or not, I was too hot to eat right away.
Then I went to get my shirt. (They didn’t have small sizes when I check in.)
I waited for Lara to finish (She was about 4 minutes behind me.)
Then I played around getting medal pics while waiting for Alyssa to cross the finish line. The poor girl was running the half marathon.
Finally I saw her. Like everyone else, she had a slow race.
She jumped into the lake and then headed to take the shuttle bus back to the start.
By this time, I was getting hungry and sat down with Lara and some other runners that I knew.
I got some food…there were hot dogs, chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, bagels, and watermelon – quite a spread.
While we were waiting for the awards, it started to thunder and the skies opened up. Good thing, we were under cover.
I did come in first in my age group.
Normally they give out cool prizes and only to the winner. This year, they gave 3 deep and your prize was food.
It continued to rain so I decided to forgo my plans to get in more miles. My legs weren’t tired (thank you compression socks) but I was so sweaty. Those 2.8 miles would have to wait until the next day.
mile 1- 9:36
mile 2- 10:25
mile 3 – 9:41
mile 4 – 11:01
mile 5 – 9:58
mile 6 – 10:10
.2 – 7:59
1:02:16 (Garmin time)
In looking at last year’s stats, the difference in the race was the last 2 miles. I had a faster first half but slowed down more the second half.
So was I disappointed? Not really. I don’t train on hills. And walking on the hills saved my legs. I beat my time on this course from two years ago but I know I can do better.
I used to walk up the whole hill. Now I walk and run. Maybe someday I’ll have the strength and/or confidence to run up the hills.
I did enjoy the race. I never regret a race. And my legs felt fine after. I was even able to run the next two mornings.
The race was the beginning of a weekend with friends – we ate, chatted, knitted, hiked, watched the Olympics, saw a movie (Pitch Perfect)…
Since this is Tuesday, I am linking up with:
Happy Running! Any advice for running hilly races? How was your weekend?