I’m going to be honest…I signed up for this one for the hoodie. Yup, there it is. I am a hoodie hoarder.
I am not the best trail runner, having only run 3 trail races EVER, I knew that between the 8K and the half I’ve run before, the Lakeside Trail 8 miler was right in the middle and it wasn’t going to be too tough…or would it?! I had three goals for this one: Stay vertical, have fun, and grab a hoodie at the finish line!
A few of us had gone out to the trail a few weeks ago to just check it out, all newbies to the course. I hiked the majority of the route with H and Carole and felt a little better that I could potentially run it. Sure there was “the Wall” at mile 1, but that just meant I’d have to slow down and be more cautious than I already am running trails. I underestimated the hills, the one water crossing and the mud (thanks to yesterday’s rain!), lots of mud.
At mile 2, I felt pretty good. Just got into a good groove, passed some runners when I could (the course was really narrow and some runners weren’t up for letting anyone pass, even when I yelled out “On your left.” or “Runner”). Those first 2 miles went by fairly quickly and I didn’t find myself checking my watch for mileage yet. I hit mile 4 at the turn around, I chose not to stop for water since I was carrying some, and started my journey back. I also gave me a head start on a group of runners I was having a hard time passing
earlier. I felt great through mile 6, sipped some water and took a Shot blok and kept on running. By mile 7, the wall (both the physical and mental one) reached up and smacked me a bit. I made my way down the stone steps, carefully. My legs were done and I walked up the majority of the hilly sections, reminding myself to pick up my feet on the few downhills. I was happy to see the pavement, knowing I had less than .5 mile left to the finish.
I came around the corner only to see Nathan and Russell, cheering on runners in the woods. The rest of the Crew were at the finish line, snapping pics and cheering.
Originally, I thought there was a chance I’d finish under 1:30 (my time estimation), but I was held up behind several groups of runners and I couldn’t pass when I had the gumption to pass, so I just held on to my original plan: get the hoodie, have fun and stay vertical!
That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.
~ Kara Goucher