Lost Lake brought me to my knees. That’s all there is to it. I’ve wanted to get back to blogging so many times, but since I blogged all last summer about running Lost Lake, I felt like I needed to say SOMETHING about it before moving on. This post could also be entitled, “Wherein I Let My Competitiveness Ruin a Perfectly Wonderful Experience. Warning: Meltdown Ahead.” So here we go.
First, the good. As a last training run, I decided to run my second half marathon since having kids, and it went great. I went with the mantra “uncomfortable but not miserable” and logged a post-kids PR of 2:13. It was a fun race and I’d definitely do it again. This was a great chance for me to try out my fueling, and my water backpack, which did NOT work out. Glad to find that out in a half rather than a 16 mile trail run. Went in and exchanged it for a different size.
More good stuff? The weekend was so much fun. I went down with my aunt, a cousin, and my sister even flew up from San Diego to run with me. We had a weekend FILLED with laughing until we couldn’t breathe. Here we are at bib pick-up – has there ever been a more gorgeous view for bib pick-up? They had a carbo-loading dinner that was actually really delicious, and we headed back to our cabin full and happy.
Here we are back at the cabin modeling our running backpacks. Please note that we all still have tags on them. Not recommended.
I started off race morning with high hopes. I was trained, I had practiced with my gear, I had run the first several miles of the course, it was a beautiful day, and things were going to be fine.
Except that it wasn’t. And the worst part was that it was my mind rather than my body that let me down. I did the training I needed to do, and though it was beyond challenging, I really was ready.
We started off great, by filling my aunt’s backpack with some rocks when she didn’t notice. Don’t worry, we confessed after less than a mile.
The first several miles we stuck with the plan, which was essentially to hike the really tough uphills, and run the rest. We stuck together, we went slow and steady, we chatted and laughed and just generally had a great time enjoying the most beautiful scenery on earth.
Here’s where it gets dicey. Even though longer distances aren’t my favorite, I was dedicated in my training for this race. The others I ran with… not so much. My aunt and cousin got in like 1 or 2 long runs each, and told me repeatedly how untrained and out of shape they were. Aaaaaaaand…. guess who couldn’t keep up? Yup. Me. About halfway through the race, one of them took off, and then the other, and although I really tried, I could not for the life of me keep up or catch up. And embarrassingly, it made me mad (at myself, not at them). Not a little mad. Like full-on tantrum mad.
I tried to talk myself down, and tell myself that different runners have different strengths, and I don’t have to be the best at everything, or even anything. But there was something soooooo discouraging about all the hours away from my family I sacrificed, how many mornings that I spent doing long runs and evenings doing trail runs, that suddenly just seemed pointless as I watched the figures of my family members disappear into the distance. The fact that I outweigh all of them by at least 20 pounds did not go unnoticed by my inner voice, either. I just couldn’t shake my mental meltdown, and I was embarrassed and annoyed by that. I’m way more competitive than I need to be, especially for a mother of 3 with relatively slow running times. It’s a personality trait I dislike in myself, and I’m still mad that I couldn’t just get my bad attitude under control.
My angel of a sister stayed with me, though I’m positive that she too could have taken off into the distance, and I tried not to let my bad attitude ruin the experience. We both ran out of water, which was challenging – I was really thirsty by the end. There is only one water station on the course, so in retrospect, I of course should have brought more water, or rationed it better, or something.
Our final time was 3:45, which was under my totally-wild-guess goal of 4 hours. It was, for me, the hardest race I’ve ever done, including my marathon. It made it hard for me to enjoy the scenery, which is too bad, because it was stunningly gorgeous.
I don’t plan to run this race again. I could just hike it (they have a walker’s start), but the race sells out in under 10 minutes, so I feel like I should let people have the spots who really want to have the racing experience, and just save the hike for a sunny summer day. The trail is really nice, easy to run on, and the view is amazing the entire way. I’d highly recommend it for a casual trail run or a day hike. I’d recommend the race for people who are ready for a serious trail run, and have a few shorter ones under their belt. It’s well-organized and the money goes toward Cystic Fibrosis, a cause very near to my heart. In the end, it’s an amazing race that just wasn’t for me.