Saturday, October 7, 2017

Take It to the Lake 2017

I've participated in Take It to the Lake races at Cave Lake near Ely, Nevada for four of the five last years. They have a 10k and half-marathon, along with a kids' race that our kids have also done four of the five last years. The race is the third weekend of September, and about the beginning of August I decided that I should sign up. I looked at the routes and saw that the 10k was all downhill. That seemed too easy. I needed a little more challenge. So I signed up for the half-marathon. I had done two before. Surely I could do another.

Then I looked a little closer at the information. It was a half marathon with 1800 foot elevation gain and drop. Oh my! So basically we had to climb and descend a small mountain.

Did I mention that when I signed up, I was only running 2 miles at a time? So I just had to figure out how to run 13.1 miles. In about five weeks. I looked online for some training plans, and of course no one had a training plan for dummies to go from 2 miles to 13 miles in five weeks. So I adapted a couple plans and figured that I would build up gradually (sorta). Weekend 1 would be 4 miles, 2 would be 6 miles, 3 would be 8 miles, and 4 would be 10 miles. A few runs interspersed during the week, and hopefully that would be good enough.

For my 10-mile run, I decided to run up to Baker Lake in Great Basin National Park. I started early in the morning and made it 5.8 miles up to the lake in about an hour and 45 minutes. I was happy with that. I did a lot of fast walking interspersed with some jogging.

The lake was beautiful. It was a still morning, and to my surprise, no one was camping up there, so I had it all to myself.

The colors were just starting to change. This is an avalanche chute I take a photo of every winter when we do the snow survey. It's certainly a lot greener now!

Some of the herbaceous vegetation was turning, and the background of this little waterfall made me slow down and take a photo. I figured that I would be able to run ten-minute miles downhill, but it turned out to be more like 15-minute miles. Will all the hopping over rocks and a spectacular somersault tumble, I was kind of slow.

But that run gave me confidence for the next weekend. I got up at 4:30 a.m., drove to Ely, and got on the shuttle bus that took us to the starting line. It was starting to get light by the time we got off. It was super cold, in the 20s. I was glad I had my big puffy coat.

Here's a view of the starting area. We had to cross a few cattle guards during the race!

I usually make a couple goals when I do races. The first is to finish. The second was to finish in less than 2:45. I was thinking it would take me 15-minute miles to do the first half, the uphill part, so that would be 1:45. Then 10-minute miles for the downhill, or about an hour.

I debated until the very end of what to wear and finally went with my lightest layer, shorts and a t-shirt, even though it was below freezing. I wore gloves as a concession to the cold. And it was frigid! It took me miles to warm up.

The views were spectacular. And thanks to the race photographer for getting these photos!

I made it to the top of the pass in less than 1:45 (I can't remember the time exactly). I had had problems getting my running app to work correctly, but I finally figured it out. It told me my splits as I went downhill. Most were under ten minutes, but I was remembering when I ran in college and was significantly under ten minutes. Now I was barely under. And my legs hurt, I had just gone up a small mountain! Soon my knees would be hurting even more. There were some fun State Farm motivational signs up that were a great distraction. I kept telling myself it was okay not to be the fastest, just to finish was good. But I really should try to keep running. The miles ticked by. And then I was at the last hill and to the finish line. I made it in 2:29, my slowest half-marathon yet, but by golly, I had made it!

Folks were wandering around, eating, looking at the prize table, and talking.

There were cool winners' trophies. I ended up fifth for women, so I didn't get one. Congrats to the winners who did!

The plan had been for my husband to bring the kids to the kids' race, but he found out the day before that he had to work. Grandparents to the rescue! They brought the kids, got them registered, and they were all ready to go for the starting stretch. I joined in as a post-race stretch. It felt so good!

Desert Girl and Desert Boy at the starting line. This was a one-mile run, and they knew the route. Good thing, I was not up to anymore running! I asked Desert Boy what his strategy was, and he said "Endurance." He's been to a few races, so he knows a little about pacing.

Then it was time to take off! The kids are towards the rear.

I figured they would move up a little, but I was totally surprised to see Desert Boy round the corner first on the way back. I guess his strategy paid off!

And he was wearing terrible shoes for running. Maybe I should just let him be a barefoot runner, it would probably be better for his feet!

And then Desert Girl came along in fourth place. Wowzers!

Maybe those striped tights helped give her some extra powers. Or maybe she just wanted to keep up with big brother!

Afterwards we got a photo of us by beautiful Cave Lake.

And then Desert Boy decided to really take it to the lake! He jumped in a few times (mainly to be photographed). It was cold. I probably should have to, my knees hurt for a week. Fortunately my friend Jenny was able to massage out the muscle pains.

 Here's hoping we can participate again in the race next year! We feel so blessed to have such a well-organized race so close to us. Thanks again, wonderful grandparents, for helping out so the kids could participate. And thank you, Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts!

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Congratulations to everyone. Great accomplishments worth recording!

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