Friday was my birthday, and the the start of my last year of being able to say i am in my twenties. Single tear....
So i had managed to finagle a day off from work (by cramming about 50 hours of work into mon-thurs) and did what any other twenty-something girl would do.
I drove up to Lake Geneva to drag my good friend Eric out on a 22 mile trail run and ruin his vacation. note: I am an awesome friend.
There is a really awesome trail that runs around the entirety of lake geneva. It's really awesome, because some parts are paved, some parts are gravel, some parts are dirt, and some parts are literally just running through peoples back yards. (note: because the trail has always been there, the millionaires that live around the lake are obligated to allow you to run it. It seems weird, like you are trespassing, but it is totally legal)
Some Pros: The trail is awesome, because you won't get a chance to get bored. You will experience about 30 different types of running surfaces, and the view is indescribable. It is very quiet, but you will encounter a few other runners/walkers. It's a giant loop, so you don't have to deal with the mental fatigue of turning around and retracing your steps. And because it keeps you on your toes, it makes 22 miles seem not so tedious.
Some Cons: It's a 22 mile loop with very few spots to get water. We had some major hydration issues. It is hilly, and aside from all the hills, you will have to run up/down no fewer than 30 flights of stairs. All those different running surfaces can be brutal on your ankles, especially the last few miles when you are tired. I definitely have some lingering pain in my right calf/ankle from this run.
I had a great time, but i think Eric had a significantly less great time. It was cool and cloudy in the morning, so we brought our smallest water containers. It heated up fast, and we found ourselves frequently out of water and very thirsty. I had a bigger bottle, luckily, but Eric only brought a flask, and started to get heat exhaustion towards the end. We definitely suffered the last few miles, and may have resorted to drinking lake water. We survived though, and i would totally do it again, only with more water!
After the run, i had to rush back to the city, because my BFF Ray-Ray and I were heading the Champaign county fair for some country music! It was a whirlwind trying to get there in time (along with picking up my RnR race packet!) and resulted in me having nothing to eat all day but half a protein shake up until 7pm. We got to the fair, and consumed many beers, and got some tasty fair treats, like sweet potato fries! We rocked out to Lee Brice, who was performing at the fair. We then consumed more beers, rode the tilt-a-whirl, went to a country bar for - you guessed it - more beers, and lastly, headed home for a night cap of beer and COOKIE CAKE! Talk about a day of great pre-race decisions!
Luckily, i had Saturday to recover, which involved driving back to Chicago, and running a bunch of errands. By the time i was done, i was completely exhausted, and it was past dinnertime. I tried to eat some pasta, but my stomach felt terrible from the all the beer and cookie cake. I had a piece of pita bread, and went to sleep at 11pm for my 4:15 am wake-up call.
Predictably, Matt and I missed the pre-race blogger meet up. We made it to the race with just enough time to check our bag, and find our corrals. I was in corral 7, which was a total joke. I seriously need to stop signing up for races in January and putting my expected finish time as 1:55 for a July race. What. a. joke. I should probably also stop carbo-loading with beer, and tapering with 22 mile trail runs. I am seriously concerned that i am going to sign up for a fall race, put my expected finish time as 1:55, and have them respond, "You're a dirty liar, you have been about 10 minutes behind every single predicted time you have ever put down for a race. You get corral Z."
|But there is no corral Z!|
I still didn't get a negative split, but i only slowed down by 15 seconds overall for the second half (which for me, is impressive.) I also ran the entire time. Not a single stop. I slowed down once to refill my water bottle, and that was it. No walking breaks during mile 12 for this girl! I do regret not pushing myself at the end though. Everyone was shouting "sprint to the finish!!" and was just like, "No, no, that's not going to happen."
The race was actually managed very well, and the crowd support was great. I have no one to blame but myself for any misery experienced on this run. But to be honest, it wasn't miserable, i just didn't bring my "A" game. I didn't want to push myself because of the weather and my leg, and my time (2:06) reflects that. My negative split goal was not met, but my anti-meltdown one was. And i got to watch Matt eventually finish his first half marathon! I think its a great race, especially for first-timers. I'm not sure if i will do it again though, just because of the date. It's July. What did any of us really expect? I would love to check out some other RnR events for sure though!
We also got to have a sweaty blogger meet up after the race:
|Maggie's friend, Nina, Maggie, Amanda, Zach, Cary, Marcia, Pete, and meeeee!|