Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Around the lake, Giv'r take 30km

(There were a few people out in costumes...)

Last Saturday I drove the large and in charge North Shore Athletics (NSA) mobile out to Chiliwack to partake in Around the lake, Giv'r take 30km. NSA sponsors the event, and because of this Peter usually goes out and drops off the tents and prizing and runs it himself. I have joined him for the past 2 years and I must say it is one of my favorite races.

This year however, Peter is away on a climbing trip and I wavered back and forth about having the responsibility of driving the big truck out, setting up/taking down tents, and running. After being convinced into it by Dirk Handke, I picked up the truck Saturday morning and headed out. The new truck drives a lot smoother than my 91' Honda Civic and I had to be careful because it was way to easy to speed.

I had been having a few aches and pains leading up to the race, probably because of all the random activity (running, climbing, kettle bell class) I have been doing without any stretching, massage, or rolling. But, I thought it would be fun nonetheless. I had only run once that week and about 3 times the week before so I was definitely not in prime running shape, but I thought perhaps it the lack of running would have my running legs rested.

Last year, at this point, I was in peak physical condition training for Mountain Masochist and was ready to come out and run my heart out. At this point, this year, right now, I am nowhere near where I was last year, which is totally fine. I just knew I had to re-adjust my goals and not have any crazy high expectations.

When the gun went off, I went out with ease, and settled into a nice pace as we ran a flat couple of km before heading into the steep hills above Cultus Lake. I was leading the female category and was feeling good. As we started up the first major climb of the day, some guy started chatting me up. He told me he had seen my times and thought he better stay behind me. I felt the need to remind him of my current shape compared to last year and that he might want to re-consider. Looking back, I didn't really need to explain that to him. But I guess somewhere deep down, I didn't want to look silly when I finished slower (I need to get over that).

Anywho, out of nowhere this awesome chick whizzes by me like I was standing still. I was impressed! Two years ago the same thing happened and although I did not recognize this person (I only saw her back), I wondered if it was her. The grade of the first climb is stupidly steep. The first year I did this race I walked it. The second year I was determined to run it (once I realized my power hiking is pretty inefficient). Not surprisingly, I found myself doing the same this year. I remember feeling good. It didn't feel any harder than last year, just a bit longer and I was excited for the downhill of fun to begin.

Two years ago when I raced this same lady, I caught her on the long downhill section that followed the steep hill climb, and never saw her again. This year however, she was nowhere in sight. I plugged away at the downhill switchbacks and noticed that I was having some minor pain on the outside of my right knee. This is where I normally feel it when I have a combination of a tight hamstring and ITB. I kept going hoping it would miraculously get better. I knew that if it didnt I would drop out at the relay exchange and call it a day, knowing I had busted my butt for the first half of the race.

After descending a long time, the course spits you out into this open grassy field and then immediately onto the road for a couple of km to the 15km (half way/relay exchange). As I came into the field I could see two people ahead of me, one being the lead female. She clearly is wicked on the hills but I seem to have an edge on the downhill. We descended down onto the road and I slowly reeled her in. By the time we got to the half way mark and the relay exchange we were literally side by side. Now, I must be honest, I don't really enjoy racing someone like that. I'd way rather be the underdog and pass someone and drop them so they were out of sight, or be in the lead and work my butt off to keep them out of sight. When you are neck and neck like that, it just hurts!

My knee pain was not going away but here I was at the relay exchange and I am neck and neck with the lead female, I might as well give it a go and hope the pain goes away. Right away we started up a long switchback hill. She naturally took off, and I watched her float away. As soon as I started to descend again, the pain worsened and it was clear to me that my day was done. There no point in pushing another 13km with the sort of pain I was having. It wasn't the worst it has ever been, but it was enough to know that if I continued, it could potentially put me out for a couple of weeks.

I walked all the way back to the transition area, which seemed surprisingly longer than what I just ran. I had about a dozen people say to me "your going the wrong way!". Thanks...

I wasn't upset that I dropped. I do wonder how my time would have compared to last year and if I would have ever caught that woman. I'll have to wait for next year!

This race is super awesome and it never gets the numbers out it deserves. The location is stunning with the race starting and finishing on the beach at Cultus Lake. They had a fire going and many of the vollies and runners bring homemade goodies.

I can't wait to go back next year! I am glad that I made the decision I did because I didn't experience any pain the next day, however I haven't tried running yet! I've been bogged up at home sick for the past 2 days. Time to try now.

Alright, let's get outside...

See you in the trails!


Mountain Way said...

They don't always work out as we like. You definately made the right call; and not an easy one to make.

At least you got to wear hot-pink spandex (?)

Lets run soon.


I loved that race!! even more fun in the rain!! I missed it this year due to the flu. Great to see you have realistic expectations of yourself- what a great example you are. oh, and thanks for the positive comments- Thats what blogs are for...SUPPORTING each other :)


Ran with ms S. Elias today. What a great, positive gal. Which made up for her kicking my a$$ on the run :)