Yesterday I participated in the 20th annual Lapham Peak Colorama 10K race. I thought it would be a good last hard effort before the Chicago Marathon next week. It also sounded like a really cool race, run on the cross country ski trails of Lapham Peak State Park.
Having been out in that area a couple of times before, I expected the course to be hilly. Maybe even quite hilly. This turned out to be a huge understatement. The race started up a gently sloping grass hill. This quickly turned into a very steep cross country ski trail full of rocks, dirt and tree roots. I would say the first mile was pretty much all uphill. After that it flattened out a bit, and I was able to catch my breath.
Then we hit the mother load. This was more than just a hill. It was long. It was steep. It seemed it would never end. Many people around me were reduced to walking at this point, but I would not allow myself. I chanted “one foot in front of the other. you can do this” over and over in my head. My breathing became quite audible. Ok, I was wheezing. By the time I reached the top I was drooling and snotting all over the place. Fun!
Now it was time to go down. And guess what – the backside was just as steep, just as long. There is nothing you can do but let your legs go in sort of a controlled fall, limbs flailing. One wrong step or unseen root would send you toppling head over heels the rest of the way down. Luckily I made it without killing myself, and the worst part was over.
The rest of the course was rolling hills. Some were quite steep, but they were all short enough to be manageable. I crossed the finish line with a time of 50:51, or an average of 8:11 per mile. Pretty good for such a tough course. Then came the kicker. I won 2nd place in my age group! Here I am with my plaque:
Now for the coolest part. My wonderful husband got a bonus at work last week and surprised me with a new Garmin Forerunner 405. This thing is the bomb! It can take any route you run and show it in Google Earth. So here is the race course from yesterday:
How cool is that?? You can also click on any of those little white squares, and it will tell you your time and distance elapsed to that point, as well as what your pace was at that very second. It will also keep track of my pace, speed, elevation and grade, and display them on a chart. I feel my inner nerdiness coming out already.
With that, marathon week is here. I have a super-busy week ahead, and then it’s off to Chicago on Saturday. Lastly, a big shout-out to everyone running the Lakefront Marathon today. The weather is perfect for a great race!