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LOST 7-Mile Run

April 11, 2009

Bib Number: 52
Overall Placement: 48/94 (40%)
Age Group Placement: 2/5 (40%)
Gender Placement: 18/55 (33%)
Clock Time: 59:56

I was delighted this morning to be picked up not by Little G in her white car, but by my other running friend M in her SUV, who had run into Little G at Good Friday services and been talked into coming with us. Yay!

Arrived after some doubtful moments (the race is titled Lost, after all) at the race site, shrouded in fog–actually, the fog started as soon as we left civilization headed west. We had thirty minutes before gun time to register, hit the porta-potties, and warm-up, so something had to give, and it was the warm-up.

It felt cold in the fog but we figured we’d warm up soon running, and we sure did–temps were in the 70s and with the fog so thick, our sweat just didn’t lift at all–it was syrupy and wet on us by the mile marker.

I kept to my 8:30-mile strategy fairly well, and found M right on my heels. I kept Little G in my sights as well as I could but it was a tough go in the fog, and she picked up the pace at the turnaround, when I lost her. At that point, I decided my race was going to be against a woman who looked like she might be in my age group. She was wearing a blue tank, black shorts, and looked like she was running easy. I told myself I’d hold pace til the five-mile mark and then trust my finishing kick to dust her.

Well, she had a three-mile kick, and it was good. My two-mile kick was weak today–good only for an 8:15 mile and an 8 mile, maybe indicative that the early miles (closer to an 8:45 for the first three miles) had been too fast after all for my current condition.

I lost her completely in the fog at the five- or six-mile mark. At that point, I did my best to pull in using other runners, several of whom were struggling as severely as I was just to finish–some walking. It didn’t help that with the heavy fog, it was impossible to see the finish, though we were running a straight out-and-back course. I literally didn’t see the finish-line clock until I was one-tenth of a mile from it.

At one mile out, my goal became to get in under an hour. I knew I’d have to push to get there, as I was closing on 52 minutes by then and I wasn’t sure I could do a sub-8 mile. I told myself to just do an 8-minute half-mile and sprint from the half-mile point. (Garmie was my best friend today, as the fog was so disorienting.) Closing in on the clock, I saw it ticking away that 59th minute. The eventual winner in the 70-74 age group was just in front of me, and though I respect him and see him in long training runs, I think I would have knocked him down if he’d been in my way.

I got in four seconds under one hour.

It was a great race. Easy to run alone, pass on the left, keep to your pace. Four water stations, water, bananas, and bagels at the end. Usually it’s termed “the run for the corn,” as a local running farmer gives all finishers the first corn of the season, but the crop this year has suffered from the freezes, so we got Florida rice instead–what runner doesn’t appreciate that?

It was such a great race, and I’m so glad I shared it with the girls. They’re such great sisters in Christ, and such great runners. Little G brought coffee for our cooldown. We sat by the car for a while, then drove home, chatting all the way.

On the way home, the girls and I started strategizing about our next grand dream–oh, we’re all planning fall marathons, but, long-term, we want to put together a team to run the Sunrise to Sunset Relay next March. We’d like to get a bunch of Christian girls together to run across the state–no pace worries, just running together for the fun of it and to do something that pushes our limits in a new way. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    April 13, 2009 7:51 am

    Sounds like a fun time. I would have been freaked out about getting “lost” in the fog. I particularly don’t like trail type runs because of the getting lost factor. There are many great ultras where I live but when you read about the race and it says that it is in a wilderness area without support and getting lost is a real possibility so you better know where you are going.!!!! HAHAHA That makes me neverous. I don’t do races with disclaimers like that.

  2. the Ringmaster permalink*
    April 13, 2009 10:57 am

    I don’t blame you!

    And I was disappointed–no trail running after all. This race is run along the top of the dike, and though it used to be gravel, now it’s paved over. Yes, it’s the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (hence the LOST acronym), but it wasn’t that scenic in the fog. And I’ll tell you what put a little spring in my step–the RD’s announcement that there are gators in both the lake and the reservoir, “though they don’t usually climb up the banks, but we figured we’d warn ya,” and that snakes are not an unusual sight on the path. Yikes!

  3. run4change permalink
    April 13, 2009 2:23 pm

    Yes!! It is comments like that which make my courage level to do a big run go WAAAAAAY down. HAHAHA When they start to tell me about mountain lions and bears and having to pay for search and rescue. WOW! I just click to the next race web page. HAHA You were a strong woman to conquer the gators. HHAHAHA

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