52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 18: By George!

Since I started running last year, I’ve packed in a lot of races. So many, in fact, that you’d think one thing would be painfully obvious to me by now: There. Will. Be. Hills. I figure the fact that hills continue to elicit from me such breathless rage either means I have some unresolved hill-related issues from my past or I really need to take an anger-management course.

Looking back through some of my recent posts, I’ve noticed a pervasive “hills = evil” theme. And while they are evil, all this complaining has made me concerned that I’m turning into Stride and Killjoy.

To that end, I have decided to issue a moratorium on hilly rants. Although, this doesn’t apply if a hill is a) unnaturally steep or b) occurs at a particularly inopportune place in a run, such as right at the freaking end. Which brings me to this week’s event, the Lake George Half Marathon and 5K, No. 18 in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

Lovely Lake George on a chilly – but thankfully still – Sunday morning.

I love how the most idyllic settings have produced, for me, some of the most challenging runs. Salisbury Beach, MA; Riverside Park in NYC, the covered bridge in Henniker, NH, and, now, Lake George, NY.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

Half-marathoners brave the chilly start while the 5Kers look on.

This was another small-ish event, which was nice after the insanity of the B.A.A. 5K. I enjoy the buzzy atmosphere of the big races, but there’s something to be said for the chill nature of the smaller ones. These are my people.

Only 75 runners chose to do the 5K; the rest of the 500 or so participants took on the half-marathon. I remember the first time I ran in such a small group. I was convinced, convinced I would come last. It was nice to not have that fear this time around, although I was far from confident. That is a running state I’ll never achieve.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

Guess I'll never get any faster if I insist on taking photos in the middle of a run.

No train, no gain

The first mile of the Lake George 5K was torture. There was no particular reason other than it was cold. I busted out my inhaler mid-run for the first time in months. Crap. Clearly my training wasn’t working.

Wait, what training?

In the midst of trying to figure out the perfect running/cross-training schedule, I’ve forgotten to actually, you know, train. I am determined to right this wrong. I’m not so foolish to attempt to run a half-marathon on the back of no preparation at all, despite what Barney Stinson tells me …

This race produced a number of those moments where I wondered why the heck I was insisting upon torturing myself. Every weekend. At my own expense. My lungs weren’t working and I felt like swearing at people. Had there been any onlookers, I may well have done just that. (I thought it was probably not such a great idea to swear at other runners; they are wiry but strong.)

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

Waiting for the half-marathoners to come in.

Mile two and three were equally as painful but with lovely views of the lake and surrounds. And yes, there were some hills. [Insert standard hill rant here.]

Savvy readers will note that last on week’s run disaster I added about three minutes to my 5K time (yes, I talk like this now. And yes, I know you can have bad runs, but three minutes seems like a lot). In the midst of my pain this week, I was convinced I had regressed even further and was going to completely mangle my time curve.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

Rising to the occasion. The hill leading to the finish line.

I was especially convinced of this when I turned a corner expecting to glide galumph towards the finish only to find ANOTHER hill lurking between me and sweet relief. (This is where rule b. above comes into play.) I think I may have heard laughter from the direction of the race organizers.

Yes, hills = evil.

That’s all I am going to say on the topic. Until next time, of course …

As usual, the event itself had little to do with me feeling as though I had just been whomped in the chest with a baseball bat. The gloriously sunny skies lent a happy air to the whole affair, and the chill eventually diminished enough that I was able to stay outside and watch the band and eat bananas as I waited for Hubby to finish the half-marathon.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

Blues band under blue skies.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5K

We have some bananas.

Strangely enough, despite lumbering through the run in a slightly crazed fashion, I managed to post a PR. Don’t ask me how. I guess in those moments where I was actually running, I was running pretty fast (for me). I’m going to have to start declaring to anyone who will listen that I am on the run/walk training program to improve my speed. It sounds better than saying I am being forced to walk because my lungs are two big spongy wimps.

Eighteen runs down, 34 to go. It’s a long, winding road ahead.

Lake George Half Marathon and 5KThe event: Lake George Half Marathon and 5K
The location: Lake George, NY
The date: April 29, 2012
My time: 30.03 (pace 9.42)
Hubby’s time:
1.38.03 (pace 7.30)
The cause: There was no charity associated with this run, so we donated clothing to Soldiers’ Angels
The aftermath: Bananas, oranges, cookies

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26 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 18: By George!

  1. Great work on the time, now if only that course was as flat and smooth as the lake looked.

  2. Brilliant! Both in race & writing! You always write exactly the things I feel, think and want to do while “running” a race. Hahaha

  3. Congrats! Seriously – if you are posting a new PR this early in your 52 weeks, while feeling like hell, you’re going to be killing those 5Ks in no time! You already are since it’s more than most everyone else is doing every week. 🙂

    • Thanks!!! I keep feeling like I might be getting somewhere, but then I’ll have a run where I’m totally not convinced. 🙂 I know it’s my fault; I really need to start doing some proper training. Thanks for the support!

  4. Henry Runs

    Good for you on your PR! As someone who loves running hills (well maybe not loves but has grown to appreciate), I wanted to recommend that you add hill repeats to your running workouts. Once you gain some “hill savvy”, you will love the feeling of dropping into low gear and passing other runners as you motor up the hill!

  5. You’re heading back to YVR for the half-marathon. Have you visited since you lived there way back in 1998?

    • I haven’t, so am definitely looking forward to it! Can you believe it’s been 14 years?! This run takes in Stanley Park, too, so that will be very cool.

      • Just to think of us 14 years ago, living on the West Coast – how we have moved on since then. It should be great to go back to YVR – such a lovely city. Running through Stanley Park would be splendid. Hope you’ll be in a good state to really enjoy it.

      • I hope so too. I still can’t believe it was that long ago that we were crashing at your place and driving around San Francisco. Good times!!

  6. Holy sh**!! Nice job on the PR!! Honestly, I’d rather run on a cold chilly day than a warm in Spring when my allergies/asthma go crazy… I need to start running w/ my camera. Thanks for reminding me. =) I added a couple minutes on to my last race too. Each race is its own and under totally different conditions as someone told me, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

    • Yeah, I keep telling myself that. I don’t know why I am so hard on myself. I guess I just have this expectation of improvement and it doesn’t always happen. The end result of this race was definitely not what I was expecting, so I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂 I usually run with the iPhone as it’s my music source, so it works out well in terms of pictures, although I have almost dropped it a few times mid-run. Oops.

  7. You are SO CLOSE to sub-30! Congrats on the PR!

    • Thank you!!! I know, I feel like it’s in my grasp. Although I keep thinking that maybe the clock for this run was wrong. How the hell did I manage to go so “fast.” 🙂

  8. sub 30 is within touching distance! You go girl 🙂

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  15. I just stumbled on your blog. I too ran this race and yes, it was cold and HILLY. I hate hills as much as you do.

    I am thinking about the Sun Run in nYC for next April. I want to do a race in NYC. Hilly? As hilly as Lake George. Worth it?

    • I’ve been following your blog for a while! 🙂

      The Sun Run was fun. Pretty small as I recall, but Riverside Park is lovely. It was our first NYC race too. I would say definitely not as hilly as Lake George. The race is worth it if you happen to be in NYC already, but I probably wouldn’t travel there for it. I also ran Lake George in 2013, but it was kind of a disaster so I didn’t end up writing about it!