Race week!: Lake Sara Dam Run

I suppose I owe you all an update or two, eh?

I have a few things to blog about so I’m hoping to celebrate with a promised 5 (and possibly 6) post week!

First up? The Lake Sara Dam Run

This was my first week back from Cyprus and knee issues. I squeaked out a 5 miler and a 3 miler earlier in the week. I considered this 8-mile race to be my confidence booster or crusher. The training plan had 10 on the schedule, but I stuck with the 8.

It was a gorgeous day.

The course started on the dam, proceeded along a cornfield country block, and through a pretty, hilly, and shady area. It finished by a rec building next to the lake.

I truly didn’t know if I’d be able to finish this run. I was cautiously running without knee pain (just the tightness I’ve now grown accustom to) until mile 2. We ran head-on into high wind gusts next to the cornfield. The tightness increased and I stopped around 2.5 and tightened my knee strap as much as I could. That made a big difference! Very soon after we turned east and the wind was to our backs. It was delightful! I was feeling strong and pulled away from my friend on a couple downhills.

I walked through all the water stops (who am I kidding? this is just a training run). Around 6 or 7 I felt like I was lacking in energy and electrolytes but I didn’t have anything to fix that, just water.

I’ve never had the problems starting out slowly and finding my conservative pace in a race. I love the psychological boost of passing people at the end. I did quite a bit of that once I hit mile 5 (measurably closer to the finish than the start). I experimented with running tangents and passed a few people by utilizing the technique. I was 20 seconds behind a group of girls aiming for 90 mins. I didn’t have the energy to speed up to pass them (we were running very similar paces, me slightly faster), but I took them easily at a corner. 90 mins sounded good to me so that became my goal. The hills were significant compared to my other runs, but I felt strong on them.

And then, out of nowhere, the finish line: 89:50 (11:14/mi).

I received my very first running medal, grabbed a bottle of water, and walked back along the course to find the friend I’d left behind. I ran with her for a little bit and realized that while my knee was ok when I was running, everything changed since I’d stopped to walk for a little while. She finished around 6 minutes behind me and said the hills were challenging for  her.

My very first medal:

There was some great post-run food at the “best dam run in Illinois”.

Filed under “confidence booster”.

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3 Responses to Race week!: Lake Sara Dam Run

  1. Excellent job. Glad the knee held up.

  2. Marcia says:

    Awesome job on that dam run! Congrats!

  3. Fran says:

    Great job on the run! And your first medal!

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my last post.

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