Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 Ache Around The Lake 8K Race Report

Just the numbers for starters and then let me explain!

Results (based on Guntime)
59:11 mins (11:55 min per mile average)
Overall 133/180
Age Group 4/6

I did this race mainly because my tri swim coach is the race director and I heard from several people that the race course is very pretty, but also very hilly. And they were right... Very pretty and hilly. The course is a loop around Lake Lanier SC/NC. The organizers put together a great race and they should be proud of that. Time keeping was done by the peeps from Setup Events and those guys just know how to run a race and are always fast with posting results. I am planning on going back there next year!

For me personally, disaster struck at this race. But I guess after doing 15 or so races over the last year, I was just due to having a really bad day. On the positive side, at least I crossed the finish line in the end. My goal was to post a decent time and that didn't happen... Still, at least it wasn't my first DNF.

The day started out early. The alarm went off at 5.30AM and by 6.00AM I was on the road to Tryon NC. It's an one hour drive up there and it was still dark by the time I got to the event parking lot. Of course, I passed the lot wondering why there are so many people that early and then DUH! it dawn on me... It was still early, so that's my excuse! ;-)

Picked up my number, t-shirt (nice shirts by the way) and the water bottle and got ready in the car. There was a shuttle bus to the start line, but I decided to walk. Then I learned that start and finish are not in the same spot and debated what I am going to do with the rain jacket that I was still wearing. I could have just left it at the finish line, since it was near enough to drop it off there before going to the start, but it was early enough and so I decided to walk down to the car, put the jacket in the car and walk up again. No use for me to stand around at a start line that long, it's just too tough for my nerves and since I wasn't planning on racing this thing, I didn't feel like warming up either.

Right when the gun went off, I saw a girl that I used to work with. I said hi and off I went down the hill... Starting a race on a downhill is not bad at all... Then around the corner, passing the finish area, over the bridge and up the first hill... Okay, this is why people say the course is hilly... Not really surprising, since Tryon and the lake is in the mountains. While running up the first hill, I met a swim buddy of mine from the tri swim class from earlier this year. We chit-chatted a little bit and I told him to take off, since he is much faster than I, but he stuck around and we passed the first two miles talking. But then I started noticing my stomach. After having to do a walk break and then another one, I told my swim buddy to just keep going. The third mile wasn't to bad either, but I had to do several walking breaks due to my stomach. I took them on uphills or downhills whenever I felt very uncomfortable and whenever things improved I started running again. Going into mile 4, things went from bad to worse. Not only did the frequency of my walking breaks increase, but they became longer and longer and I even had some complete stops pacing back and forth debating what I am going to do. I guess some of my fellow competitors noticed me and when the race organization was driving along the course, they asked me if I was alright and if I needed a ride back. I told them, that I am going to try to finish and kept on walking... jogging... pacing back and forth... A couple of minutes later, I wished I had taken them up on their offer.

Finally, after passing the mile 4 marker things got better and I was able to run uninterrupted again... It also helped that there where hardly any hills left on that last mile and I even passed a couple of people. When I turned for the finish and saw the official time.... I had lost track since my Garmin is on autostop and I stopped a lot... I just had to shake my head... 59 minutes and something... I was very disappointed, but at least I stuck it out and finished the race.

I grabbed a cup of water and then walked back to the car to drive home. As soon as I was in the car, I called Terry for mental support and that helped some. On the drive back home I saw a bobcat and a turkey crossing the road in front of me... not at the same time. As soon as I was back at the house, I laid down... This was a tough day for me and I didn't feel good and it was just 11 AM. There will be other races and next time things are going to be better... hopefully. It's really odd that this happened, just after I was writing about stomach issues in my last post.


  1. Hey Kathrin - it's a tough course, no doubt about it. I'm one of the organizers and live at the lake. Those hills are killers and I have to get away from them on a regular basis. Sorry about your stomach. We all have bad race experiences - the inevitability of racing.

    I did the Candlelight Run in Gvlle in June right when a heat wave hit and even though it was a night race, it was 88 deg at 9:45 pm when it was over. I had a DNF and didn't care...I was about to faint.

    Definitely come back next year and/or come anytime you want a pretty hill workout - the next few weeks will be gorgeous!

    Scarlette T.

  2. Thanks Scarlette, for stopping by. I did the Candlelight Run as well back in June and the heat was horrible.

    As mentioned above. You guys are doing a GREAT job with this race!

  3. Hi Kathrin - Thanks so much for coming to the Ache - sorry your tummy did not play nice with you. Maybe it has to do with things you are eating before the race? I can help you with that. If it makes you feel any better you looked great when you came across the finish line!