Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lake Youngs is an urban 3 lap trail race around Lake Youngs with not much elevation gain so it's all runnable. Each lap is just under 10 miles so the course is about 29 miles. Last year, I ran it pretty hard with Matt with a time of 4:19. This year, due to my hamstring and heel injury, my goal was to not get hurt and finish under 4:30. This is a low key race, and King Aurthur, the RD, was running it also, so at the start he just said "Let's Go!" and off we went. The weather was great, cloudy a chance of clearing, and I started off with a comfortable pace. Steve Stoyls caught me, and we ran together until about mile 6 when I had to make a dodge into the bushes for a bathroom break. I ended up running the first lap a couple of minutes faster than last year without really working at all. I guess I'm in better shape, the hills on the backside of the loop didn't seem bad at all. I did slow down the second lap, I didn't want to push it, but when I got to mile 17 in the hill section, my hamstring started to tighten up and I slowed more and started to wonder if I should do the third lap. As I got closer to the finish, I thought how great it would be to stop now, with a good 19 mile training run in, and not hurt myself some more. But it was important that I get a long run in and I knew I could hobble around the loop one more time. I ended up charging into the aid station, handing Tony C. my bottle for a refill, and charging back out on the course. I knew if I stopped, I would sit down and not leave. I suddenly felt better and chuckled that this was another example of my motto, "It doesn't always get worse!". Then suddenly, I had another impending diarrhea attack. I was in a bad spot with no access to woods for another mile and a half, so I toughed it out and made a dash for the bushes at the first opportunity. I had to sit there for a long time, probably 5 minutes and when I finally got back out on the trail, I noticed the thirteen year old kid was ahead of me by a couple of hundred yards. I ran the rest of the loop at a comfortable pace, no problems on the hills and I caught the kid on the last hill just before the finish. This was his first ultra and he ran each lap without a water bottle! I let him finish in front of me so he could hear the praises from the crowd first hand, plus it was kinda neat getting punked by a kid! I finished in 4:27 and change with factoring in the potty breaks, was about the same that I ran it last year but with much less effort. It was a good day and I'm glad I decided at the last minute to make the trip.