We live fairly close to a big lake. Not THE big lake (we’re about 35 miles from Lake Michigan), but Lac La Belle. It’s a 1,154 acre lake and the center point of the Lake Country Half Marathon. One one side of the lake is downtown Oconomowoc, and the other side is a residential area—the village of Lac La Belle. Today, I conquered this lake.
I had planned to do my run by the other big lake today in order to take part in a We Run This group run. I was going to do four miles by Lake Michigan, and four miles with the group meeting nearby. But, last night I attended a drag show at a local university where I used to work, and due to hanging out with attendees afterwards didn’t make it home until 2:00 a.m. I chose to sleep for 8.5 hours, rather than get up at 6:30 to drive an hour to do the group run.
So, I had to plan a route at home. I picked Lac La Belle, and looked to the Lake Country Half Marathon route for guidance. I’m about a mile from the lake and would basically need the entire 8 miles to circle it, so I started with a warmup walk and planned to include a cool-down walk as well. I left my house at 2:50 p.m. It was just over 40 degrees, the sun was shining, and wind was noticeable but not bad. I brought raisins with me for fuel.
The first mile was in familiar territory, but then I started to see Lac La Belle from the side I’ve never been on. It’s a cute little residential street (with a 15 mph speed limit—yay!) with a mix of modest and extravagant houses. You actually can’t drive all the way along the lake because the road dead ends but continues as a short section of paved trail, which makes it great for running and biking. I had to veer north (on the half marathon course) about two miles in. It looked like there may have been a running path that wasn’t marked on the map, but I didn’t want to risk it and end up doubling back and increasing my miles.
The elevation map from RunningAhead.com showed a monster hill during mile two.
It really wasn’t that bad. This is why scale matters—it was really only a 50-foot climb over half a mile. As I detoured to the north, I ran by a corn field and could really feel the sun. I wonder how rosy my cheeks are….
I turned left and met back up with the road right around the lake. I passed a few runners who smiled and nodded, and then I passed the half-way mark. I just had to make it home now.
I saw a man walking ahead. He was middle-aged, not fat but not fit, and seemed to be out for an afternoon stroll. I smiled as I approached, and he stuck up his hand for a high-five. I obliged and said thank you, and he yelled, “You go girl!” That made me feel good. 🙂
I managed to miss a turn from the half marathon route and emerged on a busy highway. The shoulders were wide, so it was fine. It was at this point I realized that I had run to the county line.
I started running along the highway, and a car honked (I assume in encouragement). Once I hit mile 6, things got tough. All I could think of was drinking water, and I didn’t have any water with me, nor any money to get some. I also felt a bit of distress in my digestive system, so I stopped eating the raising (the distress passed quickly). I walk/ran the last two miles and briefly considered stopping in a bar for water at mile 7, but just kept pressing on. My final photo was taken at mile 7.3, when I had a brilliant view of the lake I had just run around. It was almost time to turn away from the lake and head to home, so I wanted a photo to commemorate my first round-the-lake run.
One thing I like about Nike+ is the encouraging voice that tells me I’m almost there. I have to force myself to run that last portion. I finished the 8 miles in almost exactly the time Nike+ had predicted I would, so I felt great about that. I also apparently PR’d my 10K time (which just means I ran it faster than last week).
I immediately called my mom when I finished, and talked to her during the .4 mile walk to my house. My legs felt like jello, and I knew I was going to be sore, but I was proud. I told my mom that if I was the type of person that quit, today would be the day I quit my training program and failed to sign up for the race (I’m still not registered for budget reasons). The last two miles of my run were ugly and not indicative of how I’ve felt while running in 2014. But I’m not a quitter, and next Saturday I’m planning to run from my house to the next major town over on a gorgeous trail (9 miles) and have my husband meet me for breakfast. I’ll probably need to get a handheld water bottle before then. According to the pace chart, I didn’t fail as epically in the end as I felt.
I came home, hydrated, showered, and fell asleep in bed for about 45 minutes. I don’t plan to leave the couch much tonight. I have no idea how folks do this in the morning and then go about their day like it’s no big deal.