Lithia Loop Trail Marathon
|November 3, 2013||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
Yesterday, I ran my 23rd marathon.
And of those 23 marathons, this one comes out on top in a couple of categories:
Most under-dressed for the conditions: check.
Barely above freezing temps, pouring rain, and harsh wind on top of a mountain definitely requires more than a singlet and short shorts. NOTED.
Before you judge me for making a rookie mistake 22 races past rookie status, let me explain. I based my wardrobe decision on the fact that I like to race cold and the lack of rain at the start. (I was also left with about .5 minutes to make this decision and get ready to go after googlemaps landed us at the wrong location.) I blame the sudden onset of winter and rain showers starting .4 miles into the race for throwing me off. Last weekend, a long sleeved shirt was too much to run in, this weekend, I was ready to kill a polar bear for its fur by mile .6.
And the other category that this race takes the cake in: most elevation change within 26.2 miles.
9200 feet to be exact.
The race started with 9 miles of unrelenting inclines, followed by a few more miles of slightly gentler inclines, and then spent some time rolling around before throwing some steep ass declines and an endless series of switchbacks at us for the last 6 miles.
My mom heard one of the top male finishers say that it was the hardest of the 40+ marathons that he’s raced.
I’m only at 23 of these guys, but I wouldn’t entirely disagree with his statement.
My mom is not really an all-star at operating my phone’s camera. Or, I was just way too speedy at climbing a few thousand feet for her to capture in focus. LET’S GO WITH THAT.
I stuck to my plan to take the race easy, although there’s only a certain level of “easy” that you can attain with this kind of elevation profile. But I was proud of myself for keeping my adrenaline in check and not racing for a gender finish here. Also proud of my legs for being strong enough to run nearly every step of that incline and feel great doing it.
I was pretty darn distracted by how cold I was, but I focused on enjoying the views on top of the mountain, because WOW, Ashland, well done.
Source because let’s be honest, I lost the ability to move my fingers well before the top of the mountain.
And used my discomfort as an opportunity to work on channeling my energy toward what I could control about the race (my own running and how much fun I was having for the 26.2 miles), and not on what I couldn’t (my poor planning and the harsh weather conditions.) Hearing Matt Long talk about control before IMLP drastically changed the way I handle setbacks (in life and running) and shaped how I invest my energy in the things that are within my control, instead of wasting time and heart on the things that are not.
Hopefully at JFK, I will be a little wiser about what I’m wearing and the weather will be perfect for running 50 miles, but there will inevitably be factors thrown at me that are outside of my control. Yesterday was a good reminder that shit happens and good practice for building up the mental strength that has to deal with that shit.
4 hours, 5 minutes, 30 something seconds and a lot of hills after taking off, I crossed the finish.
And then proceeded immediately to the prize that my eye was on for the duration of the race.
The bartender, fellow patrons of the brewery, and my mom kept telling me how great I looked. Although, I believe instead of “great” they said “miserable.”
The bartender was almost as good as my mom was at taking pictures.
Overall, a great race that was well executed and stacked with awesome volunteers, and a fun day down south in Ashland. I’ll for sure head back down for another rendezvous around their hills.