Saturday, February 23, 2019

Lost Trail Half Marathon–Robin -2019

Date/Location 2/23/19 Grantite Beach, Granite Bay, CA
Distance Approx 12.7 mi
Time 1:55:04
Place 2nd (4th female o/a)
Teammates Friends from Tuesday Night Track: Elizabeth Katzura, Stephanie Artis

I’m trying to do my long run on race day.  I’m following Troy’s example from last weekend.  We both have had set-backs in training due to injury so we didn’t get in the usual long runs. Since we both have half marathons two weeks out from our A races, Napa Marathon for Troy and Chanoko 31K for me, we needed to add some miles to get in the needed long run.  I park outside of Granite Beach park and run 4 miles to the start.  I am already feeling tired two miles into my pre-race run.  Praying that the Lord will help sustain me.  I’m actually running on the first third of the race course and am relieved to see it’s pretty dry along here.  Fortunately we’ve had a break in rain this week somewhat so hoping the rest of the trails won’t be too muddy. 

As I arrive at registration, Troy, the girls and Oscar are pulling in.  Ariel is doing her third Happy Kids Duathlon while I’m racing. 

There are some familiar faces here as well.  Elizabeth Katsura from our track workout is here.  She ran the Manda 1/2 Marathon with Troy last weekend.  Double duty!  Stephanie Artis is also here.  I predict that she will lead the pack today.

We pray as a family for Ariel and myself. It’s always special to be in prayer for one another!

We line up on the start.  Suddenly the race director Bill shouts, “go”!  Wow, no warning!  Stephanie pulls out in front with some guys and there are 2 women trailing behind her.  I want to take advantage of the mostly flat sections in the beginning and push it but also want to conserve my energy for the back half of the race.  My goal is to run faster than 9:10 pace and hopefully around 2 hours. 

The first 2 miles go pretty smoothly and I pass one of the women.  I was on this part of the trail earlier so there are no surprises.  Runners are heading back from the turn around and Stephanie is firmly in the lead for the women. 

My average pace is creeping up from 8:00 to 8:31 but there is more climbing on the way back.  It’s getting close to 8:30am which is the start of Ariel’s race.  I’m hoping to see her on the bike!

At Mile 4, we are diverted on a trail that parallels the main park road.  I’ve never run back here.  It’s a pretty area and the trail is narrow.  The trail seems to be moving away from the road which means the chances of seeing Ariel are fading.  She must be halfway through the run right now.

I haven’t seen any other females.  I am starting to take turns leading with some guys.  This trail is mostly dry but there are a few good puddles.  My pace is inching up to about 8:37.  I can hear some cheering and some bicycle wheels turning but cannot see the road.  I pray for Ariel to have a safe and fast ride!

This trail goes a long way!  I can barely see some bike riders.  I’m thinking Ariel is already getting ready to run again.

Finally we get onto a familiar trail.  I'm going back & forth with a guy in blue.  He tells me his wants to stay ahead of his wife. 

i start to notice some of the frontrunners going on a parallel trail in the opposite direction.  I start to wonder if I made a mistake…but then remember this is called the Lost Trail Half and it really seems like I’m lost.  I realize I haven’t been thinking about God or talking to Him.  I thank Him for giving me the energy to maintain this pace.

Soon I’m on the opposite trail getting a look at the runners behind me.  I see some strong girls back there!  There is a teen runner that is walking ahead of me.  He is holding his stomach and doesn’t look good.  I can tell he’s on the verge of tears.  I slow down and ask if he needs some nutrition.  He says no and tells me he’s feeling sick.  I encourage him to hang in there.  I realize later I could have stopped and prayed with him.  A missed opportunity!

At around 8 miles, my pace has slowed to 8:50 pace.   The trails are progressively getting more winding and hilly.  I hope to can just stay under 9:10!  This trail just seems to keep meandering up and down through the trees.  It really feels like I could be lost! They sure nailed the race name!  I am mostly alone except for an occasional glimpse of a runner ahead or of mtn bikers.  The guy in blue has fallen back.

Just after mile 9, I make it to an aid station and familiar territory.  Civiilzation, for a moment…then back to the trails.  I almost go the wrong way.  Funny, I seem to always want to go the wrong way at this spot!

Now I am able to see Lake Folsom and get a wider view of the land.  This part is pretty technical and my pace shows…I’m now hovering around 9:08 pace!

Soon, I hear someone coming up fast behind me.  I look back because it’s a surprise.  It’s a woman!  She flies by me like I’m standing still.  I’m now the fourth woman.  She motivates me to pick it up.  I can see two guys now ahead of me and I make it a goal to try to catch them.

Now the terrain has flattened out some so I can start moving quicker.  I can see a parallel trail with some runners including that girl.  For a moment, I think I miss the turn off to that trail as I find myself meandering again through some trees.  I see some random spectators ahead and know I’m on the right track.

My pace is picking up and I’m maintaining 9:08.  I can see the finish line off in the distance and I’m just passed mile 11.  That probably means the course is going to be a bit shy of 13.1 miles…but the hills and technical challenges probably make it 13.1 equivalent.  I’m pleasantly surprised to see I’ve picked it up even more.  Thank you Lord!

Soon I can hear Troy and the girls cheering in the distance.  So close!  One of those two guys is close but continues to hold me off.

So close now.  Anna is telling me to sprint to the finish.  I feel like I’m picking it up but it probably doesn’t look that way! I dig deep and cross the line.  Thank you Jesus!  It’s so good to be done…but 1 more mile to go for a cool-down!