Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Race Report: Lake George Half Marathon

Hubby, my sister, and I headed up to Lake George, NY on Friday evening, picked up our race packets, and headed out to dinner. It was the first Lake George Half, so we figured it was going to be a fairly small race. The race numbers were assigned alphabetically. Our last name begins with "W" and we were numbers 345 and 346. Not even 350 people total had registered! Crazy.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and I obsessed over the weather and what to wear. The forecast was for rain and 39 degrees. All week it had been saying rain, but initally it was going to be 60 degrees. We layed out our clothes, set the alarms and went to bed. The best thing about staying up there the night before was that we got up at 7 and walked out of our hotel at 7:50 over to the start. It was raining/freezing rain out and 34 degrees. FREEZING! At least it was uplifting to see that we weren't the only idiots out there!

Since it was a small race, there wasn't any timing chips or any clocks along the course. I had my watch and we kept track of our splits with that. The first mile looped through the parkinglot of Million Dollar Beach at the southern tip of Lake George. This really would have been a pretty course, if it hadn't been for the rain! We then headed up the west side of the lake, just past Diamond Point. It was an out-and-back course with the turn around at about mile 7.

Around mile 4.5, my right hand was just freezing. I looked down and it was purple. I had started out with gloves on, but had taken them off around mile 1.5 when I had warmed up a little. By this time, we were completely soaked so I decided to try the gloves back on again - they were just the litle thin knit ones, so I didn't think they were going to do anything, but they made all the difference.

We knew that this was going to be a tough course - the elevation changed the ENTIRE time - we were running either up or down for the majority of the race. Because of this, we knew that we wouldn't be breaking any PRs, so the three of us decided to stay together the whole race, just stopping around mile 8 so my sister could get the "kink" out of her knee and stretch out her hip/ITB. We carried our hand-held water bottles, filling up just at one of the water stops, but there seemed to be pleanty of water stops available for those who needed them.

All in all, it was a good race. Very well-run for being the inaugural one. Once it becomes more popular and more people are running, it would probably be a good idea to close down the roads - we ran on the shoulder with cones to our left. Most drivers were considerate enough to slow down, but others seemed to have cared less and just sped right past us. I guess that would be my only complaint about the race.

We finished in 2:31 and some change. The post-race food was under a tent and the pizza and garlic knots were AMAZING! We grabbed some food, headed back up to the hotel to shower and warm up, and then left to go home.
The "after picture", AKA the "drowned rats" picture

And of course, by the time we got into the car, the rain had slowed to a slight drizzle, and by the time we arrived back to my parents house an hour later, it was no longer raining. :) Oh well

What I learned:
- Don't obsess about the weather. No amount of worrying will change it, and once you're out there, it's really not that bad
- When you run slow enough, the uphills really don't seem that bad
- There are some big-ass houses up on that Lake!
- Steve's theory on the meaning of a "drowned rat"
- Even though cold+wet = miserable, we still were able to laugh and joke and have fun
- Thighs and bellies turn BRIGHT RED after running in the cold/rain for 2 1/2 hours and stay that way for a couple of hours. I'm talking like worst sunburn ever. Crazy
- I am thankful that it wasn't my first half. I really relied on crowd support through my first few halfs, but now it's kind of peaceful to not have the huge crowds
- Pace makes all the difference. We headed out slow since we knew about all of the hills, and we all finished saying that we felt great!
- I need to sign up for another one....these are getting more and more fun!


  1. Yikes! Sounds like some scary conditions, but good for you for making the most of it! Congrats on the completion of another half!

  2. Oh goodness...lots of elevation and freezing rain? Way to go on a 2:31 time!! That's awesome!! :0)

  3. I thought about doing that race. I love Lake George!

  4. Awesome job going with the flow and enjoying the race despite the weather. Small races can be tough mentally so I'm sure staying together probably helped a lot.

    And now - you're officially addicted...Isn't it great :)?

  5. what a great attitude! I know about cold bellies and legs! what a trooper!! thanks for no rain prayers!