Last Saturday was the Hagg Lake 50k race. This was my first race of the year and I hoped it to be a good report on my fitness to this point. My training has been a bit sporadic this winter and generally unfocussed. However, I had been laying down some aerobic miles, putting some long runs in and doing some turnover workouts, so I thought I might be able to put a good run together. I figured splits for a four hour finish and planned to use that as a baseline for the day.
For those that don't know the course, it is two loops around the lake with a short out and back section at the start. There is no climbing per se, but the trail is constantly rolling up and down and twisting back and forth. Depending on the weather the trail can get really muddy. It rained the whole week leading up to the race.
I had picked up my race packet Thursday at Fit Right NW (really liked this option!), so there wasn't a need to get out there early. Driving out the roads were very icy, and as I got near the start area the ealy starters were crossing the road like they were on ice skates. It was cold and clear--perfect running weather. I parked next to Nick Triolo, said hi, got my stuff together and headed to the start. I put my drop bag on the tarp and hurried to the start. In moments we were off.
The out and back was uneventful. You basically run up a gravel road and then back down. I like it because it spreads everyone out before starting on the trail and gives a good look at who's doing what. Never sure how hard to run this so just stayed around a minute off the front. I saw Mike Rosling right behind me and gave him a hard time about his shorts.
We got onto the trail and the race was on! I made a wrong turn and lost a minute or two (did the exact same thing last year), but quickly got back. Saw my good friend Trevor on the road before the dam--he would be at every stop the whole day! It always makes a difference knowing someone is there. Thanks Trevor!
The first lap went well and I was right on my splits. Ruth and the kids were just getting there as I got to the start/finish area and I got some hugs and high fives before heading out for the second loop. The kids don't get to see me run much and I loved knowing I would see them at the aid stops the rest of the run.
What a difference a couple hundred runners footprints can do to a wet trail..the course had worsened dramatically. I kept my split for the leg to the dam, but it took noticeably more effort in doing so. Some more fans showed up--Eva, Brett and Mason--awesome!
At this point I tried to see where I was in the race part of the race. Whenever the course opened up, I couldn't see anybody ahead and nobody seemed to be pressing me from behind. It felt like a training run and I kind of slipped into that mindset. I started taking it easy. I wasn't slacking, it just didn't feel like given the conditions of trail that running much harder would pay off that much. I don't think this was a bad thing, but I felt content not really pushing it.
I hit the finish in 4:13:39. 6th place (results here). Gave the family hugs and kisses as they took off to get home for naps. I stuck around chatting and eating. Even got a medal for winnng my age group.
All in all not a bad day.