Hi everyone! As I get further away from the Lost Lake Run, and I begin to finally walk normally again and process what happened, I’ve got to admit something: Lost Lake changed me. I went into that race as an injured road runner who loved hiking, and came out as a trail runner. Me! A trail runner! It’s so crazy that I’m still trying to take it in.
Even as I re-read my Lost Lake Run recap, I notice that I mentioned that I had fun “pretending to be a trail runner”. Except that when I honestly think about it, I could definitely call myself a trail runner now. I ran probably 1/3 of a 16 mile mountain trail with a 2,100 ft elevation gain, and I did it in 5 hours with an injury. I kept a constant uphill pace on some pretty crazy terrain, and managed to run more on a 6 mile downhill portion than I’ve run in any other race this year. I had fun bouncing around on rocks, tree roots, muddy patches, and across streams. And even though it got really tough at the bottom of the mountain, I can honestly said I enjoyed every moment of that trail race.
It hit me when I ran past mile 13 that I’ve spent so many half marathons struggling along roads and desperately wanting to finish a race that I had spent months training for (with those long weekend runs…ugh). But there I was, running downhill on a gorgeous trail on the side of a mountain looking down towards my favorite town on earth, and I couldn’t help but perk up even though I still had 3 miles left. At each difficult moment in this race I was instantly able to pull myself out of my misery by looking around at the gorgeous scenery around me, and I finished that race without anything left to give and a huge smile on my face.
Ever since crossing that finish line, I feel like maybe I’ve been doing this running thing wrong for years now. Maybe I’m not supposed to spend my entire summer pushing through long road runs just to run another half marathon. Maybe I’m supposed to hike all summer long and learn how to run downhill fast without wiping out instead. The fact that I can’t road run without re-injuring myself but I can hike just fine should be telling me something. So I’ve got a lot to think about after this race. I might not ever run that marathon I have on my bucket list, but I’m thinking that Lost Lake 2017 sounds pretty good…
Do you like road running or trail running better? If you’re a trail runner, how did you make the leap from road running to trail running? Did a race ever change you as a runner?