The morning of the Lake Run started out cloudy with comfortable temperatures and it looked like maybe the rain was going to hold off. While I was hopeful, I still donned a running cap just in case. As the 10K runners began gathering in front of the lake and into the street where the start line was, I made a last minute decision to ditch my long-sleeved shirt and ran to my car to drop it off. I joined the mulling crowd with plenty of time to spare before the countdown to the start began.
Over 250 of us ran up the closed lane of Highway 43. It was a gradual climb right off the bat. I tried to take it easy to start, as I knew what was coming. When we turned off of 43 that’s when the serious climb began. I tried not to think about how long the climb goes on, but I knew to pace myself. The warm temperature combined with the humidity and the climb had me thankful I had gotten rid of my long sleeves. It seemed I was sweating just 2 minutes after we started!
I have a love-hate relationship with this event. The hills kick my butt, yet I enjoy the challenge. The hills suck the life out of me, but I enjoy the views and the variety. The hills are killer, but the downhill is sweet – when you finally get to enjoy it. And I know this race will be well-organized and staffed with a multitude of cheerful volunteers, police officers, and traffic management. This year was no different. It was a well-oiled machine. And the hills were no less challenging.
Partway into my run, the skies opened up and it poured! We’re talking standing water on the roads it was coming down so fast. It was like running through a giant puddle. Everything was drenched! Fortunately, it was warm, so it wasn’t miserable. Just ridiculously wet. I felt sorry for the volunteers toughing it out in the deluge. But, they were still there cheering on the runners and making sure we were safe.
Eventually the deluge ended and the sun almost peeked out for a bit. Despite having heavy legs, and being 100% soaked, I tried to remember to enjoy the views of the lake when I could. I also enjoyed the variety of homes along this route. The many different styles, ages, and sizes of the houses are so interesting. Lake Oswego is truly an eclectic place. Even though I’ve run this race many times, it always feels somewhat new to me. Perhaps it’s because I see a view I haven’t noticed before, or someone has updated their home, or the trees/plants have grown or new ones have been added. Regardless, it’s always a gasping, oxygen deprived adventure for me.
A short walk from the finish line was the Family Fun Festival in Millennium Plaza, with plenty of vendors handing out free goodies and selling their wares. Between the 250 10K runners and the 350 5K runners, the festival was hopping. I perused the booths and then headed off, ready to get my post-race caffeine and get into some dry clothes.
I will admit, I wasn’t properly trained for the hills this year and I ran horribly. But, there’s just something about this race. When I finish, I look forward to doing it again. I read somewhere that is called “Level 2 Fun.” You know, when it may not have been fun at times while you were doing it, but afterwards you say, “That was fun! We should do that again next year!” Yep, I’ll be back for another round of Level 2 Fun. See you at the lake next year!