On New Year’s Day, while my neighbor was just going to bed after their New Year’s celebration party, I was getting up and getting ready to go out and do a half marathon. I needed to complete this race if I was to earn my first mega medal. By 6 am we were in the car and headed to Castro Valley, California for the race. Neither one of us had ever been to Lake Chabot, so we didn’t know what to expect.
The race started at 7:30 am for us as we were in the hiker division of the half marathon. Being part of the hiker division gave us an extra hour to complete the course. Given that it was our first time completing that distance, we thought that having extra time would be a good thing. At the starting line, we were handed our maps. Little did I know what was in store for me.
A chilly 42 degrees Fahrenheit at the starting line. Soon we were off. The trail went around the lake. I could already see how beautiful the area was. I couldn’t help slow down enough to take a photo once in a while.
Little did I know that the elevation gain was going to make me question why I signed up for this race. Turns out that there was a 2,075 elevation gain. It was painful! When the runners were released, I was amazed at how fast they were able to run through such a difficult terrain. It was steep hills almost all the way. My knees were feeling the steep downhill paths.
The top runner completed the course in 1:30!! Talk about hardcore!
There were several snack tables along the way. They had all kinds of yummy goodies: trail mix, gummy bears, chips, pretzels, and GU. In addition to water, they had cups with electrolyte fruit-flavored drinks.
Given that it was my first time doing this distance, 13.1 miles, at times I didn’t feel hungry, but Jim was pushing me to eat anyway. He said I needed the energy and he was right.
I did it! When we were done, Jim said he was proud of me. He saw how much pain I was in, but I kept at it and didn’t bail.