DennisO (denniso) wrote,

Running Lake Tahoe - 10K at 8,000 feet

Too soon, too fast - these words were on my mind, as I approached second 5k of this impromptu race on July 4th, 2016.

After the Golden Gate Relay I was pumped. New friends, great achievement - anything is possible.

Usually, in the moments like these I tend to do stupid things. Yes, I did it again - signed up for Runner’s Core Strength 9 weeks challenge (HIIT type of training in a small group of 4 runners), and volunteered for Exos’s treadmill marathon challenge - interval beta training program for marathoners.

At the time my thoughts were - I have San Francisco marathon coming up on July 30th - it wouldn’t hurt to work on my running form while doing marathon training. I was wrong. Wrong big time.

5 weeks into the program, 7 weeks after the last race, I proudly ran 5:40 min/mile ‘golden mile’... and 12 hours later I realized - my left achilles is coming apart.

Ice - lot’s of ice and no running for almost 3 weeks - I was balancing on the edge of the major injury. This is when I found myself with a group of friends at lake Tahoe to celebrate 4th of July.

Nick, team's capitan - prepares amazing meals from nothing. This is his recent Italian trip demo.

To race or not no race?

Tough choice. Lake Tahoe is a special place to me. The first time I attempted to run 5k at 7,000 feet elevation 3 years ago resulted in elevation sickness attack that lasted 4 days. 4 days of high fever, blurry vision. The only thing that helped - I had to go all the way down to sea level. 12 hours later - I was perfectly fine.

Back then I wasn’t actively training for the races.

Now, 3 years later, I thought I was ready to take on 10k at 8,000 feet. I was wrong. Again.


First 5k were amazing. 7:15-7:30 min/mile pace, steady as I went. I held myself back due to elevation. I felt I can finish 10 K way under 44 minute mark - I would be happy with this number.

At 5K achilles pain came back. Running smallest downhills was no longer possible. Achilles pain was excruciating. I had to walk downhills, watching my new friends catch up and run away.

‘No worries, I’ll get to the finish” - I told Ashish, Google1 running champ, who was taking on 36 minutes target for this event. Indeed, I did.

We plunged into the cold lake - tradition we seem to adopt from now on. Nick celebrated his annual 10K with impressive 39:00 minutes finishing time. Me - I limped to the finish just under 54 minutes, when first 5K were done in 20:30 mins.

Bitter-sweet achievement

San Francisco marathon was out of the question. Next 6 weeks I spent in rehab, slowly coming back to a running form.

I don’t regret these kind of mistakes.

Running is the best leadership training you’ll ever have.

You’ll fall, you’ll pick yourself up and you’ll make another attempt. Thank you, Lake Tahoe - I’ll cherish these ‘fast-slow’ 10K like no other race.

Good night.

Tags: 10k, lake tahoe
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.