“But it’s going to be so much fun. You have to go!”
Those three simple words over a casual meal were so easy to say, until I realized that meant hours of training in the cold winter months to prepare for the big race.
Sure, I had run a few half marathons before, so what’s the big deal, I thought? That is until I realized I hadn’t run more than six miles since that last half marathon in 2011, and I was in much better shape then, not to mention a little younger.
That being said—I committed, and if I said I was going to do something, I was going to do it.
After months of training, including a few weeks sidelined by injuries, the day arrived to fly out to Fresno and drive to Yosemite. I met up with my friend Andie and her dad Cliff for the hour plus drive with a stop at the grocery store.
Our final destination was a campsite at Bass Lake, where the race ends, where we met up with an assortment of friends and friend of friends. (Camping is another story for a future post!) I recommend booking a site early so you don’t have to worry about driving to pick up your packets or race day transportation, both of which are very close the Bass Lake campsite.
One downside to using the Bass Lake shuttle, however, was that we were in the first wave of runners, so we departed at 4 a.m. It was tough to get up that early, but the weather was cool and perfect for running, which made it worth it.
The course began pretty high up and about half was downhill. The first five (ish) miles were trail and small hills. Then miles six through 10 were paved and downhill. I loved the decline for the first few miles, but after while the pounding was pretty intense on my quads (which I felt for days to follow). The last few miles (11-13.1) were paved with a few small hills.
Overall, it was a good course for a casual runner like me. Plus, the promise of exploring Yosemite upon crossing the finish line is its own prize.
Looking forward to my next Vacation Race!