When my plans to run the Cedar Point races in June fell through, I asked my friend Paula about doing a girl’s weekend in June that also included a race. She was all for it, so we started searching for “destination races”. Finally we stumbled upon a relatively small race in Ludington called the Ludington Lakestride. Just before the race we heard from our friend Krista who lives near Ludington and she told us that she would be running it, too. We started chatting about plans and things to do while we were there, since the race was only a small part of a girls’ weekend we were planning! Our friend Kendra was joining us on the trip – she’s not a runner, but she’s a darn good race mom.
We headed to Ludington on Friday and met Krista for dinner at an Italian restaurant. (Stay tuned – I’ll be positing a “What I Ate Wednesday” blog about the food we enjoyed on our trip!) We had a great meal and great talk, then headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Paula and I got up early Saturday morning, got dressed and headed to the hotel’s continental breakfast. They had Frosted Flakes, which is one of my favorite pre-race foods! Krista picked us up from our hotel and took us to the race. She told us a little about the race before hand, telling us that there were some gradual inclines and only one big hill that came at mile 5. She said the finish was a long, straight stretch that seemed to go on forever. We lined up at the start and before we knew it the cannon fired and we were off!
Paula and I did 3/1 intervals (run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute) for the whole race. We had debated just running the race straight, but both felt better about running with the intervals, especially due to the humidity. The race started off with a gradual incline and I felt like I was dragging, but really our first mile was fast. In fact, it ended up being our fastest mile of the race! The scenery was really beautiful – lots of trees, dirt roads, paved trail in the woods, and even a little jog through a campground.
Overall we maintained a pretty consistent pace – our fastest mile was 10:59 and our slowest was 11:43, which included the hill that Krista warned us about at mile 5 – it wasn’t that bad by the way; Paula and I both commented that after Crim not many hills intimidate us anymore. The last long stretch wasn’t too bad, either. Since it is the same road that we took at the beginning of the race, that gradual incline turned into a gradual decline and I was flying! Paula was like, where the heck did that come from? Because the previous mile she was ahead of me feeling like she was pulling me, and then all of a sudden she was trying to keep up. We were hitting 9:20 per mile paces, which is really great for both of us. Once we got into the park and saw the finish line we took off for it, putting our hands in the air for the finish.
Overall this is a race I would definitely do again. Ludington is a great little getaway town, the race course was beautiful, it was well organized and it was inexpensive. It wasn’t a PR for either of us, but that wasn’t the point. It was my second best 10k, and I’m really proud of that considering we were doing the run/walk intervals. The purpose of this race though was to try something new and enjoy the run with my sole sister. Mission accomplished!