Running the lake trail: now with more lake!

For the first time in at least five years, the lake is full. Like touching-the-bottom-of-the-dock full. Like running-over-the-spillway full.

Lake levels began dropping in 2008ish, and by 2013 the water was so low all the boat ramps were out of the water. Last summer our boat buoy (which is supposed to float so we can tie the boat where it doesn’t bump into the dock) sat in a sad dry patch of guck ten feet short of the water line.

Clockwise from top left: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Clockwise from top left: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

IMG_1208

2014, 2015

But in May, it started to rain. The same storms that caused horrific flooding in Hays County and brought Lake Travis within ten feet of full (from about 33% of capacity, an increase of more than 35 feet–in a lake that’s more than 64 miles long) brought rains to our much-smaller lake too. An eight foot increase in a 100+ acre lake is less spectacular than Travis’ rise, but it means for the first time in five or six years– almost half of B’s life–not only is it full, nearby creeks are still sending runoff this way. I just keep staring at it like its a mirage. But no, there’s our boat, tied to the buoy next to the dock! And there’s water flowing over the spillway!

June 2015

June 2015

The downside to all of this? We haven’t used the house much in recent years, and it’s musty and dusty. I didn’t sleep well and was up at my usual Saturday long run time. So run I did.

The trail (technically it’s a road but it’s just rocky caliche, so “trail” is a more apt term) makes a three-mile loop around the lake neighborhood. I wasn’t sure if the road would be runnable after the rains, but it didn’t look too bad. Or at least no worse than usual. I had to negotiate a spot where incoming water still ran over the road, but it wasn’t deep. The rest of the way around, my biggest obstacles were the larger rocks and grooves deposited by the rushing water.

The first loop went pretty well. I was slow, but that’s the norm for me right now. My legs felt a little sore from Thursday’s five-mile run/walk and Friday’s at home Fitness Blender workout, but I ran the whole way. I saw deer, bunnies, ducks, and two very large, very dead spiders. But mostly I watched where I put my feet since the caliche was pretty uneven all the way around and the tall grass along the edge of the road looked way too snake-friendly. Stuff you don’t notice in a vehicle.

I refilled my water when I got back to the house. My stomach didn’t feel great and I contemplated stopping after one loop, but since it’s Saturday and I’m trying to maintain a five or six mile base distance, I thought bailing at three was lame. Yeah, that was a mistake.

Mile four went okay, and half of mile five was decent. But about the time I reached halfway around the lake, my stomach had become a mess. Running was Not Happening. It was all I could do to remain upright the rest of the way home. Sweaty and gross (and not a little nauseated), I curled up on my bed for a while. No idea how long that was. Ten minutes? Forty minutes? Beats me. Eventually the … distress … eased and I felt well enough to shower. After some breakfast I returned more or less to normal, albeit disappointed that I didn’t manage to run the complete six miles.

But with the boat in the water and food on the grill, I think I can get over it.

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2 thoughts on “Running the lake trail: now with more lake!

  1. The lake level increase is amazing! I’ve been having stomach issues these last few months on longer runs, and I just can’t seem to figure out what is going on or how to fix these problems. It is so frustrating to have run for years with no issues and then all of a sudden…ISSUES!

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