Saturday, April 24, 2010
I ran the Crazylegs Classic 8K in Madison, WI yesterday. There's a reason this race draws over 20,000 people - it's a whole heck of a lot of fun!
This was my 2nd year running this race and we corrected most of our mistakes from last year. See, with so many people running, they have a wave start. You're assigned a wave - it starts from A-Z and then repeats the alphabet again from aa-zz. We were in wave ii. The race technically starts at 10am, but most of the waves don't actually get to start till much later. Last year we arrived at the race at 9:30 and didn't get started till 10:30. That was a good hour of waiting in freezing cold pouring rain - NOT FUN. This year we got there after 10:00 and the clock read 10:37 when we took off. Much better. (The weather also cooperated and remarkably didn't rain. Such a nice change from the monsoon last year.)
I turned on my Garmin and it told me my battery was low and promptly shut off. Are you kidding me?? I charge the damn thing after every run - this has never happened before. Okay then, Mr. Garmin, I guess I'll be running by feel. Really though, it didn't matter that much. I wasn't planning on racing this. I was running with my best friend and she only runs a couple of times a year, so our goal was just to have fun and take in the sights. I hadn't raced since November, so I was really looking forward to this.
The start of this race is great. The University of Wisconsin band plays off each wave and you high five a bunch of football players and Bucky Badger at the start. It's very entertaining.
(No split times, ugh! THANKS GARMIN.)
Mile 1 - Mostly downhill. Felt like we were clipping along fairly well. A woman was giving out what looked like Marti Gras beads. Some girls asked if they needed to flash her to get some and she worriedly said, "No, no, none of that! Just show me your crazy legs." A little later we passed a sorority house and the group of girls standing outside cheered loudly as some guys threw them their beads. Then we passed a frat house and there was a big group of guys out in just their underwear. Some yelling and whoops from the female racers.
Mile 2 - Up Observatory Drive we go. It's a hell of a hill and it kills me every time. I was happy to get it over with. Got passed by a guy wearing a pair of Vibrams, but mostly we passed people who were walking the hill.
Mile 3 - I hate this loop around this section of campus. It gets congested and I spend a lot of energy weaving around and passing people. I don't know if I speed up or if others slow down, but it drives me crazy.
Mile 4 - Grab some water and drink on the run. High five Uncle Sam on stilts. Hear the Rocky theme song.
Mile 5 - My friend is fading quickly. She's one of those freaks of nature who literally runs a couple of times a year and then can just bust out 5 miles. I'm trying to encourage her to keep up. I haven't been pushing too hard because I don't want to wear her out. We finally make it to Camp Randall, where the UW football team plays. You get to run out onto the field to finish - it's very cool. I have a lot left in my tank, so I sprint to the finish. Having no Garmin or watch, I had no idea of our time. I'd just have to wait for the official results to be posted later.
Much to my surprise, we ran a 49:55! That's a big improvement over our 53:39 finish from last year and obviously a PR. I was super happy to break 50 minutes without even trying. Not sure what that means for the rest of my races this summer. I don't think I ever push myself as hard as I should - I don't like being in pain.
Here are some pics that I didn't take, but stole from the local newspaper's website:
Such a cool shot of all the runners.
Lake Mendota in the background, heading up Observatory.
Bucky high fives a kid