Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lake Monona 20K 2009 Report

Saturday, May 10, 2009
Monona, WI

This was my first long race. (Okay, longish race. I realize this term is relative.) Up until now, the furthest distance I had raced was 10K. However, I got up to 12 miles during training, so I wasn't worried about the distance. I'm a little disappointed because I desperately wanted to run the half at the Madison Marathon later this month, but my brother is getting *married* on the exact same day in Atlanta. Sheesh. So I decided to run this race instead. While I can't say that I've ran a half marathon, I'm still very proud of the 20K distance. Plus there will be other half marathons in my future.

I woke up race morning to absolutely picture perfect weather. Low of 41, high of 66 and sunny. A little chilly while just standing around in shorts and a t-shirt, but perfect when running. This race was pretty small - around 700 people. A big change from the huge race I ran last weekend (Crazylegs.) However, I'd now put this as one of my favorite races. The course is beautiful. It's a loop around one of the two lakes that makes Madison an isthmus.

My dad decided to bike the race route while we were running, so he stopped and took a lot of pictures.

We lined up at the start and the national anthem played. I stayed toward the back of the pack.

Starting line.

In the yellow, waiting to start with my three friends in the foreground. 

Whoo hoo - here we go!!!

The trees are just beginning to bloom! It was so pretty.

Miles 1-3 were good. We were running through an older neighborhood and you could see glimpses of the lake behind the houses. I played leap frog with a girl who was doing a run/walk program for a while, but passed her for good after the first couple of miles. I was feeling strong and running at a bit faster pace than I thought that I should.

Smiling and feeling good!

Miles 4-6 I was still feeling strong. I was running behind a woman in a green tank top who was keeping the the same pace as me. I was happy to just sit behind her and keep up. Around mile 5, we hit picture perfect views of the lake and city. These are some of my favorite pictures.

Me and green tank top lady.

Just about to hit the scenic part.

Probably my favorite picture. Madison skyline; perfect views of the city. Happily running behind my lady.

Miles 7-9 were mostly running through the city and then back through another neighborhood. This was when green tank top lady and I caught up to the man running in the chicken costume. We eventually passed him, thankfully. I wasn't going to get beat by no chicken! I was still feeling good at this point. There was a group of people out in the neighborhood with a "water" station set up, but it wasn't water in the cups - it was beer. I declined, but told them that I'd want some in a couple more miles.

Man in the chicken costume.

Green tank top lady and I closing in on the chicken.

Miles 10-12.4 It was around mile 10 where I started to get tired. There was no more water stations after this and I knew we were in the home stretch. I just concentrated on back of back of green tank top lady and kept going. At mile 11, there was this curve where I broke away from her and took the lead. I didn't see her again until the race was over. This is where I miraculously started passing a lot of people. I was exhausted, but I picked up the pace slightly.  There was a small hill where I passed a bunch of people struggling. (Thank you, hill training!) I rounded a corner and saw a group of my friends waiting for me. (Some of them ran the race too, but finished in 1:30 or so. They're fast!) They cheered me on and it gave me the boost I needed to sprint toward the finish line. I actually started sprinting a little too early, but managed to somehow sustain that sprint until I crossed the line. I was absolutely spent. Green tank top lady finished not too far behind me and I chatted with her for a minute and apologized for running right behind her for most of the race. She said that it was totally fine and she was glad to have me there, since we were pacing each other. That made me feel better, because I was worried that maybe I was annoying her. She really helped me a lot though.

Starting to get tired here.


Overall, I was pretty happy with my time. I was shooting for 2:10-2:15, with 2:10 being optimistic. Here's my splits:

Mile 1 - 10:23
Mile 2 - 10:33
Mile 3 - 10:46
Mile 4 - 10:44
Mile 5 - 10:42
Mile 6 - 10:46
Mile 7 - 10:59
Mile 8 - 10:49
Mile 9 - 11:05
Mile 10 - 11:17
Mile 11 - 11:10
Mile 12 - 10:33
Last .4 - 4:02

Average page = 10:44. Gun time = 2:14:40

I really hope to run this race again next year. Now, however, I'm wondering where do I go from here? I'm going to feel weird without a training plan. I think I might run for fun for a couple of weeks and then see what happens. I know that I definitely want to run a real half marathon at some point. Maybe this fall? I don't think I have any ambitions to run a full, but I suppose that could change.

Post race with some water.

Weird look on my face, post race. I was just happy to be done!

We also got sweet Mizuno tech shirts from this race! I liked them a lot.

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