Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Sunday, 20 May 2012

I finally finished a race!

Since the Mad City 50k on March 31st, I have been recovering. Slowly. And today was the first day I knew I was ready for the race I was about to run.

Granted, I knew nothing about the  Morris Challenge 5k , except that the proceeds went to a scholarship fund. They changed the route this year, as I found out at the start, to be on trails from Holmen, through the woods down to the Mississippi and back up again. Good switch from all pavement. But this of course meant I could forget that PR idea.

Having gotten up at 5:30 am for an 8 am race meant I had time to run the entire route before the race started. I found this to be hugely advantageous. I took some pictures of the hills just to prove it was a tough course, but it turned out they were videos and not pictures. There was a significant net downhill on the way out and, as you could probably calculate, the reverse on the way back.

By the time the start rolled around, it seemed my stomach had finally calmed down (yes, problems, again). I really hoped that I wouldn't have to stop in the woods in front of all these people.

There were ??? 100 ??? starters and lots of representatives from both the River City Running Club and the Bluff Busters Tri Club. My friend Ron and I decided we'd both run it in about 21 minutes.
Above is a picture from the beginning. The first quarter mile was run around Holmen Park so we woulnd't have too much of a bottleneck problem on the trail. I ran the first two thirds of the race behind a guy going about 6:40 pace. This seemed reasonable. After the turnaround I could see the next woman was about a minute back. I pulled ahead of the guy I had been running with with about a mile to go. He cheered me on, which I loved. There is always something that is the limiting factor at the end of a hard-run 5k. Today it was my stomach. Despite a 50 mile bike ride the day before, my legs were okay and my ITB was a bit sore, but didn't hold me back. I willed myself up the terrible last ascent and made it across the finish line in 20:56 (6:44 min/mile pace).

I had won for the women, which was nice, because there were prizes,
(thanks for the skirt, Olga!!) but what I really wanted to know was what my real time would have been on a flat course. I talked to the male leaders and the guy who had won in 18:10 had just recently run a flat 5k 40 seconds faster. So given my longer time, my calculations say I can run a 5k in perfect conditions in just over 20 minutes right now. This is NOT where I want to be. But where we want to be and where we are rarely line up. It's like a solar ecplipse, I guess.

I loved this trail and I got an awesome workout. Those are reasons enough to come. I got a free chiropractic maniplulation and massage on my ITB post race. (perhaps the best treatment to date!! from Dr. Julie at  revive  in Onalaska). And I learned from ecologist, Ron, that many islands in Asia and Indonesia have lost almost all of their rainforests due to the harvesting of tree pulp for TOILET PAPER.

Is it reasonable to make a family switch to clothes/cloths (sp??? - not like running shorts) that we wash out and then hang to dry? What would the guests say? (seriously, look this up - it is true)
By the way, if I ever run with music again, I'll be sure to let you know!! (I bet this is just a phase)

I will leave you with the Mattias pic of the day.

3 comments:

Olga King said...

Congrats on running again, and running well!

Alicia said...

So between the two of you, have you won every race in La Crosse yet?:)

What prize did you win??

sea legs girl said...

Good question about the prizes, Alicia! A backpack, a membership to the YMCA, a water bottle, a sticker, two pairs of athletic socks and a free chiropractic full body analysis (which I just had done and should blog about - very fun)