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Races Update

I write this during the hottest weather we've experienced so far this summer in Wisconsin. Nineties and humid these past few days, but cool enough in the morning to get some runs and rides in. Just this morning I rode 64 miles with some wonderful folks. We started at 6:30 AM and avoided the heat. And yesterday I ran a good feeling 9.5 miles similarly early and was back home well before dangerous temps.

The way I felt after that run makes me believe that I'm improving this summer over previous years. My legs felt pushed and tired but none of the overwhelming stiffness or worse, pain that I've experienced at that distance in the past.

Madison Mini Training

Starting in June I train with a group of runners who are all training for the Madison Mini half marathon. We meet every Wednesday and Saturday.

For me personally its been a slow start. The distances in our runs have been below my usual efforts; 3 to 4 miles the first couple of weeks. But this will change. Starting next weekend the distance will be up to 8 miles.

Regardless, I look forward to these runs. Its fun running with other people especially if someone else is keeping the pace. Also, Madison is a beautiful city and a welcome change to my usual back road runs (which are pretty beautiful too).

A woman named Megan leads us through warm up exercises. This has led to me trying to recreate these routines at home before my own runs - a positive development I'm sure.

Recent Races in 2023

Mother of a Run - 13k (May 13)

This is the longest road race I've run, 3 kilometers more than my usual 10k efforts. It included some challenging climbs too.

The race was organized around a fundraiser for the town of Lodi's Optimist Club. Susie the Duck, Lodi's mascot was there. I'd share my photo of us but some mean looking person photo bombed us.

The organizers spell "mother" in the race's title like "M@TH#R". As if mother was a bad word. I suppose it's meant to imply motherf**ker? But Susie the Duck was there, and what about the children? Cool shirt anyway.

I finished 4th of 33 and 1st in my small age group with a chip time of 58:23.3.

Run Madtown - 5k and 10k (May 27 and 28)

Two runs here, back to back (evening and following morning). These were really big races and I had difficulty staking out an appropriate position in the starting corals. I put a decent effort in to both of these events but the real draw was just being in a race with so many other people. The streets are closed off or managed by police throughout the courses. How special are we?

I finished the 5K 22nd of 511 with a chip time of 22:16 and 2nd of 18 in my age division. For the 10K I finished 10th of 296 with a time of 45:54 and 1st of 7 in my age division. The 2 finisher metals I got for these are gorgeous metal and stained glass works of art depicting the Madison skyline.

Blog author running in front of the Madison Square
Run Madtown, entering State Street and heading towards the finish.

Eagle Chase - 10K (July 1)

I signed up for this race less than 2 weeks ahead of time. I felt eager to run another race and the offerings on hand included a free back massage after the race and free breakfast.

The course was an out-and-back in Sauk City and followed the excellent "Great Sauk Trail". This trail is a paved path that follows the Wisconsin River for the duration of our event.

I started off too hard. Even with my fancy watch clearly indicating 6:00 - 6:30 min/mile, a pace I could never keep up, it was difficult to tamp down the adrenaline. The course mixed 3 races together, a half marathon, 10K and 5K. Most races are like this but I really would like a 10K all to ourselves one day.

Excuses aside, I paid for my lack of discipline and began suffering soon after the half way point. As if to drive the point home, another 10ker eased up behind me. I suspected they were a "her" as her cadence was quite fast. She stayed right behind me and drove me into the ground, basically. Finally giving in, I eased off and she passed with a "good effort!" and proceeded to recede into the distance.

She ended up finishing a good minute ahead of me. Smoked!

I finished this one 3rd of 53 and 1st in my age range - a time of 44:11. The award I got for this is by far the most dangerous object I've ever received at a race. Its a thin piece of metal craved into the event's eagle mascot with very, very sharp points. No attempt was made to file down any of the corners and the piece of twine they used to tie it onto was far to scratchy to wear around my neck.

Blog author running in Eagle Chase race on a paved path between picnic tables and trash cans
Near the finish at Eagle Chase

Upcoming Races

Aside from the half marathon I'm training for in August, I've signed up for a race on Washington Island in Door County. I going to ditch it and eat the $35 (er, donate it). I signed up for it probably thinking that I'd take the previous day off and that its neat to run on an island in Door County. And it would be, but... driving 4.5 hours to run for 45 minutes while missing my training group run in Madison seems ludicrous to me today.

So for now I'll just keep training for the Madison Mini.