Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 Literacy Network Homecoming 5K Race Report

I might have done the silliest thing I've ever done in the history of my training ... I ran my first twenty miler of the year with a speedy friend the day BEFORE I was scheduled for my only 5K of the season (which I had planned on racing, and seeing what I was made of right now). I had signed up for Literacy Network Homecoming 5K (HERE) via a Groupon earlier in the year. $20 for a race ... and for a good cause?! Sign me up! And, I seriously just thought it was THAT cool that there was even a Groupon for a race entry. Awesome.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I didn't have the kids, the son was shining and my bed was comfy. I thought of hitting the snooze button, and sleeping in. But, I didn't. I cringed as I stepped out bed, thinking my legs, my shins, and my feet were going to be killing me. But, they weren't. What?! Could I seriously go out and run an awesomely fun twenty miler just like that, and not be too sore the next day? Other than my nasty blood blisters on my toes and the sides of my feet, I wasn't too sore. Was walking a little funny, but not sore.

I got dressed in my running gear, ate some peanut butter toast, a banana and some yogurt. Grabbed a water and a Diet Mountain Dew for the road and headed out solo in the Marathon Mommy Minivan.

I headed into downtown Madison and planned to get there thirty minutes before the race. Packet pick-up was the previous two days, so I had already been to State Street on Friday after work, to pick up my packet at Avol's Bookstore (HERE). This might have been the easiest packet pick-up ever, by the way, I was the only person in the store and I got a chance to windowshop on State Street by myself (a rare treat).

I saw the crew huddled on State Street. There was a kids run, as well as 5K and 10K events. I saw several people wiht chips around their ankles. Hmmm .... ? I looked around and saw that there was a spot to grab your assigned chip bracelet. I didn't recall hearing about that at pick-up. But, maybe the information was in my bag that I didn't read. I strapped that on and looked around for a port-o-potty. Not a single one in site. Most of the shops and restaurants on State Street were closed because it was Sunday morning. I guess, this was going to be the first race EVER that I haven't stopped to use the bathroom. It's a good thing that I didn't have to go too bad (in fact, I forgot about it by the time the race started). Always bathroom talk on this blog ... always.

I got to the start line and Bucky Badger (UW mascot) and some UW cheerleaders were there to see us off. Bucky shot the gun ... and we were off. We headed down State Street (a popular street with only foot traffic and tons of local shops and restaurants), with the Wisconsin State Capital building in the background. The trees were in prime Fall color. There were quite a few spectators and families scattered along the entire length of the Street, until we got to Bascom Hill on Campus.

I was not sore and felt awesome. The sun was shining, the temps were good. It was yet another beautiful morning. We headed right, towards the UW Memorial Union, and along the Lakeshore path. The crushed gravel path was scattered with fallen leaves. Lake Mendota's shoreline was to our right, and the UW Campus dormatories were to our left. The race course was an out and back. I crossed the one mile mark around 8:30 and then we turned around, before getting to Lot 60. That turnaround is always fun (not!) and painful. There weren't many women in front of me, from what I observed on the turnaround.

There were a lot of college kids, and even quite a few kids out on the course. There was an adorable little boy out there, right in front of me with his dad. His dad kept telling him how much distance he had left, and the boy kept picking up speed. He couldn't have been more than five or six. He stayed ahead of me til the end, and finished right in front of me. He looked like a little pro in all of his triathlon gear.

We headed back the same way we can and I enjoyed running back up State Street. Guys that finished were cheering for the rest of us that were coming in. We made a right turn and headed to the finish line, where Bucky Badger and the UW cheerleaders were cheering us on.

I knew I wasn't close to a PR (about a minut off, actually), but I felt great ... I finished ... a day after an impromptu twenty miler ... and I enjoyed the beautiful morning. 25:57. Not to0 bad.

I grabbed some Powerade Zero, a veggie delight sub from Subway and some fruit and sat on the steps in an alley and watched other runners some in. It was a fun atmosphere. And, I observed how well the race was organized.

After finishing my goodies, I headed back to my van because I wanted to get a few more miles in around Lake Monona, before I trained a client at Machinery Row.

After I got home from coaching, I headed to the grocery store and headed home to unpack my groceries. Before I did that, I got online to see if the race results had been posted. And, they had. WOW .... they were speedy and well organized!

I typed in my name .... and .... what pops up?!?!?

61/286 Overall

15/170 Females

1/33 Age Group


  1. Congratulations, age group winner!!! :) Great job. I love the fall colors in your pictures. Beautiful, and looks like you had great weather.

  2. Great job on the #1 in your age group! And the overall and the Females! Those are all 3 great numbers! :) And I just love that you have so many cute headbands to match every outfit! lol I'm working on that as well! I love headbands! :)

  3. Congrats - not too shabby after a 20 miler :)!