Friday, June 20, 2014

Running Lake Monona

If you've ever been to Madison, you know that we are blessed with so many great running routes and paths.  I really try to take advantage of most of them - especially on the central to east side of the Mad City.

A couple of weeks ago, I coached a 5K on Willow Island.  Willow Island tends to 5K events almost every weekend during the summer months now.  It's quite a popular place to hold races.  Most likely because parking is easy and it's located centrally. 
After coaching the new ladies at their first 5K, hubby and I headed across the street to Olin Turville Park for our own run.
I have run the Lake Monona 20K previously, which is held annually in May at Winnequah Park and the route takes you around Lake Monona.  However, I've always wanted to run the lake on my own time.  We were going to head out for six-ish miles over some of the "lake loop".  There were a lot of cyclists out, but not many runners.  It was hot - and it was crazy humid.  We were armed with handheld water bottles, but quickly ran out.  We stopped about 3-4 miles in at Winnequah Park to hydrate some more.  We figured that since we had come this far, that we could run the remaining seven-ish miles back to our starting point, and continue around the lake.  We started back out towards Monona Drive and our pace was slowing from 9:30/10:00 min miles to closer to 11:00.  It was hot and we were out in the open on the busy Monona Drive near Lake Monona. 
We stopped again at Olbrich Gardens to enjoy the air conditioning and hydrate some more and fill up water bottles and use the restrooms.  I also enjoyed a more-than-warm energy gel.  After some motivation from the volunteers at Olbrich Gardens, we headed back out through the Atwood Ave neighborhood and along the Monona Terrace.  We hydrated again at a park and stopped and walked a bit and then ran back to Olin Turville Park - eventually. 
It took a long time.  Probably longer than we'd like to admit.  It probably wasn't the smarted decision we've made together.  We did finish together and we finished smart -by including stops, walk breaks and hydrating continuously and slowing our pace.  It wasn't the most enjoyable run.  But, as I always say - you never regret a run. 

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