Going out a little too hot in a race and paying for it later? Oops, I did it again.
The Mother’s Day race in the Wisconsin Trail Assail series is the second of the group, and arguably one of the easier courses (note: not an easy course). Only two weeks out of the Illinois Marathon, it was definitely going to be the 5k life for me.
After arriving at the Nashota Park, I hung out for a bit before getting moving for my normal warmups. Very quickly I could tell that my legs were tight and my stomach was decidedly not happy. Still, I figured that my legs would wake up and I could suck up an upset stomach for three miles.
The Half, 10k, and 5k all started together as we ran around a field before descending into the woods.
The first mile featured mostly double track trails on some fresh woodchips. In a mostly flat, if not downhill, first mile a group of us came through in a cooking 6:19. On trails, this is absolutely moving for a lead pack.
Mile 2 brought a few more hills, and I got passed by about three runners (turns out none were in my race…so there’s that). Still, I figured that at such a hot pace in the first mile, some of the top runners would come back to me. We all remained mostly the same distance apart, except for the dude who would win the Half (he won at Lapham as well) who was flyin.
The third mile of the race was easily the toughest as it’s filled with the most, and the biggest climbs. Full disclosure, I was dying on my way to a 7:30 last mile (yikes) going up these hills. Trail hills on two-week post marathon legs were brutal.
Still, I was able to play the hunter on these hills and pass two others on the climbs. One thing my HS coach always told us was that if you pass someone on an uphill, you’ll probably never see them again in the race. That was the case Saturday morning.
After the last climb, it was about 400-600m to the finish on flat dirt and grass. I wasn’t able to close the gap on the winner and had to settle in for a second place finish. Proving once again that the overall win is an elusive beast.
A second place finish is a good start to the summer racing circuit, no doubt. But I’ve got bigger fish to fry, and will hopefully sneak away with a W somewhere this summer.