On Thursday, I was at the chiropractor and was asked when my next race was. My response was that I actually didn’t have one until July 4 (which was true). To which my chiropractor responded: “That’s right now, I feel like you’re an easy get for a race.”
She was right.
Back I was on Saturday at race day signup for the Norsk 5 Mile in Mt Horeb, WI. Whoops.
Being in Madison for our annual friends weekend, I decided to hop into a local (and cheap) race instead of a long run and being dead the rest of Saturday. Of course, when it’s friends week (and one friend is a bartender) that means race day doubled as hangover day.
That, coupled with the fact that I knew I wasn’t in peak shape, meant I knew I wasn’t about to crush 5 miles. Also if you’ve been just west of Madison, you know the hills are no joke. My plan was to run high 6:20s, or around 6:30 depending on the hills.
The race started on a downhill, so almost immediately we were off and rolling. With some HS runners, kids, and the two mile race (with the downhill start) it was easy to get sucked in.
After we cleared the first mile, I felt great. I also checked my watch to see that we clocked a 6:04 first mile. Uh oh. What I slightly noticed, but didn’t consider, was that the first mile had been almost entirely downhill.
The second mile was more gradual, but also downhill. We continued down a country road south out of Mt Horeb, and between Mile 2 and the turn, I worked my way up to third and was getting in position for another pass.
But remember when I said we were cruising downhill? The course was an out and back. We turned and began the gradual climb back to Mt Horeb.
I knew that I was cooking pretty good, and took a split at the 5k mark on the course. 19:02. Faster than the Run for the Zoo last week, which is NOT a good race strategy for a 5k.
The duration of the fourth mile I could tell I was working, and that I had a couple too many drinks the night before. But grinding up that hill would still have been brutal regardless.
And then there was the soul crushing hill in Mile 5. I checked on Strava to see how rough it was. The average incline through the hill was about 7%, and I wanted to die. The last mile was a rough one and I rolled into the finish in a 33:13.
Not a terrible time, but a ridiculously positive split after that blistering 5k time.
That notched me a 5th place finish, and first in my age group.
Overall, I did this race for fun, so I’m not too disappointed in how this went (in less than ideal situation). Plus it gave me a good indication of what I need to work on moving forward for races this summer.