Saturday, September 19, 2015

InStep Trail Races - 1/2 Marathon

InStep Trail Races - 1/2 Marathon - September 19, 2015

time = 2:03:16 (42 seconds faster than last year)
pace = 9:25
placed 1 in my age group (40-44) out of 9
placed 5 in women out of 46
placed 23 overall out of 93
link to the strava data

interestingly i also received the masters award this year which (i think) means that i was faster than everyone 40 and older... or something.  not sure but i got a pretty sweet plaque out of the deal so that's awesome.
my sweet masters plaque
it rained on and off all night friday and i woke up to some rain happening at 3am.  i moved to wauwatosa from delafield so the weather can be totally different from here to there, but i had checked the doppler the night before and knew it would also be raining in delafield.  it was supposed to stop by the time of the race so i was not concerned.  before bed i took 2 imodium because i've been having a lot of problems with my gut on runs and wanted to avoid any issues whatsoever.  i had a goal for this race (2 hours), and i really didn't want my stomach interfering subsequently ruining that for me.  my alarm went off at 6:20am so i would have enough time to not have to rush.  took the dogs out, got dressed, had some juice, vitamins, and a banana.  once i handled all that morning business i headed out to lapham.

i got there around 7:30am.  it was low 50's, but was supposed to get to the mid-50's by race start.  it was cold.  i found dave since he was volunteering, and we chatted for a little while.  i ran into a bunch of other friendly faces and had some hugs and pictures.

at 8am i watched the marathoners take off... my friend nic killed it again with a 3:33:22 winning finish time.  it's always exciting to watch a race take off.

at 8:24am i lined up at the start.

at 8:30ish... we took off.  i had planned to run comfortably but still harder than normal.  i have completed the black loop 3 times in under an hour over the summer so i was feeling quite confident that i could maybe beat my time from last year.  all the overnight rain had made the prairies really wet and there were some puddles.  as we hit the first climb i was feeling really good.  my plan was to just motor along, try and run the whole of "gut buster", and not be pooped out once i made it to the top.  i managed to do all of those things and then get to BOMB DOWN the next mile of downhills.  so fun!  there were some mud puddles along the trail but they were easily avoided.  i really expected the trail to be much muddier than it was.  the temperature and cool wind that was whipping around now and again made for excellent conditions to run this race.

my strategy was to run everything that i could, and walk the couple of hills that i customarily walk... namely the one directly before "the wall", i also get to walk "asthma hill", and lastly one just before a long incline next to the tower.  i finished the first loop in 1:01:03.  not too bad but not exactly what i was hoping for.  i was definitely not bombing downhill as fast as i have been known to do which i believe directly contributed to adding some time.

moving on to loop two... i walked A LOT of "gut buster"... i simply couldn't make myself go any faster or harder up that damn hill.  everyone in front of me was long gone and there were really only a handful of people that were running a relatively similar pace as me.  none of which looked to be in my age group... and we all know that my goal is to win in my age group. lol!  running up that hill proved to be harder than i thought the second time around.  i tried... i really really did!  i commiserated with another male runner near the top who started walking just before we crested.  we lamented our misfortune of being on that hill a second time while alternately celebrated our good fortune in not having to run it again since we were only doing the 1/2 marathon.  silver lining people... silver lining.  finally got to the top and bombed my way down the other side.  it was glorious!

i run this loop so often that i know it like the back of my hand and can tick off the miles without even looking.  it is certainly an advantage in that i know exactly where i am and how much further i have to go.  it's a beautiful thing.  i think it makes it easier to run a race when you know what comes next.

by the time i hit "two tier" i felt so done.  my quads were burning.  oddly, my right shin (that i've been having so much trouble with these past weeks) was nearly painfree. whatever mike did at PT last week must have been well worth it.  even so... i walked A LOT of this hill.  in fact, i didn't even bother to try to run very much of it.  i figured i was nearly done and no amount of running now would make much difference in my time.  i suppose i could have maybe shaved off a minute on that hill... maybe.  although, the trade off might have been that i wouldn't have had the energy to bomb down the following hill... "magic carpet ride".  because "magic carpet ride" is longer than "two tier"  i'm going to believe that my choice to walk then run was the right choice.

i finished the final prairie strong and came into the finish with a smile on my face.  it was really great to see the faces of friends at the end.

i love this race.  i love this park.  everything about it is great.  it is well put together, great race director, and the volunteers are fantastic!  best of all it is so fun.  if you didn't get out there after last year's race report... you will really have to try your best to get out there next year.  there is a race distance for everyone now.  they even added a 5K this year... so there's that!

receiving my masters award


Sun said...

Congrats on your race! So exciting that you won the master's award and your age group!

I've never run the trails and those hill names sound so intimidating! Asthma Hill, The Wall, Gut Buster ... Lol!

nikki said...

thanks sun! i can't say i wasn't surprised when i won the masters! that has NEVER happened before so it was a welcome surprise.

you should really come out and run the trails. they are so so fun!