It’s been a long, extreme winter in the midwest but I’ve had plenty of swim, bike and run training indoors during the off-season. When my dad mentioned that he was thinking about running in Crazylegs this year-I quickly volunteered to do the race as well. My treadmill training has consisted of mostly long runs, runs immediately off the spin bike (brick sessions), and weekly tempo runs for a total of about 15-20 miles/wk.
My father and I post-race at Camp Randall Stadium.
I’ve been doing tempo runs at a pace of 8:00/mile and started adding intervals of up to 6% incline to those workouts to build my hill strength. The last tempo run I did was four days before the race and was four miles at an average heart rate (HR) of 162 which is on the low-end of my threshold zone. I must have been crazy, or amped up for the race, or just crazy amped up, because I did a three and a half mile tempo run the next day on the Lakeshore Path. I think that was supposed to be a recovery run but I felt strong and probably just went out too hard. Nevertheless, I was feeling very fresh on race day and after warming up I lined up in my wave.
It was almost 60ºF and at my wave start I bumped into my friend Spencer from my running group that meets on Tuesday nights at Endurance House in Middleton. It’s always nice to know a few people at a race, since I think the sheer number of participants at big events like this (almost 12,000 runners) can be intimating before a race.
I had gone back and forth about wearing a heart rate monitor during the run. I’d never worn mine except in training and I didn’t want it to limit my performance. But I also didn’t want to blow out on the first hills, so in the end I decided to wear it (Timex T5J031) and I’m glad I did. The starting gun went off and my pack started strong with a mile one split of 7:02. Which was nice, but was not a sustainable pace over the 8k for me. The next mile had some moderate hills and I raced my numbers so I didn’t go too far into my redline zone this early in the race.
I ran the remainder of the course nice and even keeping my HR at the upper end of my threshold range so I could hang on to my pace. Once I hit the final 500m I still felt like I had a lot left in the gas tank so I really went for it there. Hit my max HR sometime during that sprint finish. I think I’ve probably done that in several shorter races already but I recover fairly quickly after a much-appreciated bottle of water.
I finished with a time of 38:02 which equates to a 7:39/mile pace. I’m pleased with my preparation and my run. I maintained decent form and other than a little cramping in my trapezius from mile 2-3 the run was steady state and painless. Since I didn’t tip into the upper range of my redline zone I wasn’t gasping for air or struggling to keep the legs moving.
Although security tried to keep the area past the finish line (football field) clear I managed to stay on the field to wait for my dad. He finished strong and we all went out for lunch at Mid Town Pub in Middleton afterwards.
I’m happy to report I got some faster pace numbers from my race results. I’m hoping that I can shave a minute off my 5k and 10k times by tri season. Oh, but that run will have to come after a quality swim and bike split. : )