I don't really like racing. I don't care how fast I am, or how I stack up to my peers. That's not why I work out. And yet I continue to find myself drudging to start lines. I don't understand it.
I also don't understand why I get such horrible nerves before events. I even get the feeling of dread and sinking stomach before some workouts. The last time I had it I said "I don't know why I do this stuff. I clearly don't enjoy it. I need a new hobby, like knitting." To which I got the reply "knitting makes you fat."Um....actually the two avid knitters I know are quite svelte, so I'm not ruling out knitting as a future triathlon replacement. And last I knew, no one needed to buy $2500 knitting needles and then pay $60 each time they want to get together and knit with a bunch of their knitting peers. Ya, knitting's sounding pretty good right now....
Anyway, back to the race.....I signed up for Crazylegs because 1) it is a long-standing Madison tradition -- in fact, I did the race for the first time when I was 12, and 2) there's free beer and live music at the end -- enough said.
The problem this year...well, there were a lot of problems, so let me start at the top. The first problem is that the race is only 8 kilometers (5 miles) long. (I know...did I just say that...."only 5 miles"....) So someone like me who's allegedly on a training plan, I actually need to run farther than the race. (incidentally, when you tell people at work on Monday that you had to run extra at a race, they think you have completely lost your mind....which is actually kind-of cool)
So once you decide that you need to run farther than the distance that you paid money to run, then starts the logistical planning. In this case, running after the race would interfere with free beer drinking so that option was out.
Instead we arranged to park close to the finish and run to the start. Simple enough.
Ya, well remember this is Wisconsin. A "beautiful spring day in April" here can, and often does, mean 30 degrees with a chance of snow. Race morning conditions were equally as horrible. 30-something degrees and crazy wind.
Ok, I could have even dealt with all that but after running over 2 miles to the start we ended up waiting over half an hour for our wave to go. Brrrrr! Nothing like working up a little sweat and then having it freeze-dried to your body.
When we finally got going it hurt. Nothing was warm or loose on my entire body. Nor did I feel like I ever really warmed up. And the twitchy tendinitis I've been fighting in my foot flared up something fierce. I was considering cutting my leg off around mile 4.
Crazylegs is actually really a fun course....it starts on the capital square, heads down fraternity/sorority row on campus, up the infamous Bascom Hill, along the lake, and then finishes in Camp Randall Stadium.....but I don't feel like I enjoyed any of it.
The finish felt pretty good. And I scored two pockets full of free cliff bars at the end of the race, so that brightened my mood a bit. Any time you can get your entry fee back in post-race swag its a good day. That almost made up for the horrendously long line for beer!
All in all it was a decent workout. And to be honest, if I hadn't paid money to race I probably would have used the weather as an excuse to bail on the workout altogether. So I'm pretty happy with the fact that I got 7.5 miles in.