If its Crazylegs, it surely will rain, especially since last year was so nice! Early in the week it looked like there may be some rain… as race day got closer it looked like it would be a lot of rain. In addition to the rain, it was cold and windy. So much for spring!
This is the fifth Crazylegs we’ve participated in. Its the third with rain! Doug and I walked in 2007 and it was nice. I ran in 2009 and Doug walked and it rained. A lot. In 2010, we were both going to walk and Allie was with us, but it rained so we skipped it altogether. We picked up our shirts Saturday morning and then went out to breakfast. In 2011 it was a beautiful day. So I totally expected it to rain today!
We decided it was too cold for Doug and Allie to walk. So we parked downtown and took in the atmosphere and wait for my start. The highlight was meeting Bucky Badger. Allie LOVES Bucky! We were waiting to get a picture and she kept saying she wanted to give him a hug. So she did and then we got the picture.
Allie hung in there for awhile. You can see from the pictures that she was bundled up! I think she was warm enough for awhile but we were just outside too long. But right before I started Allie lost it and they went back to the car.
The rain the whole time was drizzly. It really wasn’t bad. What was worse was the temperature and wind while we were standing around waiting to start. My wave made it to the starting line at 10:50 (first runners started at 10) and I couldn’t feel my feet or my hands. Nevertheless, I was still excited to be running my first race in six months.
I started too fast, as I expected I would. I tried to slow down, but I never did! I walked up Observatory hill, but I buzzed through everything else!
One of the reasons I like this race is the crowd support and funny characters who run. There was a group around me the whole way singing goofy songs and saying silly things. That really made it fun. People along the race route played music and cheered. There weren’t as big crowds as there are on good weather races, but it was still cool.
There’s a part of the course where we’re running around this huge parking lot. We circle the parking lot and then go back out the way we came in. Its about a mile and it always seems sooooo long. There was a van there that had music blasting. It was playing “Eye of the Tiger” as I passed by and it really pumped me up. Its cheesy, but awesome! I actually got a bit emotional reminding myself this was my first race in six months and that I’m SO happy I can run. There’s another house in the last mile that always plays the Rocky theme. Thats a great motivator to get it done!
And get it done, I did. My Garmin time was 53:19, a PR by almost 4 minutes! My splits were 10.44, 10.59, 10.25, 10.28 and 10.12. That 10.12 is my fastest mile since giving birth! It was during mile 3 that I felt I really should slow down, but I realized I was feeling great as I was getting faster. With 20,000 runners, even with a wave start, the course is always crowded. There are a couple sections we go out and back so there are runners in each direction, thus even more crowded. With my pace in my wave, I’ve noticed every year I start passing people by about mile 3 when there are runners going each direction. It really makes me understand the frustration faster runners feel when slower runners line up incorrectly! But it was cool to me to be passing so many people too.
At the end, Doug and I had to figure out where he could pick me up in the chaos. Since Doug and Allie didn’t walk, they drove toward the finish but there wasn’t a place to park since it was soooo crowded. When we finally figured out where we each were I told him the way to go to pick me up in a not crowded area, thinking he was going the opposite direction. So he missed the turn I told him and I had to run around a bit to get to him, finally swooping into the car as he was stopped in traffic!
Crazylegs is a huge race. It can get difficult and frustrating to navigate, but I love running it. Its one of those events that just says “Madison” and makes me love living here. Too bad we can’t order up some better weather for EVERY year in the last weekend in April! At least we can probably count on good weather next year.