Saturday night I ran the Madison Twilight 10K. A couple years ago the Madison Marathon made some changes to move the full marathon to November. They have a half in November too. In May now they have the half on Sunday morning and the kids’ race and 10K on Saturday night. This half was going to be my goal half, but I wasn’t able to start building my mileage soon enough to train for it. So I decided to try the Twilight 10K.
Unfortunately with it being a twilight race, it didn’t start until after the kids went to bed. So I had to go by myself. I like to take a picture with the kids before I leave!
I was nervous about the night race, but looking forward to it too. I was entered in the Haunted Hustle 10K last fall, which is also “twilight,” but starting at 4. That is the race I missed with pneumonia though. I think this one was a lot different being four hours later. I tried my best to eat right and minimize physical activity through the day. But we did go to the flower store and Target after picking up my race bib.
Anyway, after the picture with the kiddos, I headed downtown. I left my energy chews on the bookshelf at home 😦 I’m not sure they would have helped but it was disappointing. Anyway, it was looking like a beautiful night for a race. And you can’t get much more picturesque for starting than in the shadow of the Capitol.
I could tell from the start this was going to be a hard race. My legs felt like bricks immediately. I tried my best to relax, but it was hard because I started out too fast, as I tend to do. I ran the first mile and a half until Observatory Hill. I ran mile 1 in 11:06… nearly two minutes faster than my normal! Mile 2 was Observatory Hill, so that one was 12:43, which is still a bit faster than my normal pace. Once I finally got to the top of Observatory Hill, I was starting to doubt how much more I could run. The sun was setting so I decided to make a quick stop and snap a few pictures on my phone.
At least it was pretty! After the hill I ran almost the next mile. My time for mile 3 was 11:48. As I neared the 5K mark, I was getting pretty tired. I decided my goal was to run about a half mile and then walk a bit. It ended up working out to walking up hills and through the water stops. I actually got into a pretty decent rhythm with a pretty decent running pace.
A little past the 5K mark the course flattened out, so that helped. My last 3 miles were more my normal pace, so I was still running faster since I was also running too. My splits miles 4,5,6: 12:56, 12:30, 12:59.
The race course mostly followed the Crazylegs and then after Camp Randall turned back onto the Capital City Trail path back toward downtown. The last turn was onto State Street and then back into the Square. Once I turned onto State Street I was determined to run the rest of the way. The finish seemed so far away! Once I finally turned onto the Square, I felt like I was moving in slow motion. But then I finally crossed the finish. And I even had some race pictures I liked, and they offered free downloads!
My official time was 1:17:59. which really surprised me! Even though I had such a hard time, this time was 2:18 better than my last 10K! I’m not in a big hurry to run another night race. Its just hard to run at night, especially on a nice weekend when we’ve got stuff to do! I will say, however, that it was kinda fun to turn the corner into the Square and be greeted with all the spotlights, the announcer announcing me and all the people cheering.
My next goal is to train for the Madison Mini in August. And in between, I’m choosing my next race primarily as a race my family can actually come with me to see!