Definitely living up to "Muddy" promise - this is after scraping a bunch off!
On Saturday 4/12 I ran the Muddy Monk Double Down 10K/20K. The theme of the race is - you run the first 10K loop and then decide on course if you're going to go for 20K. I really wanted to run the 20K going into it, but given how hilly Lincoln was last week I had a sneaking hunch that might be ambitious. Especially considering it was going to be a whole lot hotter than it's been, and my body was definitely not adapted to running in weather that much warmer yet. (I've been running in 30s and down...race day was supposed to be 60+ and sunny!)
Getting to the race was exciting; it was in Mokena which not only had I never been to, I'd never even heard of. I looked up directions the night before and it said 1:15 - when I pulled them up on our GPS that morning it said an 1:30. Whoops! Technically packet pick up ended at 9:45 and the race started at 10 - I got there at 9:50. They still gave me my bib but had run out of shirts my size. Apparently my 2014 race theme is going to be shirt stories, but considering they could have told me I was out of luck to get my bib, I wasn't bothered in the least!
The RD started the race off pretty promptly after explaining we'd see the aid station on course about 3 miles in, or halfway through the loop. And there was "some mud" at first or something to that effect, along with the usual instruction to stay on the path marked by the orange flags. We were off, starting off down the sidewalk to the woods.
The first mile was through the forest, going over grass/dirt paths - some of it was wet and splashed little bits of muddy water, but there were pretty regular tracks of mud puddles and deeper mud, as well as one stretch with pretty significant shoe-stealing mud. It came in at 11:01 but felt laboured, whether it was the mud or the heat and I decided if I still felt off for mile 2 I was going to slow down.
The next mile and a half were on a paved bike/walking trail which you would think, for a trail run, would be easy, but it was all rolling hills and to be honest, I immediately knew how not-recovered my legs were from my half the previous week. When you add in the sun shining brightly down and it being a wholllle lot warmer than it had been even very recently, and any thoughts of opting for the 20K disappeared. Instead I walked at each .5m mark to rest my whiny legs, and drank some water, which was just fine by me. It gave me a chance to appreciate how beautiful Mokena was. And it really was gorgeous. While I wasn't up to gunning it today, it was a gorgeous day to be out and a scenic area.
At mile 2.5 I was surprised to see the aid station and the turnabout point. I took some water, smiled for the photographer, and turned back towards the start line.
Nope, I'm not the pretty blond in the foreground - I'm the blue headband right behind her. No, to her left. Yeah, there I am!
(Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk FB page)
I hit the 5K point at 35:04, which I actually was pretty pleased by. I felt overheated and wished I had more water on me, but I was at the halfway point at 35:04 despite feeling like crap. Hey, if I kept this pace, I'd PR at the 10K!
Mile 1: 11:01
Mile 2: 11:37
Mile 3: 11:32
Mile 4 was pretty uneventful, just back the way I came on the rolling hills that my quads and hamstrings hated me for. (Side note, I was really hoping all the hill training would have saved me here - I don't know if it was just me really going all out last week, or the heat, or that if it was just an off day, but these felt rough.) Mile 5, the last mile (yes, the last mile!) got confusing though. It took 12:29, but there was a lot of stop and confer with other runners - it took us close to the finish line and out, and there was some debate about which way to turn which resulted in a few stops. This then took us back over the initial grassy/muddy stretch, where I overheard someone saying, "No it ends up as more than a 15K!" That statement confused me, because 15K wasn't on the list of options for the Double Down! And as we were bearing towards the finish line I was really starting to wonder if I'd managed to cut the course somehow...because unless there was another out and back, the finish line was right in front of me.
"Wait, where'd my last mile go?"
(Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk FB page)
The woman noting finish times told me - when I asked - that the course had had to be cut around a mile short due to a feral dog in the area. Someone handed me my finisher glass and off I went, joining the line with a bunch of very confused people.
Mile 4: 11:04
Mile 5: 12:29
Last .02: 0:13
Since I was definitely feeling off, I was totally fine cutting it short; the race was awesome but my body wasn't there.
And then there were FOUR! One of these things, is not like the other...yeah, this month's finisher glass is practically a goblet!
All I want to know is - obviously, I can't count this as a 10K PR even though I was on track for one. But can I count it for my 8K/5M PR?! My official gun time came in as 58:08, and since I haven't run a 5 mile race since I was 5 months pregnant - when 13 minute miles in a road race were ambitious - this would be about a 5 minute PR. What do you think?!
Next month in the MM series is the Mother's Day 5K, also in Mokena. Should be fun!