I woke up in Fall Creek (near Eau Claire, WI) Saturday morning around 6:30 a.m. after a sleepless night. We (J and my in-laws) were staying at Jesse’s aunt’s house and our dog, Cole, was really anxious all night and kept us up by jumping down off the bed, marching around, jumping back up on the bed, etc etc.
We got ready and ate some scrambled eggs and monkey bread that Jesse’s aunt had made for us. I normally wouldn’t eat something so out of the ordinary for me before a race but the Bock Run doesn’t start until noon so I figured I’d be OK. We said goodbye to our dogs and headed out. Per tradition, our first stop: the Dairy State Cheese Co. in Rudolph, WI.
After we purchased our cheese loot (some curds, string cheese, honey goat cheese, etc), we headed to the Stevens Point Brewery.
After we picked up our packets, we headed back to the car to change. This meant I had to make a decision about what to wear. Minus the VERY brisk breeze, the weather was really nice — 27 and sunny.
This is what I decided on for my race outfit:
- My new Brooks Infiniti II tights
- Lululemon Run Swiftly: long sleeve
- Short-sleeved Ragnar technical tee
- TC Marathon headband
- Garmin Forerunner 10
- Smart Wool running socks and my Saucony Guide 5s
At the last minute I decided to skip gloves.
Before I knew it, it was time to get out of the oh-so-warm warm car and line up. I did something new this year — I started closer to the front than I normally do. I know now from past years’ experience that this race, while it attracts some pretty elite runners, there are quite a few newbies who start closer to the front than they really should and you end up having to do a lot of dodging right away.
I started out pretty fast but definitely didn’t feel like it was TOO fast or that I wouldn’t be able to maintain the pace. And if you look at my splits below, I was pretty consistent.
The race starts at the brewery and winds through that neighborhood before you turn onto a highway and cross a bridge. It’s an out and back course and is mainly flat with the exception of a climb right up to the halfway mark. (But that means that it’s immediately followed by a nice downhill.)
I felt really strong on that uphill and passed quite a few runners both there and on the downhill. This year they moved the water stop from the halfway mark to right around mile 3. I grabbed a cup and drank about half of it and kept going. By this point I was afraid if I slowed down, I wouldn’t be able to speed back up.
My legs were feeling pretty tired at this point but since I’ve run the race so many times, I knew exactly what to expect and how much further I had to go. I kicked it in when I had about a half a mile to go and finished feeling great about the level of effort I put in.
Race stats here and below:
1 – 8:03
2 – 8:15
3 – 8:08
4 – 8:14
5 – 7:57
Official time: 40:53 / pace: 8:11
Div 25-29 – 27/182
F – 106/940
Overall – 435/1850
My only goal going into this race was to PR (so to beat my 2008 time of 48:54). At one point I had decided to set a goal of breaking 45 minutes but I didn’t feel like I would do that yesterday. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized the time I was on track for.
But I wasn’t the only person who PR’ed at this race. J killed his PR with a time of 33:04!!!!! So proud of him.
After watching Brad and Larry finish the race we hung out for awhile to enjoy our free beers. Bonus: J ran into an old college roommate who gave us his beer tickets too!
Then, what I have been waiting two years for, we went to Rusty’s for their famous bloody marys — prepared by Rusty himself.
After Rusty’s we showered at the hotel and then met at our friends’ house for happy hour before dinner at El Mezcal. Dinner there was delicious as always (mmm, enchiladas). We also had a very successful trip to one of our favorite liquor stores in Wisconsin. I totally scored two bottles of the New Glarus Cherry Stout I’ve been searching for, for months!
I’m back in MN now, but I have to say it was a pretty successful trip to Wisconsin.
Did anyone else race this weekend?