Monday, May 4, 2015

Medved Madness 2015

Last year when I signed up for Medved Madness, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. This year I did. And for some reason I signed up anyway. Just kidding. I think Madness is a misnomer. I really love this race. It's a beautiful 15ish mile tour of Mendon Ponds Park (the course even goes through the pond at the end of the first loop) and you get an awesome The North Face T-shirt (Double score because this years' shirt was blue! I was thrilled to get a women's tech shirt that wasn't pink or purple. There's nothing wrong with pink and purple, I just don't like it when they are the only option for people with ovaries). The only downside to this race is that it's always on a Sunday and I prefer Saturday races. Still, there are far worse ways to spend a Sunday morning, like ways that don't include Italian Ice.

Sunday's weather was amazing: sunny and in the high 60s. Way nicer than last year. This race would be my longest run thus far in 2015 so I was intending to take it easy. So when I came upon Alison and Bob during the first loop, I thought oops! There's no way I should be up here. I'm going to pay for this later. But I figured it would be good training to try and stay with them for as long as I could, tire myself out and then somehow convince myself to keep going until the finish. So that's what I did. For some reason I kept thinking about "full ocean breaths," which is something yoga teachers say that I don't understand. I don't know how to breathe like an ocean. But it does help when I remind myself to take deeper breaths and relax.

Photo by Ron Heerkens Jr

Most of this race is kind of a blur. I remember some gorgeous dry trails and some nice downhills, with a couple of shoe-sucking muddy spots and some fields. I walked some of the uphills and cruised on the downhills. At one point Alison and I almost missed a turn, but luckily Dennis was behind us and yelled "left!" so we went the right way. The course was well marked, I'm just usually paying more attention to the ground immediately in front of me than to the trail markers. The first two 5ish mile loops seemed to go by pretty quickly, but the last loop went on For.Ev.Er. During one stretch of the last loop, we passed runners from a 5K race going in the other direction. Their race bibs said something about stethoscopes. Bob said "Oh, sturgeons and stethoscopes, must be a fishing race!" and I was so tired it took me a minute to get the joke.

I was thrilled to finally see Cardiac Hill, because I knew once I got up it I'd be almost done. It was a slow hike up the hill, but I was happy that my butt hurt only from mountain biking and not from the hill. Then it was just a short, mostly downhill run to the finish. Once I saw the finish line, my legs took off sprinting. Funny how they pretend to be so tired and then as soon as they see the Rita's Italian Ice tent, they suddenly find hidden reserves of energy. Seriously though, I was really hot by the end of this race and in that moment, the icy, sugary goodness of strawberry Italian ice was the best thing ever. Then Dan gave me a popsicle and that was awesome too.

Another great day of great fun with great people! May the madness continue!

Lyric of the moment: "Who will see the beauty in your life? And who will be there to hear you when you call? Who will see the madness in your life? And who will be there to catch you if you fall?" Fra Lippo Lippi "Beauty and Madness"

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