This morning brought the third annual Madison Mini Marathon to our fair city, and thousands of runners took to the streets on a 13.1-mile course through some of the city’s notable landmarks.
After my Dairyland Dare ride report failed to feature a decent video, I had big plans for this day and its post. My friend and fellow Team In Training-mate Kerri asked if I’d like to run with her, and help pace her to a new PR; I gladly accepted the invitation. She’s been busy lately, so we decided to multi-task a bit: I had also recently asked her to help me record some words for the “Accent Vlog” that’s been going around. That’s a Video-blog post in which the blogger speaks certain words and certain terms that tend to be different in different parts of the country. I got the idea from my Texan blog-friend TPG’s blog… Kerri is from Alabama, so I had exciting plans to record both her voice and mine for the “accent vlog.” We use the tried-and-true 8+2 run+walk system, which gave us recording time with a kind-of-steady camera. So grab your Dramamine – here’s our on-board race camera, bringing you a few scenes from the Madison Mini Marathon and exploring some of the linguistic nuances of American English:
I looked over Kerri’s training numbers and race results, told her to leave her Garmin at home, and devised a plan to bring her across the finish line ahead of her existing half-marathon PR of 2:20. To avoid parking headaches, I packed my (disposable plastic) bag with TNT recruiting flyers and biked down to the Union. We met up before the race with some of the Team In Training gang, got excited, and headed to the starting line.
The day started with a bang – of thunder: a precisely-timed (and quite intense) storm that arrived just as the race would have started, had race officials not sent us all out of the corrals and running back to the Memorial Union for an hour rain-delay. The scene inside reminded me of some kind of disaster-refuge camp. The scene outside looked a lot more like winter…
Kudos to everyone who came out to run, and especially to Kerri, who was willing to go along with my crazy plans – both filming strange words, and running at the toughest pace I knew she could run. I was glad to finish my own last long run before moving another notch into taper mode. Things started soggy (even the Accent Vlog script melted along the way), but turned sunny as the day went on, just as we started slowly and picked it up as the miles increased. One of our teammates, new to distance running, noted afterward how glad she was to have a practice-race in the rain before the big marathon she’s getting ready for, because now she has the experience, and knows that she can do it if it does rain at her big event in San Francisco. I bet there were a lot of runners nervous this morning about the rain, who went ahead and got started, only to find that it’s not so bad after all. Setbacks and changes pop up all the time – we roll with them and make the best of it. A waterproof camera doesn’t hurt, either.
After all, you can’t pick the weather on race day.