After a looooooong Wisconsin Winter, my full marathon that I had been training for finally arrived. Although I did do the Trailbreaker Half on April 5th short stats here:
I felt like it had been a while since I had raced. With the winter weather I also felt that I had not done a lot of running outside. Thank God for my Treadmill and the Pettit Center. Although I had a few setbacks with training, a cold here, shuffling days there, I felt I had been pretty loyal to my training program.
That being said I came across Dean Karnazes' The Marathon mid-week which summed up exactly what I was feeling. This was not my first, but because you never know what can happen during a marathon, I have learned to respect the race and treat each one with humility.
I started to get more nervous as the end of the week approached. Spent some time stalking the weather, and hoping more than anything that it was NOT going to be raining.
Kenosha is not too far from me, only about 40 minutes, so I was able to sleep at home the night before. For some reason my iPod alarm sound was shut off, thankfully the nerves had kicked in and I was awake when it was going off silently. I got out of the house a little later than I anticipated, but made it to Kenosha. I could not find a place to park, but when another car went into a church lot, I followed suit, hoping not to get a ticket.
I saw several people that I knew on my long walk to the starting area, including my friends that I had planned on meeting up with after the race.
I debated back and forth what to check-in at gear check, pants to toss?! sunglasees or no?! This was my I don't know what to wear, crap I'm cold pre-race face...
By the time I got to the start corral I was happy that I had shed the pants, and kept the sunglasses.
I ran into a running peep at the start , Tracey, that was rocked and ready for a great race. I saw her several times on the course and she did not get the goal time she wanted, she PR'd and got closer to her goal, which I know she will get soon. I might also add she is a formidable tough runner who has completed several ultras-she's badass and reels in her goal and knocks them out of the park.
Anyway I digress...before the race I shed my long sleeve tee, bared my tank and the sun came out. Going into this race I had no clear goals, so no pressure, right?!
When the gun went off I jockeyed for position, trying to hold back. After the first mile, though, I did not like where I was at so did what I always do, I proceed to go off too fast. Once that second mile ticked off, I had to remind myself I was running a full marathon, not a half, and had to save some fuel in the tank.
The first few miles went by and continued to feel good. I saw something shimmer around mile 5 and didn't realize until a few minutes later, that my necklace broke and my running charms were lost to me. This upset me, not because of cost, but I wore these all the time, never take them off. I trained, ran many races with them, they
are were a part of me. I had to shake that off because I was over thinking it, was it a sign of a bad race!?! did it mean something bad?!? So I just let it go. (without getting that song stuck in my head)
The miles continued to go by and because I was still feeling good, I focused on keeping each mile under 8 minutes. I did not really focus on what mile I was on or how many I had left, I ran mile to mile. I grabbed Gatorade at every stop and slowed down while drinking, but then did a short pick-up after every stop. It was a nice mental break, and helped me as I was getting sluggish in my pace or tending to slow down. After mile 17 I realized that this is when I started to slow down in Chicago, so I wanted to try and keep it under 8 for a few more miles. Amazingly, I did. Mile 20 was an 8 minute pace exactly, and mile 21 was back under by a second. By this time, I knew all I had to do was not slow too much per mile and I would have a shiny new PR to take home. I kept my focus and thought all the happy thoughts that I could muster. I had done that throughout the second half, thinking of different people who mean something important to me for each new song, checking out the beautiful lake views. Soaking up the sun that we hadn't seen all week. By the time I hit mile 26 I was way more than ready to be done. As I turned the corner and headed down the shoot, I heard my running peeps cheering for me. A big smile (maybe a tiny tear) crossed my face. It was a great run.I PR'd by 4 minutes! I walked over to my running peeps, who greeted me with hugs and high fives...and then beer!
We met at Rustic Road Brewery for some post race refueling. After Chicago I had no appetite, and didn't feel good that night, so I really was upping my water intake and limiting myself to 2 drinks...in Wisconsin that's nothing ;)
Here is the great group of runners who have great taste in races and beer!
The front side of the medal, because my running brain held it backwards in the pic above, which of course was to show you that it also is a bottle opener!!
I am happy to say that I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, actually made it out to meet some dear friends that night, and capped the night off with one last drink.
Made the hubs celebrate with me!