Monday, October 4, 2010

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Race Report

First off, I want to thank Kerri, Matt and Amanda, and Daniel for coming out to cheer me on during the race yesterday.  Even though I probably saw each of you (except Daniel of course) for less than a minute, I really really appreciate that you cared enough to come out and support me.   And thank you to Jamie and Jason for letting me hang out with you before the race started and telling the medical people you'd watch me and make sure I didn't wander off after the race.

Second, I want to give a huge congratulations to Jamie (Running Diva Mom) for her outstanding run yesterday.  Before the race she was saying that she wished she was going to run as fast as Jason and I were planning to.  Well, guess who had the fastest time of the three of us??  She did!!!  You can her race report here.  Congrats, Jamie.

On to my race report.  We drove over to Milwaukee in the early afternoon and went to the expo to pick up my race stuff.  The race shirt was pretty cool.  It kind of has a biker feel to it.  I put it in the wash this morning so I can wear it once I'm ready to start running again.

We didn't do too much browsing around at the expo- we mostly just figured out logistics for the next day, and I talked to the 3:50 pacer guy.

After that we went back to the hotel and watched through the 3rd quarter of the Tennessee-LSU game and walked across the street to Benihana for dinner, which was a fun distraction.  The weather was windy and fairly cold when we walked back from dinner, and I started waffling on what I was going to wear the next day.  After dinner we went back to the hotel and watched Florida get smacked around by Alabama for two quarters.  Daniel went down stairs to watch the rest of the game and I tried (somewhat successfully) to get a good night's sleep.

Then it was up at about 5am.  I finally decided to wear my skirt, t-shirt, mittens and maybe a throw away shirt (that I didn't really want to throw away but could live without) and put my warm-up clothes on over that.  I had some coffee and a Clif Bar and then headed down to get on the bus.  There weren't many people on when I got there, but there was sort of familiar looking young woman wearing a polkadot Bondi Band.  My brain was still a little fuzzy because it was so early but I thought, that has to be Jamie .  And thankfully- because I would have really freaked out a stranger- it was (and of course her husband Jason with her)!

We rode way north of town and were dropped off at a high school where we chilled out in the cafeteria and used the bathroom multiple times before the start of the race.  Big bonus points to the race organizers for having someplace warm (it was probably in the 30s before we started) to hang out before the race and indoor bathrooms (plus portapotties).  I didn't have to wait in line for more than maybe 5 minutes any of the three times I went before the race.

At 7:30 we gathered outside seeded by time.  My favorite pace sign- the one behind the 6 hour group- was "same day".  We listened to someone talk before the start about something, heard a bizarre jazz rendition of the national anthem, and we were off.

I started off with the 8:50 pacer, which felt really slow and easy at the beginning.  We were on gently rolling farm roads.  The morning was absolutely beautiful.  Just a little sunny and cool.  We got some fall leaf color action and a few glimpses of Lake Michigan every now and then.
Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:33
Mile 3: 8:43 Man playing the accordion in his front yard with huge speakers to blast the music.  He had quite a set up
Mile 4: 8:28 I decided to go a little ahead of the pacer.  I'm naturally faster on the downhills and I didn't like having to slow down so much on those.
Mile 5: 8:26  Had a gel according to plan
Mile 6: 8:42
Mile 7: 8:41 The Concordia mile (which may have been the mile before- I can't remember or find a map that shows it) was probably the most fun mile of the race.  Lots of crowd support.  It went by really fast.
Mile 8: 8:48
Mile 9: 8:44
Mile 10: 9:11.  I think there was a small uphill here.  I also saw some crazy lady with a sign that said "You are so hot"  I think she was at the Madison Mini, too :).  Had a gel according to plan.
Mile 11: 8:51
Mile 12: 8:36
Mile 13: 8:52.  I crossed the 1/2 marathon marker at 1:55:03- right on track for a 3:50 marathon
Mile 14: 8:48

And here's where it starts to get hard:
Mile 15: 9:03   Had a gel according to plan.  Stomach said "this was your last gel."  Drank Gatorade for the rest of the race.
Mile 16: 9:07
Mile 17: 9:19
Mile 18: 9:37
Mile 19: 9:25
Mile 20: 9:55
Mile 21 10:00
Mile 22: 9:55
Mile 23: 10:05 The course rounded a corner and we got a huge downhill and a beautiful view of Lake Michigan.  Definitely the best view of the course (other than the finish line :) and my wonderful spectating friends and family).
Mile 24: 9:50
Mile 25: 10:29  Saw Jamie here.  I kind of hit the wall around here (obviously) and was super excited to see how well she was running.  I wanted to turn it on and run in with her but it just wasn't happening.
Mile 26.2: 10:39 + I was able to push it out coming down the chute, but I was definitely ready to be done at that point.  I saw Daniel and Matt and Amanda cheering and I wanted to smile and run fast (which was probably like 10 minute mile at that point) for them.

Here's me, still wearing my mittens for some reason even though it was 50 something degrees out at this point.

I felt kind of woozy after I finished so a helpful volunteer took me to the medical tent where they tried to get me to eat or drink something (my stomach was not having any of that!), and it was super hot in there, so fortunately I saw Jamie and Jason and the volunteer released me to them to make sure I didn't wander off somewhere.

I saw Daniel, Matt and Amanda and went to talk to them for a minute.

Noooo space blanket.  Too hot.

With Daniel.  Awww.  I'm glad these pictures turned out. My outfit makes me look like I escaped from the home for adults with special needs, but at least my skin isn't red and blotchy.

I sort of tried to eat and drink after the race but I felt pretty crappy until we were on our way home.  That night I made up for my lack of appetite during the day by having a wonderful celebration sushi dinner.

 Daniel, I want you to know I picked the picture that was most flattering of you for this.  Even though it means I look like an 8-year-old.

Overall, I'm really happy with the race.  Marathons are hard, and I feel like I gave this race my all.  Even though I didn't hit my pace goal, I did PR by a few minutes, and you can't be upset with that.  I do think my performance yesterday indicated I need to do two things for next time: 1. Add in some progression long runs to work on hanging in there when I feel tired and 2. Work on my nutrition strategy.  It wasn't fun to feel like barf toward the end of the race.

The End.