Friday, May 31, 2013

Race Recap: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

I was looking forward to this race for a long time, but not because I would be 'racing' it. I managed to talk to the pacing director for the race at one of the Tri City Foxes Traithlon club meetings and I sent her an email afterwards. I was signed up for this but would forgo running it for me to be paired with the official 2:20 pacer. I have always wanted to be a pacer, especially after the coaching experience of the Fleet Feet Winter Warriors 15K program. I enjoy helping others reach their goals and the entire race is just so much FUN!!

Packet pickup went pretty smooth on Friday night and I was pleasantly surprised that there were women's cut t-shirts as it didn't mention this while signing up and in past years they have been unisex. They have a decent size expo and I was able to snag a few items, 2 bondibands, a $7 tech tank from Eastbay and 2 different Honey Stinger chews. I am looking to find more organic items to eat than GU since during my last marathon I felt really bloated at mile 20 and want to correct it this time around. It's either Honey Stingers or Chocolate #9, which I will order a giant box if the test with the chews does not work.

Saturday was not your ideal pre-race strategy as it was Cottage opening week for both my husband's and my grandma's cottages in Waupaca. I split my time, in the morning I helped to paint at my husband's place and then headed over to my cottage. I then spent the next 2 hours bagging leaves and pine needles and then hauling the 30lbs bags on my back up the hill and over to the trailer. My feet and legs were feeling dead so I was ready to get off my feet. I enjoyed a few beers with friends and the in-laws before heading home. It was off to bed early for the 4am wakeup call.

I hopped in the shower since I knew it was going to be a hot day and wanted to start off the day with wet hair. I knew water would get dumped on it anyways and would help maintain my frizzy curls. I picked up Sarah and we made the quick drive up to Lambeau Field and we actually shivered while getting our gear check bags ready. We quickly hit the bathrooms and walked into the atrium to find the pacers to hook up with. I love it about this race that you can stand inside until about 10 minutes prior. We dropped off our gear check bags and lined up at the start. The anthem was sung, the wheelchairs started, and we had a moment of silence for Boston. And we were off!

Miles 1 -5:
I really had to keep an eye on my pace to ensure we were sticking with our average pace of 10:25-10:30, we would walk for about 15-20 seconds through the water stations to help people refuel and grab what they needed. This wound through neighborhoods with tree lined streets and the crowd support was strong. Rachel and Kim came up behind and returned the ass grab, I was happy to see them looking strong! It felt warm at this point and at the end of this stretch you could feel that it had warmed up. Our group was starting to struggle and they had mentioned they may have to drop their pace soon.

Miles 6-10:
Shortly after mile six you hit my favorite part of the course (outside of the end) as you make a left turn, you begin a hillier section and you can see the throngs of runners ahead and behind. The aid station here is right in front of a church so there is always music and amazing crowds here. Our original group had all disappeared but we seemed to pick up another group of people. Around mile 8 I asked if I could hold the pacer sign to get used to what it felt like and she gladly handed it off. I held it until mile 9 when I realized I had not eaten a shot block since about mile 3. I took two quickly and instantly felt better. Our group was gone again and people were really struggling with the heat. It was about 80 by this time with no clouds in the sky. I had seen 1 person down and two people gagging on the sides but most people were listening to their bodies.

*At some point during this time my phone camera somehow got flipped into Sepia mode so you're just gonna have to deal with these pics. Finally figured out how to switch it back the next day!!

Miles 11-13.1:
Theresa and I just kept on course as she knew we would pick up people at the end of the race, so I held the sign for most of this time and we chatted, she mentioned this was likely her last year pacing for this race and I might be able to take over for her next year. The last two miles lack in crowd support and the sun was beating on you with no tree cover in sight, at mile 11 I said bye to Kim & Rachel as they made the right turn while I got to turn left and head to the finish. The last water stop I finally got a little ice with my Gatorade and was THRILLED! It cooled me down and the finish was in sight. We made the turn into Lambeau and down the players tunnel to make the lap around Lambeau Field. As a Packers fan since I was little, the experience is just amazing! Your body goes numb, all pain leaves your body and you just revel in all that has happened here on the field. As you make the climb back up the tunnel you come out and there is the finish line. Theresa gave me the honor of holding the sign into the finish and I just smiled!

                                             LOVE THIS PIC!!! 
                                            Bringing it in to the finish 

Official Time


Female (30-34)
Overall        2669
Gender        1419
 Division         264

                                         The Official Pacer Teresa and The Unofficial Pacer!!

Afterwards I ran into a number of people from the race and congratulated all of them. I grabbed a picture since I didn't know if they had captured me during the race and then spotted Sarah. We grabbed our gear bags and proceeded to immediately take off our compressions socks and shoes to slip into our flip flops. We mowed down our brat and sucked up our Redd's Apple Ale in no time. We checked out the massage tent wait and decided to go for it since it wasn't bad. I've never taken advantage of this before and I swear I will in the future anytime possible for longer distance races. She hit something on the inside of my upper leg and instantly felt the tightness. I asked her what that was and she said it was my adbuctor, I need to work this with The Stick more often!

Sarah and I walked back to the car to ditch our gear bags, all the while my medal squeaked every time I took a step. It was getting ready to throw it and put some soap on it after the bathroom stop and that seemed to help. We found a place in Lambeau to sit and watch for Kim & Rachel. We figured they would come in sometime after 4:40 and not long after that if they were still holding strong. We saw a few people attempt a Lambeau Leap, one man run with his baby through to the end and then I saw them emerge from the tunnel right on track. They looked strong yet and we rushed down to the edge to cheer them on towards the end! Rachel and Kim took advantage of the massages and they both got like 30 minute sessions before we called it a day and headed home.

The only thing I would recommend for this race would be Ice available at some of the earlier water stations, they had it on the marathon course after they split off but it was already halfway through the race before they even could take advantage of this.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Starting off on the wrong foot

So I've run quite a few races lately and I feel like all I've done are Recaps. I am breaking things up a bit to throw a little something else in there. I do qualify for the Half Fanatics if I feel like joining as I did manage to complete 3 half marathons in 4 weeks.

My body was feeling tired so I took a little bit of a break on my body. I averaged about two runs during the week and that is about it. I got in one bike and one swim in the past three weeks other than the runs. I did also manage to get my Marathon/Olympic Triathlon training written down so I can get back on track after the Green Bay half. And then this happened while I was cooking Stir Fry the evening of the race. Let's just say Steam can really hurt in a matter of seconds!!

Which wasn't too bad other than it threw out my swim sessions once the skin layer came off. And then I came down with the nasty cold that was going around. So all my workouts went out the window until I could actually breathe again. I was really upset as I got sick the day my husband was due to get back from being out of town for work the last 4 days :( I had to resort to a quick peck when he got home and trying to quarantine myself so he wouldn't get sick.

At least both hit me at once so I just resorted to taking another rest week and getting back at it as soon as I could. Which happened to be the monthly Pub Run with Fleet Feet, they happened to have a Saucony rep and we all laughed at his shirt. We enjoyed tacos and our first beer on Saucony which we all appreciated! Turns out they were raffling some shirts off after the run and everyone got one ticket when they returned. My luck was turning around as I actually won one!!

10 weeks until the Olympic Triathlon and 17 weeks until the Marathon and I'm trying to slightly ease back into this week so I don't burn out after a month of slacking exploring other activities. It also has become really humid here and the warm temps have returned so I will need to bust out my Endurolyte pills to help me survive the heat. Lake flies are also out in full force this year and I just discovered that biking is WAY worse than running through them. Getting pelted all over with the little buggers sucks!!

PS. Kim if you are still reading this, please send me GB pics you have of me ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Race Recap: American Cancer Society Soleburner 5K

This is the 4th year I have completed this race and I feel like it is one that I will continue to run. The proceeds go to the American Cancer Society and cancer has affected so many people! There have been a few breakthroughs lately with research so it is encouraging to see that the money donated is making a difference.

My grandfather had brain cancer and was not diagnosed until it was too late, he had stage 4 cancer and they had not given him long to live. It was very hard on my grandmother as it would cause major mood swings and he would just walk out of the house at random times, causing us to go try to find him. He was diagnosed a few weeks after Thanksgiving and made it less than four months passing away in mid-March. It was really hard on me seeing him fade so quickly, he was quick witted and a master carpenter. His memory is living through all the things he made for the family. I have a jewelry box, pop out box, picture frames, shelves, dominoes and cribbage set that he made. Not to mention the lawn decorations several family members have, the rocker we had as a kid and even a foosball table. I even made a school project of a pyramid using 1/2 x 1/2 inch blocks glued together that he cut out all the blocks for, complete with the tunnel.

I run this race dedicated to him each year. This year the forecast was not looking great, I woke up to rain outside and was happy it was only a 5K. I just prepared to wear my hat and hopped in the shower, thankful to hear the rain stop but knew it could return. I headed out of the house later than I wanted and was hoping it would not end up being a close call. I parked a mere 14 minutes before the race was scheduled to start. As I was jogging towards the startup to warm up myself on the chilly morning, I came upon my dad so I walked the rest of the way with him. We then split ways for the start and I walked farther up, I ran into a friend, Michelle, and we chatted until the race started.

I immediately started off hard hoping for a repeat of my last 5K and was hoping to hold it, even though my legs still seem to shaking off some tiredness. About a half mile in my breathing became labored and knew I had to dial it back some. We turned the corner to head to college ave and you can see the storm coming in, the wind picked up and the barriers were beginning to slide all over the place. We made the turn onto College Ave and battled the 25mph winds head on. I wanted to stop to walk like so many others but pushed through.

We then made the turn, headed down the steep hill and ran next to the Fox River. I run this section every Tuesday so I knew what I would need to do, when you hit the last half mile you run into the Hill of Hope, a steep long hill and when you crest the hill it's only 3.5 blocks to the finish. I was passed by way to many kids at this point and I just had no kick left in me. Once I finished I immediately found a place along the side to watch for Michelle and my dad, and the rain started to get harder as time passed. He had worked 13.5 hours the day before and has been having foot issues so he couldn't even run the last 2 weeks. He finished in an amazing time of 34:08!

Official Results


Overall: 717/3096
*walkers not included
Sex: 211/1794
Division: 64/513

*I failed and did not get a single picture of the race or afterwards :(

Afterwards we head downtown Appleton to Dr. Jekyl's for a few beers, we were just happing to get out of the sleet at this point in time. We were happy to be done and relax, when the sun finally came out everyone in the bar cheered and the crowd started to disperse. I headed home to cozy up at home with showers passing through

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Race Recap: Wisconsin Half Marathon

I was excited for our racecation to the Wisconsin Marathon for the past month so when Friday finally rolled around I was ecstatic! I was supposed to have the day off of work but I ended up working 3 hours in the morning and packed. I thought it may help the morning go by faster, but the minutes slowly ticked by. Finally it was almost noon and I headed to Joan's. We managed to get through Milwaukee before rush hour hit, but as we were in the middle of the city my boss was called me. Immediately I knew something was WRONG since she was also off work. Internet went down in one of our offices so I had deliverables to email when we made it to our hotel.

Once done I needed a few beers, Matt and Kim found a place not too far from the hotel and we played a round of darts while we waited for the rest of our group to show up. Most of us got pizza and we headed back to the hotel to rest up. Roomies for the night!

It was going to be an early morning since the race was at 7am and we had about a 30 minute drive from the hotel to the start. We had enough time to hit up the portapotty line, sorry for missing the blogger meetup which doesn't seem like it happened because we all suck! The day was turning out to be beautiful and the rain was going to hold off, the temps would be in the upper 40's which was perfect!!

We made it to the start and I still felt like something was off with me. I just wanted to do my best and enjoy the race atmosphere. About 2 steps into the race, my motto quickly became "Don't Poop My Pants", especially because the shorts under my skirt were WHITE, so I was going to stop at the first portapotties on the course. I spied them around 1.5 miles in and only one person was waiting outside, I started moving to the side and then three people in front of me headed over, CRAP!  So I decided to wait, the next miles continued to wind through neighborhoods and then downtown which was amazing thanks to the crowd support. I started picking up my pace again thanks to the adrenaline.

We hit the park around mile 5 and I thought my GI issues had gone away. I was excited but wasn't sure if it would last as it was time to eat my first GU of the day. Another mile up the way I spied restrooms in the park and saw a few people coming out so I knew they were open. It was on an uphill so I took advantage and literally made a bee line right to the bathroom, only with little success.

But my stomach felt better and the few minutes I took felt worth it. I was excited to hit the first turnaround at mile 8 and was able to see everyone in our group. Amy Zem and Kim were flying and then right at the turnaround I spied Sarah, Matt & Rachel, who all passed me during my little bathroom break but I was happy for them all. Kathy was also right around behind me and we were all doing great so far! I sparked up a conversation with a fellow runner and we talked for about 2 miles about our issues we were having and encouraged each other on and she eventually went on ahead. I spied Linda, Amy Z and Joan after making the turn.

The park was so fun seeing all the other runners and all the costumes, there best were the beer girls holding stuffed steins with a sign "If your not running you should be drinking". It was nice to hear the waves crashing against the beach winding through the park as well, the only problem was the park was full of potholes and missing asphalt so it was pretty easy to take a digger. We rounded the hill up out the park and some spectators were yelling at those running on the outside of the cones. I yelled at them "I'm ahead so I'm gaining it back!" to which they laughed. I then had to stop to eat my second GU and knew I needed to walk thanks to my issues and Kathy passed me up.

Once I ate I was hoping I could finish out the course without walking again as we were now heading back into downtown with all the spectators and knew it was only a 5K left. I caught up with Kathy once I started running and we ran together for a bit after almost having to save her from a fall. We then were following the course from earlier in the race and we had another mile to run out before we hit the turnaround to go back to the finish. I was able to see Rachel, Matt & Sarah again! And then the marathoners road became much lonelier as this was the point that they kept going south for many miles before they would hit their turnaround.

After the turn I found myself keeping even pace with a gentleman who I struck up a conversation with (you can see his arm and blue shirt in the pic above. It was his 2nd half marathon and he was struggling, he wasn't sure he could run it all the way. I kept pushing him along, trying to distract him and when we got close to the finish I asked him if he could sprint it in. He said he thought so and when we made the final turn and see the finish I yelled GO, he took off and I followed suit. It was so fun to see him gut out those final feet!!

Official Time
Overall: 997/2272
Gender: 446/1402
Division: 97/235

Kathy had finished only a few seconds behind me so we went to find the rest of our gang. Thankfully Sarah is taller and I spotted her quickly and we walked back to where Kim, Rachel & Matt were cheering.

I love the race medal since it doubles as a bottle opener so it may just get worn again instead of hanging with the others.
                        Sarah, Amy Z, Me, Kathy, Rachel, Matt, Kim, Joan, Linda, Amy Zem

We hung around for awhile afterward and finally my issues seemed to have disappeared. I was able to grab a brat when the rest of the group was eating. We then proceeded to drink for the next few hours at a Rustic Road brewere and another random bar on our way back to the hotel.

We headed out for dinner after we all got cleaned up, except Sarah who passed out as soon as we got back. She rocked out her race gear a little longer than the rest of us!!
We then headed down to the hot tub, which was scaldingly hot. We could only put our legs in but it really helped relax our calf muscles before bed.

Sunday morning we were up early again, the hotel breakfast was pretty crappy so Kathy, Sarah and I headed out for breakfast upon checking out and shopped at the local outlet mall before heading back home. The women's cut tech shirts fit great and I loved it so much I wore it the day after as a badge of honor.

As soon as I got back to my house, I had to unload and head off to my cousins baby shower. It ended up being a really long day and I was so happy to get home and plop on my couch. My hubby told me Vito hung out moping all weekend when I was gone, sitting by the back door and didn't eat normal. He had to entice him with people scraps to even eat, he is such a social dog and just loves being around people.

How could you resist this face??

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Wrapup

I'm a little late this week for my wrap up but it was for good reason. I had a racecation this weekend and got back just in time to head to a baby shower.

25 min of Strength

1200m Swim - 400m warmup followed by pull buoy and paddle drills and 2*100m hard at the end. Working to improve my swimming efficiency & times.

4.39m Run - Pub Run night, our group took our own way seeing if a new route was all ready and how far exactly it would be. First really humid day of the year and we were all suffering a bit.

1m Dog Walk to round out the night

Rest due to some shin pain and trying to wrap everything up for work before travelling on Friday. These were my roomies for the weekend.

13.1m Run - Wisconsin Half Marathon, recap to come soon!! I did not get a PR and experienced some new things during this race. Definitely a learning experience for me.

Shopping at some outlet stores & travelling home so that counts for something!

Overall this week was not my best, I was fighting shin pain earlier in the week and I wanted to play it safe and listen to my body and rest up due to the upcoming race. A learning experience week and it makes me motivated to get back at it hard this week!