Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

Morning finally was here, after tossing and turning for 5 hours in bed. I was at peace with what the day would bring, I wanted to enjoy the race after the journey I took to get there. Was it ideal? No. Is it ever? No. I wanted to do the best I could with what I had, which is what we all try to do in life. Now that I got all that philosophical stuff out of the way, here is how it all went down.

My goal was to start with the 4:45 pace group and hang with them as long as I possibly could, hopefully to the end if possible. My prior times were 4:50 and 4:42 so I felt it was appropriate. I seem to go out too fast and this was going to reign me in and keep me from blowing up. I love my running peeps!!
Kathy, Kim, Rachel, Me, Matt, Sarah
Miles 1-6 (10:22, 10:25, 10:29, 10:31, 10:20, 10:18)
The early miles felt easy and they were flying by, I was chatting it up with people around me and just enjoying the overcast weather and a light breeze. The group was pretty large at this point so I tried not to weave and just settled in amongst the crowd. We hit what was mile 12 in past years about 1.5 miles in and I was really thankful this year that I didn't have to watch all the half marathoners turn and the field dwindle down. It was also nice to not have the extra people to weave through. The only downfall to the change of course this year was not having the wall of spectators along the first part of the course, but then again it was nice to not feel all of sudden deserted!

Miles 7-12 (10:37, 10:22, 10:16, 10:12, 10:42, 10:50)
Still feeling good yet, just enjoying the moments and scenery. I was getting to know the people running with the group and I loved hearing why they were doing it. Some were doing it because they were 40 and why not do it now. Others were on a quest to do all 50, some were there that had done it before and others just trying to better their times. I really wanted to know what brought them to the race and many grew up in the area and had moved away. I think this is my favorite part about races and running, to hear other's stories and find what moves them.

Miles 13-18 (10:46, 10:39, 10:46, 10:41, 10:33, 10:47)
This was where it started to falter, my stomach didn't feel right after taking a GU (I took a HoneyStinger Gel earlier). I battled to get my energy level back up and tell myself I had run through worse. And then we hit what we thought was an aid station, but it was just a popsicle aid station. I had a gut reaction to take one as I thought it may help me somehow being that it was cold, and it was starting to get warm. I thought back to times I struggled and I really wanted to finish with my new friends. I had really bonded with them and I wanted it so bad. I kept pushing through and just tried to save my energy from talking and listen to them.

Miles 19 - 24 (12:33, 11:30, 12:17, 11:59, 12:05, 13:36)
And then it hit, I just couldn't hold my pace with my energy level dropping. I started to get nauseous from the heat, which my body does not cope well with and added to the stomach issues I knew I would have to walk more often. The walk breaks started adding up and they were 2 per mile at this point instead of just during the aid stations. One during the water stop and one about halfway between them. Most of these miles felt like a gradual uphill and was into a very steady headwind, as if battling the exhaustion and heat was not enough. Mentally I kept talking myself into it, and then I said that thought out loud to a struggling runner. It just happened to be the guy I had helped get through the last few miles at Fox Cities, we leap frogged each other and eventually I was disappointed he never passed me again.

Miles 25-26.2 (12:44, 11:32, 5:23) 
I can finally see Lambeau again, those last few miles really dragged on and it felt like I would never get there. Seeing that I was almost there was the energy that I needed. I was able to run a good portion of this and it felt good to finally not be battling the wind too. I really tried to relish being in Lambeau and coming through the player's tunnel. If we could just run around in there the whole time I don't think I would ever stop! The final push out of the tunnel was back uphill and into the wind again but I knew at this point it was almost over. 

I finished in 4:53 and I was good with that. In my head when I started I was hoping to make it in under 5 hours. I did end up having a good day where my body was concerned, I was not battling any injuries it was just simply fatigue. I wish I would have been able to push farther but I didn't want to land my journey in a medical tent so I went the smart route.

One thing I wish marathons would offer or someone needs to invent.... a spray sunscreen both part way through, us pale people with sun sensitivities would really appreciate it! Just making my runner's lines better each day now.

I am taking a break from marathons now, I want to get faster again and focus on getting in shape again. Although my legs didn't feel too stiff later on in the day and I mowed my entire lawn!!

Next up is The Longest Day for Alzheimer's and I am looking to log as many miles in 16 hours as I can. I am hoping to beat last year's number of 32 miles! I have put a challenge out there that every $5 I receive as donations I will run 1 lap around the track, meaning $20 gets you one mile. I will run it in honor of anyone you know that has suffered from this disease. Just go to our team's fundraising page "Running to Remember" or my personal fundraising page to help out. To any of you that have donated already, thank you!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mo' Problems Monday

It is now actually feeling like Spring around here, and with that comes a new set of runner problems.

1. Chafing - Do not forget to body glide any body parts that will rub any other part or clothing, and do not forget the spots you know you will always chafe or something like this will happen.

2. Sports Watch Tan line (burn line for now at least)

3. Runner tan lines (again burn lines here yet)

4. Planning runs around where you can fill up water at parks, circle back to your house/car with a cooler or stashing a cooler on some country road. If you are anything like me you drink like a fish and can only last about an hour before a refill is required.

5. Poppin' pills like they are candy! These things get me through warm weather runs.

Oh yeah, I have this thing called THE MARATHON next week, I am not feeling very prepared for this one so we will see how it goes. I am going to start with the 4:45 pace group (prior finish times were 4:50 & 4:42) and hope I can stick with them the whole way. I tend to go out too fast and then drag myself through miles 18 on. I am not stressing about pacing strategies this week since I can leave that up to them.

What issues do you have while running in summer?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Race Recap: Wisconsin Half Marathon

This weekend I was excited for a little racecation with running buds Rachel, Matt and Kathy. You have to make sure you pack the essentials first. I made sure to pack on Thursday night and Friday morning I was throwing in last minute items as I thought of them.

The course is a double out & back course so it's fun to be able to see your friends twice. You also run along Lake Michigan for a good portion of the race and the sun was just sparkling off the water. First you make your way through a residential area and then through downtown, as you run along the park you start watching for the lead runners to come through. I love when you are able to see the faster runners and cheer for them! My plan was to start off easy and see how long I would last.

My first mile was 10:06 and the next several were under 10 as I was feeling good and the pace just seemed to work, Kathy and I were running together which was great for the company and distraction. The first miles seemed to go by quickly too. The first turnaround is along the shores and you can see the finish on your way back. The building you can see ahead in the distance is the finish, it seems so far away yet. Around mile 10 you come out of the park and back through downtown, this was where my wheels fell off and I told Kathy to go on ahead. I needed to just get into my head and work this out myself and I did not want to hold her back. After going through downtown it was hard to keep going south when the finish was only two blocks away. You then run the first part of the course again and turn around at mile 12 for the finish and see friends again if you are within 15 minutes or less of each other. Afterwards we waited around to cheer for Amy to come in from the marathon, she killed it!
Kathy, Matt, Rachel & I

 There were three Newport firefighters that I spotted along the course and they ran in their gear. We ran into them after the finish and I wanted to congratulate them and say thank you. It's not every day you can be sandwiched by three firefighters!

My first bathroom stop after the race was at the Rustic Road Brewing Company and I loved their sign. I really needed that after struggling through the last 4 miles of the race.

This year they changed it up with the shirts as the women got purple and the men were grey instead of the same shirt for everyone. The medal was big this year and of course included a bottle opener.


Race photos came in, and let's just put it this way.

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

Sunday, May 4, 2014

You Are My Sunshine

This weekend was finally a gorgeous weekend here in WI, the sun finally came out and stayed around for more than 15 minutes. The clouds parted on Saturday morning just as I was getting ready to start the WI half marathon. Recap to come soon, just waiting on the race pics.

After the race we headed down to Rustic Road Brewing Company, well actually we only turned the corner from where we parked and there it was! I smelled the bloody's as soon as I got in the building and it looked like I couldn't pass it up. It was a forest in there!

And then it was on to Captain Mike's for a late lunch, we discovered the place the prior afternoon when we stopped in for a beer and once we saw the menu we knew we had to come back. Their mac & cheese looked fantastic along with the burger options. All I have to say is if you are in the Kenosha area, you will just have to check it out.

We were all tired and passed out early after the long day and up early on Sunday. It was great because we got to drive back with sparse traffic on the highways, I was home and unpacked before 10. I checked the weather and realized the sun was going to stick around and be in the mid 50's. I immediately knew I wanted to hop on my bike to get my legs an easy recovery workout. That meant getting my trainer tire off my bike and putting the regular one back on. All by myself, well here goes nothing!

I managed to get the wheel off, and then the tire came off a little hard. I checked the tube to make sure there were no leaks and put the tire back on.

Then it was time to try to inflate the tire with the CO2 cartridge for my first time. It scared me at first but I was happy to see I did it right and my tire was ready to go!

Then to put it back on the bike and get the chain back on, I didn't exactly do it right the first time so I got extra dirty. I was so proud once I finally got it back on and the gears were changing.

And finally off for an easy ride enjoying the sunshine and first ride of the year outside. Hasta La Vista Trainer!