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!!!