Monday, May 7, 2012

Wisconsin Half Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday, I ran the Wisconsin Half Marathon.  I have never, ever been more nervous for a race.

In the days leading up to it, I obsessively put run times into pace calculators, studied the course map, and poured through my Daily Mile logs.

I came up with my goals for the race:

C Goal - Finish happy and strong, under 2:05 (9:27 pace)
B Goal - Under 2 hours (9:09 pace)                 
A Goal - Under 1:58 (9:00 pace)

The Wisconsin Marathon bills itself as "The Cheesiest Marathon Ever", and they even have a separate start corral for runners sporting "cheesy" outfits.

Rachel and I love to dress up for races, and because we love cheese, and the race happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo, we decided to go with a Mexican cheese theme.  And it was awesome.  

Exhibits A and B:  The 'stache and tiny sombrero.

Fortunately for any small children that were spectating the race, we opted for not wearing the mustaches because they made it a little hard to breathe normally. We put them to better use after the race:

Hola, Senor Cerveza.  Aiiiiiii!!!

Anyway, because of Rachel's mad cheese-drawing skillz (I'm cool now, right?) our shirts were awesome:

"I've Got A Queso The Runs" 

Our rufflebum panties inspired the back of the shirt:

"Frilly con Queso"

We arrived in Kenosha around 6am for a 7am start.  We parked and walked about a half mile to find some porta-potties.  By the time we got back to the car, we were drenched and FREEZING.  We had a few minutes to kill before the start, so we sat in my warm car and tried to dry off a bit.

Around 6:45, it magically stopped raining and we headed for the start.  We squeezed into the crowd of runners, listened to a truly beautiful national anthem, and we were off!

I planned to go out right around a 9:00-9:15 mile, and then gradually pick it up from there.

Mile 1 - 8:45
I started right at the 9:00 minute/mile pace sign, and I was passed by hundreds of people.  The entire field started off super fast, and I ran faster than my planned pace and felt tired and discouraged.
Mile 2 - 9:15
Slowed down quite a bit the second mile, and was wondering how I was going to finish this thing since 9:15 felt like I was pushing it.
Miles 3-7 - 8:52, 8:47, 8:34, 8:50, 8:53
These miles I focused on getting out of my own head.  I smiled at spectators, enjoyed the gorgeous lake view and few little rolling hills, and tried to tell myself that I didn't feel like crap.  It worked, for the most part.
Mile 8 - 8:41
There was a turnaround around mile 8 which was a great distraction.  I love looking at all of the other runners on an out-and-back, and I spent a few minutes looking for Rachel's tiny sombrero in the field of runners.  She passed by only a couple of minutes behind me, and looked super strong.
Miles 9-12 - 8:40, 8:50, 8:44, 8:42
The wind was at our backs, and I knew I had a P.R. in the bag.  There was another little turnaround around 12, and I got to see Rachel again, as well as Jess who was busy killing the full marathon.  I battled a little nausea and cold sweats here, but I choked down a bit of Gatorade, and it passed.
Mile 13 - 8:30
We turned into a strong headwind for the final mile, and my energy was fading fast.  The spectators were amazing, and I was fighting back tears as we ran through a wall of cheers.
The .1 - 7:21 pace
A flood of emotions just hit me as I thought about how far I've come since my femoral stress fracture, my months on bedrest, and the personal struggles I've had in the last year.  I shed a few tears coming into the final turn, and it was the most emotional, rewarding race finish I've ever had.

Wisconsin Half Marathon
Finish time:  1:55:30

Overall Place 648 / 2411

Gender Place 222 / 1480
Division Place 46 / 282

A PR by four minutes was sweet victory, and a finish in the top 15% of women was the cherry on top for me.
Happy, relieved, and ready for a hot shower.

Stay tuned tomorrow for post-race pictures, drama at mile 26... and the weirdest boat name you've ever seen.


  1. I can't decide if you or the beer looks better in the moustache! It's a close call.

    You are an awesome runner honey. I'm so proud of you!

    And I almost forgot about the drama at Mile 26!

  2. Ahh! You killed it! Congrats! I am so happy for you! And happy I got to "see" you. LOL :) Hopefully we meet up for realz sometime.

    Congrats on an awesome badass PR!

  3. Your outfits were so darn cute!! Haha, love the 'tashe! HUGE congrats on your PR. That's an amazing time and you should be so proud of it... battling back from an injury and all, you're amazing! So good to see u there. Can't wait to hear about Mile 26 drama...

  4. Love your outfit. Congrats on that PR. You did awesome.

  5. You guys looked great! Congrats on crushing your goals. Spectacular and so inspiring.

  6. So proud of you. You are all sorts of awesome.

    Someday you will teach me to run fast, yes? :)

  7. You did awesome! So nice to meet you after :)

    Congrats on the new PR!

  8. I can't decide if your outfit or your time is more awesome. They're both pretty spectacular.

  9. congrats!! That is a great time!

  10. Rock star!!!! Oh the power in letting the run come to you...

    So happy for you :)

  11. Love the shirts, hat, stache and ruffle bottoms! You two are so funny!

    So happy for you and your PR! Holy smokes! Great Job!

  12. holy rock star status!!! you dominated! im beyond happy for you!!!! and know how sweet it must feel after everything that has happened!

  13. THIS IS SOOOOOOOOOO AWESOME!!! And, basically you had the best pun EVER on a race shirt. well played, well played indeed.

  14. Duuuude! You are so awesome. Congrats on your PR. Frilly Con Queso is the greatest.

  15. You've come a long way, baby! Or whatever that saying. You've overcome a lot this past year. Congratulations on such a killer performance!

  16. holy sh*t!

    wait, i mean... congrats!


Hearing from you makes me happy! :)

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