Lakefront Marathon - RunMarathon

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
Badgerland Striders
50F / 10C
Total Time = 3h 57m
Overall Rank = 780/1903
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 77/152
Pre-race routine:

This report is long, but I hope you will indulge me. For several years I have been thinking about doing a full marathon, but I didn't. Truth was I didn't believe I could do it. After battling IT band issues in 2006 and 2007 I didn't think my body could take it. I was afraid. I was also afraid that I couldn't follow through on a plan to get its desired results. This stemmed from my bike focus in 2009 that returned very disappointing results. Nevertheless I decided this year would be the year. I did a beginner marathon plan this spring for a 20 mile race in Stoughton, to see if my body could handle a marathon plan. It did. So I started to believe it was possible for me. Then I started to think of goals for this race. Well, just to finish of course. But what time goal? Well 4 hours seemed to be a reasonable goal, I guess. The more I read race reports and articles, the more I started thinking that the 4 hour goal was unrealistic. Then I made the 'mistake' of telling DjDavey. He said he had a plan that would get me there. I had some doubts based on my experience with my biking plan. Maybe it was time to trust someone else's plan. Then I saw the plan...and it scared me. But I decided to trust. Trust in my coach and trust in myself. The plan was tough and pushed me way past what I had ever done. It was tough, but smart. Then I saw a 22 mile run on the schedule the week before the race. I thought to myself 'that can't be good.' I thought there is no way my body can handle that and still perform on race day. However, Dave said believe. So I did. The 22 miler went very well. Now there was one final test:race day. By race day I believed that a 4 hour time was possible. I also believed that a time slower than that was possible and whatever the day brought is what it would bring.

So woke up on race morning, very,very nervous. My stomach was doing more flips than an Olympic Gymnast. Headed to the site and ended up taking the bus ride up to the start. The bumpy ride and very hot bus did nothing for my stomach. As soon as I got there I headed to the bathroom. After that I saw KimK and then lrunfit spotted me (thanks again for the encouraging words, Lisa!) Saw talltridad, who was looking a little green around the gills (although it wouldn't keep him from kicking butt!)
Event warmup:

After about 15 minutes Dave found me. He put me through a short warm up run. I was still nervous, but ready for the adventure.
  • 3h 57m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 03s  min/mile

The deal was that I was to take the first 5 miles easy. I would start out with the 4hour pace group. My mantra would be to bank energy not time. I was a little uneasy with this plan because everything I ever heard was that you fade and slow down in the last 6 miles. But I trusted. The gun went off and after 50 yards or so I said to myself "hey I'm running a marathon." Soon after I hear Lunatick yelling loudly. Ok here we go. Then I discovered something strange. Th pacers go out too fast too. The first couple miles were around 8:50...and I was behind the pacer. No worries because I would have my own pacer. Somewhere in first mile Swhimmycoach (Nicole) caught up to me. We had similar goals so we decided to run together. The plan was to stay at 9 mile mile pace for 1st 5 and then push the pace a bit. Well that went out the window a bit but not too bad as pace was between 8:50 and 9. The gloves I wore were too hot and gone by mile 3. Hit mile 7 at 1:02. We locked into our pace and the miles flew past easily and quickly. We hit the 1/2 way point at 1:57. Right on target. I knew that this was the easy part. I was very diligent about my nutrition and hydration...and my pace. At this point I was just using my fuel belt and blowing through aid stations. When there was crowds it was great and uplifting. Only problem is I would speed up through these crowds, one time hitting a 7:53 pace! Nicole would scold me and reign me back in. About the 1/2 way point I noticed I was starting to get salty build up on my face and a little bit of cramping in my calf. I had been taking Eduralytes but decided I better start taking in Gatoraid. Also my bottles were getting low and I would need to get water from the aid stations. So about every other mile I walk through the aid station. this cost about 15-20 seconds on those miles, but it was time well spent.At 14 and 15 I knew this was where the real race would start. I still felt good and was holding my pace. Nicole had her I-pod and about this time she started singing out loud. She got some strange looks. HA! About this time I started noticing something. We were beginning to pass more and more people. This would continue through to the end. In fact after mile 15 I was passed by no one (except Nicole). Somewhere in these miles we saw Trainergirlmick in her pink cape. This really lifted my spirits (thanks Michelle!) Then we hit mile 20. I have heard so much of 'the wall'. However a funny thing happend. The wall didn't come. In fact I started to pick up the pace. (mile 22 pace was 8:49) Nicole warned me to ease back and to wait until 23 to push hard. So I listened. She also told me that 23 was where the wheels fell off for her in her last Mary. At 23 it got hard. This is where I expected pace to fall to 9:30 or 10:30. That didn't happen and my pace was getting quicker (the down hill helped) About this time Nicole took off I tried to keep pace, but I couldn't. I couldn't catch her, but I was passing more people. At mile 24 my pace was 8:50. I started to believe. I did the math and figured that, absent a complete meltdown, I would hit my goal of 4 hours. Mile 25 was real tough, my pace was 9:15. It was as bad as it would get. The reality was setting in. I found some way to pick it up. Today there would be no wall. Mile 26 was 8:45 and the final .4 (Garmin had this at 26.42) my pace was 8:40. I crossed the line at 3:57 on the nose. I finally believed. As soon as I crossed my family was there. As I started to talk to them, I suddenly got very emotional and started to choke up a bit. Wow I had actually done it!
What would you do differently?:

On this day, not a damn thing.
Post race
Warm down:

half azzed attempt at some stretching

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not believing earlier and experience.

Event comments:

This race is top notch. Post race food a bit of a disappointment though.

This race was more than just a race to me. It was a milestone and allowed me to prove something to myself that needed to proved.

This may seem corny but need to give some big thank yous!

My family for their support
Djdavey for being an awesome coach who believed even when I didn't
Kyle Roberts from Footworks Orthotics for crushing my IT band problems
Nicole for being a great pacer
Morey1 and lrunfit for their pearls of wisdom and support
All my Donkey friends for all of your support and friendship!

Last updated: 2010-08-06 12:00 AM
03:57:00 | 26.2 miles | 09m 03s  min/mile
Age Group: 77/152
Overall: 780/1903
Performance: Good
Garmin actually had this at 26.42
Course: mostly flat with a few rolling hills starting in the open fields of Grafton to the city and then down to the lake front.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4