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Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon - RunMarathon

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
Milwaukee's Lakefront Marathon
40F / 4C
Total Time = 3h 46m 13s
Overall Rank = 594/2112
Age Group = m45-49
Age Group Rank = 76/156
Pre-race routine:

Two years ago I did my first marathon and wanted to finish in sub-4 and nailed it in 3:57. Then last year, seemingly out of nowhere I developed an issue/injury with my glute/hammie/hip. It derailed my whole season and culminated with a disappointing marathon with a finish of 4:11. So my goal was singular this year. I would fix the glute issue and prove I was back by setting a PR at Lakefront marathon. So last winter I cut my volume way down and got some ART treatments, which really helped and put me on the road recovery. I slowly built myself back and decided to not really race this summer. I started my marathon plan in June and then the real work began. Things felt better and better and with a 1/2 marathon in September, finally believed I was back. Everything fell into place. The only concern (got to worry about something) was I was doing a lot of driving taper week. Driving always aggravates the glute problem, Things tightened up a bit but I chose to believe it was in my head. All this hard work was not going to waste because of some extra driving. The only thing left was to set goals. Top goal was to beat 3:57. 2nd goal was to get 3:50. If I could go sub- 3:50 that would be cool, but really thought that might be a bit of a pipe dream.

On race morning I met up with Dave, who would be pacing me on this race. I was lucky enough to have my coach running with me to help guide me to hit my goals.
Event warmup:

Some people say the first few miles is the warm up. Dave is not one of those people. So we did 2 short warm ups to loosen things up.
  • 3h 46m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 38s  min/mile

As the start approached I felt very relaxed and confident. Based on my training I was very confident that a PR was within my grasp, as long as I didn't do anything stupid. With my coach as my running partner, I had confidence that he would not let me do anything stupid.

The first lesson I have learned the hard way a few times is to not go out too fast at the beginning. We had talked about going out around 9 min pace the first few miles and then work down from there. That seemed a bit slow, but coach knows best. Soooo, I was a little surprised when the first few miles were all in the 8:30's range. Now if I had been out there by myself, I would have imagined Dave's voice in my head scolding me for going out too fast, but in real life, there was no scolding. The truth is, there was no need for scolding, as this pace felt very, very comfortable and relaxed. I really did not feel like I was pushing it at all. So I trusted. I trusted that Dave would keep me at a pace that would get me me to my goals and I trusted in my body that it would get me there and tell me if I needed to adjust. As relaxed as I had ever been for a race, the miles flew by. We talked and joked and enjoyed the views, both of nature and 'otherwise.' It was like a training run with spectators and others around us. I have to say racing with Dave was an interesting experience. He talks and engages with everybody: spectators, volunteers and other racers, some of which he knows and some of which he doesn't (yet). It just added to a really fun experience. Another part of the fun was having my family out there. The first time we saw them was about mile 10, at that point I was feeling good, looking good and all was right with the world. In fact as the race wore on, this continued to be true. Every mile was between 8:25 and 8:40. Nutrition was happening like clock work. I had 4 bottles on the fuel belt (3 waters and a gatoraid. I thought I was pretty good at drinking either from bottles or from aid stations (foreshadowing alert!) As we hit mile 15 or so we started passing more people who had gone out too fast. As I did the math, I realized the more miles I did at this pace, the more realistic that a very good PR was within my grasp. As we hit mile 20, I made a joke about the lack of the wall. For the first time in the day, Dave scolded me for taunting the wall. Sure enough, about mile 22, something changed. Saw my family again and they would later tell me I wasn't looking as good. My daughter yelled out to me "the faster you run, the faster you are done!" This is advice I have given her and it made me smile. Things were getting tougher, but mile 22 was my fastest at 8:14 pace. Then things got bad, in a hurry. I was getting really light-headed and stomach got really sour. I kept trying to figure out if I was going to pass out, throw up or both. I eased back the pace to about 8:50 at mile 23 and hoped to regroup. Somewhere in here I spotted an aid station with bananas and grabbed one. Also somewhere in here Dave got me a pretzel and gave it to me. These both seemed to help and I felt a little less light-headed and mile 24 was a bit less painful. Maybe I would be ok. Wrong. Miles 25 and 26 were an epic struggle. I never walked and was never tempted to walk, not because I'm tough, but because I realized that if I did, I would be done running for day. Somewhere in this area Dave told me that I could 'run' 11 min miles and still PR. This actually sparked me a bit because I didn't want to 'just' PR. During the last two miles I felt like I was inside a plastic bubble and everything around me was muffled. I also felt like I was viewing everything happening from outside myself, almost like a dream. What I saw was Dave willing me to keep running and telling me to focus on my form and my goals and not the pain. I saw Dave encouraging the crowd to cheer and clap for me, knowing I would feed off that energy, even if I didn't realize it at the time. The pace had slowed for the last few miles, but not nearly as bad as it could have been (9:15, 9:17). Then came the glorious sight of the finisher's chute, with Dave egging on the crowd to cheer. I crossed the finish line with very unsteady legs and a foggy mind, but joy soon took over when I realized I had PR'ed by 11 minutes!!
What would you do differently?:

Really not a whole lot. I think my troubles near the end where not about lack of training or miles or going out too fast, I think I was dehydrated. I had thought I drank enough, but on a cool day, I don't think I had enough. Even after much liquids post race, I did not pee until about 5pm that night. There is always a lesson.
Post race
Warm down:

Getting sugars and liquid in me and not pass out. High-fives from Dave and my family and limp off to the car with a huge grin on my salt-covered face.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Well if you can't tell from this report, I owe a lot of my success in this race and coming back from a bum year last year to Dave. I know, I know your thinking, geez Jim easy on the compliments or it will all go to his head. Yes, I see your point, and while I'm pretty proud of the effort I put forth, I couldn't have got to this point in my journey without the guy. So for today, somebody else will have to make the short joke, because all I can say is thank you.

Last updated: 2012-04-14 12:00 AM
03:46:13 | 26.2 miles | 08m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 76/156
Overall: 594/2112
Performance: Good
Course: Point to point from Grafton to Milwaukee Lake front mostly flat or downhill trend
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
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: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-10-22 9:04 AM

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Delafield, Wisconsin
Subject: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

2012-10-22 11:58 AM
in reply to: #4463163

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
EEEEAAAAWWWWSSSSOME job Jim.  Way to gut out those last few miles, at what I believe to be a perfectly acceptable pace  Proud of you.  Keep on keepin' on. 
2012-10-22 1:19 PM
in reply to: #4463163

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
I'll second the EEEEEAAAAAAAAAWSOME job & congrats on the nice PR!  Very impressive!
2012-10-22 3:58 PM
in reply to: #4463163

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
Terrific results!!!!  So happy for you.
2012-10-25 6:14 AM
in reply to: #4463163

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Milwaukee, WI
Subject: RE: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

Great race Jim! Nice effort on the last 3 miles. One tough Donkey!!!!!


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