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Wisconsin Marathon - Run

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Kenosha, Wisconsin
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 3h 05m 23s
Overall Rank = 18/843
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 5/47
Pre-race routine:

I've never done a pre-race period this long. It helped. I really wanted sub 3:05 and I put a lot of work into this prep so I wasn't going to mess it up by eating wrong. I ate no meat and 1 serving of dairy per day, which I hardly ever ate. I ate almost vegan and no alcohol for 2 weeks and I felt my strength and body feeling healthy. I felt good. I got up in the morning and had my baked oatmeal and a cup of coffee. I ate most of a banana walking over to the start line and felt full, but good. After waiting in line for the bathroom, I had just enough time to get over to the start line. I tapered by the book. I slept enough. I told friends I couldn't hang out with them because I was preparing for a race. I went to far as to plan my day at work (as a teacher) to be sitting down as much as possible during the week leading up to the race. I put in a lot of work and I was planning on fully using it.
Event warmup:

Not much of one at all. A quick run from the bathroom to the start line was all I had time for. I wasn't worried because this was a marathon. I'd have plenty of time to warm up and my planned pace was very relaxed for me. No problem.
  • 3h 05m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 05s  min/mile

Goal A: Sub 3:00 Goal B: Sub 3:05 (Boston) Goal C: Beat last year's 3:21

The weather report the night before said cloudy, high of 50 with a chance of rain. It shaped up to be a glorious spring day. I've never felt this good coming into a race. I was feeling good and knew I had trained enough to make it through in my goal. Lined up at the start, heard "GO!" and started off.

Mile 1 6:47
Mile 2 6:48
Mile 3 6:45
Mile 4 6:50
Mile 5 6:49

Started out well and hit my pace really well. I had to really hold myself back because I'm used to running faster when I have the race mentality going on. This section is a small loop around some neighborhoods. It felt short and it was good to get settled into my pace. I felt good, took in some juice and a bit of water. Found a small pack to work with and held with it for awhile. There were about 6 of us working together holding this pace. Even though my instinct was to run past them and take the lead, I decided to stay back. I'd need this pack later in the race.

Mile 6 6:52
Mile 7 6:52
Mile 8 6:50
Mile 9 6:47
Mile 10 6:46

This section is mostly the run north to Carthage College which is beautiful and easy. It's the fun part of a marathon. The pace is fast, yet easy. You aren't tired. Just on a good run in the morning with a bunch of other people who like to run as well. I stuck with the pack through this part. I drank some more juice and ate some apricots. Just like my plan said. I should say that the feeling of being REALLY full never went away and every sip of juice felt terrible. This should have been a clue, but I just washed it down with some water and kept going. I get stomach issues in just about every race. The apricots went down pretty easy and I felt better after eating them.

Mile 11 6:51
Mile 12 6:51
Mile 13 6:51
Mile 14 6:56
Mile 15 6:49

The half marathoners turn around near mile 11.5 and head back to the finish while the full marathon keeps going south almost to the next state then come back. This is about where the pack started to break apart and I went my own way. This had happened once before and they just caught me shortly after and I expected it to happen again. I heard the sound of foot steps fading and then nobody. This is a lonely stretch of the course with not many spectators and almost no other racers running my pace, so it was up to me. I reeled in 2 guys who were fading in front of me and a different guy reeled me in at about mile 15. I ended up sticking with him which is where that 6:49 came from. That was one of the best choices I made during this race. My stomach was still feeling heavy and full despite extra water, so I just took it easy on the juice and apricots. I took super small bites of apricot and got them down. This section is some neighborhoods with some gravel roads.

Mile 16 6:51
Mile 17 6:52
Mile 18 6:52
Mile 19 6:55
Mile 20 7:03

This is where stomach problems really started to become an issue. I felt my energy starting to fade but my stomach wouldn't take anything. I tried to force some juice and just felt sicker. I realized that the last part of the race was going to feel VERY long. I kept putting some water down, but my stomach wouldn't agree. I don't remember what aid station it was, but I was coming into it and I was going to take water but everyone had gel in their hands. I asked for water and someone rushed over with it (I love volunteers) and we messed up the hand off and the water fell. No one else had water, so I stopped quick and grabbed her other cup then kept going. This is when I lost my running partner and my race started to go downhill. I saw the 7:03 flash across my watch and wasn't too concerned. It was still within my goal and I felt good. I passed the point at which I REALLY started to struggle last year and still felt AWESOME. That 7:03 wasn't too bad. I was tired, but still felt good. No worries.

Mile 21 7:00
Mile 22 7:13
I was tired here and was starting to feel the effects of not enough calories and not enough water. My stomach still felt awful even as I tried to stuff some food down and it just wouldn't work. The 7:13 worried me a bit, but not too much. It was slow, but I wasn't struggling.

Mile 23 7:21
Mile 24 7:39
Mile 25 7:49
Mile 26 8:18
Then I started struggling. I had a heavy dry heave and slowed my pace to keep myself from throwing up. I had workout out the math about what pace I needed to get my 3:05. I had let go of the sub 3:00 as I knew it would be a stretch anyway. I still felt that I had 3:05 in the bag up through mile 25. Then the wheels really fell off. I couldn't move my legs. I was breathing heavy. I was having a hard time focusing my vision on anything. I grit my teeth, told myself that Boston doesn't take people who run slow and that I had worked hard enough to get it. I buckled down and pushed through it The last mile really hurt. I wanted to drink gallons of water and lie down. I didn't want to run anymore and I was losing the mental battle. I turned the corner that left me with less than half of a mile to go. I passed the sign for mile 26 and looked at my watch: 3:03:34. Oh crap. I put the hammer down, knowing it would make me puke. I ran as hard as I could. I couldn't control my legs and I felt like they were flailing all over the place. I'm sure I looked like a maniac. Coming into the finisher's shoot I heaved for the first time. I kept the hammer down and then a second huge heave. I looked at my watch: 3:04:38. I couldn't stop. I ran as hard as I could, puking hardly any brownish-blue slime. I crossed the line and looked at the clock: 3:05:54. I couldn't believe it. I puked again and was rushed to the med tent where the awesome volunteers gave me a blanket, some Gatorade, and water. I knew I wasn't in terrible shape but probably looked bad from puking. I was happy to be able to lie down and process for a minute. I closed my eyes and processed what just happened. Could I really have missed it by that much? I was out of medical in 15 minutes after drinking a bunch of water. I walked with my fiancee and some friends back to the car and tried to fight off the cramps. I was shivering from the cold lake breeze, but felt better after getting my sweatshirt. My toes hurt and I figured I had blisters. I checked in the car and sure enough, 2 big blood blisters. Guess I'm off of running for a bit.

I got home and checked results, knowing that sometimes I get some bonus time from not crossing the timing mat at the right moment. It only made things worse: 3:05:23. I couldn't believe it. 23 seconds. During training, I ran almost 950 miles and over 115 hours. I ran during snowstorms and wind chills below 0.

I ran over 440,000 seconds during training and it boiled down to 23 of them.

While this is a hard pill to swallow, I knew that it was all my fault. I had it in me to take 23 seconds off of my time and I just didn't do it. I didn't deliver when it mattered. I still can't believe it. I stare at that time and shake my head. I count to 23 and see how long it is. I can't believe it.

I'm trying to take a positive spin on this. I PR'd by over 16 minutes. That's not easy. I beat a lot of the field. And honestly, no matter how you look at it, 3:05:23 is a GOOD time for any marathon. Especially when you consider that this is my second marathon.

I was hoping I would only ever have to train for 1 more marathon in my life: Boston. It looks like I'm still going to have to train for 2. Now which one...

I let this sit for a day to see if I wanted to make changes or to see how I felt and I'm still disappointed. A 3:05:23 is worse than a 3:10 in this situation. A 3:10 means that there was a major issue and training or something needs to be changed. A 3:05:23 means that the training and everything worked and I had the fitness to do it and I didn't get it done. I think I'm going to attempt again in November.
What would you do differently?:

Have other food options. Drink more water. Not wimp out during the last 4 miles. I also had to fake my way through some of the speed workouts due to weather. I need to find a way to do that correctly during a Chicago winter. I think the lack of appropriate tempo runs and inconsistent intervals contributed to this.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out in medical for awhile. I knew I was fine. I was talking ok and all of my mental functions were good. I was a bit hazy, but I knew I was fine. I got home, drank a giant smoothie and relaxed. I drank some water and ate two egg sandwiches. I'm super hungry now and need to eat again. I'll be eating a ton later.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

See Run Comments.

Event comments:

I love this race. I am surprised this doesn't sell out months in advance. It's a smaller marathon, but the course is BEAUTIFUL!!! There are tons of volunteers and lots of aid stations. I think EVERY intersection had a volunteer at it and was marked clearly by cones. If you are in the area (or even if you aren't), put this on your list.

Last updated: 2014-03-18 12:00 AM
03:05:23 | 26.2 miles | 07m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/47
Overall: 18/843
Performance: Good
Course: Flat. Small loop in downtown Kenosha then run up north along Lake Michigan to Carthage College. Then back down to downtown Kenosha and south for a long way. Back north along the Lake to the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %A lot
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-05-04 2:51 PM

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: Wisconsin Marathon

2014-05-05 9:58 AM
in reply to: #4991363

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Subject: RE: Wisconsin Marathon

Great race report, and that was a heck of an effort.  As demoralizing as it was to miss the goal time, take some solace in the fact that you know you can run this time for your next crack at it.  Good luck.

2014-05-05 1:49 PM
in reply to: #4991363

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Subject: RE: Wisconsin Marathon
I was there too (albeit an hour+ behind you). It was a beautiful day and I really liked that course as well. Did the wind bother you? I can see how that 23 seconds would be a bitter pill to swallow, but like the other poster said, now you know you can do it and you just need to work those nutrition kinks out. And a 16 minute PR is awesome!
2014-05-05 3:08 PM
in reply to: GoFaster

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: RE: Wisconsin Marathon
Originally posted by GoFaster

Great race report, and that was a heck of an effort.  As demoralizing as it was to miss the goal time, take some solace in the fact that you know you can run this time for your next crack at it.  Good luck.

I've been telling myself that at least now I know I can do it and that it's possible. I think that's a big hurdle.

I've already decided my next try is on Nov. 9! I already want to get back to running and training for it...but think I'll take the much needed break.
2014-05-05 3:11 PM
in reply to: tribeagle

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: RE: Wisconsin Marathon
Originally posted by tribeagle

I was there too (albeit an hour+ behind you). It was a beautiful day and I really liked that course as well. Did the wind bother you? I can see how that 23 seconds would be a bitter pill to swallow, but like the other poster said, now you know you can do it and you just need to work those nutrition kinks out. And a 16 minute PR is awesome!

I tell everyone about that race! I really feel that the course is great for PR's, is pretty, and well run.

The wind wasn't that big of a deal for me. For that most part it was a cross wind which just helped keep me cool. There were a few stretches on the way back to the finish (after mile 19) where the wind slowed me down a bit.

Nice job finishing as well! Every marathon finish is a big accomplishment!
2014-05-06 7:52 AM
in reply to: #4991363

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Wisconsin Marathon

Keep at it man! You're going to get it sooner rather than later.

2014-05-07 10:09 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: RE: Wisconsin Marathon
Originally posted by brigby1

Keep at it man! You're going to get it sooner rather than later.

Thanks! I know it'll would have been nice for it to have happened then, but I'll get it. I've got my eyes on Naperville Marathon, Nov. 9!!
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