Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wisconsin 1/2 marathon (race recap)

 State: 14/50- Wisconsin
Gorgeous weather

My ideal Wisconsin race was actually Cellcom Greenbay Marathon because you get to finish on the infamous Lambeau field, however Greenbay is too far of a drive, so its been added to my bucket list of races. The next best thing was the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha because its the closest race to us, but it also fit into our schedule perfectly, allowing us to combine it with theBorgess Run for the Health of It in Michigan to do my first ever, back to back half marathon weekend!!

One of my college buddies happens to be from Kenosha- he mentioned one of the few things to do in the town was tour the Jelly Belly Bean Factory- sounds like a great plan to me.

We arrive at our hotel after an uneventful 9 hour drive, go through packet pickup (no expo), then make our way toward the jelly bean factory.
Just really wanted my photo w/ the USATF van 

Port of Kenosha outside packet pick up

the harbor. 

We arrive at Jelly Belly factory at 4:20, and apparently the last tour for the day is at 4pm- darn- you would think that the website would inform you, however it just said it was closed at 5pm. Unable to take the 'official tour' we look around, sample some beans, and make a few purchases. 

the tasting station- you can sample anything you want! 

these were all the gross flavors- no i didn't try any of them.

After the factory we grab some pasta for our dinner and then do our pre-race ritual (if we can find one) of going to GoodWill. Yes I know its strange, its something we started doing for our Little Rock race, and it stuck ever since. Satisfied with food in our bellies and finding great deals, we head to hotel, get ready for next day and are in bed by 8:30. 

Unsure of how parking would go, we decided to get up around 4:30 so we could have ample time to stretch / get ready and be out the door by 5:50 am. We find a free parking garage (score) and make the trek toward the start line. 
saw this lady on our walk to start line- cheddar is beddar

say cheese!!

this was neat- basically anyone that was dressed up in some  'cheese attire' could start int he very first corral- an example would be the lady from above... or these 2 guys

for the record- I did beat both of them- booya!!
The start line was around the harbor- absolutely GORGEOUS and made for great temperatures as well- had to snag a photo to capture the beauty...
my dad informed me he used to sail into this harbor growing up- here I am 30+ years later! 

The start of the race was a little congested- no set 'corrals' but more of pace times bolted into the grass and you just start where you think would be comfortable. Since I didn't want to go out too fast or push myself too hard due to having to repeat this all the next day I decided to start in the 9:00 min/ mile group.

Everything about this race was great, nothing horrible happened, I felt strong, and for the most part I was pretty consistent. 
  • Up until mile 8- I average b/n 8:10-8:20 miles (with exception of picture taking, water stops) 
  • scenery was gorgeous!! first 2 miles were run in beautiful rich neighborhoods, followed by a few miles right along Lake Michigan, then an out and back loop which was surprisingly motivating to see those who were coming back that were faster than me, and of course seeing those that I was faster than. 
Lake Michigan- miles 6 

water for miles! 

  • I switched my Garmin settings for this race- traditionally I run w/ split screen- 1 screen tells me my current time in the exact mile I'm running in and what it will average out to be- I then hit home and it will tell me my total time. Today I went for 1 triple data- it still told me my current time in my mile i'm running and what my predicted pace will be, but what was new is I chose the option to also see the distance being displayed.
  • I liked seeing the distance, however now I had no idea what my total time was. I knew I was going faster than normal (which could be dumb) just due to my average splits, but trying to do math in my head was too hard so I just chalked it up to going below 1:55. 
  • At mile 10 some guy said behind me to another runner "1:25"- it took me a little bit to decipher, but I finally realized that he meant his total time at the 10 mile mark was 1:25- obviously I don't know where he started in relation to me, but that is definitely PR worthy even if I were to do 9 minute miles for my last 3 miles (which when I'm feeling good like I was today, is slow for me) 
  • I really wanted to push it to see what I could do, but I actually had a voice of reason that told me to just keep going steady because I might hate myself tomorrow. 
  • I kept up the pace till the last mile- lately my last mile is always the slowest, today was no exception. I guess I could beat myself up and say how I can't hold on, but I like to spin it and say that I'm working hard the ENTIRE race and I don't have a lot left to give :) 
  • Sad to say, but I had to walk in the last mile- grand total of walking 5x for this race- one of these days, no walking at ALL, but it works for me, so I can't get too mad. 
  • Look down at my Garmin when it says 12.8 (course was running longer so I waited a bit before picking it up so I wouldn't tire out) and finally started kicking it in. I actually passed a few people and as soon as I crossed the mat and stopped my Garmin I immediately went to view the run to see my total time- 1:51:56- new PR!!! Last one was in December @ Thunder Road 1:53:02. 
  • Normally after a race I feel super stiff and have a hard time walking- today I felt GREAT!! I downed 2 gatorades, ate 2 bananas, stretched, then decided to head a little bit before finish line to cheer on B.
  • Once she crossed we stretched some more and headed over the Beer Garden where all the runners got free beer and brats- ummm 2 of my favorite things and they're both free- yes please!!
after photo

Brats and beer!!! 
  • They had a german band playing pretty good music outside the beer tent, and one of my absolute favorite things- cardboard cut outs!!! 

  • Afterwards we made out way back to the car so we could shower and hit the road for race # 2 in Michigan. 
  • Did I mention how AWESOME the medals were for this- when I was cheering on B I said "you're almost done and the medals are so worth it!!"  Definitely think this is my favorite thus far 

State # 14- successfully done- new PR 1:51:56


  1. It sounds like this race was made for you!
    Congrats on your new PR, too!

  2. Congrats on your new PR! The pictures are soo pretty and being from Germany, I like the German theme :)

  3. Wow, to PR knowing your were running 13 more the next day is pretty impressive!

  4. i saw this one online earlier this year and I am hoping its my wisconsin race. Congrats on the PR and LOVE the bling!! surprised you weren’t dressed up :)