Sunday Race day!
Sunday morning my alarm was set for 4:45am and I woke up so nervous! I’ve never been nervous for any of my other races, although this race was 10 miles longer than all my previous races. I was ready to go by 5:15, so I left. Good thing I did because on the way I was still a little hungry, even after my Clif Bar, so I stopped at Festival Foods and bought a banana.
I arrived in Green Bay at 5:50, parked, and walked to Lambeau Field. By this time, it was almost 70 degrees. There was water for people to drink and some bagels and fruit too. I stretched and just stayed relaxed. I had done my training, I tapered last week. I ate normally. Drank fluids Saturday. I knew I was ready.
I migrated to the starting area around 6:40. There weren’t corrals, just signs posted with paces on them. I lined up between the 9:00-10:00 minute mile signs.
The gun went off at 7:00am and we slowly waited to cross the starting line. I felt fine when I started running. My nerves had gone away and I was looking forward to the next 13.1 miles.
Because of the heat, I wasn’t aiming for 2hrs anymore. I just wanted to finish safely. My plan was to take water and Gatorade at almost every aid station and whatever food was offered.
The support from the community was wonderful. Almost every part of the course had cheering crowds and that helped tremendously. They stood out in the heat and cheered all the runners on. Awesome. And many homes put out sprinklers and hoses for runners to go under. I went through almost all of them and it sort of gave me a wake up when I was getting warm and tired.
Mile 1- 9:38
Mile 2- 9:49
Mile 3- 9:45
I was feeling good those first 3 miles, haha! We were running around residential parts, so it was pretty flat. I took water at every station but the one at mile 2.
Then miles 4-6 were still pretty flat. I dumped some water on my head at one of the stations, but I was still feeling good.
I knew once I hit mile 6, I only had a little ways until I saw my family. Yay! They were watching at my aunt and uncles house that was along the course. I ran passed them and gave them a wave and felt so good! I needed that then. It was (almost) the halfway point and their cheering helped me keep going. My uncle had a sprinkler and I ran through it and kept going.
Although, once we got to mile 6, it was a steady incline until mile 8. Around mile 6, they were handing out orange slices, which were very yummy and appreciated (although I should have grabbed 2 instead of 1). Then at mile 7 there was GU. After my last GU fiasco, I definitely didn’t want the vanilla one, so I got the chocolate. When I went through water stations, I walked or jogged. It only took about 5secs to down the water and I was off again, so I wasn’t too concerned, especially with the heat. I would rather be hydrated and finish than skip water stations and not finish.
Mile 7- 10:22
Mile 8- 10:10
Mile 9- 10:13
A little slow going here. This was the boring part of the race. Mile 7 had quite a few hills, which were hard. But there were lots of spectators along the hilly section and that helped.
And this is the part of the race where my Nike+ watch decided to stop tracking distance. I’m not sure if it was the heat, the sprinklers I kept going under, or a combination of both. I didn’t notice it until I picked up some speed, but my average pace on my watch was going up and up. Then I noticed that, according to my watch, I wasn’t going anywhere. So I stopped it and then synced it again.
I knew that once I got to mile 10, I had this. Even though it was hot, I had done 5ks before and I just kept telling myself that’s all I had left. That was until my inner thighs started chaffing really badly. I’ve never had problems with chaffing before. I consider myself lucky. I probably wouldn’t have had chaffing problems today either, but I went through all those hoses and sprinklers and when the water dried it made my skin more sticky=more friction=OUCH! So, that sucked, a lot.
(These paces are from the official race website and also from my re-synced watch. They are accurate-ish)
Mile 11- 9:44 (I have no idea. This is crazy!)
Mile 12- 10:19 (Walked through a water station, VERY HARD MILE!)
Finish- 10:09 (YAHOO!)
Since my watch stopped, I had no idea what mile I was on. Stupid me. Then, I saw mile marker 12 and I got so excited. I was so close! And that last mile was the HARDEST of the whole race. The wind had gone away. Barely any spectators. And no shade covering. I knew I just had to keep going. I could see Lambeau Field in the distance. It was SO CLOSE. I downed some water and ran.
We rounded a corner and entered into the Lambeau parking lot, where the finish line was. Even though that last mile was hard, I was determined to finish strong. The perfect song came on my iPod, I got a huge grin on my face and just ran. I don’t know where the extra energy came from, but it was there and I felt great. The crowd was cheering and clapping. And I crossed the finish line. Fantastic feeling. I fought the heat and miles and beat them both. I am a half-marathoner 🙂
I got a few pictures taken and then got some water. My parents found me and they took some pictures as well. I had to use the port-a-potty since about mile 8, but was afraid to stop in fear that I wouldn’t start again. Finally, once I was done, I used one in the parking lot and it was a pretty awful experience. I felt worse when I came out than when I went in. I needed more fuel than just water. When I got dehydrated in February, I had diarrhea and then passed out. I DID NOT want that to happen. The parking lot was really warm and I needed to get my bag at the bag check and get some Gatorade or food.
I got my bag and felt much better when I got out of the sun and continued walking. After we got my bag, we started to leave to go get some breakfast. Perkins was our breakfast destination. When we got there, I saw on the Cellcom Marathon’s website that the course got closed due to the heat. Out of the 8,000 runners that started the morning, only 3,225 were able to finish before they closed. They were running out of ambulances for all the people that needed help. 22 people ended up going to the hospital.
I’m so glad that I was able to finish. I would have been really disappointed if I wouldn’t have been able to. After watching the weather the past few days, I knew I wasn’t going to make my 2hr goal and that was okay. I knew I had to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate that day and the days leading up to it. Again, I wanted to go slow and finish, than go fast and end up at the hospital.
I know this won’t be my last half-marathon. I still want to break 2 hours! There is a half-marathon I want to do in August to prep for the full marathon in September. Although, after Sunday, I’m quite nervous about signing up for the full. I have some time to think about it. And I probably still will sign up, knowing me 😛