Saturday saw my first half mary of the season, and my only one until July 21 / August 18… anyway. The weather had been iffy the week or so up to the race, with some very warm weather and then turning cold for Friday. When I packed on Thursday night, I was expecting rain for race day.
I drove up to Kenosha on Friday afternoon, a little later than I’d planned due to work obligations, and was getting out of the city during rush hour. As I munched on my gluten free cookies for the commute, I chilled until I approached the Illinois-Wisconsin border and realized I’d left my race bib on the fridge at home! Gosh darn the $20 I paid to have my bib mailed to me for peace of mind, and then leave it at home.
So a few frantic calls to my race day roomie Kayla, and we figured out that the race would be able to give me a new race bib number in the morning. OK – onto dinner!!
I met up with Kayla, Sierra, Emily & her friend Katie for a nice dinner at Tuscany Bistro – a great place if you’re up in Kenosha later this summer or fall! We enjoyed a pasta dinner and catching up pre-race.
I stayed at the Super 8 and, like Gingerfoxx, have absolutely no complaints about Super 8’s as a race motel! A clean, cool place to sleep, with coffee ready to go earlier than normal for race morning. Keep it up Super 8 — I’ll be back!
I was lucky to park in the lot right next to the race, and ot my official business (operation get a new race bib) completed quickly and efficiently with the help of Erin the Info Tent volunteer! She’s very versatile – will be helping me with my wardrobe soon!
After some race prep stuff – Chicago blogger shots, port-a-potty shots, and random runner shots (!), I headed over to the corral! I lined up and found Kayla – yay! I always like to start the race with a familiar face, even if we’re not going to run together.
I didn’t have too much planned for this race, mostly just to see where I am at this point in the season. I have a goal of completing a 2 hour half marathon sometime before the end of 2013, but I did not properly train for this race to make any major improvements in my race performance. And I have the whole 2nd half of 2013 (after my HIM) to half marathon my little heart out.
So I kept a reasonable pace to maintain a finish time of my last half marathon of 2012, the Madison Mini. It felt good and easy to start out at a 10 minute pace. It was chilly at the start, so I had a long sleeve to drop early on in the race.
I also saw Kim’s husband & father in law on the course a few times and hope I may have gotten a few good photos from them!
I felt pretty good, although around mile 4 I started thinking I might need to take a bathroom break. At the next aid station, I saw a nice line for the port-a-potties, and thought I could make it to the next stop. however i didn’t gauge very well, and the need grew. A race volunteer said that the bathhouse up ahead at the beach was open, so I sprinted.
And it wasn’t. I headed behind and followed suit on someone else taking care of their need. Sorry Kenosha for leaving behind a little gift for you. I didn’t mean to, but really your beach bath-houses should be open by now, if only for the race and three thousand runners going by.
After that I felt pretty good and kept going. And going! I have been afraid of pushing myself, so I’ve been keeping at a 9:45-9:50 pace. Once I get into mile 7, I feel like I just cruise through to the finish.
As we came back through the downtown, we had 1.5 miles more and I pushed it and finished in 2:12:10! 43 seconds off of my previous PR, including my unplanned bathroom break.
The Wisconsin Half Marathon was very well organized. Lots of parking, efficient gear check & info tent, lots of port-a-potties. Gatorade & water on course with a lot of volunteers. The course was relatively flat with a few slight rolling hills (although less severe than Madison). A nice run along Lake Michigan. Brat & Beer at the end, although there was very little “salty” snack in the immediate post-race snack bag. Affordable cost, and cute theme (“I’m on a mission from Gouda”) that was weaved throughout the race via the volunteer shirts, the musical entertainment, and the signs on course! I’ll definitely be keeping this race on my radar for half or fulls in the future!
So here are my splits from the Wisconsin Half Marathon in their all of their guts & glory. One of my 2013 goals is to get to a 2:00:xx half marathon time. This is a 9:10 pace that I have to work toward.
I didn’t run this race looking at my watch for most of the race, and I’m pretty proud of that.
You can see from here that I’m slowing down in miles 4 and 5, and definitely took my potty break within mile 6.
After that I’ve had some pretty strong splits. 3 in the 9:30 range, and 3 in the 9:45 range.
I am definitely quite a bit more sore from this race than most other half marathons in my memory. During the race and immediately after, my right groin was tight but didn’t impact my running, and I noticed my left foot get some discomfort (it felt like it was tight in my shoe).
I didn’t do leftie any favors by first placing it in a Tom’s shoe, which comfy on regular days, was NOT supportive enough for a post race shoe. I then put it into an old pair of sneakers I kept in my car… because I wanted to donate them. Poor first “triathlon” shoes – you were good until I wanted to run in you and you did weird things to my left foot.
I am now on “pamper leftie” patrol – (lots of swimming this week!) to keep this from getting any worse!
Other homework for this week: SLEEP!! Remember it’s goodness!