I know I know, its been nearly two weeks and just NOW I'm getting around to posting my recap of the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. Overall, I don't have anything bad to say its well organized, smaller race (which I like) on a nearly flat or downhill course. So what's my problem? I think I'm just burnt out and I'm still looking at a half marathon this weekend in Mankato, MN.
I had no expectations for the Lakefront, I did have hopes of a PR but decided to run what felt good. I lined up with the 4:20 pace group to start, but my pace felt quicker and I ended up with the 4:15 group and I held with them for about half of the race. Early on my bladder got the best of me and at miles 6 I had to hit a toilet. The first 6 miles were a breeze and I was really jazzed. 1st quarter (miles 1-6): averaged 9:30-:40 pace.
During the "2nd Quarter" I settled into my run and got comfortable with my pace and didn't try to push, I knew I had a long way to go, so just keep it cool. I hit my first snag in the run; the water stations weren't exactly every 2 miles and it threw me off because my plan was GU at 6 & 22 and to eat half of a PR Bar at miles 12 & 18. So under 11 miles in I saw the water station coming up and had to quickly try to eat my bar but I couldn't and I had to stop at the station longer than I wanted, so I could wash it down and I lost the pace group I was with and could never catch up. Miles 6-12 pace 9:30ish.
Once I reached "the half" I was still feeling great and was only slowing down by about 10 seconds, my legs were getting achy but my cardio felt strong and I just continued to smile and focus on my run. My mind was starting to get a little heavy but I just payed attention to my music and let it carry me along and I just continued to float though my "third quarter". Once I reached the 16 mile mark a lady had said "We're in the single digits now!" and it was at that point I knew I would finish. Mile 12-18 pace 9:40ish
Now its overtime, but I kept calling it "my run", the last 2.2 miles was just for me. At this point in the race I broke out of the neighborhoods and came down this long, glorious hill and all I could see was the beautiful Lake Michigan Lakefront (hence Lakefront Marathon), the fall colors we breathtaking and as a bonus the sun was out, it was now warm and comfortable and this was it, this was my finish. Over and over I heard people shouting my name and encouragement and I turned into that cheeseballen runner girl, although in pain I had a HUGE smile plastered on my face. I've overcome so much and this was that one last thing I wanted to make it through. My last mile was by far the toughest and the slowest but it didn't matter, I was almost done I just had to keep my legs moving, it was my own little victory. Then there it was, the finish line full of people cheering, the lakefront and the finish, I was done!
Final Finish 4:17:16 and in a super weird coincidence I was just 3 seconds slower than my first marathon. Five months after cancer, 5 months after major surgery and only 10 weeks of training and starting over from scratch...ok I'll take it!