Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recap: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

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

After 18 miles I started counting down I was now in my "Fourth Quarter" and in my mind the quarter ended at mile 24 (I'll explain soon) so I counted down the miles to that point (such a no-no for me too) so I focused on getting lost myself in my music. I thought a lot about my friends that inspire me; Jeff because he was the reason for doing this, Jess because she was my biggest supporter, Matty for reasons I cannot even put into words-he's had his hands full with my post-hysterectomy/cancer craziness and he's still here and as crazy as it sounds I thought about the local band Mindset Evolution and how they've given up a lot to live out their dream and are loving every second of it. I also thought about something I say in my classes a lot "this is going to hurt a little but everything worth fighting for always does" and it was then that I broke down "the wall" and next thing I knew my fourth quarter was up....Miles 18-24 9:55ish average.

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!


  1. You are amazing Anna!! So happy and proud of you girlie!

  2. That is an awesome race after battling cancer and undergoing surgery. Very impressive :)