Here goes the Fox Cities Marathon recap. I'll try to keep it interesting so you don't fall asleep on the mundane details!
The marathoners pre-race:
Needless to say, we all want to be like John one day (he is Mattie's dad and kicks some serious running ass).
Kathy and her cousin Nick were there too, running together for Nick's first half marathon! I'll never forget seeing Kathy and her ma cheering for us as we ran into the finish - thanks for sticking around!
And Jess was there too! We had a great group to keep us distracted from the cold pre-race.
The crowd started making its way to the start and it was time to shed the warm clothes and show off the race shirts! You can read about our goals on my previous post here if you are interested, but to keep it short our A goal was 4:20, B goal was under 4:47 (PR).
Thanks again Family Fan Club for the awesome shirts. We got so many compliments!
The first couple miles went smoothly as we ran into a blinding sunrise. It was an awesome sight to see the mass of runner silhouettes in front of us and their breaths from the cold air floating up in the brilliant sunlight. The early plan was to stick close to 10 minute miles and not take any walk breaks. We did a really good job of that although I did have to reel Mattie in a couple times as the big crowds of spectators and bands made him pick up the pace. We were definitely feeding off the energy of the course early on. We also had many of our own spectators to look forward to (Kim, Brian's wife Lori and Mattie's mom) and they were all over the place taking pictures and whooping it up!
Enjoying Lish's (in front) company early on. Sarah took off on us cause we were teasing her. heehee.
The early miles went by fast and we enjoyed chatting with some other runners. I took my first GU at mile 5 and it didn't want to go down. It felt like it just sat at the stop of my stomach. Uh oh. I tried burping to relieve the pressure, but the GU wanted to come back up as well. When I woke up at 5am that morning my Clif Bar and banana both didn't want to go down either. I should have known it was a bad omen. So there I was at mile 5 with stomach problems already. Perfect.
Luckily the rest of my body felt amazing and despite my stomach rolling I was able to keep up the pace. Mattie was happy and chatty and I really appreciated him distracting me. We danced to the two polka bands that both played "Roll out the Barrel". We pointed out the funniest race signs (Blisters are braille for awesome!). We tried to answer all of the trivia questions the race had posted along the course. We just were enjoying life!
I started to feel my energy drain around mile 12 so I tried to slowly eat another GU. Just a bit at a time. It went down better than the first one, but my stomach still hated me. It was then that I made the executive decision that I wasn't going to eat any more during the race and just try to rely on Gatorade for energy.
I didn't even say anything to Mattie about my stomach until probably about halfway. He jokingly asked if I was going to puke on him (I threatened him with it during a relay one year when he couldn't get the timing chip strap off my ankle fast enough) and I told him it was a definite possibility. I did have a couple 'urpy' moments but was able to hold it together. Phew.
Kim cheering us on at the halfway mark! She is the best!
At mile 14 we took our first walk break which I was happy to take advantage of. Shortly after that Brian caught up to us and joined us for some miles. It was great to have a familiar face and some new conversation. While Mattie and Brian were talking I finally let out a very loud and very unladylike burp and it felt sooooo good. Then we joked about how running is so glamorous. Then Mattie almost spit on himself as the wind took his loogie. Glamorous indeed.
Mattie and me in green and Brian in blue. Random lady in pink joined us for a while as well.
The three of us stuck together through about 19 when Brian started to pull away. Mattie and I were trying to run two miles before each walk break and that worked well. We were still on pace for 10 minute miles through about 15, but by 20 our average pace had slipped to around 10:16. The good news is that I felt immensely better than I had in the early miles. The better news is that Kim joined us just before mile 20!
A high school classmate of mine caught up to us here! You can see her in the red shirt on the right. Her spectators (who I also know very well) gave us a lot of cheers along the way too!
Mattie was starting to struggle with quad cramping after mile 20 so it was great to have Kim along for pep talks and distraction. We used a run/walk strategy and kept moving forward towards that finish line!
and I apparently can't keep my arms down as evident in these next four pictures...
Kim was trying to hide behind us. hah!
We came up and over the last bridge and "Ole, Ole, Ole" was playing and we were dancing and singing like fools. We could feel the energy of the finish line pulling us in. We took one short final walk break and then turned to corner to see the finish.
Our final time was 4:39:21 - PRs for both of us. Me by 8 minutes and Mattie by 9 minutes!
4:39:21 - 10:39 pace
58/103 F 30-34
All of our friends did great as well and all we finished really close together! Post-race we went to a bar where the Pacesetters running club put on a party with free beer and a taco bar. Let me tell you how good a chicken soft taco is after a marathon - REALLY EFFING GOOD!
Things I loved: Running with Mattie, PERFECT WEATHER, lots of aid stations, fairly flat course, sharing miles with friends, energetic spectators, pretty scenery, polka bands, loud DJs, not feeling like crap the rest of the day, nice medal and gender specific long sleeved tech tee.
Things I didn't love: My stomach, the boob chafing I found when I went to take a shower.
A few days later I am still very happy with our race. Still, I know we can do better and I am excited for the next one. Someone talk me down from signing up for another fall marathon! hahah