Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon #24

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

4:21:02

First let me open this blog post with a  moment of gratitude thank you so much to those who loved me, supported me and gave me both physical and mental support over the past few days. Phew! I've rewritten this blog post a total of 12 times.  I went for a series of a crap ton of emotions since finishing the race on Sunday. Most of them negatives, some of them positive. My life means so much more to me then a race. I figured I was best kind of describe the race and my emotions. Part of me keeping this blog and writing a book comes from the cathartic release of typing and analyzing the situation.

My race weekend started off with a bang, I had convinced my younger sister to take my daughter overnight. Waking up on Saturday morning with a good 9 hours of sleep!!! A new record for me typically the week of the marathon looks like 15 hours of sleep.I don't sleep well because I get really excited to run marathons. They make me feel very good about myself. I got to enjoy the expo kid free. Chat with some of my running buddies and get in a nice like Lakefront walk. 

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On Saturday afternoon the taper tantrums came in full swings having an extreme set of emotions. I want from happy tears to sad tears, and pretty much every single emotion in between. I was happy to run another marathon, sad that they weeks of hard work were coming to end. Truth be told I enjoy the high mileage and long runs. I like having that time to myself and analyze my life. I get such a great release from lifting weights but it's not the same experience as a lone run. When I lift weights I have to concentrate on form, reps, sets, and breathing. When I go running I just for the most part do, I set alarms and timers to remind me to eat and drink but other than that I just enjoy and embrace listen to my own breathe. Watching the tree blur together, looking for wildlife.   Went for another walk with my mom had some got some good talking in. Don't remember what it was about but it relaxed me. Went home watched some movies, trying to relax, and watched some comedy shows. Stayed up to close to midnight, woke up 15 times between 2 am to 4 am, read just a bit, closed my eyes listen to my breathe. Pet my cats listen to then purr.   Finally my alarm went off at 4:04(if you've ever read any of my blog post or if you know me on a person level I don't set my alarms for 4:00 or 4:05 or 4:15 its usually just some random number). I put my feet on the cool hard wood floor and got into game mode. Went through my prerace ritual of taking a long to get dress, adjust my outfit. Get everything settled and address all my chaffing spots. I honestly get the worst chaffing of any one I know as I was typing this up i decided to count all the spots, that have blistered and rubbed raw. I have two from my heart strap, one from my bra, four in my armpits, two on my inner thighs, two on my butt cheeks, and two more spots on my mid back; in case you didn't add it up 13. I ignore the chaffing I apply everything know to man, yet it always come back. Ive tried bandaids in the worst spots but than usually I'll rub the bandaid thin and most of the times it worst. 

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Woke up bright and early left the house a little earlier because I was nervous about 794 being shutdown. Got on the shuttle bus and headed out to grafton. While we were one our way out I could see the sunrise, it was a gorgeous way to start the race.   Headed to the gym found some running buddies and some fellow MRTT members. Tried to kick my prerace nerves by talking. Headed to the bathroom one last time and then got out to the starting corals. Before the race started I felt really happy, I ran into a few of my oiselle friends- Sarah and Amber, who actually paced out the marathon!!!

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The gun went off I tried to stay with the 4:20 pace group but I felt too good and just needed to move forward. Plus I always take a little longer to eat and grab water I was sure they would catch up. Made it to the 10k checkpoint- about 3-4 minutes ahead of schedule!!! Got another adrenaline boost- I felt as if my PR was a sealed deal. I pushed a little harder and caught the 4:10 pace group- I was really doing this!!! I felt so so excited I crossed the half marathon point 5-6 minutes ahead of schedule I felt so amazing I was on an emotional high. At around mile 15 or 16 I fell out of sight with the 4:10 group- I kept my head held high and dug as deep as I could. I thought to shave 10 minutes off my PR would have been crazy. I was still ahead of schedule and I wouldn't let the distance away from the pacer mentally defeat me.


With a 10k left to go my watch stood at 3:13 I debated eating again and decided against that I could make it a 10k without any fuel. I knew 1:03 minutes to the finish would be tough but I had this; plus a lot of my trail 10ks where around that mark. I was going to get a nice downhill etc etc. Mentally I was not going to fuel my fear. I came around the corner into the emery tent!!!!! I've never felt so much joy doing a race I saw what felt like 100 familiar faces (probably wasn't that many but it felt like it). I can't describe what it was like to feel like you had your own cheering section. I fought back tears, I felt physically dead and I just wanted to finish my race!


I looked at my watch and realized I had 30:02 minutes for the 5k remaining my pace had slowed down to a 10:30. I tried to reason with the negativity in my head- maybe I started my watch early- maybe it was off. I refused to look at my watch the remainder of the race. The wind picked up but I was stronger. I imagined the tip of my nose cutting through the wind and pushing around my face- I pretended I was pushing it rather than it pushing me. At the north point custard stand I just wanted to throw in the towel and be picked up by a support vehicle but I raised my chin higher and pushed forward. It's always a good sign when you start to see other finishers walking back to the cars with their medals and silver capes. I came around the corner and could see the white tents. Come on legs we are almost there! My heart was racing. I felt like the people were closing in on the path. I heard people shouting my name As I crossed the mats I knew I didn't get 4:16- but maybe maybe I still had a PR went to check the official time. NO PR; NO 4:16!!!! I felt extremely humbled and disappointed in my self. I'm not exactly sure why. But over the past two days I think it had to do with the fact that I fell short of my own expectations and now I'll spend another 52 weeks before I get this opportunity again, which right now seems far away. I'm so appreciative of the support and cheering I received from the running community! Thank you for taking the time to read this post means a lot to me.

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I chose to not see this marathon as a failure. I chose to see this marathon as a success I finished a freaking marathon- and my 24th one!  I'm ready to chose growth. I'm chasing to move forward and allow this to be a learning experience. I can spend hours analyzing this. Writing a blog about it. But, I'm cathartically releasing this marathon. This does not define me and I can grow from this experience and take on this challenge again. I know my weaknesses in my training with my speed work and my hill work. But, I'm ready to rebuild and refocus.  I need to put in the hours and put in the work. Let my body build muscularly.

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I'm ready to start success towards that 4:16! Plus isn't it much more cool if I get 5 years after making it a goal instead of 4?