I took off for Green Bay early Saturday morning and had a delightful pit stop in Milwaukee, where I hung out with HR guy and his awesome dog for a couple of hours, slowly walking up and down the shore line of lake Michigan. It felt good to be outside, and it felt good to move around a little since I didn't do much all week.
I got to Green Bay and met Mary at Lambeau Field around 3:30. We hung out at the Expo for a few hours, scouring for free stuff, which was pretty slim. I did manage to find some great new running shirts. It was fun running into Justin, my favorite Packer partner (we went to several games together over our years at UW-GB) and Steph who also went to school at GB (and is part of the NKOTB clan!).
We got the low down about the course from the race director, which was really nice. It was good to know what to expect and to find out where the best bathrooms were on race day!
Krista met up with us and we proceeded to carb load with a great (FREE) dinner. I don't know how many breadsticks I ended up eating but seriously, they were amazing (everything was good, but these breadsticks...really...).
I joined my family back at the hotel for a quick chat - - I am a REALLY lucky girl - - mom, dad, Amanda, Ches, Grandma & Grandpa, Beth, and Ann & Jim all joined me in this adventure - - it is so nice to have such great support from my family (and friends!)!!
I didn't sleep at all on Saturday night. I felt awful, I had weird dreams, and I tossed and turned all night. So, needless to say, I was feeling really ill prepared for Sunday.
But, Sunday morning I was up at 5 am, got a bagel with peanut butter and honey down, drank some coffee and got to the start line...
FROM START TO FINISH:
- Green Bay had an appropriate amount of bathrooms. Granted, the race started at Lambeau which HAS to have quality (and quantity) bathroom facilities but there were also tons of port-o-potties and I didn't feel that I waited too long in line (the 2 times within 15 min that I went). Some races are AWFUL.
- I missed saying good luck to Mary at the very start (because you know, I was in the bathroom) but she caught me around mile 3 and we chatted for a bit before she rocked her way to a 2:04 1/2 Marathon time.
- I had a tear in my eye during the National Anthem - yes, I'm sappy.
- I found my fam along the start line and was able to wave to them as we took off. That was neat.
- I didn't like the 4:30 pacer's plan of attack. I hate walk breaks that do not include water at the start of the race. So, I left them. You know for the first 23 miles.
- I saw someone texting while running. Seriously, even I'M not that addicted to the Crackberry!
- Every mile marker in the Quad Cities tore me up. It was SO emotional for me to undertake such a huge task. But this time was different. Not emotional. Not overwhelming. I didn't even think about the miles.
- My stomach hurt for the first 5 miles. Then I told myself to get over it.
- I listened to Jason Mraz, Saving Abel, Fergie, Lady Gaga, The Wreckers, and Kelly Clarkson
- I saw my family at miles 11, twice on the bike path (somewhere between 15 and 19), in Lambeau (I totally picked my sister out of the crowd!)!
- I missed my family at the finish - even though they were there and saw me!
- My 8th grade social studies teacher (who ran the 5k) found me along the route and ran a little with me around mile 14- it was SO nice!
- Mary was at the entrance to the Lambeau parking lot cheering me on and right around the corner from the finish!
- I wasn't annoyed with ANYONE during the WHOLE 26.2 miles. That's insanity my friends.
- I was seriously in my own little world and really didn't think, I just ran.
- I only talked to two people during the race - Mary at the very beginning and some guy while in downtown GB (around mile 22 ish) and that was for about two seconds during a walk break - we had been pacing with each other and we both asked how the other was doing). During the Quad Cities, I would have DIED without 3.2 mile dude. I seriously would not have made it to the end with out his support and conversation. It makes me sad I didn't ever get his name.
- I'm going to sound like a MAJOR jackbag right now but I didn't feel like it was a big deal. I felt like the Quad Cities was HUGE. And THIS is HUGE. I think playing it down helped me get through it.
- Although I didn't feel this one was HUGE, my colleagues and boss did - Paula got me a marathon cake that was AWESOME!
- I hit my wall about mile 23. I told myself there would be no wall. But there was. HOWEVER, I did not allow myself to cramp up like I did in the Quad Cities. I pushed it too hard the first time around and had to stop and stretch and was hurting as I crossed the finish line. This time I was able to back off a bit when I felt like my calves were going to cramp and they never did. I was also able to finish really strong.
- I hit the infamous sign that all the players hit on their way out to the field - it was awesome running through that tunnel and really really special to run around the field.
- For not being a huge thing, I teared up as I came to the finish line.
- It is a HUGE thing. Have I mentioned that?
- I got one kick ass medal!
- My dad told me he'd run with me some day...I'm going to hold him to that.
My recovery process is going REALLY well. Last time around was not so good and I ended up with SI Joint issues and physical therapy. This time around my SI Joint is AWESOME, the only things that are sore are my quads and my big toe nails (I didn't get a single blister though!). I've been in the pool for the last couple of days and I'm able to walk down stairs without feeling like I'm 185 years old.
All in all - this was a REALLY good race. Now, I'm "off" for a couple of weeks and then it's full steam ahead to start training for the Lakefront Milwaukee Marathon on October 4, 2009.