Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Packers Training Camp 5K Recap

Now, the official end of Packers Training Camp 2012, seems like the perfect time to finally get around to recapping the 5K race, no? 

The Packers 5K, my second of that day, went surprisingly well, and even though I did it solo, it was fun. In fact, there were benefits to running this race on my own, and the first benefit came about 10 hours before the race even started.

After the Brewers 5K I debated whether or not I would shower. I had some packing to do, it was incredibly hot outside, and I had another 5K to run later that day. On the Pro side, I had a 2-hour drive to make and didn’t want to smell. So I showered. And I drove. And I arrived in Green Bay with more than 3 hours to spare, so I picked my race packet up early. But I knew that, because I was driving and running my second 5K alone, I COULD’VE not showered if I had wanted to.

That’s what counts.

The Start
The Packers 5K was incredibly well organized. There were thousands of participants and every monitor in the Lambeau Field Atrium had a map of the race route and the color-coded pace group corrals (to correspond with your self-determined color-coded race bib).

Yes, not only did the 5K have pace groups, but they also had stationary corrals. It’s enough to make you weep.

The Route
Lombardi Ave was closed in front of the stadium and there was plenty of room for runners to line up. The route had a bit more incline than the morning’s 5K, but I totally passed former Packers, Chris Jacke and Mark Chmura, before I hit the Mile 1 marker and they had started at least 2 pace groups ahead of me at the very beginning.

The Stadium
I had planned to take my time on the field and walk through Lambeau, but there was such a bottleneck to get in that I didn’t want to waste any more time. Plus, they opened up the stadium for race observers and the crowd was cheering us on so earnestly. I did NOT attempt a Lambeau Leap – despite what it looks like on TV, that wall is really freaking high and I had no chance of coming close to making it.

The Results
They had a neat set up at the end where you could check your time immediately after getting your snacks and water at the finish line, and my official race time was Tramon Williams : Aaron Rodgers. Slower than I expected, but after running a 5K that morning I’m okay with it.

The Conclusion
In conclusion (lamest conclusion statement ever, amiright college essay graders?), the Packers 5K was the best organized 5K I’ve ever run. From registration to packet pickup to pace groups to finish, it flowed so well I wish I had gone with a group so I could’ve utilized the alphabetized flagpost runner reunion stations. Seriously, they even helped you find your friends at the end.

What a great “kickoff to training camp,” though it was neither a kickoff nor was it the actual start of training camp.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brewers Sausage Race 5K Recap

On Saturday, July 28th, thousands lined up on Canal St. by Miller Park to race with the Brewers Sausages - Chorizo, Italian, Bratwurst, Hot Dog, and Polish - and I was one of them (one of the thousands, not one of the sausages). Below is a full recap of my experience, but if you want the short and sweet version...

  • Organization of the race from start to beer could have been vastly greater.
  • I finally got to see Miller Park the way Aoki, Hart, Lucroy, and Braun see it. 
  • A special thank you goes out to the Milwaukee Police Department for scheduling Officer Man Candy to work that day.

The Start
A more disorganized beginning to a race you will be hard pressed to find. Thankfully, organizers cap this race, but, unfortunately, the pace markers were not only NOT well marked, but there wasn't enough room at the start line for everyone. Maybe 500 feet separated the 6-minute mile group at the start of the line and the walking group at the end. The walkers, I should note, were meant to start 15 minutes after the runners. So why they were lined up with the rest of us I do not know as 15 minutes is plenty of time to move them from the adjacent parking lot to the start corral.

Meanwhile, the packed crowd left precious little room on Canal St. for the rest of us in the middle. Though we tried to pack in, hundreds were left in the Brewers parking lot to fend for themselves and try to get in line once the race started.

I know what you're thinking.

The timing chip on your bib doesn't start until you cross the start line.

Am I right?

Well, it's true, BUT, as I've seen in most every race I run lately, race etiquette is not so common, which makes a difference when you're running for time.

Understandably, many people complete these 5Ks for fun. Just as many people, however, are racing against their time and use these races either to achieve personal records or to train for longer distances.

To make a long story short, getting a good start is important, and the 7 women chatting and walking abreast of each other in the 8-minute mile pace group at the start line will be on the receiving end of some bad karma if I have anything to say about it (which I don't).

For those new to running and races, one of the most important rules you should follow (and I claim this as the most important because I see so few people do it) is that slower runners and walkers stay to the right while faster runners pass on the left. Like driving, still with me? So if you're running and get a stitch and need to walk (we've all been there) take a quick glance behind you before coming to a dead stop (another pet peeve of mine) and if there's no one directly behind you slow down and move over to the right. Then slow down to a walk.

 Please do this. It makes everyone happier.

The Route
This 5K was one of the easiest I've done in awhile. No major hills and mostly open pavement, which is probably horrible at the peak of a hot summer day. The crowd thinned out after the first 10th of a mile, and the streets were wide enough for all of us to make space.

That is, until volunteers started yelling at us to move to the right because the lead runners were lapping back. Ugh, I know right? Those lead runners are such show offs!

Ultimately though, the route was nice and apparently Officer Man Candy was scheduled to work that day and did his job very well, observing the race, blocking traffic, and looking fine for us lady runners.

The Stadium
I've never been in the bowels of Miller Park before, in fact, I'm not even sure they have public tours on a regular basis. I do know, sidenote, that you can pay $100 for a tour on game day and go down Bernie's slide, but that's limited to 6 people per game day.

The route took us through the media entrance and onto the field along the first base line, and then we ran out past third where Braun stands. Most people I noticed ran full out during this phase as excitement levels were high. I made the decision to walk through in order to extend my time and take a look around.

It was pretty awesome, gotta tell ya.

There was a video playing on the screen of Brewers personnel and players thanking us for joining the race, which was a benefit to the MACC Fund. It was a nice touch.

The Finish
By the time I finished there was a crowd at the end of spectators and runners who had just finished. The minute I crossed the finish I hit a wall of people that volunteers were hopelessly trying to move.

ProTip: Set up barricades to corral the runners immediately away from the end and to provide a permanent, immovable space for the finish line. Folks can still observe and hang out, but it's much easier to keep people behind a metal barricade than it is to move a sea of humanity with just the sound of your outdoor voice.

The price of race registration also included a hot dog and beer, which they served out of the Sausage Haus, har har. There were 5 lines. One for the hot dog, one for the water, one for condiments, one for peanuts, and another for beer. Rather than utilize the nice, long, counter space in the Sausage Haus, the hot dogs were served at one window, the water across the building, the peanuts next to the water, the condiments diagonal from the hot dogs, and the beer outside.

Confused? Yeah, us too. I skipped the peanuts and water line, wondered why they didn't just line stuff up at the counter more than once, and, ultimately, enjoyed my hot dog and beer at 9:30 AM.

The Surprise
Despite the very odd choices race organizers made in organizing the event - why the DJ booth and incredibly loud speakers were located right next to the Info booth, for example - I had fun, got my hot dog and beer, and...


Randomly met up with my friend Meghan, who was in town visiting from San Francisco!

It was pleasant surprise, more pleasant than enjoying beer at 9:30 AM, and vastly more pleasant than being passed by the 17-minute 5K guy as I rounded the 1st mile bend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Charity Miles: With One App, Anyone Can Become a Sponsored Athlete & Change the World

Last night I was listening to an NPR segment on Jeremy Lin's shiny new contract with Houston and why the Knicks likely couldn't afford to match it (speculation is that it wasn't the luxury tax after all, but Dolan's hurt feelings).

I started wondering if there was still a sport in the U.S. that anyone played professionally just for the passion of it rather than the huge contracts, signing bonuses, and endorsement deals.


Which made me sad, because in most every other industry and field professionals can easily have passion projects where they explore their skills and put them to use in whatever way they see fit. But you don't see many professional athletes being able to explore any passion or interest beyond their chosen field - at least for the duration of their pro career - because of time constraints and even contractual constraints/obligations.

I suppose I shouldn't feel too bad because these men and women are getting paid enormous amounts of money and are able to retire at a young age and THEN pursue such passions. But still, it was a moment of reflection.

Which is a tenuous way of introducing a new gizmo I found today for your gadget. Charity Miles is a smartphone app that suddenly transforms us regular plain Janes into "sponsored athletes."

I'll let that soak in for a minute.

But instead of doing it all for the money and being obligated to wear a bunch of logo-bloated merch or drink only grape-flavored HEED, this sponsorship is strictly of the do-gooder variety. When you use Charity Miles, corporate sponsors will donate $0.10 (biking) or $0.25 (walking and running) per mile to the charity of your choosing. Pretty neat, huh?

Here's how it works:

The 2012 Olympics in London are about to get underway, during which we will see a bevy of advertisements by athletic sponsors. Some will be good. Others will just be annoying.

Download and use this app to help pave a new road to corporate sponsorship - one of amateur and novice "athletes" logging the miles on behalf of their favorite charities.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Race for the Bacon Recap

This was one of the funner races I've done in recent history. The weather was warm, the course circled the Milwaukee Mile, we ran past the deep fried smells of State Fair Park, and there was bacon, bacon, more bacon, and beer at the end.

When Race for the Bacon was first announced, I signed up not caring if I knew anyone else participating. Of course I would have friends participating, but I didn't feel the need to gather a group to join me, because I. Was. Going. To. Eat. Bacon. Dammit.

And I did. Immediately upon crossing the finish line I was handed a packaged of Patrick Cudahy bacon. FTW. The after party was one of the best I've experienced, with Saz's Catering providing bacon pasta salad, BLTs, bacon mac and cheese, deep fried bacon peanut butter balls, and, just for good measure, a chafing dish full of bacon.

Can you tell by my recap that I really just ran this race for the after party?

I treated the 5K itself like a workout and just took my time, had fun, didn't sweat too much as @kbctourcompany said in comparison to @MRC58, and met up with a group of running FitMKE pals, most of whom I've met either through Twitter or Team Challenge.

It was grand. One of the best times I've had at a race in awhile.

The Route
I had never run a race at State Fair Park before this one, and I gotta say it was nice. Closed course (minus a little IndyFest traffic here and there), circling the Milwaukee Mile (we would've likely been able to run on the track itself if not for it being the same weekend as IndyFest), and a short jaunt through the fairgrounds. Flat, easy peasy, and fun.

The Crowd
I was surprised there wasn't a crazy amount of people, but I know they capped registrations which I appreciate. I hate when races have unlimited registrants and then the crowds get out of hand for the space the route provides, the after party is then also crowded, and it's just a mess. I'm looking at you Storm the Bastille.

I signed up for this run not knowing anyone else who was attending, but assuming that surely, with bacon and beer involved, I'd find a few friends. Rather than making an ass out of you and me, this assumption was correct and I spent pre-race and post-race with some running buds I've met through Twitter, FitMKE, and Team Challenge.

The After Party
The Bacon Bash was one of the most fun after parties I've been to in awhile. Saz's Catering outdid themselves with delicious, bacony food, and we each got two drink tickets to spend on beer. Or, you know soda (rolls eyes). The band was covering some fun tunes, and we had at least 3 top age-group finishers in our crew who all received bacon bling.

Somewhat related, and an unexpected surprise, was at the finish line I was handed a nice package of Patrick Cudahy bacon. I guess the top 100 finishers or some such received one. *shrugs* I'm not complaining.

The Swag 
Race for the Bacon definitely takes the prize for coolest race shirt ever. Eschewing tech shirts or cheap Jerzees boxy tees, they went with adorable sporty v-necks designed by Brew City Brand Apparel. In my humble opinion, this was a brilliant move. I'm much more likely to wear the crap out of this cute casual wear shirt than I am an ugly, boxy, el cheapo tee covered in advertisements. I usually send those straight to Goodwill. The tech shirts, to be fair, I wear when working out.

Overall, I would highly recommend this race to anyone. I saw strollers, walkers, one guy who ran the 10K in 32 minutes (show off), and a "mature" woman running with her walker (you go, girl). It was very well organized, and from registration to after party, provided a delightful experience.

____________________________________________________________Mandi Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner
Mandi needs a new running goal! State-to-State? US-to-Canada? Elliptical marathon? She's looking for something weird and challenging. Leave a comment with your suggestion!

Follow her journey.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Expiration of Running Goals & Challenging Yourself

The thing no one tells you about setting a fitness goal is that usually you achieve it.

Then what?

So you set another goal.

And achieve that one.

And so the cycle continues.

But what do you do when you "run" out of goals?

That's where I am today. I ran my first half marathon last year after collecting 5K's here and there for years. I ran my second half marathon for my birthday this year, and am signed up for an unmentionable number of 5K's throughout the summer.

I think that a lifelong goal of mine will be to run one half marathon every year, and never the same one twice (or, at least the duplicate won't count as that year's half marathon goal).

That means I'm all checked off for 2012 as far as half marathons go, but I want to challenge myself to something even more. I don't want to run a marathon. Perhaps one day I'll want to try running a marathon or aspire to ultra running, but right now I like painting my toe nails too much.

But I want some kind of unique, challenging goal that I can keep track of on this blog and that will drive me to keep running and training.

I've come up with a couple of ideas, but would love a few more to consider. Here's what I've got so far:

Run Every Marquee Race in the State
Now, due to my semi-noviceness and sheer number of running events in WI now that it's become a "thing," this goal will have to have a few stipulations. I'm thinking, in particular, any race 5K to half marathon that draws over 1,000 participants. Adding a 5K and/or Fun Run to any ol' event is now becoming the norm, so I'm hoping that by putting the participant stipulation on it, the goal will narrow down to a couple hundred races. And by "marquee" races I mean those that everyone talks about, that people travel for. Think Storm the Bastille in Milwaukee, Bellin Run in Green Bay, Gopher to Badger in Hudson.

According to one online database, the qualifications above amount to 172 races in Wisconsin.

This goal would, naturally, need a multiple year commitment, but the thing I'm most concerned with is the race fees. Budget just $30 per race and that's over $5,500 in fees alone, not to mention shoes, gear, and recovery beer.

But I still kind of want to pursue it. What do you think?

Interstate & International Races
While this goal may not specifically drive my day-to-day running in the short term, it's sort of a bucket list goal that I want to achieve. By "interstate" and "international" races I mean races that begin in one place and cross the border into another.

The Gopher-to-Badger and Ragnar Relay are good examples. Are there any that start in the U.S. and end in Canada? Because that would be awesome. And though it kind of scares me at the moment, the idea of a cross-country, days-long running goal interests me. I wouldn't be able to physically do that for at least another year, but it's on my radar. Think MS on the Run or Venture Expeditions. Naturally my heart for the nonprofit sector would need to be combined with such a marathon achievement.

Currently, I am scheduled to fulfill one new goal this summer: WI Sports Race Day.

The Brewers have been hosting a 5K event called, obviously, The Sausage Race 5K for a few years now. The Packers, in turn, started hosting a 5K to kick off training camp in 2010.

Unfortunately, for the past 2 years these events were held on the same day.

This year, however, the Packers 5K (they need to come up with a catchy name for this race) begins at 6:30 PM.

That means, crazy sports fans like myself, can run with the sausages in the morning at Miller Park, drive the equivalent of the Ragnar Relay up to Green Bay, and arrive in plenty of time to run the 5K through Lambeau Field (no leaping allowed).

So that's what I'm doing. And I'm checking it off the list. If you can think of any other fun races or endurance/fitness challenges I should undertake, let me know. 

____________________________________________________________Mandi Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner
Mandi needs a new running goal! State-to-State? US-to-Canada? Elliptical marathon? She's looking for something weird and challenging. Leave a comment with your suggestion!

Follow her journey.

Monday, May 7, 2012

WI Half Marathon Race Recap - No Holds Barred

My second half marathon is now firmly under my belt, and a new PR has been recorded, but, as is true for any blogger, it ain't officially over until you can answer the question, "but what did it mean???" in a wordy post.

So here goes.

But first, a word of caution.

There may be some instances of TMI in this race recap. As the bumper stickers say "Running is Sexy," er, until it isn't. This recap will cover the good, the bad, and the ugly of the expected and unexpected portions of the WI Half, and I will try to warn you before you delve headlong into the ugly just in case you want to skip to the end.

The Good

The Route
The WI marathon and half marathon course wound through the nice parts of Kenosha and along the lakefront. It was a nice, flat run (thank you Jesus), and the route double backed on itself so us slower runners could see some of the pace booty at the front.

Buff guy in the yellow shorts with no shirt at the 7-minute mile pace...thank you, sir.

Kitty likes it too.
The Medal
When I was looking for a birthday half marathon to run, I narrowed it down to three options: WI, Lake Geneva, and Cellcom. Cellcom was quickly thrust aside as this year's route does not include Lambeau Field. The Lake Geneva half marathon I'm sure will be gorgeous, but it's on the same day I'm celebrating my birthday and 13.1 miles and lots of beer do not generally mix well. The WI half marathon came out the winner mostly because of the medal. You can't quite see it in this photo, but Door County is a beer bottle opener...a most appropriate use for Door County if ever there was one.

The Weather
I woke up in Milwaukee at 4:30 AM to rain and started praying the wet weather was confined to north of Kenosha. As I drove down to Kenosha I realized this wasn't the case and started praying it let up before the race started. This was the case. The temperature was a pleasant (in my opinion) chill that worked well with my long sleeves and only at the end made me wish I had brought gloves. I have no idea how golden shorted hottie at the front was running shirtless.

The Mile 8 Water Stop
Manned by my pals from Team Challenge. It's just the point of the race when you could use friendly faces, and there they were with Gatorade in hand right by the turn in front of Carthage College. I also really appreciated Darth Vader coming to see us all off at the first mile turn in downtown with a sign that read, "May the Course Be With You." Nice one, Darth.

The Bad

The Weather
I'm pretty sure it got colder as the day wore on because by the end of the race we could all see our breath. This did not bode well for post-race stretching or, really any post-race activity. Race organizers promised beer and brats at the end, but the line was so long and the wind chill coming off Lake Michigan so fierce that I abandoned the 20-minute wait (for Miller Lite, ugh) and hobbled three blocks away to my car (it seemed close enough at the beginning of the race, excruciatingly far at the end) to warm up and make my way home. You know it's bad when they're handing out the silver hypothermia blankets along with the race medals.

As I drove the 45 minutes home I kept turning up the heater in my car, and by the end of the ride it was blowing 85 but still feeling like 60. I grabbed a beer from my fridge (Lakefront Klisch) and drank it in a scalding hot shower that somewhat managed to warm me. I think I finally became warm enough once my heat was turned up to 70, I was fresh from the hot shower, bundled in sweat pants and a sweatshirt under a blanket, with a kitty space heater on my stomach.

Mile 4
Even lining up for the race I was wondering why I was doing this to myself. My mind was not in a good spot for this half marathon. I kept doubting myself and constantly had to overcome the mental tirades "My knee hurts," "I haven't trained as much as I should've," "What happens if I can't finish?" "If I quit I'll feel so disappointed," etc. This took place up until Mile 4 and changed when I pushed myself mentally to just get over it already "You're breathing just fine," "Your legs are strong," "It's the perfect race weather," "You're this far you might as well finish," "You can do it; you ARE doing it," "There's beer at the end," "The medal is a bottle opener," etc.

In truth I felt pretty dang good the entire race physically, but mentally I was a mess. Hey, it's a cliche for a reason. I didn't have my headphones with me (the forecast predicted storms the entire race time and after my 8th grade science teacher was struck by lightning when it was just cloudy out I don't take any chances), so I couldn't lose myself in tunes. It took me awhile, but once I dug in and found a few folks to run with, by mile 7 I knew it was a sure thing.

The Ugly
Disclaimer: Okay, kids. I'm going to get real here. You've probably heard rumors about what happens to your body when you run long distances, and heck, you may have even experienced some of them yourself. A half marathon isn't in the realm of super long distance running, but still things can happen and I'm about to attest. This is a no-holds-barred post mainly because I follow a lot of running blogs that are the same and appreciate when someone can be honest and let me know that these types of things don't just happen to me. So to those that want to skip the gory details: feel free (I'm progressing from least offensive to highest TMI). To those that read on: these things don't just happen to you, K?

The Muscles - Gross Out Threat Level Green
The last time I ran a half marathon my calf muscles gave out at mile 10 and I walked the last 5K simply because that was the only way I'd finish. I could barely walk hours later my muscles were so tight and sore, and I didn't have adequate pain meds and ice therapy available at the hotel. This time my legs felt pretty great the entire race, but my quads really started tightening up at mile 12. I pushed through to the end, and it was only standing in the bracing, chilly gusts off the lakefront at the after party that my legs really started freezing up and hurting. I hobbled home, warmed up, stretched, iced, and took some Advil. I rested. Standing up and sitting down were big issues the rest of Saturday, as was my cat's insistence on sitting on my lap (ouch). I spent most of the afternoon napping on the couch with a kitty heating pad on my stomach.

On Sunday my legs were feeling better. I met some friends for breakfast, and then spent a few hours watching The Avengers mostly because I didn't want to walk up and down my stairs again before I had to meet some other friends for dinner.

Every time my legs felt tight or started hurting throughout the weekend I would either ice or try stretching again. Walking around the mall and my neighborhood helped as well.

Compared to last time, my recovery is going much better, probably due to being more prepared and conditioned pre-race, but also better aftercare. I think I'm still going to sit out tonight's softball game and pick up running on Wednesday.

The Sports Bra - Threat Level Orange
You know how when men run long distances their nipples sometimes bleed from the constant friction with their race jersey? I didn't see any of that during this race (surprisingly...I mean, it was COLD), but I did feel a glimpse of what that must be like. Did I mention it was FREEZING on the lakefront? Well, what happens to your nipples when it's cold out? And sorry men, but you don't corner the market on this one. Even with a sports bra, t-shirt, and long-sleeved shirt on I still experienced some chafing until my body heated back up. Not enough for a gross out factor, but enough to be uncomfortable. No, the gross out factor came after the race.

You see, my sports bra's seam under the cups runs along the inside of the fabric. I had forgotten about this issue from my last half marathon. In fact, I have to wonder if it happens at all to smaller chested ladies. You see, when you run, no matter your cup size, things tend to bounce around a bit. Usually this isn't an issue. I mean, that's what sports bras are for, right?

Right. But while sports bras help prevent a lot of bounce, they can't eliminate chafing. Because what else happens when the girls are bouncing, even if they're only bouncing a little bit? Your sports bra undoubtedly rubs up and down a little bit. And what happens if your sports bra rubs up and down a little bit for a long period of time?

I won't entirely spell it out for you, but just know that it kind of looks like I might've had breast implant surgery done recently. And I only now remember this happening after my last half marathon. And I wonder if it only happens to us ladies with big girls, or if my sports bra is somehow to blame. I mean, I've heard rumors that when you run marathon distances your toenails can fall off from the constant abrading against your shoe (thankfully this has never happened to me), but people don't blame that issue on bad shoes, right? It's just's a sad truth that at a certain cup size no sports bra can be expected to eliminate 100% of the bounce.

And yes, I watch The League. I've seen the bounce test episode.

The Un/Expected Visitor - Threat Level Red
I'm sure men can draw some comparisons to my sports bra issue, just, erm, in a more "southern" way. However, one thing they should feel lucky to know nothing about is a certain visitor who came to cheer me on on race day (all the female readers are now groaning). I knew she was coming and had adequately planned for it, just in case she arrived at mile 1, 5, 10, or even post-race, but usually when she visits me I get really sick. I'm talking lady pain, migraines, and nausea.

This I wasn't prepared for.

The WI half marathon was the first race I ever had to use the facilities. Again, I've heard horror stories from other runners, and thankfully have never experienced them, but at mile 12 I couldn't tell if it was leg pain radiating up or lady pain joining forces in my abdomen. I warded off two bouts of nausea at mile 3 and mile 6, but had to have a moment to myself at 12.5

Again, I won't entirely spell it out for you, but I don't know if the rest of the day was so bad strictly because of the thigh muscle soreness, or if it was also the lady pain that created one large conglomerate of punishment. Aunt Flo is a bitch.

The Awesome
Welcome back all of you who skipped to the end. You didn't miss much, I promise.

If you recall, I set a lofty goal of running my half marathon in 2:30, a realistic goal of 2:45, and a "don't want to embarrass myself" goal of 3:00. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I HAVE A NEW PR!

When I crossed the finish line, the clock said 2:47 and change. The official race results came in at 2:44:50! I even beat my goal by 10 seconds! Which, I realize, isn't much but, hey, the goal in running is to beat yourself not anyone else. So woohoo! Let's celebrate with a night on the town! Pub Golf, anyone?

____________________________________________________________Mandi Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner
Mandi recently completed her first marathon! Her next goal is running a full half marathon (no walking!) by her next birthday (May 13, 2012).

Follow her journey.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Seis de Mayo is Going to Blow

Tomorrow is the Wisconsin Marathon. I will be running the half, and, I admit, am kind of freaking out about it.

Part of the reason is that I am a planner by nature and I only realized two days ago that I wasn't receiving all of the e-newsletters with the race info. Therefore, I've only been "planning" for the past two days - directions, when I'm going to wake up, where to park, race route, what to pack, etc.

I like to have these details hammered out at least a week or two in advance. Or, I like to participate in destination races with a team so I don't have to think about any of this and I can just show up for a bus.

I'm picking up my race packet this evening - all the way in Kenosha, egads - and will find out if I'm actually registered or not. Perhaps they just missed my email on their database gliche, y'know?


I'd like to say that I'm all ready to go and I've never felt better for a race, but that would be a lie. I'm more prepared for this half than I was the Wine Country Half last summer, but that's not saying much. My pie-in-the-sky goal is to run a 2:30, my more-likely-to-become-reality goal is 2:45 and my don't-want-to-embarrass-myself goal is anything under 3:00.

To be fair I ran my first half marathon at 3:01 after starting the first 7 miles or so at a 2:30 pace. I bonked out at mile 10 and had to walk the last 5K.

This time I've been running regularly 3-5 miles 3-4 times per week. However, the most mileage I've done recently is 7. I've heard that if you can do 8 miles adrenaline and sheer determination will carry you through on race day. That's what I'm hoping for...that and the promise of beer and margaritas post race.


As far as nutrition goes I haven't done too much these past few days. I usually eat pretty healthy, i.e. clean, and I've just been focusing on salads, protein, and adequate carbs. Except for that one donut I had for breakfast on Tuesday.

Today I'm loading up on protein for lunch and am planning some carbs for dinner. I've read a lot of advice regarding pre-race nutrition, but it basically seems that, if your stomach gives you problems then watch what you're doing, otherwise it's best to not stray too far from your current (assuming healthy) habits. So that's what I've been doing. Pretty much the same with a few tweaks.

I have gels to carry during the race. As I understand they only start handing those out to the marathoners after the half mileage point. I plan to drink at every water stop regardless of whether or not I'm thirsty. I plan to partake in the post race beer.

Race Day

I went back and forth a few times on whether or not I'd book a hotel room for tonight. Kenosha is only 40 miles away, but it's nice to be exactly where you need to be on race day. Or, if you do have to travel, have a bus or family to drive for you.

As this is my first solo half marathon, I'm just going to wing it and hope it works out. I'm planning an early morning (god help my cat if she pulls any of her "keep Mandi up all night" shenanigans tonight), which ultimately is good because it gives my stomach a chance to settle down and digest breakfast as I drive down I-94 and through Kenosha (egads) to line up.

I hope parking doesn't suck too bad.

I hope I can easily find where I'm going for bag check, line up, and the like.

I hope I get there on time.

Post Race

I have plans set for brunch on Sunday and I have a softball game on Monday. I left the rest of Saturday open to pass out and/or stretch. If my last half marathon is any indication, I won't be moving too well the rest of this weekend, so bear with me if I'm late for's just me making my way down the stairs.

I'll post an update on how the WI half went on Monday. Until then I bid you adieu!

____________________________________________________________Mandi Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner
Mandi recently completed her first marathon! Her next goal is running a full half marathon (no walking!) by her next birthday (May 13, 2012).

Follow her journey.