Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Brewers' Half Marathon and a less than positive post

Last Saturday, I ran the Brewers’ Mini Marathon. The Mini is a half marathon winding from Miller Park through the city and back. The course was pretty nice, with several gradual hills and plenty of water stops. I had a terrible race.

On Friday during my lunch break, I went over to Miller Park to pick up my race packet. I was pretty happy with the goodies inside. We received the standard race shirt, race bib, etc. but surprise, surprise, there was a racing sausage bobblehead inside! I got the Polish which I was pretty excited about. Friday night, I had some whole grain pasta with veggies and shrimp for dinner and went to bed early after relaxing for a while.

I woke up at 4:30 on Saturday morning and got ready for the race. I had a quick cup of coffee and an oat bagel, and we left the house at about 5:45 a.m. We got to the race and met up with our friends. She was running the race too, and her fiancé and mine are pretty good friends – he’s actually the best man in our wedding and she’s standing up as well. The guys had planned to tailgate while we ran the race…only in Wisconsin is this possible.

I wasn’t feeling this race at all – from the second I woke up, I just wasn’t feeling right. Despite drinking gallons of water the previous two weeks, I felt severely dehydrated and couldn’t understand why.

My runner friend and I got to the race corrals and it was just a mess. We couldn’t even get into our corral there were so many people so we decided to keep walking until we found our other friend who was running her first 10k there. This race was a combined half marathon and 10K with the 10k runners splitting at the ¾ mile mark. We chatted with her a bit, until they started counting down to the race. We then walked back to our corral and still couldn’t get in – too many people. We ended up just waiting until people started moving forward so we could just get in. We walked to the race line even after the gun went off because as my runner friend pointed out, our time doesn’t start until our chip crosses the line. I never thought of it like that – odds are in my races, I usually just waste about 10 minutes of energy running from where I am to the start line.

We saw our fiancés right as we crossed the start line and ran together for a good 3-4 miles…and my legs just died. For some reason, at around mile 3.5, I just got so tired. I was sweating like crazy and I wanted to be done. To make a long story short, we ended up alternating running/walking the rest of the race. I was just so hot and tired, despite it being a beautiful day. My legs were dead, and I’m surprised I finished. I did do that though, I finished with my marathon-running, incredibly in shape friend running beside me the whole time. For that, I give her mad props – she never went on ahead – she just kept saying, it’s fun to have someone to do this with.

I had a lot of fun doing the race with her even though I had a really bad race. Everyone has bad running days I guess – mine just came on a race day.

After the race, after I got my medal, I still didn’t feel right. I was disappointed with my run, disappointed with my time and absolutely exhausted. For the rest of the weekend, I just couldn’t get over how tired I was. By Sunday night, it was incredibly obvious that I had come down with a really rotten cold, which for me, completely explained why I was so tired on Saturday.

Monday and Tuesday, I was sent home sick from work and Wednesday I went to the urgent care and was diagnosed with bronchitis. The doctor that saw me was amazed that, given the sounds of my lungs, I was able to finish the race on Saturday.

I know I was sick, and I know my body was telling me that during every mile that I pushed it on that run, but finishing my last half and finishing this half was completely different. I didn’t feel the satisfaction and I didn’t feel proud of myself. I just felt beaten down and worn out. I’ve since tried telling myself that my next race will be better, but I think I need to wait until my next race to get the spark back in my racing steps.

Always celebrating with a post-race brew, no matter how bad the race :)

RACE RECAP:  Packet pick up was simple and quick.  Not much of a race expo, just a couple tables.  A really nice race that incorporates a lot of Milwaukee’s sights.  Miller Park, Potowatomi, Harley Museum, a few bridges, the downtown area, through Miller Valley, and back to Miller Park.  A friend of mine P.R.’d here in 2012.  The course can be hilly at times but there are lots of water/Gatorade stations and lots of spectators at certain parts.  The race ends in the parking lot of Miller Park but right before you are able to run through the tunnels and on the field of the stadium.  The post-race tailgate party has something to be desired since the beer lines were way too long to even consider waiting through.  Kind of disappointing having a race party at Miller Park at then the beer lines are obnoxious.  A race I’d do again?  Probably.

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