Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Madison Half Marathon

I didn't really have any goals in mind on Sunday, except to go sub-2:00. I did this race, my first half marathon, back in 2006 and got a 2:20, which I was really happy with at the time; though now embarrassed about it. But, hey, I finished it, right?!

2006 Madison Half Marathon (2:20:00)

This year, I knew several others running the various distances at this race. I was really excited, and nervous, to be competing because of others participating. You all know that we ALL check out your finishing times!!

The half marathon started at 7:00 AM and we left our home just after 6:00 with the kids in tow. I always get pre-race jitters and an upset stomach, so 30 mins before the race, I knew that I would need to use the restroom. I was already dreading the line for the port-a-potties (or as we call them around here, "Buckys"). Just before 6:30, we were stuck in a loooong line of vehicles on the beltline. There seemed to be a huge backup for the race and were still a long way from the parking lot. We waiting about fifteen minutes (of me panicking!). People started getting out of their vehicles and running down the Beltline to John Nolen Dr. After some debating, Jason decided to take us off-roading and let me off after we exited. I ended up running about a half mile to a row of vacant "Buckys". While inside, I heard a worker say "Hey, these aren't ready" to me and the other runners. No wonder they were so disgusting and there was no line!

I ran to the startline just in time to hear the national anthem. And heard, "two minutes to start". YEAH! We're off ....

This year, the course started and ended at Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center. The course also went in reverse direction. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was happy that it avoided the climb up Basom Hill. I felt great the entire race and absolutely loved the route. A lot of Madison landmarks, lakes, nice paths and great crowd support.

At one point, I passed our friend Jason at a house handing out free beer to the runners. I told him I don't drink beer and didn't think it was wise to start now!

The sun came out around mile 7 or 8 and I was starting to feel it. I loved my rockin' Bondi Band, but wasn't sure how it was going to work out on race day, since it doesn't shield the sun from my eyes. But it was awesome and I loved the break from the baseball cap!

My friend from high school, Casey, passed me around mile 11 and I was trying to use that as motivation to speed up. I tried not fall too far behind, but never did catch back up to her.

I shocked myself, when I crossed the finish line and saw my family just past the end of the race. (Paige stood out in the crowd with her pigtails, cheering for me!) The bigger shocker was that when I stopped my watch, it read 1:56:04!! I was so thrilled!

2008 Madison Half Marathon (1:55:59)

I later told Jason that it would be awesome if my time was actually in the 1:55+, since I didn't stop my watch right away. Sure enough, later that morning, I logged online to look at the race results and it said my chip time was 1:55:59! ROCK ON!

1 comment:

  1. I love "Mad-Town"... I even have a stein at the Essen Haus. Maybe next year I will come to Madison and run the 1/2 with you... but not sure I can do a sub 2:00. That ROCKS!