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Sunday, October 3, 2010

2010 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Race Report

On Saturday we dropped off the kids at my parents' and headed to Milwaukee for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon (HERE). We grabbed lunch at our favorite place in Pewaukee and headed to packet pick up at the Expo at the MSOE Kern Center (HERE). Things were well oganized. We sat down and listened to the very informative course talk for a bit. The race official was super knowledgeable about the course and basically described what you would see, feel and hear at every twist, turn and mile marker. It was quite impressive.

There were quite a few booths on hand to browse through. I picked up a Skirt Sports technical tee that matched that skirt I purchased on clearance a few weeks ago, and iRUNLIKEAGIRL technical tee for Little Diva (for our little jaunts around the neighborhood), and a half dozen packs of gels for hubby and I on race day.

The goody bag included some nice items like a Lakefront Marathon towel and the usual freebies. The black long-sleeve technical tee was AWESOME!! The photo doesn't do it justice. There are several tasteful images on the shirt and the sleeves. One of the nicest race shirts we've seen.




We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Milwaukee. It was one of the host hotels. It was super nice and a really nice hotel. They welcomed us with some information about buses and transportation to/from the race. Very helpful. They also guaranteed us a 2pm late checkout after the race (to all participants).
I took a nice nap (that I never get with the kids around) while hubby watched some of the Wisconsin Badgers football game. We decided to head out for dinner and ended up at the beautiful outdoor Bayshore Mall in Glendale. We shared fettucine alfredo and greek pizza (my absolute favorite pizza) at California Pizza Kitchen. We did a little shopping and then headed back to the hotel.
We arrived in our room around 8:30 pm and got things ready for race day and turned the tv off around 9:30. I tossed and turned all night long. I just couldn't get comfortable and my mind was wondering. I swear I didn't sleep at all, but obviously I had at some point. We both got up just before the alarm went off at 5:15 AM on Sunday morning. We got our gear on and I used the bathroom 3-4 times.
Got some quick shots of our race day outfits.

The buses were departing the hotel promptly at 6am. We headed downstairs and there were four school buses waiting outside. It was SUPER chilly. We got on the first bus and sat towards the front. Within a couple of minutes a familiar face got on. It was Chelsea from Early Runner (HERE). We both looked at eachother through our tired eyes, not convinced if it was the other person. She sat in front of us and we chatted for a bit. We drove approximately 26.2 miles north to Grafton High School in Grafton, WI, where the race would start. The school was open tons of bathrooms, drinking fountains and a locker room. The cafeteria was open and everyone got their spots and we sat for about an hour and a half. Hubby, Chelsea and I each took about two bathroom breaks until they instructed us all to head outside around 7:30. The race started at 8:00. They opened the doors and the sun was up. We put our sweatshirts and gear in hubby's gear check bag and dropped it off at the USPS truck. Then, we headed inside, because of course I had to go to the bathroom again. This was the longest line all morning and the most I had to wait was 5-10 mins. Then we headed back outside, and I ran into a girl that I use to babysit back home. I had known she had taken up running recently.
This was my third marathon (second this year). My Goals that I listed earlier this weekend (HERE):
Goal #1 – PR and go sub 4:27 again
Goal #2 – 4:20
Goal #3 – 4:15
We headed to the start line. Hubby and I said our good-byes. He headed up towards the 4:00 hour pace group. I hung with the 4:15 pace group, since that was my biggest goal. I figured I would fall back in the end and still be happy. It was in the upper 30's at the start. But, it didn't feel as terrible as I thought it would. The National Anthem was sung, and we were off ....
We headed out on country roads on a nice, scenic course. At mile 1 I was already comfortable. I had a short sleeve tech tee over a long sleeve tech tee. I could've gone without the layer underneath.
At mile 2, I so hubby up ahead, as he turned a corner.
At mile 3, I decided to toss my gloves, where they were yelling out times. They said that they were going to bring any tossed clothing along the course to the finish line. There were folks playing music in their homes and farms out on the country roads. It was quiet and scenic.
At mile 4, I felt a someone grab my right arm. It freaked me out. It was my hubby. He had used the port-o-potty and met up with me. He decided to hang with me.
Miles 4-6 were more country roads. Crowd support in various spots. I was worried this race would be quiet and lonely as the warned us there wouldn't be much crowd support. But, I found the support to be great. There were people scattered throughout the course.
Mile 7 was at the Concordia University Campus. This was a big "action spot". Aid station, first Gel station, photographers and the most crowd support yet. The Gel was in boxes and on a table. Made it difficult to grab, but I did. The water station was also a little chaotic. I hammed it up for the camera, which was kind of fun.
Mile 8 was headed towards some nice homes. There were several little girls Little Diva's age in their front yard. They were doing a jazz routine and dance costumes. It made me tear up. I just loved it. They were so friggin' adorable.
I believe it was about mile 9 when there was another aid station. I filled up my handheld with water and drank some lemon-lime Gatorade (which I hate, but did it). Everyone was cheering us on and calling out our names from our bibs. I always love that. As I turned the corner, I heard someone yell my name (which I was assuming reading my bib), but they were holding up a sign that read, "Running Diva Mom". I was amazed! I still have no clue who this was and spent the next 17 miles trying to figure it out. They were also at the finish line. If it was you, please let me know! Your support meant the world to me and kept my mind occupied!

Miles 9-15, hubby and I were still running together. I was starting to get a slight side-stitch around mile 15, but it wasn't too bad. I focused on my breathing and it eventually went away. I continued to drink Gatorade and fill up my water bottle at the aid stations. That GoLite Handheld waterbottle was awesome yet again and the key to my success. I was never thirsty. And, it didn't bother me carrying it for 26 miles.
The 4:00 pace sign was starting to fade away and I didn't think we'd catch up between miles 15-18. Hubby and I said that we were running a great pace, were feeling pretty good, and would be happy with our time ... whatever it was.
At mile 18 my Mint Chocolate Gu had kicked in and I was felling awesome. I still hadn't hit a wall. At my marathon in May, I had hit a wall around mile 15 and did tons of walking the last 11 miles. There was a gal, Erin, that continued to pass me and then I'd pass her. Eventually she hung with hubby and I. I was feeling good and kicked into another gear. I hoped that hubby would follow. Erin and I chatted a little bit and ran together without commiting that we'd hang together. She'd speed up a bit and then look over her shoulder to make sure I was still there. It turnes out this was her first marathon. She was doing great. I could hear spectators calling out my name and then his. So, I knew that he was still right behind me.
At mile 20, we wondered if we would break four hours or not. I COULD NOT BELIEVE that I was even thinking about a four hour marathon! Holy smokes! Erin and I ran together and crossed miles 21 and 22 and I looked back and didn't sense that hubby was behind me any longer.
Around mile 23, we were finally getting to the Milwaukee Lakeshore Path. This is what I was waiting for. It did feel a bit cooler, from the lake. But, it was beautiful. You could see the skyscrapers and museums over the horizon. I could also now sense where the finish line was. Erin and I kicked it into another gear and sped up.
At mile 24, I was so ecstatic that I only had 2+ miles to go and still hadn't hit a wall. I hadn't walked yet. Between mile 24-25, I lost Erin. The inside of my legs started stiffening up. I was having trouble keeping my pace and getting my legs to move under me. I still didn't feel tired otherwise and didn't feel sick or light-headed or anything. I looked back on my other two marathons that ended in 80 degree weather. This day was so incredibly different. Folks were passing out, getting carried away and dropping out at the other two races. Today, it didn't even seem like anyone was walking at all. Only the last few miles did I really see people just strolling before getting to that finish line. The weather was absolutely amazing!!!!
At mile 25, I heard someone yell something like, "Oh my God ... Jamie?! You're doing awesome!". It was Chelsea. She was walking and started running after me. I said, "I know, I can't believe it. And, I still haven't walked yet.". She told me that I was inspiring her to keep going and I told her to go ahead. She started and then fell back again. I ended up continuing on, knowing that she was right behind me. At this point, I just had to take the momentum (that I had). My legs were starting to feel really heavy (in my thighs and upper legs). At one point, my mind just gave up and I stopped. I took two whole friggin' steps. It felt worse than running. I don't even know why I stopped at that point ... silly. I had come all this way, and then decided to stop?!? So, I started hobbling along again.
I was right at the lake now, by the kite shop (where we had gone with the kids over Labor Day weekend). I thought of the kids and the fun time we had riding our family tandem bike that weekend, on the same path I was running. I could see the finish line, tents and the crowds of people. The announcer was calling off names, as people crossed the finish line. Just then, I was approaching the 26 mile marker. Hubby came up behind me. He ended up booking the last couple of miles, so that we could cross together. We ran together those last .2 miles. I smiled down the entire chute! I was so incredibly happy. I saw that "Running Diva Mom" sign again to my left. I looked ahead with my smile. Hubby grabbed my left hand. We raised our hands in the air and crossed the finish line together. It was fantastic! I felt on top of the world.
4:02:02
A PR by 25 mins!!
I stopped to a walk. Stopped my stop watch. And then I started gagging. I always have this problem with needing to vomit as I approach the finish line. But, not after. I had obviously given this my all. I vomited but didn't want to toss my cookies all over the finishers area. Folks were grabbing their medals. I still didn't have mine. I grabbed the siderail (next to the medical tent). And vomited again and then downed it. They gave me my medal and hubby came with me and the volunteer into the aid tent. He had me walk around and I no longer felt nauseous. I saw folks getting IVs and laying on medical beds. Then I saw a tray of fruit. I said "That orange looks pretty good". I knew what my body wanted and needed. That orange tasted awesome. I saw Chelsea come in with a volunteer to the medical tent. She was having trouble and they were taking good care of her.
We walked outside and it felt really really chilly and windy now. We went to the gear check and grabbed hubby's bag . Remember my gloves that I tossed?! Well, they had brought everything that was tossed along the course, to the finish line. Everything was sorted by hats, gloves and the tops were sorted by color. It made it pretty easy to find your stuff in the piles and piles. I found my pink gloves and hubby found his Shamrock Shuffle shirt!
Then, we stood in line for a few minutes for refreshments. Just then a volunteer showed up with Chelsea and asked us to watch after her. She went over to see her husband and then we all grabbed food. They had the usual fruit, tons of cookies and bars, bagels, bagel chips, bottled water and cans of Coca Cola. Chelsea left and hubby and I sat down to snack and put on our hoodies and wrapped ourselves int he blankets they gave us. Then, hubby went over and got his free beers and we headed out. The buses for the hotels were easy to find and we were able to find a seat.
The race was SO well organized and really well thought out. This was the 30th Annual Lakefront Marathon. And, they obviously know what they're doing. There were so many people that had done it many, many times. There is a reason that people keep coming back. It was spectacular. The course was flat and pretty scenic. Plenty of water stations. Crowd support was pretty great, considering the rural areas. Transportation was well organized. I have no complaints. I would love to do this race again in the future.


887/1,903 Overall
51/115 Age Group (30-34 F)
280/798 Females
1:03:49 mi 7
1:59:08 Half - mi 13.1
3:03:25 mi 20
4:02:02 chip time

I earned this appetizer platter for lunch!!!

70 comments:

  1. AWESOME!!! SO EXCITED AND PROUD OF YOU!

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  2. What a GREAT recap!!! I am so glad you had such a wonderful race! An incredible PR and crossing the line with Hubby...can't beat that!

    AWESOME job!! I think there is a sub-4 in your future! ;)

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  3. Great race report! Congratulations on your awesome time!!

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  4. So i read all of your post until your posted your time and burst into tears! I love a great race and you gave an incredible report! Sounds like a wonderful race to run. I PRed at California International Marathon last Dec. it was 23F at the start and 39F at the finish!!! can you say OUCH!?! But I took 17+ minutes off my time~ You SMOKED your DREAM time, that is SO AMAZING!!!

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  5. Congratulations! You really rocked it. Woooohoooo!!

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  6. Wow Jamie, I am so thrilled for you! What an awesome race you ran. I can only imagine what it felt like to cross that finish line with a 25 minute PR AND with your husband! So so proud of you!

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  7. You won't be able to stop smiling for at least a week! What a great result. So happy for you.

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  8. WOW!!! Congrats on such a GREAT PR!!! That's amazing, and so nice that you got to run so much of it with your husband.

    Congrats again!!!

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  9. Holy cow - you did awesome - but I knew you could.

    Enjoy the pride that you are experiencing. Reading your recap makes me want to do another marathon - but just for a little while. ;-)

    You should be so proud. Relax and let you body heal. Awesome - just awesome and sooooo great that you and hubby got to experience this TOGETHER - what a memory.

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  10. Great job! That's an amazing time.

    You've made this sound like such a fun marathon that it's tempting for me to do it. Too bad it's early fall LOL.

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  11. AMAZING job!! It sounds like you really had a strong finish, congrats on your time!

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  12. I actually teared up for you reading about your day! So nice that you and hubby ran together in the end, what an experience! And I love how well you write, I could actually picture everything as I was reading. CONGRATS! You did an amazing job!!

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  13. Wow Jamie! Congrats - what an awesome race! And I loved reading your race report. Congrats to your hubby too - how great to do something like that and be able to share it with him!!

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  14. Great job! I was so excited for you, reading this entire recap. I'm thrilled for your time and for finishing with your hubby. Awesome all the way around. :)

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  15. Awesome race & race report!! WAY TO GO with that PR. Awesome!

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  16. Congrats!! What a great race! It sounded wonderful.

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  17. Awesome job and great recap! Congratulations!

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  18. Woohoo! Way to go! You did awesome! Congrats on your PR and yay for crossing the finish line with your hubby! :)

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  19. Congrats on an amazing race. You should be really proud.

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  20. Oh my goodness... you crushed it! Great job (and you look super cute!)

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  21. surprise!!! you did great! the big smile at the end was awesome! rock it! http://runkerrirun.blogspot.com/

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  22. Congratulations on a great finish and PR! I really enjoyed reading your race report!

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  23. Yay! Way to go you! What a huge PR, that is awesome! I'm glad you had so much fun too, and finishing with your hubby is sweet as well!

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  24. Congrats! It's great reading that you and your hubby race together. :O) Did you find out who made the sign?!

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  25. Congratulations! You are amazing!

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  26. Wow! Way to crush your PR! Great race report.

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  27. WOW!! What a great race experience. I teared up a lil' reading this...I love a good story! ;-)
    Congrats--that is one AWESOME PR!!

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  28. Wow! What an amazing PR! Congratuations!

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  29. Holy smokes... you smashed that PR. That's a HUGE difference. Wow, I was riding right along with you as you wrote. I think I got teary when you said hubby booked it to cross with you. What a time. Congrats.

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  30. Love it!! Way to rock it out... I cant wait until my hubby runs Marathons with me.. HUGS!

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  31. PR by 25 Min... what... CONGRATS :)

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  32. Congratulations!! You really did an awesome job and that new PR is incredible. Good for you!! Your husband did a great job too!

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  33. Congratulations! I was so so so so so excited for you when I saw you come past me at 25 miles. You had an outstanding race, and you should be super proud of yourself. Way to go!

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  34. Fantastic! That is such a good time and a great PR, well done! Great report, you had a perfect race!

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  35. Awesome job! Congrats on the PR! I think it's wonderful that you and hubby crossed together!

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  36. I am beaming for you, Jamie! Congrats! I love Milwaukee (my hometown), and I would love to someday make the Lakefront Marathon my first. You are an inspiration! Way to go!

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  37. Jamie! You are AMAZING!!! Congratulations! (I got all teary when I read that you and your hubs crossed the finish line together - awesome!)

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  38. I may have said that I would never run another marathon, but IF I ever did, I think I would choose this one. First, I love Milwaukee. And I graduated from Concordia University. The President of the university runs it every year as his Boston qualifier. And, I guess it is late enough in the year that I could probably still train for it after I pop out this little boy the end of February. Hmmm....something to think about. And the T-shirt I got from the Fox Cities marathon sucked. And there were only 900 finishers in that marathon so there was a lot of lonely running. (I sound like I'm trying to talk myself into this.)

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  39. Awesome job! My dad keeps trying to talk me into running Lakefront with him... Maybe next year...

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  40. Congratulations Jamie - what a fantastic adventure!

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  41. YAY!!! You did awesome! and HOLY CRAP when I read that your husband had booked it so that you could finish together... i got tears in my eyes! :) GREAT RACE AND GREAT TIME!! :D

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  42. Awesome Jamie!!! I teared up reading your report! My first marathon is this weekend...10/10/10 in Chicago. I hope to have half of the experience you did...I sooo hope I enjoy it!

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  43. OH wow! Congrats on an amazing PB!! You guys definitely deserved that platter.

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  44. Congratulations! You look awsome - your oufit is so cute!

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  45. So awesome!!! Congrats on a stellar race and huge PR!

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  46. Holy PR! You so rock! Congratulations!!!!

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  47. Congratulations, girl! What an amazing PR! Sounds like a wonderful marathon to participate in!

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  48. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing everything from race-day outfits to training with all of us. This post has been SO inspirational to me. I'm getting ready to run the Philly Marathon and am really looking for a PR close to the 4 hour mark. I was struggling with self-doubt this past week. But then a saw your post and felt your excitement. And I couldn't help but to get out of my funk. Thank you! And congratulations, again. That was a freaking awesome run!!!

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  49. OMG congrats on your PR! Your story had me totally tearing up too. I will be posting my race recap in about an hour. =o) You are truly an inspiration!!!

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  50. Oh my goodness, AWESOME job! And it's so great that you and your husband got to cross the finish line together. What a special memory!

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  51. huge pr! awesome race, and recap :) congrats!! that mint gu - magical.

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  52. Wow! Congrats on your awesome PR!

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  53. AWESOME!!!
    Way to go on the race and your PR!!!!

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  54. wahoooo!!! a 25min pr is unbelievable!! goes to show you put in really great training.

    the hotel sounds great too, I love it when they allow late check out and seem to sort of "get it" about the race

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  55. Wow - a 25 min PR! That's so exciting! Great job and your review really makes me want to run this marathon :)

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  56. 4:02 are you kidding? You blew your own goals totally out of the water. WAY TO GO!!! I'm so glad you had such a great race. (and you look totally cute too - love the outfit!)
    Congratulations!!!

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  57. AMAZING PR!!! WOW!! Detail ALL your training secrets to us now :)

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  58. you really know how to kick runnings booty!

    xo

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  59. Holey crap! Way to knock that marathon time out of the park! You've got to feel on top of the world! So great! Where did you get your cute running socks? They're so cute! Congratulations!

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  60. Nice job! Loved the race report and it sounds like it was a great day. And congrats on the massive PR!

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  61. Even though I'm only doing a half on Sunday, I'm gonna channel your awesomeness! Thanks for a great race report!

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