Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 Tyranena Beer Run Half Marathon #15 Race Report

Half Marathon #15 of the 2011 was scheduled one week after my only marathon of the year. Yesterday, I was scheduled to run the Tyranena Beer Run (HERE) in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. The race is a late start at 11:30 am (which I find it difficult to fuel up for). Both races start together and were sold out. I was worried about it being crowded, but it wasn't bad or difficult to navigate at the start. There were two races scheduled; the Half Barrel Route (half marathon) and a 1/6 Barrel Route (close to 4.5 mi). The scenic, but hilly route (HERE) was dreaded from the time I ran it in 2009. That year, I didn't know about the hills and crashed on the course, walking a bit during the last mile (which I never do) and the water stations ran out of cups during the 80 degree weather (in Wisconsin in November).

But, this time, the temperature was great, the weather was perfect (a bit breezy -- but usually at our backs), sunny, lower 50's for a high; I was aware of the course and exactly where the hills were located; I brought my own handheld water bottle filled with H2O and was able to pick up sports drink at every aid station on the course ... and, I had a fabulous "support crew" this time to keep me motivated the entire 13.1 mile journey!! ......

My mom's family is from the area, so we all met up at my Grandparent's home to head to the start line. Here I am with my Grandma and Grandpa.

My mom, two aunts and my cousin and I headed to the start line to pick up my packet. We had to park a couple of blocks away and walk to the festivities. It was chilly, but I knew that I would warm up during the run.

As we assembled outside of the tent, I was going to get my bib, chip and race packet ... but, I quickly ran into Betty, a runner that I coach in the Recreation Program's Couch to 5K program. Her husband was running the half marathon and she and her adorable pooch were spectating. So excited to see her, as their 5K is only one week away!! Before I got to the start line, I had also gotten a text from another one of the group's runners that had just finished the New York City Marathon 5K that morning (she had also run her first 5K the week prior with another group member). I really have a group of over-achievers in this all-female group I'm training ... I LOVE THEIR MOTIVATION!

Then, I ran into Amy, who blogs over at Running is Cheaper than Therapy (HERE). She tapped me on the shoulder and we hugged. It was fun reuniting and I LOVED her pigtails! We had met up at the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon at the Pettit Center last January. She ran the half marathon and I was scheduled to run it as well. But, I had to cancel since I had a funeral to go to. We instead met up at the full marathon event and had spectated with our four kids. Amy and I will both be doing the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon in 2012 as well as running with a group of other bloggers in the Ragnar Relay from Madison to Chicago in June.

I finally headed inside to get my race packet, ran into a few more friends, snapped tons of photos with family and friends and made a quick stop at the port-o-potty, and we headed to the start line.

Amy and I were supposed to meet up with some other local bloggers, who were organizing the Ragnar Relay group that we would be running with in June. We were supposed to meet at the port-o-potties at 11:00, but didn't find them (big surprise with all the last-minute potty stops!). My Bondi Band stood out in the crowd at the start line and they were able to locate us in the sea of 1,500 people. It pays to dress to impress!!!

Bloggers (L-R)
Rachel @ Rachel in Real Life (

Falon @ Falon Does Marathon (HERE)
Jamie @ Running Diva Mom

Amy @ Running is Cheaper Than Therapy (HERE)

The National Anthem was sung by a local high schooler, and we were off ...

Amy typically runs around a 1:40 half and I typically run around a 1:55-1:58 half marathon. She had been suffering an injury, but I didn't expect her to run with me, despite her speed. She had been going to physical therapy and decided to race with me today. I couldn't have been more happy to have a friend joining me on another race. I'm really enjoying getting to know other people out on the course. It really makes the time fly by mile after mile.

We saw my family within the first mile ... they were armed with their cameras. Amy and I realized that there were no race photographers out on the course (I don't even think there was one at the finish line??), so it was really nice to have our "support crew" out there taking snapshots. And, they definitely got some good ones! We both stood out in our bright colors and running skirts so they were able to see us running up to them and catch some great action shots. They saw us at least a half dozen times out on the course (it helps that my family is familiar with the area) ... It was like having the paparazzi out there following us around!!!

We headed up some steeper inclines and through the first couple of water stations around Rock Lake. I quickly realized that each water station had different flavors of sports drink. Every station had cups filled with a different color. I was grateful that I didn't have to suck down lemon-lime sports drink at every water station (ick). We ran through every water station and opted not to walk.

We headed up the huge hill, that I liked to call a mountain from my experience two years prior. It was slow and steady, and we were huffing and puffing (and not chatting in conversation!) once we reached the top ... but, we did it! And, then we came down the hill to some more rolling hills and saw my family again .... and again ....

My family was cheering for us and taking our action shots at every spot. And the other runners would laugh at their cheers and say how much they appreciated the support, too. It gave us a good laugh every time. Grandma was even honking the horn at a few spots they spectated, since she couldn't get out of the car.

Amy and I enjoyed getting to know more about eachother's family and race history and our upcoming races for 2012 (many which we are doing together). We finished tackling the hills and then headed out into wide-open spaces in the country. The wind was really coming at us here, because we didn't have the hills closing us in. It was a bit chillier, but I was still happy I had ditched my long-sleeve technical jacket at the start. I recall being bored out along the countryside, but there was enough crowd support along the countryside this time ... including my family!

We were getting a bit nauseous from the smell. We weren't sure if it was cow maneur or what. Later we did find out there was a chicken farm out there and that may have been the cause for the disgusting smell. But, nevertheless, it made us want to gag.

We turned around and headed into the (bare) tree covered Glacial Drumlin State Trail. This is the same trail I have done a lot of training on, but I run in the area closer to Madison. The trail was nice and scenic. There were well-marked mile markers along the course (most of which we saw). Then there was one that said "H". And it took us forever to figure out what it meant ... HALF. We were at about mile 6.5 according to Amy's Garming. How were we supposed to know that?

My right ankle had been bothering me all week, after running last weekend's successful marathon, just slightly unprepared. I had been icing it all week and using Arctic Ease Wraps (HERE), which have been helping (review/giveaway coming soon!). The ankle still bothers me when I walk, but for some reason was not been bothering me while running during the race. I had been laying off the miles all week, just running when I had to (got to!) train clients during the week. I think that was helping.

But, for some reason, around mile 9, my left knee and behind my knee were really bothering me really bad. I was really trying hard to push through it, but was really fearful that I was going to need to walk sometime the last few miles. Bummer! I'm wondering if I was over-compensating because of my right ankle or something. Regardless, I was going to try to continue running (which I did) and push through the pain. It came and went over the last four miles. And I never did walk.

We spotted my family on top of a tunnel that we were going to run through. It was hilarious seeing them all up there with their cameras. But, they did get some really neat shots, as we sipped our energy gels.

As we exited the Glacial Drumlin, we came across a water station, where my family was stationed at (again!). I don't believe I've ever gotten an action shot at a water station. Handheld filled with water in one hand; cup with sports drink in the other. Now, that's double-fisted!

Amy and I headed back onto the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, until it ended at the Lake Mills Business Park. The wide-open space was chilly again and the water station did not have enough volunteers, as the cups of water were not filled. So, we opted to pass it and keep going. We did a loop around the street and headed towards residential neighborhoods at miles 10 and 11. I had prepared Amy for the hill that I recalled suffering through in 2009 and had been forced to walk. I kind of laughed, as this hill was NOTHING today and am not sure what my problem was two years prior. I joked that it must have REALLY been a bad day that day ... this hill was nothing (or maybe it was the monsters that Kristin and I tackled at the Haunted Hustle Full Marathon last weekend?!?).

We hit the twelve mile marker and had just over a mile to go. I asked Amy how she was doing and if she had much left in the tank. She said we didn't. We picked up the speed slightly and passed a few people the last mile, but still kept a pretty consistent pace. We headed up the long stretch of runners and turned left into the brewery and the finish line. I warned Amy that the finish line was not a huge finisher's chute with not grand archway, but it was a finishline nonetheless as we headed through the parking lot filled with spectators and the music blasted. I told Amy that her beer was waiting for her at the finish line (she and her husband brew their own beer). My family was armed with cameras at the end, as we finished with smiles on our faces.

Half Marathon #15

(8:51 pace)
375/924 Overall
127/485 Females
32/106 Age Group (30-34 F)

We reunited with my family and got our meal and beer tickets. My family opted to go out to lunch somewhere, while Amy and I enjoyed our yummy after race refreshments, did some more chatting, and caught up with some other bloggers and friends.

Inside, we ran into some of the other bloggers again, as well as some of my friends. I was able to give a friend from work, Lauren, a huge hug and congratulations on her very first half marathon experience. I was so happy for her and I think she'll be back for another!

Inside the HUGE tent, it was warm and filled with packed tables and semi-long beer lines. We quickly got in line for food. I hadn't gotten my meal two years prior because the lines were too long. We got some salad, vegeterian lasagna and a breadstick and grabbed a spot with some other runners we didn't know. Then, we got in line for a beer. Amy's a big fan of beer and I've only had one in my entire life, but I thought I'm just going to suck it up and try to enjoy one and share in the post-race experience! We sat down for almost two hours and I sipped on that beer slowly as I enjoyed some great laughs and converations.

THIS is the good stuff!

It's not just the t-shirt ...

or even the medal.
THIS is what the running

experience is all about!!!

(But, since I'm sure you're curious ..........
This is what this year's t-shirt and medal look like!
This year's medal might just be the largest in my collection!)


  1. Awesome. Great pics and you rocked it!

  2. Oh my gosh - it looks like you had a wonderful time. AND you are so right - about the running experience! So worth it!

    Love that your mom and aunts, cousin and g-parents go to see you run! What a wonderful family outing! Love your outfit - and your smile!

  3. Loved your recap! Great pics and another awesome race under your belt :)

  4. Great recap. I loved all the photos you had... your family did a great job taking those for you!!! Awesome time, too, especially if your ankle was feeling funky. :)

  5. I always like a race with beer in the title. Nice race! Enjoyed the report.

  6. Great to see you there! Awesome run!

  7. Congrats on another great race!

  8. Another great race - that is awesome. Congratulations!!!

  9. Great race report and great job - especially for having run a marathon only two weeks ago!

  10. Awesome race! Congratulations!

  11. Love the race shirt, it's good to the eyes. It was a great race, Congratulations for a great job well done. Looking forward always.

  12. Congrats!!! You are amazing! (I love your outfit too!)