Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2013 Haunted Hustle Marathon Race Report

This was my fourth consecutive year of running an event during the Haunted Hustle Marathon (HERE) weekend.  I had done the half marathon twice before and the marathon once previously.  Each year they seem to change the course and the sequence of events.  But, the route always seems to be just as challenging.  This year, the 5K and 10K took place on Saturday.  The Half Marathon and Full Marathon were on Sunday, October 27.  It turns out that there were 259 finishers in the full marathon and 870 finishers in the half marathon this year. 
I was very excited to be running in the full marathon.  Unfortunately, I only had two long runs (20 and 22 miles) in the month prior and really no "marathon training" since my spring marathon in Rochester, Minnesota. But, I felt really confident with those long runs I completed - I felt good and pretty strong considering.

There was no packet pick up on Friday afternoon, as in year's past.  So, I ended up heading across town to Middleton first-thing in the morning.  Little Diva and I had a breakfast date and then headed over to Keva Sports Center to pick up my goods.  I walked in and ran into sweet, Miss Margaret.  She is an RDM reader and we've met a few times before.  She was also there with her daughter.  She would be running the half marathon.  After chatting a bit, Little Diva and picked up my goods and were off.  No shopping or browsing for things I didn't need ... we were in a rush for a busy family day.
The marathon was starting at 8:00 am and the half marathon at 9 am.  It was kind of nice not to have to set the alarm before 6:00 am for race day.  I slept super well and didn't have any nerves.  It was kind of weird waking up in my own bed, on the morning of a big race like this.  Didn't seem like it was really going to happen - 26.2 miles - for real??!!  The last few full marathons I did were out of town - which causes all sorts of additional nerves and stress, I'm realizing.  This was really low-key for me.  I got up, got dressed and did my makeup (and waterproof mascara!) and had some coffee, yogurt and some cereal.  The kids got up soon after me (you can tell which one is the morning person) and bundled up.  We headed out the door with my hubby right at 7:00 am for a 25 minute drive across town.  I downed a five hour energy shot on the way and a banana.  I loaded my handheld water bottle with four mint chocolate Gu's and gave hubby shot blocks to pass along between mile 15-20 when he saw me.  There was water in my bottle and I planned to refill along the water stops and also supplement with sports drink when I could.  

We arrived at Keva, parked easily and then dozen-or-so port-o-potties were vacant.  Always a wonderful thing in my book!  Then we headed inside Keva to warm up a little.  The family headed off to try to find my parents and I headed to the indoor restrooms.  I ran into my buddy, Dan, who I had finished the half marathon with a couple of years ago.  We've kept in touch, so it was really nice to see him before the race.  His goals for the day were loftier than mine, so I figured I wouldn't see him again after we started.  The indoor bathroom line was long, so I headed outside to use the vacant outdoor bathrooms again.

We headed to the startline.  Not many full marathoners were dressed in costume.  We heard the National Anthem.  And then I saw my parents and gave them a quick hug, before we started.  We were off .... oh boy ...

Marathon course description:
The Marathon starts on the wide boulevards south of Keva Sports Center. Runners enter the Pheasant Branch Conservancy for an out and back section and are treated to a winding section of paved conservancy trail along the Pheasant Branch Creek. The course then winds through flat and open fields on the paved conservancy trails, looping around the Middleton airport and the heads east on Airport road. Racers head north on the bike path along highway 12 then cross Parmenter Street to start the looped section of the course. The residential roads are winding and flat with a nice downhill on Algonquin Drive. Runners then enter the beautiful Pheasant Branch Conservancy and are treated to scenic views, spooky forests and soft ground. After looping through the conservancy, runners enter the section of rolling hills and one challenging hill up Greenbriar Road before turning onto Parmenter Street to start the second loop. After completing the second loop, runners retrace their steps on the Highway 12 bike path to Airport Road and loop under the road on the paved Conservancy trail. The final miles are flat and fast and there is plenty of room for your spectators to cheer you on as you make your final turns back to Keva Sports Center.
Surface makeup of marathon course:
Blacktop/concrete road – 29.5%
Paved Trail- 49.6%
Crushed Limestone-20.9%

We headed out on the beautiful Pheasant Branch Conservancy Path in Middleton for the first hour, complete with a turnaround.  It is so beautiful out there.  I absolutely loved it.  It was very flat and blocked the wind.  I was behind the 4:00 pace group, which was way faster than my 4:15-4:25 anticipated finish.  But I just went with it.  At mile five, I felt the urge to pee and was dreading the next 21 miles as I would continue to drink more and more water.  Ugh.  I felt great otherwise, and picked up the pace.  Somehow, I got ahead of the 4:00 pace group.  I saw Dan up ahead of me and I caught up to him as we approached Keva again.  The half marathoners were about to start as we were an hour in.  The fire trucks wailed and they were off.  So many more runners participating in that event - WOW! 
Up ahead, I saw Little Diva holding her pink sign and the kids were ringing their cowbells.  Dan and I looped around and ran towards my family, who were a great cheering section near the airport.  I told them that in an hour, I was going to regret my fast pace.  But, I felt wonderful. 
We headed on another portion of the path and under Hwy 12 and into a neighborhood.  My family saw us again over there quickly.  By mile 10, I forgot that I had to use the bathroom.  I saw the wonderful owner of Fellow Flowers and some other running peeps that called out my name.  We headed out onto the prairie portion of the conservancy path.  During this time, all of the super fast half marathoners were flying by us - UGH.  So very deflating - especially after I had felt so good about my pace the first hour.  I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't running 13 miles today - I was running 26.  And I needed to watch my pace and hold back.  We headed out on a country road and over lots of rolling hills.  We approached the halfway point exactly at 1:58. 
After a large hill and lots of wind, I was starting to slow down.  We approached a HUGE hill that I recalled from year's prior.  I mentioned to Dan that it looked like we were turning right and avoiding the big monster.  What relief.  But, as we took a right, the other hill in front of us was just as daunting.  OMG.  We chugged up the hill slowly - together.  I think I could have walked faster.  But, I didn't.  It was hell.  Eventually we got to the top, and then we came down hill.  I felt like crap as we approached my family cheering us on.  And, I wasn't quite as positive this time around.  I complained about the hills and ventured on. 

The half marathoners would be leaving the loop to return to the finish line and we would venture out in the loop again - AGAIN.  This meant less runners on the course - and many many fewer spectators cheering us on.  Dan went to use the restroom and I ran head into the neighborhood again, alone.  I needed to get in "my zone".  As we re-approached the costume judging station, someone yelled and asked if I was the Running Diva Mom and said she reads the blog.  That made me smile and gave me a boost for the next mile or so.  We headed back into the conservancy and I saw Kristin, someone that I finished another HH full marathon with come out of the port-o-potty.  At some point, Dan passed me and he and Kristin kept passing each other as well.

 I kept on, and tossed my gloves somewhere around mile 18.  I always lose track between miles 15-19 out on the course.  And, I don't know how crazy one has to be to think - "Oh, thank good ness...I'm at mile 18, only 8 more to go". Yes, we are all nuts!  I braced myself for the country roads and the big hills again. 

We headed out to the windy open roads as I approached the mile 20 marker.  I raised my hands over my head in excitement.  I had gotten a second wind and felt awesome as those big hills were in front of me.  I just focused on each step and my running tunes.  I had 106 songs on my playlist and they were alphabetized in my iTunes.  I wondered what song I would end up at.  I could feel the middle toenail on my left foot blistering, as was the inside of my right foot.
 I saw my family again after that huge @$$ hill.  But, this time with a smile on my face.  I couldn't believe I felt this good!!  We were at 21.5 miles and I raised the roof and yelled "22 miles!!".  I then headed back in for my last four miles. 
I saw George, Michelle and the other Honey Badgers (a local running group from Sun Prairie) for a third time at the aid station.  They were great supports and kept me going each time I passed them.
I eventually caught up to Dan again (I don't know how many times we jockeyed for place - i.e. I had trouble keeping up with him!).  We ran the last 3 miles - or so - together.  And I felt phenomenal.  Once we hit the mile 25 marker, we gave each other a high five.  I had made it to R on my playlist - "Roll Away Your Stone" by Mumford and Sons.  What a great tune.  I then switched it to "Survival" by Eminem.  My plan was to play it over and over the last 1.2 miles - and that is what I did. 
I sensed that the finish line was near and we saw Kristin walking.  We looped around and I told her to run with us.  She did and then she stopped again.  I told her that she was ahead of me the whole race and that she was going to finish with us.  She said she had a cramp. She ran and she walked as we approached the finish line.  I looked at my watch and it read 4:08 and I called 4:12-4:13 for our finish. 
We approached the finish line and passed several half marathoners that were finishing the end of their race.  Kristin trailed behind and Dan was behind me.  Then he came down the chute with full speed and urged me to race him.  With a wave of his hand, I sped up and we both smiled all the way to the finish line.  I saw my family to my right and my kids cheering me on with full force.  And, we finished the 26.2 mile journey together.  And, Kristin finished right after us.  Heck, yeah!! 


We all reflected on the race, the hilly, but beautiful course, how we all passed each other frequently over 26 miles.  Our families met, we hugged, we took some pictures, and we took in the whole moment together.  I didn't head inside for the refreshments, I didn't even grab a bottle of water.  I went back to the Marathon Mommy Minivan with my family, downed a Diet Mountain Dew on the way home and enjoyed a grilled cheese and some potato chips for lunch.  I love salt after a marathon!

I will be back year after year for the Haunted Hustle Marathon weekend.  I like the course and the proximity to my home and seeing familiar faces.  And, I can't wait until my next 26.2 mile journey - sometime in 2014.  I'm addicted to what it feels like to push myself to the extreme. Something that most people think is impossible.  But, I now know is entirely possible - because I MADE it possible.

Kristin, Dan and Myself
I had finished two separate Haunted Hustle
events with each of them previously.
And, we all finished together this year!
(talk about similar pace!!)
My Parents and I

Me, Little Dude, Little Diva, and Hubby

2013 Race shirt, bag and bib
(not as cute as the bright pink women's shirts from 2012)

2nd Marathon of 2013
Marathon #7
119/259 marathon finishers
6/21 age group


  1. To: Jamie Adcock #Marathoner #Running #Coach
    From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

    Hello Jamie,
    Just a quick email to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter that will benefit you. (Ex: I am providing 'Anytime’ #RT's for all #Ironman #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…Over 41K folks at your access...) I know we can benefit from each other as I'm sure there will be some tweets of mine that you may consider #RTing as well. Those that #RT my tweets are always mentioned on #FollowFridays. I am currently following you now and am awaiting your follow-back...

    All the very best to you & your family for the rest of 2013 & beyond Jamie. Look forward to hearing from you…

    (PS. Jamie, should you follow back, I'll be giving you a #FollowFriday #Shoutout this week Friday...)


  2. Love reading others recaps of the same race! I only ran the half but I loved the course (minus the hills!)

  3. Congratulations on the run!