Friday, August 12, 2016

Her Half Madison 2016 Race Report

Back in June (yes, another long overdue race report!), I ran the Her Half Madison.  This was the second year for this half marathon and 5K event for women.  I had wanted to participate in 2015, but I was pregnant and had just ran Grandma's Marathon the weekend prior up in Duluth.  We wouldn't want to push it, or anything??!!

I served as an ambassador for the spring leading up to the half marathon.  Ambassadors had to volunteer so many hours.  I volunteered at Capital City Triathlon doing body-marking earlier that month.  There was a social gathering the night before Her Half, which I volunteered at the registration table for.  There were hundreds of exciting ladies that evening.  I didn't participate in the party, but it was really fancy and looked like a lot of fun.  I was going to have a busy weekend of running and coaching and I wanted to spend the remainder of my Friday evening with my family.  I also volunteered at the registration table the following afternoon at the expo.  There were events all weekend for women that were on a girls weekend or wanted the whole "weekend experience" - shakeout run, yoga for runners and a lot of other informal social gatherings.  It seemed that most women came in pairs or small groups.
The morning of the race it was raining.  Dark and rainy.  But I was armed with my waterproof mascara.
I ate my English muffin with peanut butter and a yogurt and cup of coffee.  It was supposed to be warm and humid, so I wore a tank top and brought extra clothes to change in after if I was drench from rain - or sweat.
I headed out to Hilldale Mall, where the race was to start.  Parking was a breeze and the back lot was lined with port-o-potties - with absolutely no lines.  It was amazing.  After using them a few times, I was recognized from my blog after exiting a third time.  The gal from Chicago and I chatted a bit - and did an awkward and laughable post-potty handshake.
I consumed my energy chews and headed to the startline.  I met up with a client and her friend who was running her first half marathon (who I found out later smoked my time - you go girl!).  It was one big dance party at the startline and I recognized a lot of familiar faces. 
And we were off, heading through neighborhoods and onto a running path that heads towards the UW campus.  I was familiar with the route, because I had ran the course preview weeks prior with a client.  So I felt pretty confident about what layed ahead.
We headed up a few hills in Shorewood Hills and then past the UW clinical campus and around the campus area.  I saw some clients meandering their way through the route as well.  I kept drinking a lot of water and refueling my handheld.  It was humid, but at least the clouds were still covering the sky.

After heading up Observatory Drive, we headed back down and meandered onto Lakeshore Path by the Memorial Union.  The gravel was a little sloppy from the rain, but the view was spectacular.  Heading back to the clinical campus, the path turns into paved path.  And I enjoyed the flatter route.

We headed back to Shorewood Hills and up quite a few monsters.  Many of the ladies were walking.  I probably looked like I was walking, but I was slowly running forward, trying to lean back and stand talk and taking the shortest stride of my life.  Just one step at a time.  We headed through more of the neighborhood and past the golf course and then more homes.  As we approached mile 10ish, we were out on University Avenue and in the home stretch.  Just then, the sun came out.  Ugh.  It was hot and humid as heck.  I had some motivating songs on my ipod that sang encouraging words in my ears.  I needed it.  Even though I had taken gels at miles 4 and 8, I was feeling lethargic and hot.  There were some more inclines and the sun was beating down -hard.  I felt miserable.  But, I knew if I crossed under the University Avenue bridge, that there would be a little relief from the sun after that.  And some shade.  I just kept trudging forward.
There was a gal walking the last half mile and I motioned her to come along with me and pick up the pace.  The finish line was right around the corner.  She ran with me for a minute or two and then out of no where, she took off.  Later she thanked me.  We rounded around the mall parking lot and into the finish line.

I didn't get anywhere close to a PR or even near my 1:56-1:58 pre-baby times.  But, I am getting closer.  And I will get there again.  This was a really tough course and the humidity got me in the end.  I still was pretty amazed by my overall pace, under ten minute miles.

9:41 min/mile
23/178 age group
102/818 gender
I ran into quite a few clients running the 5K and they all had a similar experience with the heat and humidity.  Everyone agreed that it was an awesome, empowering event regardless.

As a Got Chocolate Milk ambassador, I thoroughly enjoyed refueling with my chocolate milk while I stretched in the grass.  The medal and race shirt were pretty sweet if you ask me - and another bonus to an amazing event.  The Her Madison events are perfect for new and experienced runners.  The weekend experience is empowering and the vibe the whole weekend is amazing.
She liked my pretty, sparkly medal, too.



  1. That's awesome! You did great and sounds like your pace was perfect considering the heat and humidity! Way to go :)

  2. I think for running or yoga time mesh leggings are perfect wear. I have tried leggings in humid conditions too and these were perfect for that time. Well, now I will try to find affordable branded leggings as per my shape from online as I heard online sites offers more discount.