Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tyranena Half Marathon 2016 Race Report

During the first weekend of November, I had an epic weekend of racing planned.  I had done a full marathon in early October, followed by coaching a half marathon the weekend prior to this.  However, all of my training was going to aid me in completing a half marathon this Saturday, followed by a full marathon on Sunday.  The half marathon was located half way between Madison and Milwaukee, in Lake Mills.  The full marathon was located in Milwaukee.  

I was scheduled to complete the Tyranena Beer Run Half Marathon. I had completed this race previously, but it had been a few years.  The race start time isn't until 11:30 am, which I find kind of difficult nutrition-wise.  It's nice not having to get up at the crack of dawn.  But I find it hard to know how to fuel my race - and when to do it.

We drove with all of the kids to Lake Mills and picked up my packet on site.  We were meeting my parents and my aunt, as they were going to spectate.  I was so excited - it's always so nice to have friends and family there cheering you on.  We also had all three kids in tow.  They planned to pile into the Marathon Mommy Minivan to cheer me on around town.

I was also planning on meeting up with Angela, my (third?) cousin.  We had never ran at a race together, but though this would be a fun way to bring our families together.  Unfortunately, her parents were fighting a sickness and she was nursing an injury.

Angela and I ended up running the first couple of miles together, until we split-up at the first aid station.  I found the aid stations a little chaotic and low on help. I felt bad for the volunteers as they tried to keep up with the demand of water and sports drink.

We headed up the first monster of a hill and I was able to see my family off to the right.  It was a nice little pick-me-up, as I was starting to loose some steam up the hill.  I saw them again over and over throughout the course, through the countryside and along the Glacial Drumlin State Trail.  They saw me several times.

The course was a good mix of country/residential, flat, rural country roads and steep hills.  And who can forget the beautiful Glacial Drumlin State Trail, covered with autumn leaves.

The temperatures were hovering around sixty degrees - which is amazing this time of year.  I actually wished I had worn a tank top like Angela . I continued to fuel with my handheld water bottle and sip on sports drink at each aid station.  I also took a couple of gels along the way.

I wasn't sure how to pace myself, but wanted to take it slow - since I had another 26 miles to run the following morning.  Another thing that scared me, was that the half marathon started so late in the day.  I wouldn't even have the same amount of recovery time, if the race had started early in the morning.  I wanted to finish around 2:10 or so.  My typical marathon finish is around 1:58.  It was evident that I was knocking that out of the water as we finished the 10K point and I was way ahead of pace.  I continued to do so for the second half.

My least favorite part of this race is after you leave the trail and are welcomed with industrial park roads. I find it boring and long.  But that's just a part of the whole process.  During the last couple of miles, we crossed a busy highway that had absolutely no volunteers directing runners - or traffic.  Cars were flying by at high speeds as we crossed from the right side of the road to the left.  We then headed up our last incline, into a final residential neighborhood, and then the finish line.

I ended up crossing the finish line in 2:00:00 - on the nose.  I couldn't have done that if I had tried!  I was way ahead of where I wanted to be.  Which made me both happy and scared for the race that would follow tomorrow.  I headed into a tent that was filled with all sorts of treats that I didn't take - just a few for my three children that were waiting for me on the other side of the tent, and a bottled water.  I reunited with my family and saw some familiar faces.  We waited around awhile to see Angela finish, but had to head out, because we had another packet pick up in Milwaukee to attend before 5:00 pm.  I ended up seeing her head into the finish, as we drove away in the marathon mommy minivan.  I was bummed that we didn't get to enjoy the great after party atmosphere and free lasagna dinner.  People also really rave about the free beer they offer.  But there was no time for that today. We met up with my family at the Pine Cone truck stop in Johnson Creek.  This is one of my kids' favorite places to stop and everyone enjoyed their meal.  I had a grilled cheese and onion rings and enjoyed every bite.  I was craving salt. I used the restroom to freshen up and change my clothes and put on some compression socks.  We needed to be on the road by 3:30 in order to have enough time to comfortably get to the next packet pick up.  We also picked up some baked goods to enjoy in our hotel room later that night in Milwaukee.

Chip time: 2:00:00 (on the nose!)
9:10 min/mile
318/889 overall
43/114 age group
125/504 women
10K:  57:56

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