That being said I was super excited to see Julie in the car when Kate and her family picked me up for the Wisconsin half this weekend. I haven't seen or talked to Julie in a long time. Our schedules are different, and she's expecting her first child this summer, (looking super cute btw). I have missed her, and it was good to catch up a bit.
Kate picked me up at 5:45 am which in retrospect may have been a little later than we should have left. The race started at 7 am. Let's just say it was another National Anthem that I had to stay seated for. We did get great parking, but we missed the pictures with the running club and the blogger picture and the picture with my friends from church. We did make it to the porta potties, and that's where we were when the race started. It's chip timed, and we weren't racing so no rush.
I ran the Wisconsin half for its inaugural and second year. This is it's fifth year. The last two years I have done Pittsburgh with my sister, which I highly recommend. When people say "hill" at the Wisconsin, I snicker. "Hill" in Pittsburgh has a completely different meaning. Wisconsin is flat and it is sort of an out and back course. There's a roundy bit at the beginning, but the course overlaps at two points. It was so fun to say "Hi" to so many people I haven't seen in a long time. Spring has finally sprung in the Midwest, and it's running weather.
Kate and I didn't have any time goals. We wanted to have a nice race, and that's what we got. The weather was perfect. Overcast and 50s with the sun coming out after the finish. I wore a jacket and periodically took it off and put it on during the race. The race flew by, or at least that's how I felt. We caught up on new life developments during the first few miles. Ooohed at the lake. Said hello to many many people. Had fantastic ridiculously sweet Gatorade. When we stopped for Gatorade the second time, about 6 miles in, they gave me a full glass of Gatorade which is nearly unheard of in a race. Kate asked me what was taking so long. I can't drink and run at the same time. I said, "They gave me a full cup." She replied, "You don't have to drink it all." I couldn't waste it. I drank it all.
|Kim captured our smiles at the finish.|
The only thing that bothered me was my jaw. I had a stuffy nose for a day or two prior to the race. My sinus cavities under my eyes hurt with the pounding of the pavement. I think I was trying to stabilize my head by tightening my jaw. Of all things, I don't think I've ever had running pain in my face before except for the occasional exercise induced headache.
At one point Kate remarked that how amazing it is that we could be out here running 13.1 miles and how our bodies allow us to do over and over again. We happened to be at a point where the race stretched out, and I could see a lot of runners ahead of us. It was pretty amazing. This was my third half marathon of the year. Kate and I have both done multiple marathons. I am definitely a distance runner. Being able to run is truly a blessing. I do not take it for granted.
Around 11 miles I was ready to finish, but we ran into many friends at that point in the course so it was meet and greet until the end. 2:16:37 official time. Smiles all around. We kept it fun. Some of our training runs sucked so a fun race felt great. Bonus: another cute shirt and a medal/bottle opener.
|On mission from Gouda|
After the race there were even more people to greet. Wisconsin has a beer and brat (wrapped in a tortilla) available after the race. Since I'm not really a fan of beer I was happy to have a diet Pepsi, which came in handy later in the day. The brat tasted fantastic. I've learned the secret to good tasting food. The hungrier you are the better it tastes. Rocket science. We managed to get home in time for me to coach the afternoon soccer game, have a play date and introduce my girlios to Star Wars. It was May the 4th after all.
|Medals, Brats and Smiles|