Saturday, September 27, 2014

Madison Mini-Marathon Review

Ha! This race was all the way back on August 16, 2014. More than a month ago; better late than never, right!? Oh well, I'll see how much I can remember from race day. Bear with me, ok?
First of all, let me preface this by saying, I love Wisconsin! I'm a University of Wisconsin alum and I love the Badgers and the city of Madison. Unfortunately, since I've been living in Kentucky, I haven't been able to visit very often so any time I can get back there, I do.
I didn't really have any time goals with this race, it had been hot and humid all summer and that in and of itself does not lend itself to a PR. Really, my only goal was to make it to the finish in time to see the kids fun run. I had signed Liam up and this would be his first race! 
Getting to the start was a little bit of a challenge. I had spent the evening before at my parents house. They live 75 miles away from Madison and since the race started at 7am, I had a VERY early morning. I left the house about 4:30am and was parked by 6 (Note to self...if I ever do that again, leave earlier and park closer). From the parking garage, I immediately walked to the start, 1.5 miles away.

 Bonus! I got to walk by the Capital building on the way to the start!

The early morning temps were comfortable, and kind of hazy. I wish it would have stayed that way. I had enough time to check out the VIP area and use the restroom and then got into my starting corral.
And, I'm ready...I think.

The race started right at 7 with Bucky Badger cheering all the runners on. I gave him a high-five as I crossed the start line and began running up hill. Yeah, uphill in the first .10 of a mile. I should have known then that I was in for a long day. Actually, I should have paid more attention to the course map, and remembered all the times I had to walk up the back of Bascom Hill. Madison is hilly...just sayin'.

"Cemetery Hill begins, enjoy!" After it is all said and done, I think this was meant to be sarcastic...

Miles 1-6 went by great. I was running with the 2:30:00 pace team at a pretty comfortable pace. But then the sun came out and it started to get hot, real hot. Oh, and don't remind me about the humidity. A little past the 10k mark, I started to feel sick and I had to stop and walk for a little bit. As the miles went on, it got hotter and hillier. By the time I got to mile 10, I couldn't wait to get to the finish line. I took several walk breaks in the last few miles, but I always like to run the entire last 1.1 miles. Getting to the finish that day was a relief. As I was closing in on the finish, I saw my family and friends cheering for me. I gave Liam a high-five and then he ran with me to the finish line! He held my hand, and we crossed the line together! Best feeling ever!  I finished in 2:35:41.

The after race party was held on the Terrace on Lake Mendota at the Memorial Union. Since I had won a free VIP upgrade, I was able to enter the special VIP area. They had free beer and food outside of the regular finish line fare and a special area over looking the terrace. It ended up being a beautiful day, and I was able to enjoy visiting with my family and friends while relaxing by the lake. BUT, the hands down, best part of my whole day happened just before I crossed the finish line.

Even though the hills were crazy, and it was hot and humid, I loved this course! It hit all the high points of Madison, and the UW Campus. We ran by the state Capital and the Farmer's Market; we passed the Kohl Center and Camp Randall; we ran by the Henry Vilas Zoo and through the Arboretum, and finished along Lake Mendota! Plus, the after party was on the Terrace! So much fun! I would definitely recommend this race to anyone looking to do a half marathon. It was well organized, a great atmosphere, and the on course support was great. If you're looking for a summer half marathon check out their website here

Oh! I almost forgot. I did make it in time to see the Kid's race. Liam had so much fun, even though he wasn't watching where he was running and ran into another little girl. Oh well. LOL

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Silent Summer 2014

Hey guys! I hope you've all had a great summer. I know I did. Sorry I've been AWOL, but I got out of the habit of blogging and then felt like I had so much to post that I couldn't even begin to tackle it. So here's my attempt to catch you up on what happened this summer.
Some bloggers will have Silent Saturday or Silent Sunday blog posts where they just post pictures with no text. Well, I've decided to go all out and give you an entire Silent Summer post. I'm not sure if this is creative or just plain lazy. I'll let you decide.
Hopefully, I'll be back to posting on a more regular basis now that Fall is here and I've got less things going on.


As you can see, I spent most of my summer running, racing, and hanging out with my best buddy!
Until next time!