Monday, August 23, 2010

Madison Mini-Marathon Race Report

This weekend my friend Sara and I took a road trip to Madison, Wisconsin to run the Madison Mini-Marathon (13.1 miles). Our intentions in signing up for this race were threefold: 1) to provide a little motivation to keep up our running during 4 very hard work months (me in the MICU, Sara at the VA hospital-some day I’ll write a post discussing the craziness of the Veterans Administration healthcare system!), 2) to celebrate our freedom from our tough work months and 3) to remind us how out of shape we are to kick start the rest of our marathon training. I think I speak for both us of in saying that the race served its purpose (particularly #3!).

We weren't able to le
ave Chi-town until around 4:30 pm so we got stuck in terrible, terrible traffic leaving Chicago. But we rocked out to some Prince, watched the sunset and drove as fast as possible once the traffic cleared to make it to Madison in time to pick up our race packets. One of the most fun parts of doing races is getting the T-shirt and the goody bag. Great t-shirt; so-so goodies- an odd collection of sunscreen, Wheaties, and a book with 'buy-one-get-one-free' drink coupons. So they want us to avoid skin cancer, eat like champions, then go get drunk?? Well, it is Wisconsin after all;)

We barely made it to the race on time, because traffic was CRAZY. Who knew such a small town could have so much traffic. But we made it, and crossed the start line with our pace group (i.e. the slowy-McSlows). The course first went through downtown, by the Capitol building and past the farmers' market. The smells of fresh produce, bread, and coffee were TORTURE!! But they also served as a reminder of all the tasty stuff there is in the world, which is why we need to run to burn off calories, to make room for more tasty stuff!

I was suffering for the first few miles. I never really get "in the zone" so to speak until after 4 to 6 miles. So the first few miles of the race usually suck about as much as the last few. Right before mile 3 when I was really hating life, we came across our fan club! Perfect timing! My Mom, Aunt Donna, Uncle Steve and Cousin Anna-Lisa were kind enough to donate their Saturday morning to cheering us on! And, thanks to my cousin's superb navigation skills, they spectated at a record 7 different sites! My Uncle Steve took some great pics (including the one of me to the right and the one of Sara and I at the end of the blog), which I am so grateful for. It's funny, there are pictures before we spot them and we look like crap- so tired, our faces are sagging, we look like our childhood dog just died- but then we see my fam and our faces light up. Seeing spectators truly gives me energy for at least 2 miles. Thanks again, guys. You really made my race!

The course was beautiful. Most of it was in the woods (the Arboretum) or on lake shores (both Wingra and Monona) or by marshes. So picturesque. I'll definitely come back again. The race was very well organized with plenty of water and misters. Good post race grub. Really, I have no complaints about this race and would recommend it to anyone- first timers or veterans.

Most importantly, Sara and I trudged to the finish and completed a 1/2 marathon after no sleep, bad food, and constant stress for the previous 28 days. We rock. We then partook in an excellent lunch at my aunt's house, and drove with the top down in Elly back to Chicago. A perfect way to spend our first 24 hours of freedom!

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