I came into this race in the middle of my biggest running slump ever, with a mysterious chest pain, having to try something new on race morning and needing a haircut. I came out of it with another marathon in the books, albeit slow for how the year has been going. I'm completely satisfied though, check off May, check off Wisconsin and move on.
I have seasonal allergies but they haven't been too bad this spring. I never had to take my medication before running but when I woke up on Sunday morning and my eyes were quite irritated I decided to do it. I mean, it's just another marathon right? As for the pain in my chest, still don't know what that is. Dull ache most of the time except when I cough, sneeze or breathe deeply, then it is a crushing hammer blow. It's over on my right side, like in the pectoral muscle or lung or something. Started last Thursday and still hurts.
So I went into the race just wanting to get out of it actually. Not get out of running it but get out of the back end of it less than 4 hours later. With the current slump I didn't have a clue as to how I'd feel. No idea. Started out way back in the pack, that way I'd have to start slowly and maybe could pass somebody. My first mile felt okay but when I looked at the Garmin and it said 9 min/mile I was really disheartened. It didn't feel that slow. Ugh, if this was what I had to look forward to the rest of the day I was going to be out there a loooooong time.
Fortunately the race opened up and I fell in with another runner and chatted with him. The miles started to tick by in the 8:20's and that was comfortable enough. Still faster than I wanted though, just because I knew my training has been so bad lately. I wanted to make a pit stop but ALL the port-o-potties were full, at every aid station. Finally at mile 7 I just had to say screw it and wait in line. It was only a few seconds anyway and then I was off again.
There were a lot of twists and turns through the city for the first half of the race so I really didn't know where I was. After the half runners turned off at mile 11 we started along the river and I liked that better because I knew it was just a long stretch on a path. Miles 15-21 really seemed to fly by for some reason. I remember looking forward to mile 16 because after that there would be less than 10 miles left and then suddenly we were past mile 20 and there was less than 10k left. Probably because that was the most scenic part of the course and because my family was able to see me several times in that stretch.
I was able to keep the walking to a minimum, just through the aid stations, although the running was slow. Just wanted to be around or under 9 min/mile because I knew that would keep me under 4 hours. Miles 22-26 seemed to take a long time, I was just counting them down, 4, 3, 2, 1...and finally Lambeau field came into view. I'm a lifelong Packer fan and this was the whole reason for doing this marathon. I perked up and headed into the tunnel, the same on the players use on gameday. Just like my son who ran his race the day before, Lambeau field pumped me up. At one point I stopped and reached down to touch the Frozen Tundra. Oh my, don't try to kneel down at mile 25.5 of a marathon. I continued through, saw my family in the stands, gave high fives and ran out through the tunnel.
Down the finishing chute I raised my hands to the crowd and they responded with a big cheer and lots of high fives. That's always a good feeling. My son asked me why I always raise my hands at the end and I told him that I wanted the people to cheer for me. It always works.
I finished in 3:56:03. Maybe not a great marathon but any finished one is a good one.
It was a great weekend; they people really do a good job there. My wife and son did the 2.62 mile event the day before and then my son and daughter did the 1k kids event. A lot of stuff going on for the whole family and the venue for all the events was great. Of course, it was Lambeau field.
5/16 26.2 (26.6 by Garmin) at 9:00