The Madison Spring Half Mary was a race I was targeting to PR back in January this year. My crystal ball was off... okay, really off. Fine, it was dead wrong.
We picked up our packets at the Monona Terrace; super smooth packet pick-up. The expo was a good size relative to the race. There were maybe 40-50 vendors (keep in mind I'm terrible at estimating this stuff... there could've been 20-100 for all I know) and some great products and sales.
I walk around the corner and Brett is chatting up the founder and her husband. Because he knows them. I felt like I met a celebrity. Mel, the founder is an incredible person. I fell in love with FF's mission... look for a giveaway in the near future. More about Fellow Flowers soon.
After I spent some moola at the FF booth (go buy flowers... they're so rad!) we left and grabbed lunch at Kabul Afghani-Mediterranian Restaurant . OH MY YUM! I had a spinach-feta stuffed chicken breast with raspberry cream sauce. I die. And it was GLUTEN FREE!
I woke at 4:30am because I have a fur-baby that doesn't know what "LET MOMMY SLEEP" means. Race morning things happened; I ate a banana, I debated my outfit, I put my blue FF flower in my hair, I pooped (what, it's important to empty the tank), and then I got nervous.
BUT, I didn't put my Garmin on because I purposely left it at home. Good choice, sister.
We got to the start line with a few minutes to spare. I was running this one with the boys... for the first half mile. Then I let them go ahead of me (better view) and decided NOT to run 7 minute miles.
Miles 1-3 were sweet. I barely knew they happened... even with the big hills I was feeling decent. Brett even stuck around and ran the first mile with me. He's pretty sweet. I'm glad I'm marrying him. good thing too, not much time left to cancel this shindig.
Miles 3-9 were semi-sweet (yes, I'm comparing this to Chocolate. duh.). I felt the pain, I said hi to my friend Ang handing out water (SO AWESOME to see a friend!). I got to run alongside two of our other friends on bikes... they gave me a few giggles. I was hurting.
10-13.1 were dark cocoa bitterness. There was this hill at mile 10. Scratch that, not a hill. It was a mini-mountain in the middle of Wisconsin. Thanks for that Race Director. Right before that mini-mountain I hooked up with a woman named Christine. Oh, thank you God and the heavens above for Christine. Girl kept me going. I walked. A lot. I experienced cramping in my calves for the first time. That was awesome. I ran 10:00 minute miles. I officially hit the wall. Then just kept running smackdabintoit. over and over and over again.
But then I finished with an official time of 2:10:51. My PW (Personal Worst) by 11 minutes. ugh. And if that wasn't enough I went to medical. again. Dehydration. again. I bounced back this time... but it was still disheartening. Mentally challenging. And little embarrassing. It was good for my ego though, it needed a beating.
I learned a lot from this race. I'm not sure I can put it into words but I do know this. Don't believe anyone who tells you it's flat. IT IS NOT FLAT.
Christine holding my arm up as we crossed the finish line!
The day after, I ran 1.5 miles in my Newtons. Yes, I'm trying to learn this thing called mid-foot running. My nickname is Stomper. This should be fun.