Tuesday, May 17, 2011

touch the tundra: cellcom green bay marathon

in january of 2010, diana planted a seed in my never-logical, marathon-crazed brain. she offered up her guest bedroom and invited me to run the green bay marathon with her in 2011; it would be her first. what kind of runner-friend would turn down the invitation to celebrate someone's first marathon? unfortunately she spent the last few months leading up to race day battling the boot and had to switch to the half-marathon, but she still finished valiantly and will one day run her own 26.2!

standing at the feet of giants

i arrived in dairyland on friday to cloudy and cold weather, but the sun came out for the race on sunday along with it's friend windy. as usual i forgot warm pre-race clothes (i packed for 4 days in just a backpack) so we went shopping at kohl's on race-eve where diana found this sweet bedazzled gem.

people paid $30 for this? i felt like $6 was steep.
the "look amazing" tag perfectly describes this shirt.
i'm still confused as to why the front is shorter than the back.

i also picked up the latest development in running gear - gardening gloves ($3). i ended up wearing them the majority of the race thanks to the insane winds.

wait, let's back it up. it is very important that i mention diana gave me a private kettlebell lesson on friday. remember kids- don't try new things right before a race. i woke saturday with a sore back (from having bad form in the beginning) and super sore hamstrings. at the expo on saturday, i was walking as though i had already run the marathon.

note: my form is not good here. it is not a reflection of my kb instructor.
extra note: this was a re-enactment photo taken the day *after* the marathon.

when the factory whistle sounded the start of the marathon, i walked a few paces to the start line and then began to run. hello hamstrings! still sore. still aching. i twinged a little with every step for the next 20 or so miles.

diana's hubby was an expert spectator!
(that sweatshirt looks even sexier from the side/back)

the first half of the race was mostly residential, but there were great crowds of spectators! i assumed it would be sparse due to the logistics of parking on neighborhood streets but i was pleasantly surprised to see many spectators. as always, thank you spectators for cheering on your loved one(s) and a few thousand complete strangers. the second half was more industrial and then along a bike path so spectators were fewer and further between. there was a good crowd at most of the mile markers though; every little boost helped.

mile 1 (8:49) - sore hammy's from the first step. saw the best sign of the day: "this wind blows".
mile 2 (8:48) - the wind blew my hat off and i had to back track for it.
mile 3 (8:24) - ditched the bedazzled sweatshirt without regret.
mile 4 (8:30) - apparently this mile was long, i figured my garmin was off due to chasing after my hat.
mile 5 (8:39) - had to chase my hat again.
mile 6 (9:57) - pit stop to go #2... yes, stellar start to the marathon. high-fived some kids with my gardening gloves.
mile 7 (8:44) - motivated by the "10k alleluia" group and their phil 4:13 banner. big crowd of spectators, music, chalk-cheers on the pavement. took a gu roctane.
mile 8, 9 and 10 (8:39, 8:51, 8:56) - ran behind some guys in ironman gear. used them to block the wind. one could have used some longer shorts.
mile 11 (8:35) - the half-marathoners split off and headed back to lambeau field. i crossed a 4-lane highway with the marathoners while the winds gusted to 30mph, causing my left leg to kick my right leg.
mile 12 (8:47) -  uneventful. slight incline.
mile 13 (8:34) - another gu roctane; half split - 1:56:55
mile 14 (10:04) - another pit stop... another #2...
mile 15 (8:41) - tail wind! already having to tell myself to "make it hurt and push harder".
mile 16 (8:49) - crossed the fox river. waaaayyy exposed on the bridge. have to hold onto hat and try to not be blown into traffic by the gusting winds from the left. gusting winds also made it hard to breathe - i felt like i was choking/suffocating at times.

miles 17 thru 21 (9:21, 9:40, 9:16, 9:26, 9:18) - on paved path along the river.
  • lovely headwind now, 25-35mph with gusts up to 50mph. more feeling suffocated. turned hat around so it wouldn't blow off anymore.
  • somewhere in here i quit noticing the aches from my hamstrings.
  • saw a sign that said: "listen to my body? if i listened to my body i would be lying in bed right now eating a danish and reading the paper."
  • i talked myself out of ever running a marathon again.
mile 22 (10:56) - huge gust of wind that literally had me running in place. i had to turn around and run backwards for a few steps just so i could breathe.
mile 23 (9:09) - i'd been running the math in my head throughout the race, and was pretty sure i could still run a sub-4 if i held on for these last few miles. i chatted a little with a woman who was wearing her boston jacket (she ran a 3:43 there last month).  6 days is more hardcore than 30...
mile 24 (9:34) - repeated to myself "the harder you run, the faster you're done".
mile 25 (9:09) - so ready to run through a tunnel of champions, ready for a victory lap around lambeau field, ready to be done.
mile 26 (8:12) - technically garmin reached 26.2 after only a few steps on the tundra, but i know i don't run the tangents, plus i had to chase after my hat a few times. i really picked it up for my lap around the field, threw my arms up in the air for a photographer (i'm sure i managed to look awkward), and fought hard against one last headwind as i ran back out the tunnel.
mile 26.5 (7:14 pace) - i sprinted from the tunnel to the finish line, a kick finish is my absolutely favorite part of any race.

brain activity immediately upon finishing: man i am so going to do a couple marathons in the fall.

post-race "packer" m&m's from diana!

in the end, i think the headwinds were a blessing. sure they slowed me down, but i was undertrained for this marathon and they helped hold me back. perhaps i would have injured myself or caused another bout of nausea/vertigo had i continued at a stronger pace. my legs are already feeling normal again, though i'm still scheduling a two-hour massage (like you need an excuse to do that).

green bay marathon - 3:57:59 / 9:04 avg pace

10 down, 41 to go! who's hosting me next? :)


  1. too funny! I typically pack for EVERY possible weather situation, would NEVER get a new lesson of ANYTHING pre-marathon, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gone back for the hat, maybe one time, but....

    girl, you are amazing. hammies, hats, potties, crazy wind, and easily under 4:00....jealous - yes I am

    congrats on number 10.

  2. Great job!!! How fun to run with Diana! I am so jealous. You could always come do TCM or Grandma's....

  3. Your finish was so amazing, don't even say you were undertrained, it was amazing! Plus it's cool that you got to meet Diana and run together, even if it was a different race, and run in a new part of the country :).

    That shirt is just ugly. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't shorter in the front than the back...


  4. You look great and you ran a great race! Congrats!

  5. great job...too bad you couldn't run it together. I loved your miles 17-21 report, especially about being in bed instead of running, I've had those thoughts!

  6. Nice mullet shirt - short in front, long in back :)

    Congrats on the race! Sorry for forgetting about you on my blog!!

  7. "listen to my body? if i listened to my body i would be lying in bed right now eating a danish and reading the paper." TOO FUNNY!

  8. Love the listen to my body sign! You can come to New Orleans for the March marathon but you have to sleep on my sofa. Sorry.

  9. That is the slackiest marathon prep, too funny. And what do impressionable kids take away from a gardening marathoner encounter? "Nice gloves, go chase your hat!"

    Great play-by-play and nothing like a sub-4 in unfavorable conditions. Now to spend a minute seeing what that giant statue, in its completeness, looks like...

    Very cool that you were hosted, hopefully you swapped MSPAINT lessons for kettle bell instruction.

  10. Reading you're description of the "latter" half of the marathon makes me wonder why I'd want to do it at all?!! Then again, it's just like having kids-all the pain and brutal againy they cause during labor, just a few minutes later (after they've been wiped down of course!) it's pure heaven holding that bling in your arms! Just like holding my faux pigskin finisher's medal...hahahahaha! I definitely earned this one....
    It was so great to have you here and get to know you in "real" vs "cyber" life! You're welcome back to WI anytime-next time though you're KB workout won't be so "easy"......:)

  11. Very nice to help a friend. Ando one more marathon for the counter. Regards

  12. You make me happy Lindsay! Congratulations for your 10 marathon. It's really cool... countdown.

    You are a heroe girl! Well done, yes good job. I like so much your way!


  13. That shirt is great! Worth way more than $30 for the high fashion of having a high front.
    Congrats on another great marathon finish, despite the headwind and sore hamstrings.

  14. We've got you covered if you ever come to Raleigh. City of Oaks Marathon in November, Umstead Trail Marathon and Tobacco Road Marathons in March.

  15. wow, that finish kick is really impressive! Especially if you were undertrained. Nice job!

  16. You are awesome!! Seriously... Who ignores every single "rule" for marathoning and still runs a sub 4... Ridiculous!!

    I can't help you with hosting for another state, but if you ever want to run a marathon in Germany, I can hook you up with accomodation! ;-)

    Oh and now that your marathon and my AOMM is out of th way, we should do that bike ride, we've been talking about!

  17. Awesome shirt :) Can I borrow it sometime? LOL

    Great marathon!

  18. You have now run in Wisconsin! :)
    It was nice meeting you, and running with Diana is awesome, isn't it?
    Great job on the windy 26.2!

  19. You did GREAT!! I am not a big fan of running in the wind and it sounds like you had your fair share! I'm not so certain about the shirt...I agree that even $6 is steep!

    You are amazing just cranking out marathons! I'll have to find one around here for you!

  20. lol that shirt. what is up with the shorter front???? heh.

    and MAN you really get the job done. i am so impressed. you just go out there and kick finish 26.2... amazeballs. love it. congrats!

  21. Can you please teach me how to run that fast without training?!?!? Great job out there girl! Gotta love the wind up here in the midwest!!!

  22. Nice job! Way to pick it up in the last mile.

    The first time I did Kettlebells I thought I was going to never walk again the next day. Way to hammer it out despite the sore hammies!

  23. do you have tx yet?! i'm thinking you should come this winter and visit...

    great race. you really should train for this one day...

  24. Nice job!
    The listen to my body sign is awesome.

  25. Listen, friend! Your "untrained" finish time puts many to shame! Well done!!!

  26. I'm out. You already checked off Florida. Good time considering the conditions and the training.

  27. Love the listen to my body comment - be in bed. Perfect.

  28. Another awesome marathon on the books! And it starts with a 3 too - nice job girl :)

  29. Congrats!! I love all the pictures too! I have run 8 states, although I think it may take me my lifetime to complete them all!!

  30. I am also a fan of the sprint kick finish. Which is still turtle pace, but slightly faster!

    I always pack for the chance of any weather. No joke, I will bring a sweater in the summer. Tanks in winter. Never know!

  31. Sounds like a great race, minus the wind and the sore hammys. You stuck it out and still ran a fast race! Love the bedazzled sweater!!!

  32. Woohoo, congrats on your 10th state!

    And I suddenly realize that our Canadian winds were not THAT bad. Yikes. Better you than me. ;)

  33. Congratulations, girl! That's a great time considering all the wind you endured...and the lack of "real" marathon training :). And yeah, I endured those nasty winds in Tucson...NO FUN!!! And I bet you are just so sad to be rid of that beautiful top...that could be worthy of many more blog posts!!

  34. Now you've done it. One day I'm reading that you're having motivation issues, the next I read you've completed a marathon. You've removed all my excuses!

    Congrats on a great finish!

  35. Wow! I've missed this! Great job...you make it look easy...potty breaks and all and you broke 4! :) Love the arm warmers. :)

  36. Great job!! I totally love that bedazzled shirt. There is nothing more fun than buying something cheap to throw away later, so getting something fun and /or weird. :)

  37. Amazing as always...but my question is how & the heck do you remember all those details...such as what certain people were wearing, or signs, or your hat flying off (2x) etc. I love reading these!!

    I'll host you in Knox anytime but that doesn't mean I'm running a FULL with you...hee!! In fact, I'm not really wanting to run the Knox 1/2 because of the atrocious hills around here.

    But I'll cheer you on!!! You have almost a full year to plan since the race was last month. :)

    I've been thinking about 5Ks in SC this summer...I need to look into that.

  38. You are the runner I want to be when I grow up.