I typically LOVE race expos. There is an excitement in the air. There are lots of runners milling about. There are swag bags. And there are vendors…with lots of stuff…all for runners!! And this expo had all of those things (and Qdoba chips and salsa…nice touch). However, this expo was missing out on one crucial ingredient. Air conditioning! It was hot and stuffy and sweaty and sticky. Basically, it was miserable. It was the kind of expo where you want to pick up your packet and get out of there. Even if that means walking back to your car in the rain. I did take a little time to look at a couple of the vendors. One More Mile was there and I love their stuff. I picked out a few items.
After the expo was the best dinner ever.
I spent the night at my aunt Sharon’s house. She is really the best race fan ever. She sits with me and looks over the map of the course and we figure out where she can get to so that she can hand me water bottles during the race. I knew it was going to be quite warm and humid, so I brought my hydration belt and planned three spots for Sharon to hand me a water/Gatorade mix.
I set my alarm on my phone to wake me up to the sound of a rooster crowing. That was awful and I will never use that sound again. I would much rather wake up to the sound of something less grating on the nerves.
I heard that there were about 4300 runners this morning. Parking was a bit of a challenge. I’m so glad my aunt Sharon was in charge of that. I never would have found a place.
I had donned my Team Sparkle bright pink skirt for the occasion.
And I had a new, pink Bondi Band to match.
I just loved that turtle. Slow and steady, right?
Sharon and I met up with Jason and Anne at the Walgreens on State Street. Interestingly enough, when I was in college, I had some good friends who lived right on that corner….in the Lutheran church on State and Lake. It was nice to be back there. Jason and I took our traditional pre-race photo.
I made a trip to the bathroom and then it was time to get going. At this point I was really annoyed because my Garmin still hadn’t located any satellites. I tried to take my time getting to the start line, but I wasn’t going to wait around forever. (It finally ‘found’ the satellites while I stopped to use the bathroom….after mile 7.) So, I don’t have any mile splits and that I a little disappointing to me. I am also bummed because I had a pace goal and I really could have used my Garmin to help keep me on track. I know I ran the last half of the race smarter than the first half just because I knew what pace I was running.
It was pretty fun running in the Team Sparkle skirt. I got a lot of comments on it and I loved hearing it! People kept telling me that they loved my tutu. I would usually give a little hip shake and smile and wave. I am kinda bummed that the skirt has to travel on to someone else now. But, I loved having it and I wish the next wearer much luck!
The course itself, weaved through Madison. We started at the Capital Square and ran up State Street while listening to the UW Band. That was awesome. There were a few bands along the route and it really helped keep things interesting. There were quite a few rolling hills that kept from finding a nice comfortable pace.
And I really need to commend the organizers and the volunteers. This is the first Madison race that I have run that actually had enough water and Gatorade at the aid stations. I stopped at every other aid station for a cup of water to dump down my back and cool me off. Even though the sun was behind the clouds, the temp was warm and it was pretty humid. I knew I didn’t want to overheat. The organizers also did a great job with the refreshments at the end of the race. Lots of water and Gatorade and great volunteers handing out trail mix and bagels, bananas and granola bars. I even grabbed the chocolate milk. My first experience with post-run chocolate milk lasted about 2 sips and then I felt like I was going to throw up. This time, I waited about 10 minutes and then gulped it down. It was fantastic!
I really hate that I always have to go to the bathroom during these longer runs. I don’t know if I should change my pre-race meal (but I really love my oatmeal) or how to combat all the stomach jostling that occurs. But, around mile 7 I HAD to go. I saw some porta-potties in the distance and it might as well have been the finish line. I sprinted! When I got there, I was about 4th in line. I feel a little guilty about this, but I totally played the pregnancy card to cut in front of the three people in front of me. I told them that I was pregnant and that I didn’t think I could hold it any longer. Both of those things were true, but it still felt a little weird.
My hip pain was non-existent during the first 10 miles of the race!!! I was thrilled to be running without pain. As I got toward the last 3 miles, I started to have some stiffness; but not pain. It was annoying, but didn’t slow me down. Of course, after driving for three hours to get back home, my hip is pretty sore now. It is in a different area, though. This pain is in the front of my hip, right where my thigh meets my groin. I’m wondering if it is muscular and if I pulled or strained something. I’ll be stretching it out again before bed tonight and we’ll see what it feels like in the morning.
At the finish line, I reconnected with Sharon, Anne and Jason. And Jason and I took our traditional post-race photo.
Sporting my 2nd medal!!
By the way, if anyone knows how to fix the formatting, please shoot me an email. I tried getting these pictures to line up for hours and it just isn’t working. It looks perfect in the editing process, but once I hit publish, it gets all wonky.