Monday, April 29, 2013

My fifth marathon.

Friday night, Matt, Waffles and I packed up the old versa an headed up to central Wisconsin.  I had wanted to write a blog post about my "taper week"  but you really don't taper when you don't train for a marathon.  I had the worst week ever last week, that reached its low point Thursday afternoon as i sat crying in the bathroom work.  Way to show you are the only girl in the office, right?  Anyway, by the time Friday evening came, i was so grateful for two days to get away from everything that i would have run any amount of miles just for the chance to escape.

So we made the 4 hour trek to Wautoma.  I ate in the car (totes the best way to prepare for a marathon) and as we got closer, the roads just got more and more rural.  I had booked us a room in the Super 8 motel which was both dog friendly and about a mile from the start/finish.  Matt kept teasing me, because apparently he thinks he is above staying at the super 8, but it was seriously the best decision ever.  There were SO nice.  We got in around 10:30, and the lady had even printed a little map for so we would know how to get to the race in the morning.  
Coach waffles with a last minute pep talk.
The other cool thing about Super 8 is they have continental breakfast every day starting at 5:30.  I had brought my own clif bar, because i eat one before every marathon, but it was nice to have coffee that wasn't instant.  When i was making my second coffee trip, a girl approached me to ask me which race i was running.  Apparently it was her first marathon, and she was trying to find someone to buddy up with to help her finish.  Her goal was around 5 hours.  I said that i had low expectations because i had skipped most of my training, but that i was pretty sure i could get her there! So, i told her i would meet her at the start line.  There were only 72 runners, so it was pretty easy to find her.

We got there early so i could get my race number (which took all of 90 seconds, so i don't know why i was worried) The t-shirt was long-sleeved (which i actually prefer!) and we got a cute water bottle, and the bag was one of those nice drawstring ones.  They had fruit and bagels for everyone, even the spectators, which was really nice!
pre-race dancing
While we were waiting for it to start, another girl approached me to ask me about my top.  She eventually said she was just making an excuse to find out how fast i run, because i looked like competition.  LOL!  I told her my seriously runner look was all a rouse, and she had nothing to worry about. But, i kind of consider this a BQ in looking awesome.  So yay, me.
Actually, a good chunk of my outfit was new, as in never worn before.  New shoes, bra, and shorts.  Hows that for living on the edge?

They said a prayer for Boston before the start of the race, and we were off!

I won't bore you with the mile by mile break down, but i will say this.  I was so focused on making sure Bethany had a good first marathon experience that i never had my normal "marathon breakdown"  There were no tears, no sitting down on a curb, no vowing to never run a marathon again.  I felt strong the entire time.  Thats not to say it was easy.  It was a hilly course - nonstop rolling hills.  Oh, and i didn't train to run a marathon.  My feet were killing me by mile 12 (it could have been that i was wearing new shoes too?  who knows)  But, despite the difficulty, worrying about someone else took my mind off everything.  I told stories, i made up little songs (like the "f*** you mile 22" song).  I know the last 6 miles were really hard for her.  They are hard for everyone, but i think they are especially hard during your first marathon.  We took frequent walk breaks, i did my best to keep us on pace.  It got a little warm (70!) and sunny.  The police were nice enough to drive along the course to bring us all bottles of water (aid stations were about 3 miles apart, so i was grateful for the extra water in the sun!) We finally hit the home stretch, and i just started yelling at her to run as fast as she could.  Then i started yelling at everyone else that this was her first marathon, and people seemed to get that, and just started cheering and yelling, and i was behind her just screaming "FIRST TIME MARATHONER RIGHT HERE"  in hindsight, the poor girl probably wanted to trip me.  But i will never forget the suck level of my first marathon finish, and everyone should have people cheering for them, even if its 10 people.  And those 10 people ROCKED.  I got her across the finish line in 5 hours and 1 minute.  I was a minute off, but hey - it was my first time pacing someone (and the course was long).  I think she was pleased anyway.  

The aftermath:  I don't want people to think that not training for a marathon is all sunshine and roses.  I am lucky to even finish the race.  My pinky toenail split right down the middle, and i have a sharp pain in my lower back that will not go away.  So, I am not sure if there is a market right now for the "Gingerfoxxx training plan: drink your way to a marathon finish"  But then again, maybe people would be on board with that....I also have the most brutal sunburn i have had in YEARS.  I put on sunblock, but i didn't expect it to be quite so warm and sunny, so i had just put it on around my arm warmers.  I took the arm-warmers off at mile 5 and my arms FRIED in the sun.  I can barely type this actually.  A rookie sauce mistake i will NOT make again.  But seriously, i CAN'T WAIT to run another marathon.  Only i will train this time!

The rest of the weekend:  Since i ran a conservative race, i didn't feel like i was dying the way i normally do.  Matt and i decided to go bar hopping in Wautoma!
THE MEGA-FRY!
When in Wisconsin, you have lots of cheese and beer.  It is known.
We also took Waffles out for a nice hike on some Wisconsin trails, since she was so well behaved at the race.
The next day, we took the long way home so that we could stop by the super remote cemetary my Dad is buried at.  I try and make it once a year, and i usually leave random things there - it's so fried green tomatoes.
Is it morbid to take photos at cemetary?  I always do...
Hopefully he like the race medal.  I thought it was cool!  We took our time on the way back, and hit up some farmers markets, and just cruised through country roads enjoying the scenery and fresh air.  I think the whole weekend did us ALL some good.
She likes the view on my shoulders....
So, in short Jailbreak was a great race.  The course is constant rolling hills, so its a little hard on the legs and feet.  There were 72 runners total for the full marathon, so it will be lonely.  If you need crowds, it might not be for you.  If you like trees, wild turkeys, and amish children waiving at you from a horse drawn cart, then this is totally for you.  I would like to run it again, especially because how fun Wautoma was.  I would run a marathon just as an excuse to visit!!

Countdown to next marathon - August!!

43 comments:

  1. That medal being striped was perfect for the "Jailbreak" marathon....yea, nice planning for being such a smallish race. (Not in distance just in participants)

    Way to help out the first timer!!! YOU ROCK just for that!!

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  2. Whether she wanted to trip you or not, I'm sure Bethany greatly appreciated the support of someone helping her to her first marathon finish. Running marathons are hard, especially if you are doing it by yourself (as we all know). That is just yet another reason why the running community is awesome. I'm so glad you finished and had an awesome weekend. I'm very jealous of the beer you drank when you were in Wisconsin. I don't know why but they just seem to have delicious beer there, as a standard.

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  3. I know you didn't mean to, but dammit, you made me cry.

    I am SO GLAD you decided to run with Bethany. What an amazing finish to a training cycle that wasn't what you expected it to be.

    You rock lady. And you owe me 20 bucks. So let's run soon...

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    1. Seriously! I would pay $30 just for a run with you! Any free weekends in may???

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    2. The middle 2 weekends are wide open so far (11/12 and 18/19)...let's do this!

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    3. Same here!! Just let me know what time works best (since you have kids and actual responsibilities and such). Yay!!!!

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  4. Great job helping a first timer! I love that you posted the non rosey side of finishing. A pre race dance should be a new standard for everyone!

    You are brave adding so many new things up to Marathon day! Good job making it through.

    I needed to pause when I saw you visited your dad's grave. My dad passed away that same year, although he is buried in Massachusetts, so I don't get there much. Excuse me now, i think someone cut an onion at work!

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  5. That was SO nice of you to help her out! It probably helped you to focus less on your anxieties to help her out! Congrats on yet another marathon and for helping making someone's first amazing! You rock!

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  6. Wait. Are you saying you paced a stranger girl from the Super 8 to her first marathon finish? Wow, that is so nice. She'll remember you forever as her wonderful marathon guardian angel. you are what the running community should be about :)

    My mom was just a little younger than your dad when she died. The medal is awesome; I'm sure he loves it. My mom isn't buried anywhere (cremated) so I am visiting her all the time, possibly even at this moment.

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    1. I like this- it's nice to think they are always with you, even during the mundane every day :)

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  7. That is so cool that you were able to pace Bethany in her first marathon! I would be a little nervous about running one by myself, so it's awesome that she happened to bump into you and reached out to you. And it's so cool you encouraged so many people to cheer her on! I loved all of the encouragement I got from spectators at my races this weekend, it really does help.

    And congrats on finishing despite how training went! Get yourself some lidocaine and martinis for that sunburn, I know all too well about that.

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  8. WOW you are such an awesome person for helping her finish. Some people are in it to win it, all the time. How nice of you :)

    I'm totally jealous you can run marathons like its nobodies business. I'm still recovering.. and its been over a month ahahaha. damn.

    Congrats on an awesome race!!!!

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  9. Awesome, I'm glad you had a great experience! Pacing someone else is fun and definitely takes your mind off of your own race. Also Waffles in your selfie in your hotel room ... so cute.

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  10. Congrats on finishing and how sweet of you to pace the first timer! I'd imagine that she enjoyed the extra cheering at the end of the race even if she was hating life/running at the moment. Good luck training for the next marathon! :)

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  11. That's really cool to hear you paced a fellow runner! Especially since you had never met before.

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  12. This is awesome! You probably made that girl's life. Seriously, I can only imagine how fun you made it for that girl! Also, love Coach Waffles in that picture :)

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  13. The way you cheered on the first timer is exactly I love runners! Awesome!

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  14. Your training plan might not be marketable, but your racing plan sure is. Find someone else to help so you don't think about how miserable you are? Solid gold. Great job, both of you :-)

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  15. You are an angel. Marathons are tough as shit and for you to help a stranger....amazing!

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  16. Oh and I just have to say, any Wisconsin bar is the shit. You need to do Fox Cities Marathon, Like I keep saying to you.

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  17. Glad to hear your race in my motherland of Wisconsin was good to you! I had eyed up their half-marathon a while back when trying to make a 2013 schedule, but didn't pull the trigger. And for my first marathon, I'll make sure it ends up being one you're running - what a trooper helping her like that!

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  18. I cannot believe there were only 72 marathoners!! I did a half once with about 50 runners and I felt like I was alone almost all the time!!

    So nice of you to run for Bethany! I'm sure she appreciated it!

    I love that you left your marathon medal at your dad's grave. Such a great heartfelt thing to do. I'm sure it means a lot! Great job Sara! As always!

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  19. I am sure that Bethany appreciated you every step of that race. I would loved to have had such an awesome pacer/cheerleader for my first marathon. Have you already officially committed to an August marathon?

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  20. Great job hon...what an Angel you were to run with someone on their first marathon. You rock! Maybe you can pace me sometime. <3

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  21. I agree with Sarah, Fox Cities Marathon needs to be a must for you one of these days!

    So awesome you got to help out a first timer and I'm sure made the race more enjoyable to you both :)

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  22. awesome job! What a nice thing to even when you are hurting. ((high five))

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  23. What a fun race! And you are awesome pacing the first timer!

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  24. What a cool experience for both of you. Congrats! Love the stripey medal!

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  25. This is such an awesome story! Way to go! You are so sweet aaand you totally have it in you to enjoy a marathon and NOT have the breakdown. Way to kick some ass!

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  26. Congrats on finishing and taking a newbie into the realm of hopefully loving marathoning -- once both your sunburns fade!!!!

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  27. Congrats. Sounds like a very laid back race and a great excuse for a weekend "escape" to Wisconsin.

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  28. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on crossing marathon #5 off of your list!!! You are such an inspiration and it was so awesome that you got to help out a first-timer in ways that she'll probably never be able to express to you in words. YOU ROCK!!!

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  29. YAY! I love this story.

    Also, I was thinking to myself that you looked like a runner last night! :) creepy?

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  30. Congrats on your fifth marathon! It was so kind of you to run with Bethany.
    I hope you brought back some delicious Wisconsin beer. I can't leave that state without at least one six pack. Usually I just fill my trunk up.

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  31. Thank you so much!!!! It was me the sad first marathoner, Bethany! I have been feeling so disapointed in myself for walking so much in the last six miles. But reading your side of the story picks me up a lot!!! But feeling like I could have done better makes me want to do another one.
    Ever wanted to do the Medtronic Marathon in St. Paul in October? (:

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    1. Hi Bethany!! Hop you are feeling nice and recovered. Don't feel bad about walking at all- you finished and that is all that matters! Medtronic is definitely on my bucket list!!

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  32. You're a gingie, right? Don't you have the manual on sunscreen requirements? I'm of the transparently white skin family tree, so I fry too. Not good.

    Congrats on another great marathon and pacing someone!

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  33. Motel 8 was meant to be! Ahh! So cool that you met Bethany there and paced her! Please tell me you two are Facebook bffs now? Just kidding... not bffs... but friends, at least?

    I love that you got to take Waffles and that you got to see your dad's burial spot. I bet he loves the medal. Especially the story that goes with it.

    I wonder if I would like a marathon this small! It sounds great :)

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  34. Ok, when I am ready to run a full, will you pace me? Because I bet you're the best pacer ever. And I really love the medal you left:)

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    1. I would totally pace you!! (As long as its slow!)

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