Madison 4:07:06

Michelle and I started the race off together and by mile 1 we both had to stop at the port-o-potty.  Every mile there was a bathroom, but only 1.  It turned into a 7+ min stop and Michelle decided she better ran ahead of me to avoid another big delay.  I ended up taking a couple more stops and crossed the 5 Mile mark at 54:14, which is almost an 11:00/ mile pace!

The next 5 miles few by.  I was running solo and enjoying the scenery of the UW campus.  The route wound through the Arboretum and then by Camp Randall Stadium.  I was happy for all the trees b/c the sun was starting to beat down at this point.

The next few miles were getting tough and I’m guessing this was my first low of the race.  Halfway, Mile 13.1, I was at 2:10:18, or a 9:55/ mile pace.  At least, I was making up for those long bathroom stops.

Miles 13 thru 18 seem to pass quickly as well.  The route took us by residential next to the lake.  Every so often, someone would be cheering but for the most part not too many spectators.

Once I got to the 30km (18.64) point, I was feeling good.  My knees hurt along with my hip flexor, but I knew I could keep running and deal with it.  If I stopped, I would be screwed and they would lock up.  I think I’m a little more wiser now and better at listening to my body.  I took the hills slower and made sure the aches didn’t turn into cramps.  I was also drinking Gatorade and filling up with GU every 45 min or so.  My time was 2:59:47 at the 30km mark, or just under a 9:40/ mile pace.  I was still moving up.

Miles 18-22 felt great.  I was picking up the pace after the turn around to head back downtown and my legs were holding up.  The race bibs had our first name on them, so spectators would yell out our names.  The motivation worked for me.  My favorite was one guy said I looked like I had just started the race and told me to pick it up.  I thought about it and agreed.

With a little over two miles left, I saw Michelle up ahead!  She had left me in the dust after mile one and now I was about to catch up.  By mile 24, we were running together and talked about the race and how we were doing.  Both of us must have been feeling pretty good b/c no one else around us was making conversation.  We finished together in a time of 4:07:06 or a 9:26/ mile pace.  My last 7 miles were at an 8:45 pace.  Finishing the 2nd half of a race faster than the first feels a lot better than walking in.  The Wisconsin-themed post-race food was cheese and chocolate milk, and it hit the spot.

Hopefully the knees will recover for the Dam to Dam in 5 days…