Green Bay Marathon Race Recap


5:00 am in the morning on May 15th I woke up extremely nervous, but also very resolute. It was the morning of the Green Bay Cellcom Marathon. The day of my first full marathon.



Making the morning trip to Green Bay with me was my personal cheerleader/photographer/mother extraordinaire. She wears many hats, and today it was a stocking cap because although it was raining and windy the day before, on this day it is just cold and windy.

The start was at 7am on the dot. This race director means business. Knowing that this is my first marathon which means I have really no expectations, I start near the 4:45 pace group but my main goal is to just finish.


Can I just say that I love that purple NorthFace jacket the gal behind me is wearing. I admired it as she promptly passed me. Looked for it later on the course, but I'm guessing that was not a throw away jacket.

Also note, I am not grimacing in that photo--yet--I'm looking for my mom.


Mom was diligently waiting for me up a head. She was calling for me to pose, but the gal behind me yelled out, "She can't stop, she's running a marathon!"


I gave her a wave and went on my way knowing I would see her again between the 4 and 5 mile mark.


One of my coworkers was about at this point along the race route cheering on her daughter who was running the half marathon. I mentioned what I would be wearing to her the day before. She saw me a couple times on the race route. Both times she credited my awesomely bright pink socks for spotting me in the crowd. They are not just for compression, they ARE a fashion statement.


When I saw my mom again around the 4.5 mile mark, she was on the other side of the street. I tried my best to play frogger and make it across the street without getting in front of anyone. I kind of liked my gloves, so I did not want to drop them on the course. So quick photo op and glove drop off.

Five Mile time: 48:50

The first miles on the course were through a residential area with lots of turns and hills. People kept yelling, "It's all down hill from here" when we would reach the top of one.

I would like to take the first time marathon coordinator's mantra instead, "It's a smooth, gentle decline from here." My shins appreciated that thought.

Ten Mile time: 1:38:38

As we were about to approach the part of the course where the marathoners turned right, and half marathoners turned left, I thought back to the expo the day before during the race course presentation.

"Full marathoner's plug your ears for a moment," the presenter whispers conspiratorially, "Half marathoner's when you hit that turn point Lambeau Field will be in your sights. You are almost done! This is when you start to laugh at the full marathoners because you are about to enjoy some beer and brats and they have another couple hours to go. Okay, half marathoners plug your ears."

"Now full marathoners listen up," the presenter continued, "When those half marathoners turn to the left, you can start laughing. Those pansies have nothing on you!"

At this point I'm kind of in agreement with him, I'm feeling great and thinking, "See ya later half marathoners!" This mentality is going to come back and haunt me in about six more miles.

13.1 Mile time: 2:10:12

We turn down a more commercial area with wide open spaces between buildings. This is our first experience with the open wind. So far the residential area has been blocking quite a bit and also mostly at our backs.

One parking lot that is not paved, but has gravel and dirt takes a gust of wind. It kicks it up and a whole pack of us runners have to shield our eyes and run sideways for a moment until the wind drops for a second. That was the first sign things were going to be a little rough.

15 Mile time: 2:31:01

After we pass the 16 mile mark we cross over a bridge and literally hit a wall of wind. On a normal day miles 16 through 22 would be beautiful. They are on a paved trail along the Fox River. Today it is going directly Northeast and into 20-40 mph winds. There is little blocking the wind, and this six mile stretch is not just hitting the physical runners wall, there are moments when I ran into a physical wind wall.


This face is not a smile, it's a grimace in disguise. I choose to walk though water stations during that stretch of the race and tried to draft off a couple of folks. But most of the time I was working this path on my own.

The highlight came right before mile 20. A church congregation brought in about 200 people to cheer, yell, and encourage the runners. Seriously, I could have cried at that point, their enthusiasm took my wind battered body and helped drag it over the bridge and get the wind literally at my back.

Mile 20: 3:31:17

At this point I am just thinking about seeing my family by the finish line. The highlight of this race is the final leg is a run around the inside of Lambeau Field, home to the current Superbowl Champion Green Bay Packers.

I'm dreaming of touching the tundra.


To get into Lambeau we had to go through a long concrete laden tunnel, and at the end we emerge from the players tunnel. I may or may not have hammed it up a bit for the photographers on field.


And on the other side I am trying to get the crowd to make some noise as I come in.


A sight for sore eyes, my favorite cheering section. The big guy in the middle has an awesomely loud voice perfect for cheering on his favorite only sister. Back in the day he was also a state champion cross-country runner.


Coming in for the high fives. Darn wispy hair is still giving me the Donald Trump comb-over look.

Here is a closer look at my run by:


And finally back out of the stadium toward the finish line. My cheering squad rushed out to catch me finish my first ever marathon in 4:53:18


Not the fastest run by any means, but I kept thinking to myself, "Be Courageous". This run is me against myself (and a ton of wind). At the end of the day, no matter what my time came in at I could now say, "I am a marathoner".

And since the Packers did just win the Superbowl, the metals were inset with a bit of good old pigskin. I think this is my favorite metal so far. Especially since a couple days later it was confirmed the course was 800 feet too long and adjusted our times. So in less then a week I had a new PR.

Not too shabby if you ask me.

Bonus benefit of this marathon, after I collected my metal, we were treated to brats and Stevens Point beer. Only in Wisconsin.


There is just something about this picture

I'm working on my first full marathon recap which should be up this weekend. And oh what an update it will be, filled with wind, triumph, wind, Lambeau Field, wind, crazy awesome runners, and WIND!

But there is one picture in particular that keeps drawing me in. There is just something about it that I cannot stop looking at. Something that seems a little amiss.


Okay, so there are a few things wrong, such as my heal strike, but one thing in particular is really bothering me.

The wispy hair.


It's uncontrollable. I bought these awesome large Bondiband headbands to try and contain the hair.

But it refuses to be contained.

My hair has a mind of its own. The shining strands in the sunlight, it kind of reminds me of a head crown.


Or better yet, a really awesome superhero helmet.


Yeah, there we go. Complete with fire-shooting shoes. Nice.

This is totally how I run a marathon.


What do you mean there is a site that gives you playlists to match your pace?

How did I not know about the awesomeness that is




I'm going to pretend for a minute that I am cool enough to be running 8:45 min miles -- hey now, even slow mules like me can have a good day. I pop up with a list like this:


Ergo, when I am having a massive brain fart and cannot think of songs to upload to my shuffle, instead of pleading on twitter for input I can go here.

I'll still probably plead on twitter for suggestions because I have found some awesome, really angry music from you guys, and this site seems to be a little bit more upbeat. I mean come on, "Paint it Black" -- I love painting, that sounds awesome!

"Not ready to make nice" bet those Dixie Chicks are making kindness instead.

But seriously though, how come I'm always the last to know about awesome stuff like this?


Oshkosh Half Marathon Race Report

A long overdo race report. Part of the reason is I am trying to block parts of this race out of my mind. Not because it was awful or I was in pain.

Because it rained for all 13.1 miles.

And as I crossed the finish line it began to flurry.


My amazingly awesome personal photographer (aka Mom) came outside and snapped a few photos. She immediately ran back into the hotel where the packet pick up was, stopped in the restaurant, and enjoyed a hot chocolate while I enjoyed some liquid sunshine. Smart woman.

This race was always suppose to get my brain back into race mode after the long winter. The problem was, I kind of psyched myself out even before I started. The thought of running in the constant rain for two hours was not something I enjoyed.

Mistake number one: letting my brain think negative thoughts before even hitting the pavement.


Mile 1: 8:58/mi

Mile 2: 9:00/mi

The first few miles out of the gate where we winded through the UW Oshkosh campus I just enjoyed running with the crowd. The rain was light, but consistent. There were some spectators out cheering and that made it more festive.

Mile 3: 9:13/mi

Mile 4: 9:10/mi

Between mile 3 and 4 we hit a path around a cemetery. Insert extremely cheesy race signs, ala "these guys are dying to cheer you on". Yuck, yuck.

It was also about this part of the race when we were on the trail that the race turned from a traditional half marathon and become a muddy warrior dash. Folks started off trying to maneuver around the large mud puddles.

That lasted all of ...oh... a half mile. Then folks began embracing it and ran straight through. Mud splashed. Shoes were sopping wet. Good times.

Mile 5: 9:33/mi

Mile 6: 9:42/mi

Around mile 6 there is there is this little loop where you go over a bridge and catch a glimpse of the faster runners who are about 2.5 miles ahead of you. As you run in the opposite direction, it is fun to cheer folks on, but then I remind myself of a painful reality:

It is still raining, a little harder then before. They are 2.5 miles closer to dry socks. Damn it.

Mile 7: 9:46/mi

Mile 8: 10:15/mi

Mile 9: 10:13/mi

Mile 10: 10:00/mi

Having gone through several neighborhoods, the route brings us back to a main street. The rain has held back most of the spectators, so I take the honking cars as my encouragement.

It is also at this point we go through a small paved trail area. My feet are drenched by now and I am stuck behind a gal who is blocking the dry portion of the path and walking at this point. There are about a dozen of us who are contemplating a couple options. A) Politely ask her to step aside so we can pass; B) Walk and wait for a break to pass; or C) Trudge through the puddles.

A couple grunts behind me were probably thinking of an option D) Push her out of the way.

I went for the "A" option, "On your right!" Thankful she realized the race running faux pas and made way. No worries.

Mile 11: 10:27/mi

Mile 12: 10:34/mi

Mile 13: 10:25/mi

The last few miles were directly into the wind and in the last stretch we had to charge over a bridge. I will give kudos to my running gear for at least keeping my under layers fairly dry.

I will also give kudos to the speed walker that essentially rocketed past me.


Mom was at the finish line to capture my joy at completing the race. My victory chocolate milk in one fist, good old water in the other. Ignore my totally cheesy smile.

Final chip time: 2:16:10.4. Not even close to my PR. But I finished. Lesson learned, should have just gone for it and let my brain stop getting those negative thoughts.

That was until I was chewing on some pizza and it started to flurry. That warranted some curse words. Did not care they were giving free massages, grabbed mom and ran to my car and blasted the heater. Who needs an ice bath when you have been subjected for one for the past couple of hours.

All this gets me thinking, what are the best ways to overcome really rainy cruddy weather on race day?


Taper = Restless Leg Syndrome?


"But...but...but...I'm busy watching Dancing with the Stars! I don't have time to run."

During my taper time last week before my marathon my eating was off along with my sleep schedule. Early in the week my legs were restless when I was trying to sleep. I went out for a slightly longer run the next day and low and behold--I slept like a baby.

I've spent all these weeks putting in an obscene amount of mileage, and now instead of dreading those long runs, my body craved them.

It's a sad day when I would pick taking a run over going for a DQ Blizzard, but that is where I was at. And for me, ice cream solves everything.


To make it worse, now I am in recovery after the marathon. Once again my legs are begging me to go out for just a little, itty-bitty run. Last night a splurged with twenty minutes on the elliptical followed by an upper body weight workout.

At this point the only thing keeping me sane is that my race photos were posted. YES! And they are epically hilarious. I want to buy the whole set. I promise to share the hilariousness because everyone needs a good chuckle.

How do you overcome these low mileage blues?


2 Marathon PR's in 1 Week

This past Sunday I participated in my first full marathon. More details on that to follow, but first I want to commandeer the photos my mom took from her camera. Trust me, there are some great action shots that are going to show just how dorky I was during this whole adventure.

Yesterday morning I woke up to find this in my inbox:

My first thought was, gee, the course did feel a little long.

I was timing myself with my Nike+ chip that syncs to the watch. I know that a marathon course is calculated by the runner taking all of the shortest trips around corners, and if you are on the outside of a turn you are going to add on distance.

So at that point I just figured that I took all of the outside turns a little wide. I did not even think about the course being mislabeled.

And thus I learned that my original PR (since I had never run a full marathon before) of 04:54:58 was now slashed and changed to 04:53:18.

I PR'ed for a marathon twice in three days!

And now I will do a little victory dance, because that must mean I am pretty much a superhuman. Along with about 8000 other participants, but who's counting?


Weather Control Center

Every day for the least two weeks I have religiously been checking the weather channel to see what the forecast would be for my marathon this weekend. With the extremely rainy and cold spring so far, my expectations were low.

At this point, I am fairly certain the forecasters are playing tricks on me though since every morning the little weather ticker moves from partly cloudy, to showers, to hold your hats your going to blow over winds, back to sunny.

I don't ask for much, but today I am asking for at least a reprieve on the rain for about five hours on Sunday morning. Maybe six, who knows how long it is going to take to finish this thing. Then the skies can go back to their normal dreary self.

Kay? Thanks!

In other news, after taking a massive blog hiatus, I have finally picked my February giveaway. Sorry! And in this case, it pays to be first, because came up with:


Which means the winner of the handcrafted Peridot Glass Earrings is:

Congrats Tonyne, you are a winner! Shoot me an email at amadia.clark (at) gmail (dot) com with your shipping address and these will be off to you shortly.

And the correct answer is: a little bit of (A) and (B). A couple gathered around my office for a moment, and then one asked me for help on a client report. She was probably too nervous to call me out on my sporadic behavior. The other just asked if I planned on joining her at lunch later.

I think that speaks volumes about how used to my antics my office mates have become.