State #4 was Wisconsin and as a loyal Packer fan I was SO excited for this marathon. How could I not be? You end the marathon with a lap around Lambeau field and running through Packer tunnel before heading to the finish line. Sweeeet!
Hubby and I left for Wisconsin the Thursday evening before the marathon - very late, as most flights from Hawaii are red eyes. We arrived in Milwaukee mid afternoon Friday. First things first we made a stop at the Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. We have a tradition that each trip includes a brewery tour and we take home a pint glass for a souvenir. This trip was no exception. My two aunts met us down there for a tour and tasting - We had a wonderful time!
|Lakefront Brewery! With Aunt Shelley and Aunt Ellen|
|Tom, me & Aunt Shelley|
After the brewery we headed to the go to dinner with the rest of my family and hit up another local brewery! We had a great time Friday evening!
Saturday morning we went up to Green Bay - it was a couple hour drive and lucky for us my cousin drove hubby and I so we got to sit back and enjoy the ride (we appreciated this even more coming back post marathon!) When we arrived in Lambeau we headed to lalalala..... LAMBEAU FIELD! How awesome is that? We quickly moved through the packet pick up and expo. A note about the expo and pick up. I thought it was weird that they had you pick up your packet and then go up to another floor to get the t-shirts. They even had signs on all the doors leaving reminding you not to forget your t-shirt. Why not just do it together? The expo was small, but I'll be honest I only did a quick loop before leaving the expo. We then went to lunch - QDOBA! My love - it is a shame Hawaii does not have such goodness. After lunch we went back to Lambeau to do an 1.5 hour tour - this was SO cool and a MUST while in Green Bay!
|Packer Tunnel.... (Ran through this ONTO the field!!)|
|Go Pack Go!|
|Down on Lambeau field!|
|I used a sharpie on my arm to remember paces at certain miles and my overall time goal - 4:45!|
Tom and I waited near the start of the race with my family until it got closer to the finish line. I was a bit nervous because it was so chilly. I was bundled up in my sweater and sweats with my hood up. About 10 minutes before the start I finally decided to ditch the sweater and sweats (But leave my long sleeve over) and headed to the start line. Gave my hubby a kiss - wished him good luck and settled in by the 4:45/4:30 pace groups to start. Before I knew it - we were off and I was on to marathon and state #4! Woohoo! I kept remembering what my coach told me to stay patient and I kept reminding myself to keep myself under control and not start out to fast. For the first 5 miles I paced myself and was having a blast! Around mile 5 I joined up with the 4:45 pace group. At mile 6 I decided I needed a potty break.
P.S.... Potty breaks are the worst especially when you have decided to stick with a pace group and you have to catch up with them. It took me until almost mile 10 to catch up with the pace group again because I didn't want to go super face and tire myself out and not be able to hit my goal. I caught up with the pace group again though - and ran with them the remainder of the way. Never running with a pace group before I have to admit I quite liked it. I enjoyed having people to talk to and having people who were aiming for the same time encouraging each other. At times we really kept each other going.
Around mile 11 or so I left my long sleeve with my family. Who by the way were AWESOME! They made it to multiple different spots throughout the course to cheer both me and my hubby on it. It was so awesome to see them along the course and have their support - it meant so much!
We hit the half way point and I felt great. I knew I was on target for my goal time as I was still a couple minutes ahead of schedule. I was determined and I made sure I continued to fuel correctly. I took water and Gatorade at every aid station (even if just a little) and I made sure to have GU every 45-50 minutes. At mile 20 I had one every 3 miles (Mile 20 and 23). Even when the dreaded 18-19 miles came I still felt great. In the past this is where I have really began to slow and pain creeps up on me. It didn't happen this time. Sure I had my aches and pains - but overall I still felt pretty darn good. I felt much stronger this race then past races.
Running a lap around City Stadium (Where the Packers played long ago) was awesome. It was made even cooler by one of the girls I was running with went to that high school and was filling me in on little city facts as we ran. It was pretty cool!
Mile 23 came - we stopped for a quick group photo of our pace group (See below) and then continued on. Just around mile 24 our group thinned to just 4 of us and we even lost our pacer (She dropped back to help someone). But we powered forward. 4 of us. We kept motivating each other, we kept encouraging and we kept going. At one point someone yelled "7 more blocks to go"... We couldn't have been more excited. I am pretty sure we went more then 7 blocks!!
When we finally turned the corner and saw Lambeau and the path to enter I was SO excited. We were SO close! I was SO close to coming in under my goal. I ran through Packer tunnel and entered Lambeau field - HOW COOL! I did a lap around Lambeau with one of my 4:45 pace group friends (Barb) with me and it was SO cool! We exited Lambeau through Packer tunnel and made the last push toward the finish line. As we got close I still had gas in me to sprint (This didn't exist on any of my other marathons!) to the finish line... So Barb and I pushed and we sprinted to the finish. As soon as we crossed the finished we shared a hug and congratulated each other, received our medals and took some pictures together. There is nothing like runner friends - those who finish side by side and understand what you just went through and understand your accomplishment (whatever that is personally to you!)
I saw my family as I was finishing too and that was so awesome. Walked through the finish corral and met up with my family and hubby.
Final time... 4:41:23!!! I couldn't have been more excited. Not only did I beat my goal time of 4:45 but I also came in 45 minutes under my previous best marathon time. Hubby finished in 3:28 and some seconds - he cut off over a half hour off his time too!
Green Bay put on a great event. Aid stations were spot on throughout the course with port potties, plenty of water and Gatorade, GU, popsicle stations, root beer stations, chocolate stations (Which I skipped the last 3 but still way cool). Crowd support was awesome! We also lucked out and had perfect running weather... Chilly 45ish at the start but ended in the mid 60s.
|Around mile 11 I believe?|
|Mile 23 - Remainder of the 4:45 pace group|
|We did it! Marathon #4 for me and #2 for hubby!|
|Us with our awesome support crowd! THANKS AGAIN FOR COMING! Love you all!|
After the race I ditched my vegetarian ways momentarily (I think I earned it) and indulged in the best burgers ever.... FIVE GUYS! We can't get it on Hawaii so boy was it quite a yummy, greasy treat. After lunch we headed back to my Aunt's house and shortly after that Tom and I left for Milwaukee to meet up with his family. That night we helped set up for his Grandma's 80th birthday party and the next day we celebrated her 80th birthday with the family.
All in all - a good trip and can check off another state on my journey!
|Some family at Grandma's 80th birthday!|
|Grandma Maggie about to blow out the candles!|