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Sunday, November 3, 2013

RACE RECAP: Tyranena Beer Run 1/2 Barrel (Half Marathon)

We drove up to Lake Mills, WI yesterday (Saturday) morning.  It's about a two hour drive and since we could only pick up our packets the morning of the race and the race didn't start until 11:30 am we had plenty of time to eat a healthy breakfast, pack up and get on the road by 7:45 am.  Soon we were pulling into the Kwik Trip in Lake Mills to grab some more water and then we headed over to Tyranena Brewing Company.  We parked, picked up our packets and beer and walked back to the car to get everything ready that we needed for our races.  I was running the half marathon and Dan ran the 1/6 Barrel (aka 4.37 miles) race.

Dan and Me
I had packed a peanut butter sandwich (since it'd have been a few hours since we ate breakfast) to snack on pre-race as well as a banana and I enjoyed those while we sat in the warm car.  Shortly after that my sister sent me a text message to let me know they were there so we gathered up our stuff and headed to the tent. It wasn't long and they were calling for runners to come to the starting line.  Either people didn't want to come out of the tent or no one wanted to be up front so I stood toward the front and had plenty of room to warm-up while we waited for the official start.  We sang the anthem, got last minute starting instructions and were off.

While running these hills I was suddenly thankful
that I'd run hills in Idaho and at our weekly
fun runs in Deer Grove!

Going into almost any race I'm nervous.  I'm nervous for a number of reasons and so I sent a text message to my running friends (Coach B, Naomi & Kim) and received a massive outpouring of support and what they sent me is what stuck in my head the entire race.  I'd trained for this day and I was prepared.  This, no matter what the course was like, is what I'd spent months training for.

I'd reviewed the elevation chart last week so I knew there would be hills.  This was one of the bits of advice that Coach B gave me.  To run strong up the hills because I was trained for them and she was right.  There were a few that made me doubt whether I'd be able to run all the way up but I kept reminding myself that I was just out for a fun run and that I had trained for this.

I think I spent a lot more time enjoying the scenery of this race than any other I'd run before.  The leaves were in full color change making the views positively spectacular!   While we ran through the town of Lake Mills there were spectators here and there but once we left the city and headed out on the country roads the course support got more sparse.  I think my one actual complaint about the race had to do with the first two water stations - they seemed woefully understaffed and had no cups filled as I ran past.  I was thankful that I was carrying my own water at those moments so I could just keep trucking along.

Best damn cheer squad
L-R:  Paula, Mark & Brenda
I remember feeling really good up through mile 8 or 9 where I saw my sister cheering on runners.  I was happy to report that I'd been running the entire time except for the few breaks I'd taken to drink from my water bottle and eat the dates I brought for fuel.  Just after I saw her I came up to the last water stop.  I stopped to refill my water bottle to ensure I'd have enough to get me through the finish.  At this point I realized that I'd started slowing down... I went from a sub 10:xx/mile average to 10:2X/mile average but I knew I was still far ahead of my PR pace and I rationalized that if this pace felt good that I should continue at this pace so that I'd be able to run the entire race.

On the elevation chart it doesn't look big but my toes (which always hurt after about 8 miles) hurt, and my knee was bothering me and I just .... I don't know.  I just felt the need to walk a little bit.  At first I told myself I'd only walk two minutes and before I realized what had happened I'd walked about a half mile.  I knew I had to start running again or my muscles would continue to get tighter and I wouldn't be able to run.  So, I ran.  Slowly.  And suddenly these crazy people on the sidewalk screamed my name.  It took me what seemed like forever to realize they were my cousins Mark and Paula!

I was so tempted to walk a bit again but knowing that people I knew were watching me made me keep
The runners
L-R:  Alex, Kristi, me, Dan
running.  I got about a quarter of a mile up the road and I thought about walking again and then I saw Kristi who told me that the finish was just up around the bend.  And now I couldn't walk because there was someone else watching me!  As I turned the corner I could see the finish line.  Then I saw Dan and Brenda.  As I made the final turn I saw the finish line and I'm not sure where the burst of energy came from but I hauled it across the finish line.  I saw the clock as I crossed and as my feet hit the timing mat the tears hit my cheeks.  I had just hit a HUGE personal record.

My previous PR was 2:28:24
My new PR is 2:18:23

That's a full TEN MINUTES off my previous time!  I'm still shocked.

So, as far as my goals... let's review:
  • Run the entire race
    • So close... but not quite.  
  • Begin Slow
    • Yes!  I definitely consider this a success.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
    • Yes!  While I fueled appropriately I still felt dehydrated at the end of the day but I also realize that I ran a half marathon so that's to be expected.
I consider this half marathon to have been a complete success.  I truly appreciate all the advice and support I got from family, friends and fellow runners.  You all have no idea how much your words carried me through the miles and built my confidence.  I loved every single minute of this race and will definitely run this race again.

Who's in for next year?


  1. How was the course? This race is on my list!

  2. The course was nice... I'll definitely do this race again.