I HEART YOU GREEN BAY!
From the get go Jenn took off. She always starts aggressively, and I never start aggressively enough, so I guess this should've been a given, but I was intent on starting easy, because I knew the heat was going to add its own element of difficulty. Seeing where my heart rate was at a 9 minute pace, made me realize that my A goal should probably be sub 2, if I was lucky. I had fun weaving in and out of the Green Bay neighborhoods, chatting it up with the runners around me. Around mile 1.5 I saw Jenn, and she said that sub 9 pace wasn't happening. Truth, sistah. I kept running and feeling good for the first few miles. I made sure to grab a cup of water to drink and a cup of water to dump on my head to cool me off. My super cute green sunglasses that I wore all through the Brookings half last weekend with no problem? They sweated off my nose four and a half minutes in to the race. So I got the treasure of carrying those along with me.
The first four miles were pretty fun because they were fairly shaded and, heck, we'd only been running for 4 miles. But I saw more people walking at the 5k mark than I ever have in a race before.
I first realized that sub 2 probably wasn't likely when I hit the water stop after mile 4. The crowds of runners were swarming the table. The volunteers were frantically trying to fill more and more water for the runners. I had to stop to get my place in line to grab some water. New goal: have fun! I started to get roasty, and all of that shade that I swore was along the first 11 miles two years ago.... was gone. I kept a pretty consistent 9:10-9:20 pace to the end (while running), but I started walking through the water stops to try to get my heart rate down a bit each mile. Granted my pace was quite a bit slower than it was last weekend, my heart rate was just as high. 45 degrees, meet 80 degrees. :)
8. 9:18 (clearly no water stop)
We went through some super cool neighborhoods and managed to find some hills (anything is a hill for this flatland girl) to give some variety. The volunteers that were handing out cups of ice quickly became my new heroes. Along with the dude who picked up my sunglasses when they fell. And the folks who were outside with hoses, sprinklers, super soakers, etc. In case you were curious where my extra .05 came from, I hit every shower/sprinkler/hose I could.
Normally when I run a race, if I see a race spectator or runner with Packers gear on, I'll yell out "go pack go!" when I see them, since it's fairly rare where I'm from (everyone is a Vikings fan, poor souls....) and I love the Green Bay race because EVERYONE is decked out. Wheeeee! Feels like I'm with family.
10. 10:47 (bano break)
Sometime during mile ten I thought I needed to take a pit stop and some portapotties appeared. I figured it was a sign. I wasted about a minute there, which is pretty efficient imo, and was on my way. It started to get pretty brutal here. Seems that the earlier miles were shaded compared to this. Also the sun was up enough that we were running in to it for what seemed like long stretches. During the final 4 miles, I actually walked 2x that weren't during the aid stations because I thought I was cooking from the outside in. (How do you like your Jerbear? Medium rare?) I even walked a smidge during mile 13! Seeing people on the side of the road with their eyes rolled back, and ice packs on their chest really freaked me out.....
I kept thinking that I wish we were running through Lambeau Field again, because that would get me to the finish line sooner. I tried to pick up the pace the last 1/2 mile, but my legs weren't having it. I finally found a "kick" of sorts with a quarter of a mile to go.
.15 1:06 (6:37 pace, so yeah I guess I found a small kick...)
13.15 miles in 2:06:05 for a pace of 9:38. Interestingly enough, my first full marathon time (and still PR) in Green Bay was the EXACT SAME PACE. Actually a smidge faster at 4:12.
AR. Shortly after our reunion they announced that the race was cancelled due to the heat and humidity. I immediately started tearing up, because I felt so bad for everyone that had trained their butts off, not to get to finish. But it was totally necessary. If the medical tent was that packed at 2 hours, where you'd assume most half marathoners at that pace are reasonably fit, I can't imagine what the people that still had 2-4 hours to go were feeling.
I'll be back for 26.2 next year, and can't wait to run through Lambeau Field again. Hopefully after another Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Win!