Monday, May 17, 2010

Race Report: Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

Sunday I set out to complete my #1 goal for 2010:  to become a marathoner.  As you may know if you've been reading my blog for awhile, I decided back in 2005 when I first started distance running that Green Bay would be my first full as I'm a HUGE Packers fan.

I woke up after a good night of rest (shockingly) with no horrible race nightmares.  Without much fanfare, I was fed, clothed, and waiting on the hotel shuttle to take me to the race start.

Extra shockingly, there were no hardcore race nerves.  My nerves were so bad on Saturday that I wasn't hungry at. all.  I literally had to force food down my throat.  Sidenote:  this is NOT normal.  I am an EATER.  Luckily I was 100% able to drink beer and enjoyed one at Curly's Pub and a special brew by Titletown of 26.2 created just for the race. Can you say awesome?

Got to Lambeau and made bathroom stop #1.  Did some stretching and was surprised that a knot I've had in my upper right calve was still there from Thursday's easy run.  Get in a loooong line for bathroom stop #2.  Somehow I'm not stuck waiting in line for the bathroom during the Star Spangled Banner (this seriously happens to me in EVERY race leading to some major nerves that I'm going to miss the start/get stuck in the back/etc.)

I chatted it up with a few people around me, and before I know it we were getting ready to start.  And I am beaming (not surprisingly).  I'm starting my first marathon.  In Green Bay.  This is a dream.  I ran without my music for the first couple of miles to really take in the experience.  I revamped my race goals a bit after everyone's very thoughtful and intelligent advice.  I wanted to shoot for a pace between 9:15 and 9:30, erring on the slower side for the majority of the race, and then pick it up at the end if at all possible.

I made sure to check my garmin frequently in those first few miles to avoid getting swept up in the crowds.  There were so many people lined up on the course, it was amazing.  So many adorable little kid Packer fans that I wanted to steal, and many other easy on the eyes Packer men.  Ooh la la! [Sidenote:  Whenever I see a Packer fan, I immediately check him out. I think I'm destined to marry a Cheese Head.  With so many dudes on the course in Packer gear I was in heaven, but almost overly stimulated...whoa! :P]
These first few miles literally fleeeeew by.  I took my first GU at mile 5 and was feeling just dandy.

1. 9:19 
2. 9:17 
3. 9:25 
4. 9:22 
5. 9:30

The miles continued to cruise by, and I somehow managed not to do the mileage countdown game in my head.  Nothing worse than getting to the 10k mark and thinking 20 to go.  Shoot me now.  The crowd definitely thinned out during this point, which was nice.  There were a couple of run-walkers that were leap frogging with me during these miles which was entertaining.  I met a dude who is an Ironman (crazy fool) who was shooting for a 4:10 finish.  I told him I was going to keep my eye on him and let him pace me.  Sadly he stopped leap frogging with me around the half way mark.  I took my second GU at mile 10.

6. 9:19 
7. 9:22 
8. 9:15 
9. 9:24 
10. 9:25

As many people tweeted who were following me at home via email/text message updates, I was running a ridiculously even pace.  Each time I would get to a mile marker, I would spend a minute or so figuring out what my average pace was.  It hovered around 9:22-9:23 until mile 15.  The halfers and fullers split off around 12 miles.  I was running with a group of dudes at this point, and once we were out of ear shot of the half marathoners, I had to blurt out, "This is where we separate the men from the boys!"  Of course that got a good laugh out of them, and my one witty comment of the day was used up. :)  At the 13.1 mark, I was at 2:02:35 and I thought that my 4:04-4:08 goal frame was in reach.  I took my next GU at mile 14.

11. 9:12
12. 9:22
13. 9:22
14. 9:31 

My only complaint about this race (because it truly has had my heart long before I even ran it) is that the crowd support diiiiiiies after the halfway point.  Understandable, since there are 5000 half marathoners and 2000 marathoners, but stinky for us going the full distance.  During this stretch I started to get really really hot.  The clouds that were supposed to be out shielding us from the rays were no where to be seen, and I was toasty.  I started grabbing two water cups at each station, one to drink and another to dump on my back and a splash for my head.  Felt. So. Good.  Highlight of this section (and best fluid station EVER!) was the little punk rock kids jammin' a Blink 182 song!!!!  I was soooo excited.  I'm a big Blink fan, and it made my day that little junior highers were rockin' their tunes.  I took my next GU at mile 18. And yes I was soooo sick of GU at this point.  Ugh.

15. 9:21
16. 9:37
17. 9:25
18. 9:40 

Yeah, screw you mile 18.  I hate you.  Always have, probably always will.  Sorry, if you forget my intense hatred for 18 milers please revisit.  I was getting close to the 20 miler mark; the point where I was going to estimate where I was physically to assess what my finish goal time should be.  Assessment:  nap time!  jk.  But it would've been nice.  I knew speeding up was not an option, except for maybe the last 2-3 miles.  I would continue on at a steady pace.  Based on my calculations at this point, I should be able to finish at ~4:10 if I stayed at a steady pace and didn't give in to walking (although I wanted to REALLY REALLY BAD!).

The Mile 20 "Wall Party" was simply awesome.  You could hear them from about 1/2 mile away (which actually wasn't a good thing because you just wanted to *be* there not at 19.5) and there was a huge inflatable castle wall that we ran under.  People were lined up along the route for a good 1/4 of a mile screaming their faces off.  It was great. :)  I took my last GU at mile 22 and resisted the urge to GU all over those running around me.  I knew I needed it but did NOT want it.  Even a little bit.  Ick.

19. 9:41
20. 9:43
21. 9:42
22. 9:52 

I was so ready to be done.  My hips hurt.  My IT bands hurt.  That calve tightness I mentioned earlier?  It hurt for the first 15 miles, but then because everything else hurt so much, I forgot about it.  Excellent.  Everyone around me was walking, and I really wanted to join in.  I was so overheated that I started to get cold.  Uh oh.  Jeri doesn't really *get* cold.  : /  I knew if I stopped to walk I may not get started again.  I saw those around me stop to walk, start up for a few seconds, and then revert back to walking.  I did not want to go through that pain.  Plus, my 4:10 finish was still in sight if I could run 10 minute miles.  10 minute miles are EASY right?  I can run that without trying, right?  Wrong.  Hah.

23. 10:00
24. 10:25 

Oh heeeeeey there 10 minute and 10 minute + miles.  I haven't seen you in a year and a half of training.  How are you dooooooing?  Luckily I was in such a daze, I didn't even hear my garmin beep, thus not seeing these times.  Guarenteed I would've stopped because I for sure felt like I was running an 8:30 pace.

I knew I just had to make it to 25ish because that's when we could run through LAMBEAU.  I knew I'd be fine once I got there, that was my DREAM.  By the time we got up to the field, I was ready to cut through to the finisher's side and to hell with Lambeau.  I was getting very dizzy, but knew I had about 10 minutes to go and then I could die/pass out/do whatever my body was on the verge of doing.  I ran through Lambeau.  And it was love.  :)  I beamed....even though I'm convinced that smiling while running is wasted effort.  It was worth it.  My garmin lost signal on the tunnel into Lambeau and out of Lambeau so I had no idea what my time was.  I pushed for the final couple of minutes and sprinted (yes! I actually sprinted!) to the finish line.  I raised my hands in the air with the biggest smile EVER, crossed the line, stopped my garmin, and immediately started to look like those weeble wobble toys.

25. 10:22
26.2 12:43 (10:36 pace) (6:34 max pace at the finish line)

26.2 miles in 4:12:00.  Yeah, I'm *that* good.  For a pace of 9:37.
*That* meaning I finished with :00 for the record. ;)

A couple of medics came to support me and guide me into the medical tent, but I refused to let them until I had my medal around my neck.  Priorities, yo!  I have a tendency to faint after long runs, so I wasn't too concerned, but I just didn't want to faint standing up....concrete is not my cranium's friend.  I explained to the medics that I thought I might have some mild heat exhaustion or heat stroke and was probably also dehydrated since I couldn't take down any fluids the last couple of miles because my stomach was so upset.  I chilled for a while, literally with a blanket on and ice pack on my face, and drank some delicious gatorade and then called it a day.  Once the dizzies and nausea passed I was ready to celebrate my marathoness!

Yes my clock time and Garmin time were the same again with the :00.  I swear I'm just as impressed as you all are.  ;)

So there you have it.  I'M A MARATHONER!!!!
Toughest thing I have ever done in my life, and biggest accomplishment to date.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support.  Even though I didn't have anyone out on the course, I knew there were tons of you checking your emails, text updates, refreshing the race website, tweeting away cheering for me, texting me to HUSTLE UP (haha!), writing on my facebook wall.  You are all amazing and much appreciated.

When's #2? ;)



AWESOME JOB and recap lady!!! Ok so I too hate mile 18 and I am always asking myself why, why??? I think after Boston next year I will stick to Tri's!!! LOL

J said...

Congrats!!! Awesome race and great race report! You ran a smart race with good pacing. Now go bask in some glory!

Anonymous said...


First of all, I'm beyond impressed that resisted the urge to walk during those last few miles - that makes you a stronger runner! Fueling with those GUs, whether you liked it or not, was SO so smart :) Hopefully next time your stomach will be a little less appalled by what you're doing, but either way, YOU SURVIVED! :)

And you ran through Lambeau!!! Did i spell that right?! Whatevs man, you did it! :) I'm so happy for you, and LOVED this report. Go, Jeri, go go go

Michele said...

Yay!! Congrats!!!

Julie said...

You did so awesome!! Seriously, that is such a good time marathon woman:) I enjoyed reading your race report and you have so many cute pictures! You should be very proud of yourself and your accomplishment:) Nice work!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!! So glad I got to hear it first-hand--you did SO great! Can't wait till we can start tearing up our training together!!

Mica said...

Congratulations, lady! YOU are a marathoner now, and your time is awesome! Enjoy your sense of accomplishment, yo!

John said...

Dude, you rocked this baby! You should be so proud of yourself - you set the goal, and stuck with it until the end (and with no training partners!!). Very impressive. Congrats!

Heather said...

CONGRATULATIONS! You did an awesome job, way to go!

No Longer Using said...

really great race report! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!! you did it!!!!!!! hUge accomplishment and AWESOME job doing it :) YOU ARE... wait for it.... AMAZING!


Anonymous said...

You did awesome!!!! Great recap and even though you say you felt so bad, you look great in your photo too!!!

Pining for Pinterest said...

Way to go!!! Awesome race report :)

Jules said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! You did it!! All that hard work paid off, I'm proud of you. Loved your recap :)

Jamie said...

Congrats marathoner!!! You freaking rocked your first marathon! Great report too!

Evolving Through Running said...

Awesome post .... awesome time .... awesome job. Sounds like you won the battle with your mind and your body - well done!! Congratulations!!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Bravo! Bart Starr is proud of ya.

For number two - hydration! You need more of it, or think of S caps or Hammer Endurolyte pills with your water intake.

Great job Jeri!

Kristin @ The Southern Summer said...

Yay! I love your race report!! I know you have been looking forward to this for a while, so I am so happy that you made it back in a GREAT time! :)

Dwayne said...

Way to go! Nice recap too!

X-Country2 said...

CONGRATS!! I was so looking forward to reading your report. I knew you'd do awesome!!

Jameson said...

CONGRATULATIONS. You TriceraROCKS! Hope my dino joke made your day?

Leanne said...

Super Congrats! Excellent recap!

Badgergirl said...

Congrats on marathon number one! Glad you enjoyed Green Bay, I agree with you, it was a fantastic race. Loved reading your race recap, and I have a sinking feeling I might have spotted you in Curly's Pub on Saturday. There was a girl sitting at the bar who looked really similar to you.

Enjoy the recovery! You earned it!

..:danielle:.. said...

congrats!!! and welcome to the "club". whens your next one :)

..:danielle:.. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Congrats on your first marathon!! That is awesome! Great job! So glad you ran so well!

Aron said...

AHHHHHHHH you are a MARATHONER :) :) :)

amazing job out there girl, so so so proud of you!

Wendy said...

Congrats on a great race!!

Jen Feeny said...

CONGRATS GIRLY!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU! Welcome to the Marathoner club! YAY!!!! :) You really rocked it out there and how on earth did you actually manage a decent first mile like that? Were you lined up at the front?!?!? Bask in that after glow my dear and eat it up because you deserve it!!!

The un-Zen Runner said...

You sprinted at the end?! Dang, I've been at the verge of death at the end of my marathons...haha. Great job. I LOVED your race report. :)

Marathon Maritza said...

Congrats on becoming a marathoner, Jeri!

Glenn Jones said...


What an outstanding first marathon! I was sk happy to hear that you really kept your race plan sane and safe and were able to enjoy yourself. Did I say OUTSTANDING! ?!?!?!

I was so pleased when I saw all those even splits as I was stalking. Even better was to see you still cranking those 9:2x miles out around 20. Greatvgreat job.

What's next (after some rest of course)?

Unknown said...

Dear Marathoner,
Love the :00 action...
Can't wait to run with you in Vegas. -cw

RunToTheFinish said...

AHH!!!!! AMAZING!!!!!! Gawd girl you rocked it!! I don't know how you take so many gus though I would be barfin on someone


Librarian on the Run said...

Congrats on running an awesome race, Jeri!

Anonymous said...

SWEET SWEET SWEET JOB!!! Amazing...U rocked!!! GOOD SHTUFF!!!

baker said...

awesome work! you did great! it was so exciting getting the txt updates. i didnt know they were going to have a Wall Party, what a great idea! so, yeah, when's the next one?!

Susan said...

I'm so behind, but I couldn't stop from saying CONGRATS MARATHONER! I was checking you all morning with your race texts and you were doing AMAZING! So glad you got to realize your dream of running through Lambeau, although I'll always be a Bears fan. :)

Anonymous said...

Well I'm way late on commenting on this but....