Monthly Archives: April 2013

Race Recap-Rattler Run 10km…Medicine Hat, Macklemore and my Personal Best

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On Saturday, April 27th, I made the two hour trek out to Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Hat is in the southeast corner of the province and is the sixth largest city in Alberta. I registered for this race only two weeks ago, shortly after running the Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race. After determining my very pregnant friend Nicole would be around to meet up for lunch afterwards, I decided to register and make the drive.

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The Rattler Run is an annual race organized by Medicine Hat College. They have a “I Run 4 Me” campaign that encourages healthy, active lifestyles for everyone, and encourages people to get out there and be active no matter their skill level. They offer a 3km, 5km and 10km race. This year they capped the races at 1000 participants, and they reached their limit in runners just before race day. The 5 km was the most popular race, the 3 km had the most children (lots of kids from a local soccer club) but I chose to do the 10 km.

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One major selling point when registering for this race was the 11 am start time. It allowed me to get up at 7, have my coffee and oatmeal, and head out of Lethbridge by 8. The packet pick up in the college foyer was easy and quick, but I was surprised to see my age grouping—26-35 year olds! Usually racing categories go 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, and so on. Maybe even every 5 years if its an enormous race! At 28, I was immediately intimidated by the potential of being with some experienced 30-something’s! I tried to not think about it while I got ready. I. wandered outside into the ridiculous wind to check out the start area (wind speeds were between 45-55 mph today) to realize one problem-country music! Ok, I get it, a lot of people love country music. And when you live in the ‘Texas of Canada’, country music is very prevalent. Since one of the major sponsors was the local country music station, I had to do something drastic……

….One of my first posts in here was about how I don’t listen to music when running. Part of the issue is I don’t want to carry my phone. But, a few weeks ago I bought a hydration belt to wear, and the back pocket actually fits my iPhone 5 perfectly. So I decided to mess with normalcy and attempt to listen to music. I actually tried making a playlist that I was going to attempt to use while running. I realized, though, if it got to the end of the playlist it would not restart back to the beginning. And I didn’t want to putz with it when running. So, since my song of the moment is “Can’t Hold Us” By Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, I did what any sane person would do—I put that song on repeat.

If you don’t know that song or think I am totally damn ass crazy, take 4:18 of your life and listen to it.
Can’t Hold Us-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
For this tempo of a run and for the purpose of zoning you out and pumping you up, this song does it. I don’t know what genre of music i listen to most, but this style isn’t one I would normally be obsessed with. Maybe it is because Dan and I saw Macklemore on SNL a few months ago and I just thought he was so fun. Maybe it was because I still have a soft spot for him because we first heard his song “Thrift Shop” inappropriately on Christmas Eve when my brother in law was playing it in the van while his kids were sleeping. Either way, I would like to thank you Macklemore, for your unique styling, as I think you caused me to run my personal best 10 km. You should feel honored.

Back to the race…184 racers in the 10 km. I positioned myself at the front ready to rock. The wind was going to be a major mental issue and physical problem, so I needed to start strong. I also was not familiar with the paths we were going on, but the volunteers I talked to assured me we had it better than the 5 km, hill wise at least. I busted out of the gate and ran my first mile in around 7:05. I knew this could pose issues, but was hoping to stay under 8:00 for the first 3 miles. The wind in mile 2 hit me, and everyone else, hard. My legs were working so hard but felt like they weren’t going anywhere. The little hills everywhere weren’t even the issue—use to those in Lethbridge—but between the crazy wind and the unseasonably warm 70s weather, it was going to be a fight.

As I was taking in the surroundings and the other runners near me, I got my mind thinking about where I was placed age-group wise. It really hard to distinguish anyone’s age over 20 when you are racing. By over-judging the ladies’ ages, I figured I was at least in top 3 for my age group. That kept me pushing, as I really wanted a medal-I love the bling! The course was out and back, so reaching that halfway point was another good push, and as the trail system we were on allowed you to be able to view other portions of the course in the coulees, you could see the end in sight (even if it was three miles away).

The air was even drier than Lethbridge and thankfully I did have my Gatorade on my belt, because I needed it about three times. The last mile I really started to push, as we had to run over the highway overpass, and once you got to the top of it, it was all downhill. It actually wasn’t a true out and back, because after getting down the overpass, you went straight towards the entrance of the college, not to the back way like the start. Knowing how little of a distance I had left to go made me kick in everything I had left. I finished with chapped lips, a dry cough, extremely exhausted, and with Macklemore singing still…but I made my personal record! I listened to Macklemore for 48 minutes 38 seconds! I demolished my old 10km of 50:05! I was so excited because that was my major goal of this race.

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Awards were at 12:30 pm in the gym and I was amazed to find out I placed 1st in my age group! There were 27 participants in the 26-35 group, so not too many but still a decent number. The girl I beat out for 1st place was only about 20 seconds behind me. She told me during awards she was really trying to chase me down at the end but just couldn’t. For about two miles in the middle of the race, she had passed me and was ahead, so me being able to push by her then was the key moment.

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I am really starting to think that this whole process I am going through this year with my training is allowing me to get times I never have been able to before. Between this website, the fundraising, the self-reflection, the extra races, and the motivation of honoring my dad, I am really starting to think I can keep surprising myself this year. I have this indescribable driving force when I race now—something I haven’t had in quite some time. I hope this power stays with me all year, as the next month is going to be a rough one. I have this next weekend off, but then I have three weekends in a row of races. The Spartan Sprint is first, then two half marathons; one in Red Deer and one in Calgary. The Spartan race is for challenging myself and for having fun. I have never done an obstacle course run! I do hope to make a best time at one of the two half marathons.

Please show your support for my running in memory of my father Andrew Lammers by donating to one of the two charities found at the link at the top of the page. Both support heart disease research in North America, as the first is American Heart Association and the second is Heart & Stroke Foundation. I am hoping to raise $1000 for each before the Dopey Challenge in 2014—but I really think I can shoot for $1500 each! Take the time to read my “Purpose” up above also, and feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Andrea

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Running in Memory of Andrew Lammers-Fundraising Information

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Below is a copy of an email I have forwarded to family and friends in my personal email contact list. I wanted to share it with everyone as a general note and reminder about my purpose and goal of this page. If you regularly read my page, you probably know what I am doing and why I am doing it! If not, here is some general information and more details about my fundraising goals and efforts. Thanks!

Hi everyone. As many of you know, I have started a year-long running journey in memory of my dad, Andrew Lammers. I am documenting this journey through entries on my website, www.jemesouviens2004.com. If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at the site, I hope you find time to see some of the things I have included. Every Sunday, I update the page with a new post. The posts range in topic—about my training, race recaps, family history, Disney trips, and more. I try and tie everything together with the common link of my dad, and the important role he played on my life, and others.

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My dad and I on his 50th birthday, presenting me at the Franklin Junior Miss Competition.

By running numerous road races and reflecting on the past through blog entries on my website, I am honouring my day’s memory, as it has been 9 years since his premature passing on April 25, 2004. My training will culminate in January 2014, where I will now officially be participating in the Dopey Challenge during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This challenge covers four days, where I will compete in a 5 km, 10 km, half marathon and full marathon. This is 48.6 miles in four days!

I am asking you to show your support in my journey by reading, commenting and sharing my web page. I would also appreciate you considering donating to one of two charities—-American Heart Association (USA) or Heart & Stroke Foundation (Canada). I have created personal fundraiser pages directly associated with their organization. From my webpage, you can view information regarding the charities and links to their national web pages. My personal page for each organization offers secure donations, much like the national pages would. The direct links to my fundraising page with even more information can be found below:

American Heart Association

Andrea’s American Heart Association Fundraising Page

Heart & Stroke Foundation

Andrea’s Heart & Stroke Foundation Fundraising Page

I have set a goal of $1000 for each of these organizations, for a total of $2000. I have raised $635 for American Heart Association and $435 for Heart and Stroke Foundation. I am on my way but could definitely use your help! This time is better than ever, as I have 5 races in the next 8 weeks! I have also been very proud of how my past races this year have already gone, making my personal record in the half marathon (1 hour 53 minutes 52 seconds) and placing second in my age group at the Lethbridge Ten Mile Road Race (1 hour 23 minutes 14 seconds). Your love and support over the next 8 week stretch will be crucial and appreciated, as I am sure my body is going to want to quit on me by the time the “Millarville Run to the Farmer’s Market Half Marathon” occurs on June 15th!

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Feel free to share this email with anyone whom would find it of interest. Take care.

 

Love,

Andrea

A Cultured Childhood—-My Dad’s Life in Zurich in the 1960s

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Since I did not have a race this weekend and would have no race recap to do, I decided to continue a post I started previously. Back on January 27th, 2013, I posted about my dad’s early years and spoke about his leaving the orphanage in Quebec, becoming a US citizen, and growing up in Beloit, Wisconsin. That entry can be found by following this link:
You Have to Take a Look Back in order to Take a Look Forward…

Today, I am going to talk about my dad’s middle childhood years, when his family moved overseas to Zurich, Switzerland. The experiences he had there were always fascinating to me, but when I was growing up and would ask my dad about life over there, he didn’t really have much he remembered. There were limited photos and some of my dad’s stories I assumed to be exaggerated. Since my dad passed away, my husband and I have spent two vacations visiting my dad’s brother and his wife, Uncle Ed and Aunt Dorothy, at their summer home in Longville, Minnesota (the ‘Turtle Race Capitol of the World’. No joke!). Uncle Ed has been an excellent source for accurate stories and memories, as he seems to have a memory vault as a brain! So this entry would not have been fully possible if it wasn’t for those late nights up in Longville talking with Uncle Ed, or the email he sent me a few weeks back giving me more details about their time overseas that I didn’t even know about!

My dad and his family lived in Beloit, Wisconsin, up until my dad was 8 and a half. My grandpa worked for Beloit Corporation (Later called Beloit Iron Works) and they established their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1961. My grandpa was transferred out there as Chief Financial Officer. My grandma, dad, and Uncle Ed went out to meet my grandpa in Zurich in May 1961. They travelled by boat, leaving from the port in New York, with their final destination being LeHarve, France. My dad is fine on the boat, but apparently my Uncle Ed was very sick the whole time! They arrived in Zurich 10 days layer, where they stayed downtown at the Carlton Elite until they could move into Klus Strasse 46, and later moving to 173 Witikonerstrasse.

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The schooling my dad and his brother received over there is what I find most intriguing. My dad and his brother were three grades apart, which for some time meant they were at different school. My dad started in 3rd grade at an American school in Zurich in August 1961, as my uncle went to a British day school for 6th grade. It was the following year that things started to really change. My Uncle Ed began boarding school in Zugerberg at the Institut Montana, which at that time was an all-boys boarding school. The school is on a mountain and my uncle tells me they had fabulous skiing, and at that time, they had a 2 1/2 kilometer road that they closed in the winter for a sled run! My dad loved skiing and anything to do with winter sports! The school is still in existence to this date, but now accepts both sexes. I hope to someday travel overseas and actually visit Institut Montana! (There is a link at the bottom of this entry to the school’s website)

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Uncle Ed says the reason he was switched to boarding school was because of the better education. During the time while Ed was at boarding school, my dad continued school in Zurich and stayed at home with their parents. Ed only saw my dad on holidays during those years. My dad began school in Zugerberg in 1965, when he was in 6th grade. He was in the Juventus building. My dad apparently had no adjustment issues and had actually gone to the Zurich school with 2 of his new classmates. While my dad and uncle were now at the same school, they did not see each other much. They had different classrooms, different living quarters. They wold briefly see one another while waiting to enter the dining room, but did not sit together. They were seated by class with their teachers while in the dining room.

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My dad did not go home too many weekends, as there was much more to do at school than at home. Also, they went to school on Saturdays, so there wasn’t much time to even get back to Zurich! My uncle tells me that while he was an obnoxious, challenging teenager, my dad was nice and well-liked, but a loud kid. He was always watched out for by his brother, but rarely needed intervention! I personally enjoy the yearbook entries and comments they included about the students. Below are a snapshot of some of the real gems!

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The culture and worldly experiences my dad and his brother got to experience by being at boarding school in Zugerberg is amazing, and I’m immensely jealous! When my dad was in 6th grade (1965), they both went on a 3 week Easter trip to Greece and the Greek Islands. They went along with about 30 other students from Zugerberg. For Easter 1966, they both went on another 3 week school trip, but this time to Syria, Lebanon, Eqypt, Jordan, and Israel. My uncle tells me this one was simply an incredible experience, but that the political tensions were high-the Six Day War occurred the following year.

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I really value the stories and information Uncle Ed has shared with me recently, as my dad just would talk about general things from his experiences. Oh, and trust me, Uncle Ed has some wicked stories from their youth overseas, including but not limited to seeing The Beatles at some outdoor concert in Germany with a little-known-band called The Rolling Stones opening for them! I am sure if my dad was still alive and I asked more about these trips, he would divulge more stories, but he never just openly shared. I really enjoy finding out more about my dad’s past, because as I have eluded to before—-you need to know about where you came from, in order to enjoy where you are going.

links of interest in relation to entry
Beloit Historical Soceity
Institut Montana

Race Recap-Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race!

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The 40th annual Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race was Saturday, April 13th. I signed up for it when registration opened and opted to participate in the 10 mile distance—There was also a 4 mile distance to participate in. I had never participated in this event before, but knew it would be a well-put-together race, as Runners Soul was sponsoring it.

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I honestly hadn’t really done much preparation for this race as far as being aware of the course and start times. I was so busy this week after coming back from Milwaukee that package pickup kind of snuck up on me Friday! The course this year was apparently different than years past, as it was an out and back situation. The race would start and finish at the college. The first part of the course on Scenic Drive is relatively flat, with a few small “bumps”. For those participating in the 10 miler, we had something special in store for us—after winding on Scenic Drive for 3 miles, we would descend into the river bottom down quite a steep hill, approximately 3/4 of a mile long. This would be a nice descent, but after winding through the pathways and turning around and coming back, we would have to head up this wretched monster! I spoke about this hill in a previous blog about hill training…it is still as ridiculous as I said initially!

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The race day itself couldn’t have been any more perfect of a day for Lethbridge. There was hardly any wind, there was sun peaking out of the clouds all morning, and the temperature was somewhere around 45 degrees. The 9:00 am start time for the 10 mile was awesome also! I had this 9:00 am start time last week for the Trailbreaker Half and while I know many races, especially in the summer, start earlier, I love having this almost “late start” time. I was able to get up at 7:00, have coffee and oatmeal, get ready slowly and be set for the race. I had it set in my head I would go out at a decent pace, but my goal was to be around 8:20-8:30 minute miles. I was nervous for that hill climb back from the river valley, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t collapse.

But of course, like always, I got wrapped up in the excitement of the race and completely ignored my pacing plans.
Pacing Breakdown Map from Nike+

So, my first mile of 7:33 was one of the fastest miles I have ran in a longtime. For real. I decided to just keep my legs moving for mile two. And three. And four. I figured if I felt this good there was no reason to slow down. If I had slowed down to what my planned pace was suppose to be, I would have been frustrated at the finish line if I had energy still left.. Running through the river bottom was probably the toughest part mentally. The trail curves quite a bit and I don’t know how to say it, but the visibility is only about 100 feet in parts. For the whole race I always had at least one guy (it was always a guy) close enough to chase. In this area of the river bottom, all of a sudden those people who I was chasing disappeared. It was like I was racing alone again. Once you got spit out by Whoop-Up, the path opened up a bit and you could see people ahead of you again. I started concentrating on paying attention to the number of people turning around and heading back.. This kept my mind off any pain I may have felt or the possibility of slowing down. I started counting any ladies who had turned around and headed back, and also started figuring out what age group they fit in. I realized at the five mile I was in 8th place for the ladies so far, with what I assume to be probably two people ahead of me in my age group. This was enough to keep me moving after the turn around and now I had it set in my head I was going to place in my age group

As I approached the hill to head back up from the river bottom, I yelled to the volunteers at the bottom HERE GOES NOTHING!. I knew I could not stop and walk, because it would be that much harder to get going again. I kept on my toes and kept moving up that hill, even though the pace felt so slow. I happened to catch up to a middle aged man who was breathing hard on his way up. I don’t know why, but I just started talking to him. I started talking about the stupid hill, my race last week, my pace, etc. I told him how I had ran since I was in high school, but I had only started now taking these road races somewhat seriously. He had started running at age 36 and hadn’t been running that long, and hadn’t done any crazy long distances yet. We kept together up that hill, never stopped to walk, and powered past a few people on the way up. I had a new found energy, as we kept each other going. I passed a girl who seemed to be around my age who had walked. I had this competitive spirit in me that I hadn’t had since high school. I had to keep moving!

The hill made my mile 7 come in at a time of 10:19. I had three more miles to run, and I felt positive I could get the time of 1 hour 25 minutes that I was aiming for. On the trek back to the college, I hugged the curves of Scenic Drive, treating it like running on an outdoor track. My short legs take that many more extra steps than a normal person, so any less distance I managed to run than the other races was helpful for me. Since I was familiar with the road we were running on, I set landmarks in my head for when I would start to pick up the pace. I didn’t want to go crazy too early. I find that this planning and analyzing during a race helps me stay focused, makes the miles pass faster, and keeps me moving.. This is why I don’t listen to music-my mind is filled with a playlist and plan of its own! At the Park Royal neighborhood, I planned to start using whatever energy I had left.. This would be about 1.5 miles from the finish, and there would be a short hill from the Sugar Bowl to climb before I would be at flat road. I got that kick going and kept with it until the finish, improving each mile after that 10:19! My finish time would be 1 hour 23 minutes 14 seconds.

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I called my mom and my husband to let them know how I did. My mom obviously was home in Wisconsin, and my husband was working in the new Garry Station subdivision in West Lethbridge. At this point I hadn’t seen an unofficial result sheet, so I had to let them know what my time was and that I felt pretty good about placing in my category. They both seemed surprised at how good my time was, and frankly, I was too. I had ran the half marathon in Waukesha last weekend, broke my long standing personal record, came back to work this week after a great Spring Break, and hadn’t had much recovery time. I stand by my statement from earlier this year that running is almost sometimes more of a mental competition, than a skill.. Yes, I need to have the mileage and the training in order to compete and race at the level I want to be at. But if I had gone in to this race with a negative attitude, assuming I would not be able to do well since I had just raced the previous weekend, I would not have done well. There is something to be said out there in regards to the power of positive thinking

Awards started in the gymnasium at the Lethbridge College at 11:00 am.

20130414-110551.jpg. They went through the 4 mile categories first before moving onto the 10 mile categories. I was like a little kid when they called me up for 2nd place in the 20-29 female category. After awards, I had to have Sean from Runners Soul take a photo for me, as I didn’t want to try to do a lame self-shot with my medal. So thank you Sean for taking this photo!

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I really enjoyed this race and would recommend the 10 Mile Road Race to anyone in Southern Alberta. It is a well-organized event and a beautiful course. That being said, us runners lucked out the race was Saturday, as if it had been today, it would have been a survival of the fittest sort of event. I am not making this up, but please refer to the photo below to see what my back yard looks like 24 hours after the awards ceremony:

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Real glad Dan and I got the pond pump running…..NOT! Anyways, that’s it for today. For some upcoming posts, I plan on doing an entry on my dad’s middle years while he lived in Switzerland and also reflecting back on some past Walt Disney World vacations. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment. Also, share and like my page if you like what you are reading! And the best compliment would be to head to the charitiespage up at top and read about the American Heart Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation and how I am running in memory of my late father, Andrew Lammers. Have a great week everybody!

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Instead of being “Goofy” I am going to be “Dopey!”

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When I started this website, I talked about how my culminating race would be in January 2014, in Walt Disney World. WDW has been our family’s place and has extreme importance to me—-it was our favorite family trip. Running a RunDisney event has been on my mental bucket list for years. So, deciding to do it this year with this website and also raise money for American Heart Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation was the right thing to do. I had been set on registering for the Goofy Race & a Half, where I would be doing a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday! Totally Goofy! But then, RunDisney came out with the craziest idea, the Dopey Challenge which takes Goofy to the next level—-a 5 kilometer race on Thursday, a 10 kilometer race Friday, a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. This is a total of 48.6 miles in four days!

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I had to register for it—-I mean, I was meant for this! Even at age 7 in 1991 I was meant to be “Dopey”. A race like this can only happen in WDW, and this is a once in a lifetime experience. The amount of tears I will be shedding all week is going to crazy—-maybe I should start a betting line on it—-and I will get to share the week with my mom, who also registered for the 5 km, and my husband, who will be doing the 5 km and 10 km!

My dad would tell me I am a crazy idiot for doing this. But he would be at every race down there bright and early to cheer me on. He would want to be at Magic Kingdom as early as possible to see me run down Main Street. And he would be smiling. And I know he still will be this January when I do it.

January 9-12, 2014. To Infinity & Beyond!

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Please take the time to read my PURPOSE and CHARITIES links above to find out more about my goals and motivation for this year

Race Recap—There’s No Place Like Home! The Trailbreaker Half Marathon

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The land of my family, beer, cheese, the Brewers, and the Fonz. Why wouldn’t I want to spend Spring Break 2013 here? And hey!-a half marathon is happening in neighboring Waukesha? I’ll do that!….

On Saturday, April 6th, I competed in The Trailbreaker Half Marathon in Waukesha, Wisconsin. No, I did not fly back home solely for this race. I was actually home on my own for Spring Break visiting friends and family and I was suppose to be leaving in the morning of April 6th. Air Canada, however, got rid of the morning flight from Milwaukee to Toronto shoutout to the MKE to YYZ!. I don’t blame them for removing this flight, as it is hardly ever 1/2 full during the week and is usually just business travelers. So when they changed my flight, I got moved to the evening 7:15 pm flight, thus allowing me to register for a race! It worked out in the end anyway!

As hard as it is to believe, this would actually be the first race of mine that my mom would be witnessing. Since my high school track days at least! Before this race, I had completed 13 full and half marathons, about 3 ten kilometer races, and handfuls of 5 kilometers. . I did not hold a grudge against my mom for not coming to these races—I knew it would involve travel (she hates driving) and would be boring for her. But with the spirit of this year, I was very happy to be able to register and complete a race with her watching! (She will be down in Disney during marathon weekend with me, so this was a very mini-preview!)

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The race started at 9:30 am in downtown Waukesha at the Schuetze Recreation Center. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous the days leading up to the race. When I go home to Wisconsin for a week, I eat and drink like a stereotypical Wisconsinite. This means my pre-week training regime was a two mile and a five mile run, plus plethoras of Bloody Mary’s, craft beer, cheese, rich food, and fried food. I did eat some solid salads through the week, but I did not quite know what to expect come race day.

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About 600 people competed in the half marathon. The day started out cloudy and overcast with a slight breeze. The breeze was nothing to me, as I am used to Lethbridge-style winds! While it is not summer, there is a greater humidity down in Wisconsin than what I am used to in Alberta. With the overcast day and on-and-off sprinkles, I think I fared well considering my concern of weather variants. One huge plus that aided me in doing well (despite my Wisconsin diet regime the week prior) was the drastic change in elevation! The elevation in Lethbridge, according to Wikipedia, is 2,990 ft. I know some spots in the coulees increases and decreases this approximately +/- 200 feet. In Waukesha, however, the elevation is 873 ft! Big difference here! Hopefully my higher elevation running the past 4 years will make a difference….

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Since the course was an out-and-back number, I was not going to make my mom drive and park along the way to find me. That would have stressed her out. What stressed me out is when I tell her a ballpark time to be near the finish. It puts pressure on me not to suck! Well, I started off strong! Too strong!. At the end of this entry, I will put my split times that I got from my Nike+ SportWatch because I need some advice on how to get more consistent. This has been an issue of mine since doing road races after high school. I go out way to fast, and half the time, I hit a wall at some point. The other half is a mixture of being inconsistent the whole race or somehow miraculously mustering through. But anyone who has done a road race of any distance knows how hard it is to NOT go out too fast! Your adrenaline is pumping and you feel invincible

Mile 6 & 7 was where my dramatic increase to my splits occurred, adding +0’25” and +0’12”, respectively. This was on a part of the Glacial Drumlins Trail and people had begun to become more spread out. I did not have anyone directly in front of me within catchable distance. I started to sluff off.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t listen to music when I run. This race was nothing different. It is times like these, when I notice my lag occurring, that I begin talking to myself in my head, and calculating my pace requirements for the remainder of the race so I can finish where I needed to be. In my head, I knew I wanted to be under 2 hours. With my over-consumption of Milwaukee beer all week (oh, Milwaukee Brewing Company, you did me in, I figured this was a good goal. Under 1:55 would have been great, and beating my PR of 1:54:19 from May 2010 would have been spectacular.

I knew I’d I made it to mile 10 under my PR pace time, I could actually get that goal. At mile 10, I was still in good shape, and I had to just keep it up. Thankfully, the last two miles of the course looped back downtown Waukesha and past more supporters in general. People started to get bunched up more, and the adrenaline got going again. My legs were feeling pretty heavy, but I kept my short stumps trucking. At mile 12, a guy who had been running with his friend came up to me and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was on pace to break my PR, but my legs were starting to give. He literally screamed with excitement at me that I totally had this and to just keep pushing. . Thank you unnamed man in the visor and orange/grey shirt, because I kept looking ahead where I could faintly see the finish line and pushed on.

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I wore my bright orange Lulu Lemon jacket so my mom could see me—she was able to snap those photos as I pushed across to the finish line!. I had done it! I actually beat my old PR from almost 3 years ago! And my mom got to witness it! She told me after that at the start of the race she started crying when the gun went off. Needless to say, she is going to be a mess of tears come Disney Marathon Weekend!

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Above is my unofficial time which I was so happy to see! But, the official time gave me 1 second off, so I will take that! 1:52:53 it is!

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I actually did not feel too horrendous after the race, though the strain on my face may say otherwise! It felt great to run back home in Wisconsin! And in true Wisconsin fashion, Miller Lite was served after the race (might as well continue my beer consumption huh?)

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I am very glad my mom was able to come see me at this race—I know it had to be a bit tough to watch, as this is the first running event of mine she has witnessed without my dad. He was the one with binoculars at the track meets in high school–he loved it all. Yes, I ran my best half marathon time today to date, but what I am more happy about is that not only my mom got to see me run today back in the homeland, but my dad watched me with her as well.

Race Splits
Mile 1—7:38
Mile 2—8:18
Mile 3—8:23
Mile 4—8:29
Mile 5—8:23
Mile 6—8:48
Mile 7—9:00
Mile 8—8:46
Mile 9—8:42
Mile 10—9:03
Mile 11—8:34
Mile 12—9:14
Mile 13—9:03