Wisconsin Half Marathon

By , May 1, 2010 6:34 pm

This is the second year of the Wisconsin Half Marathon, and our second year running it! As you’ll see below though, we ran a bit slower than last year… (on purpose, mostly!).

Here’s the overview since this is long: 2:19:14 (update, official time of 2:19:11), hit the wall at mile 9:00, have a few things to work on. Full stats on the Garmin website here, and below.

I’ll start with the night before the race. Steven’s parents were in town, so they came to our house for homemade pizza, bread sticks and brownies (good pre-race food?). Then, we all went to Kenosha to spend the night in a hotel.

I met with Erin at the hotel to give her her race packet and joked about how I would have pre-race nightmares. Sure enough, I did. I dreamed that Steven and Erin started the half marathon without me and I missed the entire thing (the dream was more detailed but that is the overview) but I woke up feeling a bit awful. Do you ever have pre-race nightmares?

I woke up bright and early at 5:00 to eat some oatmeal and get ready. I went outside in a tank top to see if it was warm enough. Yeah, it was 60° and already a bit humid!

We rode to the race with Erin and Jason. We left at 6:00, but hit race traffic and got there a bit later than we all probably would have liked (and then Steven and I wasted time putting our bibs on). We didn’t even get to warm up! Steven had to wait in line at the porta potties and jumped in to the race right before it started at 7:00.

Wisconsin Half Marathon

It seemed like there were a lot more people there this year (3300) than last year (I think between 2000-2500). The race start was a tiny bit crowded, but really, it evened out right away and I didn’t feel irritated at all!

Wisconsin Half Marathon

We saw Steven’s parents right after the start! This race is an out and back that goes south then north then south again… so you end up running through downtown Kenosha 4 times, giving spectators a lot of chances to see you.

The first three miles flew by, at 10:07, 10:09 and 10:12, and I was feeling great. Sure, I felt humid and sweaty right away, but I felt pretty good for not being able to warm up! I was also enjoying the scenery.

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Unfortunately, right after taking these pictures above, around mile 2.5, I landed in a pothole and rolled my left ankle. Ouch. It made my knee hurt a bit.

We started to slow down on purpose at mile 4, 10:24. There were a few small hills (that I had forgotten about from last year!) and they were taking their toll. Also… the humidity. We had taken water at the first stop (at 1.5) and had already gone through one of our water bottles. We ended up drinking more water at the stop at mile 4 (I think we walked through this stop), and trading an empty water bottle for a full one from Steven’s parents when we saw them after mile 4. Unfortunately, I dropped the water bottle when we did the trade off and I had to sprint up a hill to catch up with Steven. That made me feel very blah. (But, Steven’s parents got a very funny video of it which I will post later!)

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Right before the water stop

Wisconsin Half Marathon

After catching up with Steven – it was SO sunny at this point!

The next four miles (4-8) felt great for me, 10:26, 10:29. 10:37 and 10:36. We were at the part of the course right next to Lake Michigan, where you could see people who had already turned around, and I was having fun looking for Erin. There were a few more hills I had forgotten about, but they didn’t seem so bad at first.

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Lake Michigan

We both ate some jelly beans around mile 5.5. Around mile 6.5 I rolled my right ankle in another pothole! Damn, parts of the course were ROUGH. That made the area below my right hip hurt for the rest of the race.

We kept drinking LOTS of water, and I think, walked through every water station after this. Last year, Steven got dehydrated, and we were trying to prevent that, so I wore a belt with two bottles and we grabbed two cups at each station. Despite that, I felt parched.

Wisconsin Half Marathon

However, I was super psyched when we saw Erin!

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Awhile after we saw her, we got to the northern turn around point. There was a breeze that felt great and the sun had gone away for a bit. But a bit after the turnaround, it happened.

I bonked.

At mile 9, the watch beeped, I looked at it, and said to Steven “I am running out of steam.” And boy, did I EVER! At that point, it was Steven pushing me to keep going, as I struggled big time (in the beginning, I was leading us). The hills seemed killer. We ate more jelly beans, but they didn’t help. We ran on the gravel, since it was softer. I focused on making it through mile 9 and 10, 10:28, 10:44, because I knew I would get a rush when I saw all the spectators in the downtown area again at mile 11.

A little optimistic.

We did run through downtown (10:44 at mile 11) and everyone was cheering, and we saw Steven’s family, but I was still struggling. We walked through another water stop right before we saw them, so I didn’t trade off the water bottles, but maybe I should have. We drank our water right away, and there was not another stop until 12. We stopped to walk before it, then walked again through it (10:45 at mile 12). It was at the turnaround point, and I filled up the bottles again and started running. Apparently, I dropped one, and a full marathoner was nice enough to throw it to me as he went straight!

I kept saying to myself, “You can run one more mile!” but I was OUT OF STEAM. I crabbily told Steven to “get out of my way” (huh?) and asked that we walk again. So we walked, maybe for a bit at 12.5. Our last mile was 11:24. I just couldn’t do it.

We did speed up a bit for the last .10 (actually .22) mile and finished it in 2:03, for a final garmin time of 2:19:14. I was actually very pleased with our overall time and average pace of 10:34 (despite positive splits) but felt awful for feeling so awful!

Wisconsin Half Marathon

I grabbed my medal and 3 bananas. I ate two and a half of them. SCARFED them down. I skipped my morning banana (bad idea) and I think that was part of the problem.

Wisconsin Half Marathon

We met up with Steven’s parents, Erin and Jason, and Erin’s parents (who she didn’t know would be there!). I took my shoes off because the bottom of my left foot (near the front outside) had been killing me for the last few miles (a picture that Steven’s parents took confirms I do, indeed, land on the outside ball of my foot when running). And it felt like the ends and tops of my toes were covered in blisters (they were).

We walked around a bit looking at the (lame) booths. Erin got in line for a massage and I took a pic with this guy:

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Then I met with this guy:

Wisconsin Half Marathon


It was so nice to finally meet Tony. I love meeting other bloggers, and could tell he is super nice! He lives pretty close to me and did really well at the race! I cannot wait to read his recap!

After I chatted with Tony, we waited a bit with Erin and Jason so Erin could get her massage.

Wisconsin Half Marathon

Steven, Kim and Erin

After she did, we hobbled (me) back to the car. Then went to the hotel and sat in the hot tub (wasn’t that hot, which is good!) then ate a TON of Mexican food afterward. Well, I did anyway.

So, perks of the race:

  • I didn’t have to POO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Crap, is that all I can think of?
  • Okay, I still had fun, even though I bonked.
  • Meeting Tony.
  • Seeing Erin at the turnarounds!
  • Running with Steven, who did great!
  • The polka music at the end
  • My right shin did not hurt

And here is what I am thinking regarding my performance:

  • I have become too cocky of a runner. Not in the “I can run a fast pace” sense, but in the “I can run any distance and feel great” sense. It is TIME to refocus on NUTRITION. I have another one of these to run in 6 weeks.
  • I have gained too much weight. When I PR’d last year, I weighed maybe 20 pounds less. I’ve been eating too carelessly. Yep. I am not worried about the time, but think it would make me feel better.
  • When I was running, I kept thinking, “Why do I want to run a full again?” Ha. I think I just had an “off” end of the run!

And a few complaints:

  • The water spots were not where they said they would be, AGAIN.
  • The built-in bra (riiiiiiight) in my tank seems to have chafed a line across my back, even though I used body glide. It stings.
  • Updated to add: I wasn’t planning on wearing this top. I had a new, orange Nike top to wear, but it was too hot. Well, you can’t see my nipples, but let me tell you, they hurt!
  • My left heel hurts. Wah. (It hurt when I woke up).
  • I got a sunburn, despite putting sunscreen on.
  • Update to add: Someone running near us for the entire race had a watch that beeped a weird tune every 30 seconds.

In conclusion…

  • I had a ton of fun and am so happy Erin came out!
  • I will learn from this race and use that knowledge to hopefully NOT bonk next time.
  • Time to get serious about my diet!

Wisconsin Half Marathon | Distance: 13.22 | Time: 2:19:14 | 1: 10:07 | 2: 10:09 | 3: 10:12 | 4: 10:24 | 5: 10:26 | 6: 10:29 | 7: 10:37 | 8: 10:36 | 9: 10:28 | 10: 10:44 | 11: 10:44 | 12: 10:45 | 13: 11:24 | 14: 2:03

55 Responses to “Wisconsin Half Marathon”

  1. ChezJulie says:

    Congratulations, Kim! Sorry it was a bit of a tough run for you, but you never give up! I love the picture of you and blue.

  2. teamarcia says:

    Ugh I’m pooped just reading that. Good for you for sticking it out and finishing. It was hot and the beating sun is an added complication for sure. How cool you got to meet Tony! I’ve gotta get my carcass out and run with some of my local blogger peeps!
    Cute pics!

  3. Tonia says:

    Way to stick it out despite difficulty. I love that your #1 perk was that you didn’t have to poo. Too funny

  4. Way to go on the race! I love that you guys ran it together- as to keep each other motivated…

    Polka music you say? That’s too funny…

    • kilax says:

      They played it at the end of the race last year too. I wish they would have bands playing it during the race. Not that I am a huge fan, but it would keep me going!

  5. Amy says:

    When I was reading the middle of your race report I was thinking, “She didn’t eat enough!” – it really sounded like you weren’t fueled up. The same thing happened to my mom at our first half… That sucks. Also the rolling your ankles thing – aarrgghh! But you did it, you stuck it out, you crossed the finish line after all that! And I think that is even more of an accomplishment than finishing a race that feels good all the way through. So in my book, YOU ROCK!!!

    • kilax says:

      Thanks! 🙂 I already plan on eating more before my next half… and making sure I eat a proper diet leading up to it as well!

  6. Shannon says:

    Congratulations on pushing through until the end. That is so hard to do when you hit that wall!

  7. Carol says:

    Congrats! You did great. I would hate to run a half in heat and humidity! I guess I’m spoiled not having to deal with humidity cuz it kills me off (I’m originally from northern Indiana).

  8. K says:

    Oh man- the heat and humidity would have killed me! I was thinking about you yesterday when I was pushing through the heat at my 5k.

  9. Ali says:

    Congrats and well done on a tough race!

  10. BostonRunner says:

    Congrats on the race! I’m soo bad at running in humidity. That would have made me want to stop at like mile 2, instead of mile 9. Way to push through though! I think focusing on nutrition sounds like a good plan, I’m trying to do the same.. it’s crazy how much better I feel when I eat healthy – haha sounds so obvious when you type it out, right?

  11. Mica says:

    Oh wow, Kim! Did we have the same race yesterday? I didn’t roll my ankle, but I started feeling like butt around Mile 2.5.

    It’s so odd how we came away with similar conclusions from the race. I really don’t think my performance was terrible, but I am disappointed after training so hard, and I am pretty upset that I felt too crappy to push through it. (Laziest runner ever.) And yeah, it doesn’t help that I feel a lot chubbier than last year. Gross.

    Maybe we should install a long distance relationship for healthy eating, training, and getting back on track?

    • kilax says:

      I think that sounds like a good idea – we can support each other in getting back on track. Is school stress part of what is making it hard for you? Your semester is over soon, right? Then you are jet-setting off to Korea! 🙂

  12. Anne says:

    Great job on finishing your race!! Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling so good near the end, but you still ran it at a really good pace.

    Oh and that’s pretty much forefront in my thoughts…please let me not need to poo during a race (first races coming up in May!!)

  13. Great recap Kim! I understand your frustrations with the heat and humidity, that can really drain you during a race! There were a lot of collapses this year during the half and I’m guessing is it’s because of the heat that people weren’t prepared for it.

    You kicked this race’s butt! Your pace is awesome! Congrats to both of you! 😀

    • kilax says:

      Thanks Andrea 🙂 I wonder if we had any one collapse at our half. I know that an ambulance went through the course right after the 11-mile mark. I should see if I can find any info about it.

  14. Libby says:

    Way to finish! I just told Erin that I’m super jealous of the cheese head medals! Seriously, the WI girl in me thinks that those medals are the coolest ones ever! haha

  15. Susan says:

    Great job on the race, even with the tough times at the end! The race was awesome last year (I may be biased…haha), but boo for the heat this year! It seem as though the entire country is experiencing a bit of a heat wave. 🙂

    Yayyy cheese medals!

    • kilax says:

      I really wish it would have been as cool as last year. It was the perfect temp! Oh well 😉

  16. Kristie says:

    Oh man, after the humidity we’ve been having the past few days all I’ve been thinking is how I really, really hope the morning of my marathon is nice and cool and not humid.

    Wait, you mean summer generally = humidity. Shoot. 😉

    Seriously though, nice job on finishing. I like that you kind of evaluated all if it to see what the problem was and what you’re going to do to fix it for your next race.

  17. You did an AMAZING job — congratulations!! 😀

  18. J says:

    So sorry that you hit the wall at mile 9. That totally stinks. I also have a very similar picture (the one you have your tongue out in) of my friend while running a half! Seems to be a common feeling during a race like that! Great job on running the half!

  19. k8 says:

    It makes me so excited to hear about this, no matter how it went. Because I want to do it.

  20. Jamie says:

    Way to stick it out and finish even though you may have not been feeling your best. Humidity is tough to run in! Congrats on the 13.1!

  21. RunningLaur says:

    Congrats on another race! Every race has its lessons, and you’ll only be stronger at the next one for it. Congrats with another one on the ‘done’ list!

  22. Mallory says:

    Awesome work! It’s so easy to run when it feels good, it’s a totally different kettle of fish to push through an off run; I’ve been having a lot of those recently, I needed this post to push me into not being such a cop-out…so thanks!

    I remember people telling me that I wouldn’t be able to sleep before my first race, that I’d have the jitters and be up all night. I ate a nice big pasta dinner and passed out, I slept great, don’t know what everyone was talking about…I’m a good sleeper though.

    • kilax says:

      I wish I could sleep better the night before a race like you! I don’t know what it is. I am usually not nervous, but my mind is racing 🙂

      Good luck with your running 🙂

  23. Congrats on the race!! It sounded tough but you should be proud of pushing through 🙂 Maybe you bonked because of a loss of electrolytes?? When I ran this weekend, it was super humid + hot and I felt like a weak zombie until I started sipping that coconut water…..night vs. day

    The bullet points at the end made me laugh 😀

    • kilax says:

      It probably was the electrolytes. I think I need to run with actual sports beans (or something) and Gatorade (or something 😉 ).

      Ha. “Zombie” describes the feeling exactly. I am happy you started feeling better after your long run!

  24. Karla says:

    Congratulations! You’re a star!!
    Glad you didn’t poo 🙂

  25. Joanne says:

    You did a FANTASTIC job. You kept going. You finished. Running IS all about nutrition – after all, it’s the fuel that keeps the engine running.
    It was hot (60 is hot in my book)and really, how many days have you been able to train is warm weather? We have to climatize in order to be able to run at peak.
    Good for you, Kim. This really motivates me for my next half… which by the way, I’m not looking forward to today ’cause I somehow lost my mojo. 🙁

    • kilax says:

      I like your rationale. I am all about blaming it on the heat (okay, AND nutrition!).

      What happened to your mojo?!

  26. onelittletrigirl says:

    OMG…I ran near someone who had a beeping watch once!! Luckily, for me, it was only a 5k!!! Sounds like a great race Kim and like there were more goods than bads!

    i never have pre-race nightmares because I almost never sleep the night before a race.

  27. Congrats on your finish! It looks like it was a beautiful day for a run! Some of those lakefront shots look like they were taken in Chicago – so funny! Also, I wish I could run with sunglasses on, but the pounding on my nose makes it tingle and I hate that feeling. For that reason, I’ll always be wearing a hat or visor when I run!

  28. Tony says:

    Kim, sorry to hear you had some issues with the run, but I think you did great! Some of the course was a battlefield with all the potholes. It was so cool to get to meet you and Steven. I hope we get to run in to each other at some of the other local races soon.

    • kilax says:

      We should swap race calendars this summer 🙂 (You can also kind of see mine in the sidebar on my site)

  29. Holly says:

    CONGRATS on your race, Kim – that is awesome! It LOOKS like it was HOT. Sun is always a mixed blessing on a race day, right? And I’m so sorry your heel is bothering you….BUT, glad that your shin didn’t bother you! It looks like you still had a wonderful time with your family and friends.

  30. Jen says:

    Congrats on your race! I applaud you for sticking it out!

    Also…loved your poo comment! hahahahah

  31. I’m sorry it was sort of a yucky race for you. You look great in the pictures though! It sounds like nutrition (lack of) was a big part of why it didn’t feel so good for you.

    I am thinking I am going to have problems with nutrition on race day because when I run at home I can’t eat before I run. If I do, I end up puking and having a horrible run no matter how much before I run I eat. But I don’t think I would have enough energy for a really long run without eating. I have no idea what to do. Saturday I ran 7.5 miles and felt great. I didn’t eat anything before the run. I guess I am wondering how far I can push it without eating so I don’t ruin the race by eating before OR by not eating before. It is all so tricky to figure out!

    I also hope it isn’t too hot when we do ours. I am currently dripping with sweat after about a mile when it is NOT hot so I can’t even imagine how gross I will be if it is hot or humid out!

    • kilax says:

      Thanks Tori (for saying I look great). When I finished this, I was immediately worried about our race. I think it will be ME slowing us down.

      I once ran 11 miles w/o eating and was okay. BUT, I think I ate while I was running. Have you tried that yet? Have you tried getting up a few hours before your run to eat then going back to bed?

      I am thinking it might be hot for ours too… 🙂 We should put funny stickers on so we can get some sweet tans.

      Did you end up getting some running clothes?

  32. Linzi says:

    Loved your race recap. Sorry to hear that you rolled your ankle a few times, but sounds like you kept trucking along. And even though you felt crappy toward the end you still had a good mile time. I am super impressed with your focus to keep going. I think I may have done a lot more walking than running. But good for you Kim! 🙂 I also checked out your race recap page, and LOVED all the photos.

    • kilax says:

      Thank you! 🙂 And thanks for checking out my race recap page. I had a lot of fun putting it together. Have you thought about doing one? It is a good way to review your accomplishments, like you said about the weekly training update 😉

  33. Kim says:

    Great job! Sorry about the ankle rolling and humidity – humidity is the WORST to run in! Still, you got a great time! Already signed up for next year? 🙂

    • kilax says:

      We are already taking strategy for next year! 🙂 I’m sure we’ll run it again!

  34. diane says:

    Sorry you felt like you bonked, but you still had a great race! My running/endurance has been SO off lately. I can’t even run a mile without stopping to walk. Ugh. Maybe it really is the weather! Which is sad…I love this weather!
    Anyway, blah, enough about me. Again, good job!!!

    • kilax says:

      What do you think is going on with your running? Just readjusting to the weather?

  35. Whew! Kim! Sounds like a rough day, girlie! Glad you finished, ate TONS of Mexican food, reflected on the journey :), and… didn’t show us your nipples! LOL

    Seriously, looking forward to Chicago Half in Sept… my pace is much slower than yours! Yikes.

    Oh, and the humidity… GIRL! It has kicked in here in Orlando… 88 degrees and +++humidity last night when I ran at 7:30 PM(!). I had the dehydration issue last October…very bad. Water stations need to BE where they’re supposed to be!! FAIL.

    • kilax says:

      Don’t worry about your pace in Sept. I need to take it slower anyway (I will be in the end of marathon training then!).

      I cannot imagine if I lived there. I would melt!

  36. Megan says:

    Great race report! It was definately more humid than I was expecting,and while I love the course, I hate that section with all the potholes. I wish they could fix that or re-route us for that strech because it is dangerous! Agreed about the water stops too.

    Also agree about the cockiness – I have been going through bouts of that too, which in turn impacts the intensity of my workouts. I need to get my head right again!

    Congrats on the finish! Hope you’ll beback next year!

    • kilax says:

      I remember last year they sent out an email asking what we thought of the course – I am going to ask about the potholes and water stops 😉

      I hope to be back next year! I love that we have been doing it since the inaugural, like you. What is your next race?

      Thanks for stopping by!

  37. May says:

    Kim- WOW, congratulations on finishing the 1/2 marathon! We received and read your email this past weekend but we didn’t get a chance to reply. We met someone and had visited to “chat” for a few minutes but turned out to be hours. You know how it is when Fritz talk to people, he can literally make them stay for a long time but only because they want to :). We do miss you guys and your vegan cooking <3. So you say you have not been watching your diet? Regardless, you still did great but knowing you, I know you want to do better. Thank you for thinking of us especially Olivia and I. We feel very special. Oh, thank you soooo much for the birthday cards! One of these days, we have to call you.

    Take care!

    • kilax says:

      Hi May! Thanks for reading our recap and looking at our pics! I miss how we could chat with you guys forever! 🙂

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