Sometimes you run a marathon prepared and sometimes you don't. While the former is the better way to do it, I seem to always find myself in the latter.
Wisconsin Marathon is located just over the border which makes it easy to run it if you are from Chicago area. With packet pickup options in Chicago and easy parking race morning, it is perfect race to make with friends or go solo. This year, I went solo and parked only a few hundred meters from the start. It was cool and windy at the start. While I had signed up for the full, I had convinced myself I was going to drop down to the half. A half was plenty... no need to kill myself.
First half of the race was fine. Felt good, weather was good, slight overcast, barely any wind and enough people to keep the miles ticking. Still was convinced I would do the half at mile 11. However, as I got closer to the half mark (i.e. finish line), I thought that I wouldn't get better conditions to run a full... let's just do it. About 20 seconds after I made the decision to do the full, i started running parallel to the finish and passed it. It was a quick turn but once the decision was made, you were stuck. It was at this time I regretted doing the full and continued to have that regret the ENTIRE second half of the race. However, I trudged through and got it done. I had one moment when I crept up on a guy that was hysterically crying around mile 22. He was struggling and wanting to quit. The problem is the back half of the course was on residential streets and with most people doing the half, it was pretty lonely and no SAG vehicles. I stayed with him for 5 minutes or so and then had to keep moving. Felt bad but he was so upset, it wasn't helping me being alongside him. Made it to the finish within regulation and no blisters.
At the finish line, since I was one of the last people, the RD and volunteers gave me a ridiculous amount of post race food since there was very few people to come in after me. I obliged and took it and then again, regretted having so much to lug back to the car. Seriously, this day was full of regrets. But, i made it back to my car and pulled through the Wendy's drive through on my way out of town. It was only an 1-ish drive back home but I was eating some junk. The drive through girl was hilarious when i pulled up since I had my bib and medal in the passengers seat and she saw it. While i ordered a hamburger and coke, I got a hamburger, large fry, coke and frosty. I didn't complain and basically negated the last 6 hrs of exercise in 30 minutes! Oh, I also might have stopped at the outlets and shopped on the way back so I guess I couldn't have been that miserable!
Another marathon, done!
My write up for Chicago Athlete: