Half Marathon #3 for 2013!

Another amazing weekend has come and gone far too quickly.  The awesome times always seem to fly by, but that just makes room for more memories to be created.  The Brewers Half Marathon was one of those memories that will stay with my for years to come.  I was happy to be able to spend it with some great friends.

Elizabeth and I headed south after a half day of work on Friday to meet up with Matt and Molly for some shopping, dinner and relaxing.  The four of us spent the afternoon walking through Miller Park, picking up our race packets (and Matt had to grab a “few” extra magnetic Brewers 2104 schedules – Molly I don’t think you will be able to find your refrigerator once he puts them all up!), shopping at Whole Foods and then dinner and fun at Dave & Busters.  After a marathon game on Uno, it was time to get some sleep and get ready for Saturday morning.

Elizabeth and I, at Miller Park by 6am!

Not sure how we managed it, but Elizabeth and I were up BEFORE our alarms went off at 0’dark-thirty!  We were dressed and out the door early and AT Miller Park by 6am!  Even though we knew that we were not going to be running together for this race, it was exciting to know that we were there for each other.  We each had our target finish time and were determined to do our best.

When we arrived at Miller Park, it was the perfect morning for a run through the streets of Milwaukee!  Although the crowds were thin when we first arrived, but before long we were in the midst of all the excitement of this event and the fact that we were back in Miller Park again!  We were about to run through this awesome stadium for the second time this summer!  Combine that we a morning of perfect running weather, what more could we ask for?

Just as the sun was starting to come up, we made out way over to where MyTeam Triumph was getting ready for today’s race.  They had several captains and even more angels ready to hit the streets of Milwaukee to make more dreams come true.  It is always a great sight to see all of the excitement on the faces of everyone involved with this amazing organization.  Oh the places they will continue to go!  I am looking forward to next year when I can do more with mTT and run with these inspiring individuals.

Before long it was time to head towards the start line.  Matt and Molly were at the park and Matt was making his way over to the start line too.  Although he was only running the 10k this morning, we had previously decided that we were going to run the first mile together, up to the 10K/Half Marathon split.  It is hard to believe that our summer of running together is coming to a close!  We only have a few more races that we will be running together in 2013.  I am proud of all of the things we accomplished this summer.  We set and surpassed personal goals, never gave up (even tho the thought crossed our minds from time to time) and had fun while we ran hundreds of miles together.  We have pushed each other to achieve things we never thought possible and I look forward to more miles that we will run together in the future!  Thanks Matt keeping me moving this summer!

 Finally it was time to start this adventure through the streets of Milwaukee.  I would spend the next 2+ hours running past many of the area landmarks, including the Harley Museum, The Mitchell Park Domes, Miller Brewing Company, over several of the amazing bridges and of course running around and THROUGH Miller Park.  After the cool morning, the sun came out and the temperatures seemed to settle at a very comfortable point. the first half of the course was behind me before I knew it!  I was feeling great and was on pace to finish well within my 2:30:00 goal.

It was about the half way point that I could really tell that the temperatures had continued to slowly climb and it was getting a bit warmer.  I was thankful that I had my hydration belt with me!  Between that and the well placed water stations, I was able to make it through the back half of the course. Around mile 9, I passed the second of the mTT teams along the course.  Seeing this crew of Angels with their Captain and their amazing smiles on their faces and encouragement they were providing to others on the course gave me the push that I needed to keep moving forward.

I know that I slowed my pace on the second have of the course, but I was determined to give this course my best – even through the nasty hills at mile 10.5 tried to get the best of me!  No matter what Milwaukee was going to throw at me, I was going to make it to the end!

The last mile of the course is what everyone was looking forward to – around and through Milwaukee Park!  It is always a huge boost when you have thousands of people cheering as you make your way through any course, but with you are on that warning track around the stadium it is that much more motivating!  This last mile was my fasted mile for this race – and I have the cheering crowd to thank.  No matter how tired and sore you might feel, the excitement and cheering just gets you moving again!

Once outside the stadium, a few more turns and the finish line was in front of me!  I made it!  Official time = 2:29:10!  So, even though I slowed on the back half of the course, I still was able to hit my target time and I was still smiling at the end!

Next stop – a few free beers while I wait for Elizabeth to finish!  I didn’t have all that long to wait – by the time I got through the line at the beer trailer and made a loop through the finish line festivities, she was done – and ahead of her target finish time also!  Another successful day, running in the awesome Wisconsin Summer sun!

Until next year Milwaukee!

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