Milwaukee Running Festival Half Marathon: Race Recap

Happy Monday!!!

Today I am linking up with Katie over at Healthy Diva Life for some #MIMM action!

Yesterday I a half marathon as part of the Milwaukee Running Festival. The Milwaukee running festival has a distance for every runner- from a 1 mile race to a marathon. I signed up for this race on a whim about a month ago and I am so glad that I did. You can’t beat a race that is right in your own backyard! I literally left my apartment for the race 35 minutes before the gun was set to go off.

Race outfit! Kind of overdressed- but hey I was warm! (and sweaty)

I’m going to try to give you a play by play of everything that happened! This is actually my first ever race recap, and my first race in almost a year and a half. Gosh, I did not realize it had been that long.

Morning of:

I set my alarm for 5:45 a.m. for a 7 a.m. start of the race. I woke up feeling pretty refreshed thanks to the extra hour of sleep from daylight savings time! Although I did get woken up a couple times from people being loud in my apartment building in the wee hours of the morning. What else can you expect from a bunch of college kids on halloween night??

I hopped out of bed (more like rolled) and made some coffee. I always drink coffee the morning of a race or even before a morning run to help prevent any digestive issues during the run (I’m assuming you catch my drift here). I browsed the internet for a bit while drinking my coffee and water, went to the bathroom, got dressed, and I was ready to go at 6:20. I called an uber and started munching on a banana. My uber arrived in about 5 minutes and we were headed to the race! I would have driven myself but my car wouldn’t start the other day so that was out of the question. Taking an uber was actually pretty nice because I didn’t have to worry about parking. As soon as I got dropped off I caught a glimpse of another runner and realized that I had forgotten by bib #runnerfail. I knew I couldn’t go back to get it- I didn’t have enough time and had taken and uber so I decided to go to the results tent and see if there was anything they could do. Lucky for me, there was one half marathon bib left! I was happy that I would actually be able to have an official time.

Next up was a quick stop at the port-o-pottys and then into the corrals I went! I ended up lining up behind the 1:40 pacer for the half. That was actually the fastest pace team they had which I though was a little surprising. This was my second half marathon, and I ran my first in 1:42:30, so I figured I would be a little ballsy and shoot for a sub 1:40. I ended up running the first 3ish miles with the pace group and then decided to pick up the pace. If I really wanted to run a sub 1:40, I would have to move a little faster. I was feeling pretty strong at this point, but going through the three mile marker in 22:30 made me a little nervous. I really did not want to fade at the end and wanted a strong finish. I stopped second guessing myself and just went with it. I was feeling good, so why not give it my all??


I slowly began picking it up and eventually caught up with the 3:15 marathon pace group. I knew that if I kept them in sight I could finish in 1:37:30. The marathon and half marathon had the same course route until a little over 9 miles in, so after that I was on my own to determine my pace. I just went with what felt good and kept moving on up.  I would be lying if I said that I don’t like passing people in a race. I used to be that person always getting passed at the end, so it felt good to know that I had not gone out like a jack rabbit and exhausted myself.

Photo my mom caught of me about 600 meters or so from the finish – I was either waving to my parents in this photo or first bumping (I did both when passing them ha).

I ended up finishing in just over 1:37 – 1:37:05 to be exact. I was pretty happy overall with my time! Were there parts of the race that I could have pushed myself more? Sure. But overall I would describe the race as “comfortably hard”. Those are the kinds of races I love- when you are pushing yourself just the right amount that you have a positive experience.

Note the banana in the pants- #classy.

After I finished the race, I didn’t stick around too long. I got my medal and a banana at the finish line and walked around for a bit to cool down. I actually jogged right through the finish line and a bit further because I prefer to slow down gradually and let my body cool down instead of shocking it all at once. I found my parents, snapped a few pictures and made my way back to my parents car. They drove me back to my apartment and waited for me to take a quick shower so we could head over to the parking garage to take a look at my car. My mom did my dishes & cleaned my sink and my dad vacuumed my floor while I showered #bestparentsever. I won’t bore you too much with the rest of my day, but my car did get fixed! The battery just needed to be changed. The rest of my day was filled with grocery shopping and lots of studying! I have a big neurocranial exam on Friday that I really needed to hunker down and study for.

Post race food- Oats with chocolate protein powder & flax, a banana, another banana on the side, and nuun Cherry Limeade! The first meal after a long run/ race is always a bit hard for me to get down because I am never that hungry, but after I eat I become hungry almost all day long. Its like when you break the seal while drinking. Necessary, but inconvenient at times.

Overall thoughts on the race:

I really enjoyed it being super close to my apartment and the fact that I was pretty familiar with most of the course. I generally am one to get lost/ not be able to follow directions (even when things are clearly labeled) so I was glad to have a general idea of where I was going.

It was smaller because it is a newer race- I think last year was the first year, so I am sure that it will continue to grow. I liked that the start corrals weren’t crowded even though they didn’t have specific time corrals.

Snap chatting at the finish- totally necessary right???

The weather was as good as you can expect for Nov. 1st. It was sunny and pretty warm, but the wind was a little bit heavy at times- but overall not too bad. I wouldn’t say that the wind set me back much at all in terms of time. I also probably overdressed, but I am used to training in much warmer/heavier clothes than most people. I wore nike full length running leggings, a long sleeve under armor, and the race tech gear shirt over it. Lots of people were wearing tank tops and shorts, so I definitely looked overdressed. I actually didn’t feel hot at all except for miles 3/4 when the sun was directly on me.

A down side to this race was that there were not many spectators. It is always fun to run a race that has more people cheering you on – even if they are strangers. If you are someone who feeds off of a crowd, then this race may not be as exciting for you- but I think that fact will change as the race grows.

The race was well organized, the expo was really nice, and they had plenty of water stops. I would run this race again. But i think I am setting my sights on the Chicago Marathon for next year. After seeing all of the hype about it this year, I instantly knew that I wanted to run it. Hopefully that will be my second go at a successful marathon!

Final thoughts:

Running races always helps me to realize how much I am capable of and that you can push your body harder than you think. One of my favorite things about running is that it never fails to make me appreciate my body for what it can do, instead of what it looks like. Also, just saying I think all of my sweet potato and banana eatin’ really helped me to power through this race. I don’t know how much of an effect my Vegan diet has had on my running, but i can say that I feel fan-freakin-tastic and I have absolutely no desire to go back to eating animal products. I just had to put a little plug in there about veganism since it is National Vegan Day today! I also am a total adrenaline junkie, runner’s high fanatic and love that post race buzz. Its kind of addicting.

Also random side note- I really wish I had more time to blog lately because I have so many ideas/thoughts/recipes in my brain and I really want to share them! But, that will have to wait until dental school stops kicking my ass (I’ve been kicking it right back, don’t worry

Tell me, what do you love about racing??? What is the next race you are gearing up to run? Do you self-reflect a lot on long runs?? What was the best part about your weekend? Mine was definitely this race – oh and the dental school halloween bar crawl on Friday night!

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