Fellow runners and friends (and running haters, I know you’re reading this too!) –
Guess what?! I’m alive and surprisingly well after running the windiest, coldest, yuckiest race I’ve ever run!
We got an email the night before the race, as we drove through wind and rain to get up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I opened it, hoping for a cancellation, Instead, it said this:
Moderate to high alert level for less than ideal conditions (LOL.)
Naturally, as the kids fought with sleep and one another in the back seat and I fought to see the lines on the misty road, I toyed with throwing in the towel before the race even started.
Knowing the weather forecast in advance, I was honestly hoping that email would say the race had been cancelled and we would have a credit to run another race for free (ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY!)
That would’ve been amazing. But nope, the gun would shoot off at 8:05am as planned. On the grossest winter day April 14th had ever seen.
So on we ventured to our Airbnb, arriving after 9pm and not getting the kids down until closer to 10 (insert GASP from all my schedule loving parent friends). YOU GUYS, our AIRBNB experience turned out to be one for the books. NOT IN A GOOD WAY. Stay tuned of that story soon, you do not want to miss it. I can laugh now, I think??
Saturday morning rolled around and after a sleepless night, I rolled out of bed as quietly as possible and made my way to my “flat mama.” (Flat mama = race clothes laid out all pretty.)
- I suited up:
- ear warmers
- fleece lined leggings
- 3/4 zip
- rain jacket
- water wicking socks
- And the most amazing running shoes ever (The new Brooks’ levitate…the dreamiest piece of my uniform)
2. I looked outside and challenged my inner BA. Decided to let her win.
3. I downed some breakfast:
- A lemon Lara bar (THE best flavor by a landslide)
- Half of an egg/cheese panini from corner bakery (yes, I like to eat a lot before running)
- Half a cup of coffee
- 8oz of water (don’t want to drink too much because porta potties are ew.)
4. The cheering squad (Kev, Coleton, Annabelle, and Calvin) dropped me at packet pickup.
It remained wicked cold/windy/dreary, but thankfully not a downpour.
I grabbed the packet, called Kevin to come get me, went back to the car to drink more warm coffee and sit on the heated seat til the very last moment, once again questioning my resolve.
Our Airbnb was close so I popped back in there to pee one last time and said to myself LET’S DO THIS.
5. Then it was off to the races! I couldn’t believe how many people actually came out to run in those conditions (at least a couple thousand). I guess Wisconsin people are used to sucky weather, as I should be as an Iowan.
They had us stand in the corral for at least 15 extra minutes, making sure everyone was adequately tight and cold muscled before we began.
Where my physical game felt weak, my mental game was strong. There’s something about race day that just gives you a natural, almost primal rush. Much deeper and richer than caffeine can offer.
I wish I had more pictures for you. The drab day made it nearly impossible for my 6, 5, and 2 year old children to stand out there and cheer for me and capture it, and I’m much too cheap to buy the professional race photos from a race like this, but all in all, I actually had FUN.
The kids had never seen one of my races before, so that was amazing.
I didn’t walk at ALL, which was my goal considering the weather and last couple training runs that didn’t go so well (lots of walk breaks.)
I also crossed the finish line with a huge smile across my face (at 2:15:15) and felt completely normal throughout the day and the following day. This means I probably could have left more out there. HOWEVER, feeling happy and energetic was vital for our family getaway weekend to go off without a hitch.
(When I push myself, it tends to mess with my stomach, give me headaches, and make me generally feel like crap for at least the race day if not the day to follow as well.)
All things considered, I’m thrilled that my “second choice race” happened and my legs and lungs rocked it out. It didn’t hurt that I fell in love with the amazing Greatest Showman album a couple weeks ago and pulled that B out for the last 40 minutes on the course.
If you’re considering a Midwest race, I give the Brew City 2.5/5 stars.
- It was a boring course, a couple rolling hills but all bike path and out and back two directions. (the course changed from downtown Milwaukee last year. Boo.)
- Parking was limited and far away for most people, but they did offer a shuttle.
- The shirts were AWESOME! (this is always important to most people, but in my capsule-isa closet, I doubt it’ll last more than 6 months 😉
- The brat/chips/granola bars/beer was great post race food, but the weather made sure no one enjoyed it outside.
- The pacers did a great job (at least mine did!)
- The medals are huge and awesome!
- Overall morale and attendance was fabulous. <3
I would do the Brew City again if I knew the weather would be beautiful. But I think I’m committed to staying away from April showers. 😉