Monday, October 4, 2010


Starting line, Grafton High School!
Here we are- at the post I've been waiting to do for months. I ran the Lakefront Marathon yesterday- and I feel great!  (ok, that may be an exaggeration).  Let's recap.

First of all, let me tell you about my stats from the race.

Finish Time: 4:11:45
(Goal time: 4:20)
Pace: 9:37/mile
7 mi: 1:07:29
half: 2:07:46
20 mi: 3:14:33

Dan, Me, Nikki
I slept great the night before the race, so I woke up nice and refreshed the morning of.  Normally I wouldn't even think about showering before a run but race day was different.  I wanted to feel fresh, and ready to go so I showered, and by the time I was ready my crew team was also ready.  Wendi picked us up (me, Phil, Danny & Nikki) and we left our place around 6:40 a.m. The race started at 8, so I had plenty of time to get there, use the bathroom and stretch.  I was really nervous on the drive up to Grafton, it felt like forever getting up there.  I just kept thinking- if the drive takes this long, good lord this run is going 
to be forever.  

Family Photo!
Me & Wendi!
Once my crew left, I put my sweats in my race bag and dropped it off.  The race takes all the runners bags and transports them to the finish line to be picked up as you cross the line.  It's awesome because you can stay in your sweats until the last minute if you want to.  After dropping my bag off, I lined up with the 4:20 pace group.  That was something really helpful with the race- the pace groups.  They had a pace runner who was designated to run their respective pace during the whole race. They carry a sign with their time on it, and help carry you to your time goal.  4:20 was a good place for me to start because it was slow enough, but not TOO slow.  The pacer's name was Gary- it was his 50+ marathon!!  He was really energetic, and very welcoming to everyone, especially 1st timers like myself.

2.5 miles, and REALLY excited!!

Mile 7, feeling really good!
The first place I knew I'd see my crew (that's what I'll call them from now on) was about 2.5 miles in.  I was so excited to see them!  Hence, the jazz hands showcased to the left. I was really relaxed, and just wanted to have fun, and it worked out!

Quickly after the 2.5 mile mark, I realized the pace group was a little bit behind me. I wasn't sure what to do- I felt like I was running at a sustainable pace, but was afraid it was too fast.  I ended up finding 2 others feeling the same way- Rob & Lisa-(right behind me in the pic to the left, in  the left of the picture)  It was their first marathon too, and we kind of decided to just run together.  We were all shooting for the same goal and seemed to be going the same pace.  The 3 of us ran together until 13.1, when Lisa dropped back a little.  I actually ran with Rob until Mile 18, where we started to separate.  We would run together a bit further past that point, but separate after that.  He ended up finishing 2 minutes behind me.  It was really helpful having them to run with because even if we weren't talking, it was someone else to hold us accountable.  The picture to the left is at mile 7- there were a TON of spectators- I felt like I was thanking everyone for cheering- it seriously helps!! If you ever watch a race- don't be a quiet spectator!!!  Cheer everyone on, it was really helpful!!

Now, mile 7 was one of the first "checkpoints" for the timing chip.  I said before that it was supposed to update on Facebook, but that never happened... so, let's break it down.  Mile 7 timed me in at 1:07:29, which is 9:38/mile pace.  I felt really good here.  I started to realize that this pace was sustainable and that I was going to break 4:20 if I kept this up.

The next few miles flew by.  If I had to name the most surprising part of the race, it was how fast it went by.  After mile 7, the half-way point was the next 'check-in' and I clocked it at 2:07:46.  I remember thinking- holy crap...if I keep this up, I'll clock the finish at 4:14. Well, gotta try- and I kept going.  I didn't give my timing much thought except, if I'm feeling good I have to capitalize on it and keep going.

Around this point, my fan base increased dramatically- SO THANKFUL for all of you!!  Around 14-15 miles Beth and Zach showed up!  They were really excited to see me, and had a sign!  I cannot stress enough how awesome it was having everyone on the course supporting me!  The Vogels hit up like 4-5 spots- they seemed to pop up everywhere!  After them, the morning crew showed up again around mile 17. I think that's where this picture is from, but I'm not sure.

Mile 17-ish, still having fun!

My legs started to hurt, especially my IT Band but I was still smiling and having fun.  Phil and I always say that if you can relax your face, and smile then your cadence and pace will follow.  Around mile 18, Dave & Ginger popped up and invigorated me again.  They were on the Harley and were able to drive down the road slowly and chat a little.  The first time I saw them I was doing well. The second time I started to feel tired.  With only 7 miles to go at that point, it was nice to have someone around to keep the smile on my face.  Dave yelled at one spot- "You seriously look really good! Keep it up!!" Having someone tell me I looked like I was doing ok reassured me that I wasn't going to keel over and I could continue to push through :)  Funny how something so small affects you mentally, isn't it?  Mile 20 was another check-in, 3:14: 43.  This was really exciting because I knew I had less than an hour- plus, I was totally going to beat 4:20!!  

Until that point, I hadn't walked at all, except through water stops. Even that was brief- I'd grab water or gatorade, walk briskly, chug and continue running.  That was key to my time- NO BREAKS.  Although I wanted to have fun, I also wanted to see how it was to actually race it and for not stopping to walk was key.   The hard part really kicked in around mile 23.  And then, by miracle there were Beth & Zach again!!!  They were at the top of the Lakeshore Drive. Pre-race, I told myself to get to that point because from there it's not far to the finish.  I probably would have broken down and walked at that point if it wasn't for them, so great timing guys!

After mile 23, the course is literally all down hill.  I knew my friend Ashley was going to be down there somewhere, and I just kept looking for her.  Coming down the hill, past Bradford Beach was crazy hard- mentally.  My goal at that point was to get to mile 25.  It was just past Alterra that I did, and guess who was there?!  ASHLEY!  I saw her and freaked out a bit- then freaked out again because Katelyn and Steve were there too!!!  Steve's voice carries really well, so I could still hear him cheering probably 1/4 of a mile away.  Mentally I was beat here.  You want to know what really got me through it?  The food waiting for me at the end!  I was starving, despite the fact that I'd eaten 3 Hammer Gel's throughout the race, plus lots of water/gatorade. Just when I thought I couldn't do it I passed 25.5, and was within a mile of my destination!!  

Within 1/2 mile of the finish!
 The guy next to me, in all black was really funny.  He heard my name so many times from my fan club (hahhaha, I can pretend like I have one, right?!) that even he said- good job Haylea!  He goes- you helped me get this far, we're almost there!  We basically ran together from mile 23 to the end.  He out-sprinted me at the end- good for him!  He came up to me after wards- we congratulated each other and then he took my picture, ha what?!  He was like, I want to remember the girl that pushed me to go faster at the end!
What a beautiful course!

I look like I'm not going to make it, ha!

The course itself was absolutely beautiful. It was along the lake (duh, the name is Lakefront Marathon), and with the leaves starting to change it was the perfect midwest scenery.  The weather was perfect as well.  I literally wouldn't have asked for anything different than what it was.  It was chilly enough that I didn't get hot, but not so cold I couldn't move.  Plus I got to wear my hot pink shirt- YES mission accomplished :)

The picture above makes me laugh- I look like death!  I'm so close to the finish but look like I'm seriously not going to make it.  Phil even said I was looking a little rough at this point.  Ha, oh well!!  If I waited until Mile 25 to the end to look like this, I think I did a pretty good job!  I could see the clock from here and knew I crushed my goal.  I saw my crew on the sidelines, but it was different because Monica was there too!!  She brought Cheech (her dog!) down for a walk- I was really excited to see her.  Phil, she and I worked out hard during the winter together, so it was nice to have her there- she knew how hard I worked to get to this point.

I'm in the bottom of the picture- the clock was off on my official time by about a minute.  I officially clocked in at 4:11:45, 9:37/mile pace!! I couldn't have asked for a better race. 

I was beyond elated at this point!!  SO happy about my first marathon!!
After I got done, I ran through the food tent and stocked up on every cookie possible, and naturally found the free beer. Phil and Danny appreciated that- I took a couple sips and handed them over.  My legs were TIRED and SORE, but not as bad as I expected.  The race was one of the best things I've ever done.  It was so empowering, and felt really good to push my body like that.  I know you're all wondering if I'll do another one, and the answer is YES.  I have to at least try to beat that time, don't I??

After all is said and done, I feel kind of sad that I'm done with it.  I know I'll have plenty of opportunity to do more but it was really exciting to do that for the first time.  The training was hard, but totally worth it.  It's funny that it's classified as such a big accomplishment because to me it just seemed like something natural to do after all that training.  I never believed anyone that said it's the training that counts, but after the race it's true! I was totally prepared for the race, and can't wait to do it again.

Support Crew!!
This last picture above, is one of my favorites- it's my family/friends that were at the finish- a few people are missing that were there- Beth & Zach, Ashley, and Monica (who took the picture).  I am so fortunate to have such an amazing team of support.  There were a lot of people who gave me encouragement during training that weren't able to come, and I want to thank them as well.

I'm not quite sure where this blog is going to go now that the race is over, but I'm sure I'll do something with it.  As for now- let me say this - if you're even thinking about trying road racing, whether it's your first 5K, or something bigger like a 1/2 marathon or full marathon- DO IT.  It is an amazing, and rewarding experience!

Happy Running!


  1. Good job! I ran a while with Gary's 4:20 group but faded back a little and finished 4:21:28.

  2. Awesome job Haylea!!!

    And your last line really does sum it up - if you're thinking about it!! After the training that goes into something like this (or shorter races, too)...crossing that finish line is such a personal and meaningful thing!!

  3. Hi Haylea-

    Saw your blog linked in the Journal Sentinel blog.. Wanted to say congratulations on the time and thanks for the help and motivation while we were out there running!


  4. Rob, I'm glad you found me! It was a pleasure running with you!! Best of luck on any future races!