**Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Madison Half Marathon and Twilight Series as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!**
Half Ironman training has not been the easiest. Not just in the training, but with switching my mindset from constant running, to having to fit in biking and swimming as well. That is why I was looking forward to my weekend in Madison, Wisconsin for the Conquer the Capital Challenge: one weekend, two races. So, after my 30 mile bike ride on Saturday morning, I headed to Madison for packet pickup!
At packet pickup, I met up with some other BibRave Pro Ambassadors. None of us were very familiar with the Madison area, so at least we were lost together. Packet pickup was quick and easy. We even got some pictures in front of the wall of names (listing the names of everyone participating in the events this weekend).
The 10k race didn’t start until 8:15pm, so I had some lag time in between packet pickup, which ended at 5pm, and the race. I came back to downtown a few hours later, around 7pm, which was just in time for a torrential downpour.
Luckily, after waiting in the car for a half hour, the rain stopped and the race was on!
The heat and humidity were high, but the sun was setting beautifully over the Capital building right as the race was beginning. For some reason, I completely forgot how hilly Madison is, and this made for a very tough and challenging race. However, it was pretty fun seeing people all dressed up and “heading out” while hundreds of people are running through the streets during the race downtown.
The whole course was enjoyable, especially coming back towards the Capital building as it was lit up at night. As I ran closer to the capital, more and more spectators were cheering, all the way into the home stretch. I crossed the finish line with a time of 48:48, which turns out is a PR for me! (I didn’t realize this until a few days later. Oops!) Once I enjoyed my free beer, and Steve and I scarfed down some Ian’s Pizza, I was ready for a good night’s sleep.
5:30 a.m. arrived way too early. I was definitely not up for running a half marathon at 7 a.m. But the race started, and my legs started moving. Not well…but they were moving. It was another hot day, and this time the sun was right on top of us. The first part of the course was the same as the 10k, and very hilly. The send portion went into the Arboretum and around a lake.
Because of the heat, and not properly hydrating after my 10k the night before, I was feeling a bit sluggish. I also have a habit of losing my vision quite a bit too, because I have POTS. Unfortunately, this turned into a bit of a perfect storm, and I lost my vision just as I was supposed to be running over a speed bump. Yeah…that happened. Instead, I fell hard on the pavement, and not gracefully I might add. I always feel more embarrassed then anything else when I fall. Let’s just say, there was no PR happening at this race, so I decided to take it easy and enjoy the view. Everything about the second half of the course was beautiful, until mile 10 when I met “the hill”. This thing was horrible and long. But once I got on top of the hill, it was smooth sailing all the way to the finish.
I was so happy to be done with this challenge. If I were to do this challenge again, I would definitely focus on proper hydration in-between races. But it was a beautiful weekend in Madison and I can’t wait to come back again!