Friday, September 15, 2017

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom
October 1-22
Investment in yourself:  $30
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!


- Three week calendar with running or walking program and wellness challenges to be completed on your own
- Personalized daily step goals
- Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach 
- Gain additional accountability by sharing your daily step count and food log with the group (optional)
- Daily group fitness check-ins, weightloss & nutrition tips and motivation from your coach
- Private Facebook group for motivation

Participant with the highest percentage of weightloss will receive a FREE ENTRY into the November accountability group.

If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

UPDATED Sun Prairie & Madison Area Running Routes

Sun Prairie:

Running Diva Mom Studio:  105 N Bristol Street

Orfan Park:  2050 St. Albert the Great Drive

Sheehan Park (West):  1115 Linnerud Drive (across from the Sun Prairie Public Library)

Stoneridge Estates Park:  300 Stonehaven Drive

Wyndham Hills Park:  675 N Heatherstone Drive (shares lot with Horizon Elementary)

Carriage Hills Estates Park:  901 Woodview Drive

Madison Area:

Upper Yahara River Trail:  West of Windsor Rd/River Rd Intersection, Deforest/Windsor

Lower Yahara River Trail: 4081 McDaniel Ln, McFarland

Glacial Drumlin State Trail: Park at Cottage Grove Trail Head, 220 S. Main St, Cottage Grove

Pheasant Branch Conservancy: http://www.pheasantbranch.org/Interactive%20Map/ Middleton

UW Arboretum:  Park at Zoo or Arboretum Visitor’s Center on Arboretum Drive, Madison

Capitol City State Trail:  Park at Olin-Turville parking lot near Sheraton, 1156 Olin-Turville Court, Madison

Machinery Row (near Monona Terrace):  Park at surface lot at
601 Williamson Street, Madison

Badger State Trail: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/badger/ Madison

Military Ridge State Trail:  http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/militaryridge/ Fitchburg/Verona

Token Creek County Park:  Park at first surface lot, 6200 US Hwy 51, Deforest

Olbrich Botanical Gardens:  Park at Gardens and run along commuter path, 3330 Atwood Ave, Madison

American Family Trails:  Park anywhere along the American Family Parkway complex and enjoy several 1-2 mile loops.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Be stronger than your excuses.

Not feeling it today?
Something else you’d rather do?
Too many things on your to do list?
Mom guilt?

Me too.

You’ll get more enjoyment out of the run and nature and the scenery than you will out of sleeping in.

Your body will loosen up and move more freely during the rest of your day than it will if you sit on the couch and stiffen up.

You’ll get more satisfaction out of your workout, than you will out of watching that Grey’s Anatomy episode.

You’ll be more productive to tackle that to do list later today.

Your kids and your spouse will thank you for the more pleasant and positive mom that returns after her workout.

I get it. We all have excuses. You’re stronger than your excuses. Now … GO GET IT …

Setbacks; Comebacks

I’ve been nursing an injury since last fall.  Yikes, it’s almost been a year.  In October I ran a marathon, followed by a half marathon that I coached two weeks later, followed by a weekend of a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday.  Yeah, I guess that’s a lot of running.  Makes sense why my body was hating me, didn’t want to cooperate and was screaming NO while my mind said YES.  I did really well at my races and was really happy with my finishing times – and my medals.  But my right hamstring was telling me that I did too much. 
I then opened the doors of my indoor running studio the following week and began coaching 12-15 sessions a week.  All of that pounding really took a toll on my body.  Once I started running outdoors with clients in the spring, I was still running about 15 times a week, plus running on my own.  My hamstring communicated with my sciatic nerve, which then spoke with my shin and calf.  They all were telling me to shut up and slow down. 
In my world, rest isn’t really an option.  This is the part where I say, “Listen to what I say.  Not what I do.”.  Oh yeah, so I signed up for another marathon, which I ran in June.  I don’t even want to know what my stride looked like during that race.  But, I was elated with my run and I finished in good time.
Then I stepped back …. Ok, just a little.
I seriously feared that I wouldn’t be able to run for myself any longer.  That I wouldn’t be able to coach any longer.  I don’t know which I feared more.  It was a scary feeling.  I was feeling lost.  I crave the run and the feeling it gives me.  I also love the feeling of helping others achieve their goals and watching them blossom as runners.  I was worried that all of that would be taken away from me.

I’ve used this summer to get really in tune with my body.  Running has taught me to appreciate my body.  Not just pound the pavement (or the treadmill for that matter).  But this injury (err, injuries) have taught me to REALLY appreciate it.  Appreciate what it does for me.  What it allows me to do.  It’s a privilege.  I’ve rolled out my muscles, iced when needed and tried to embrace some rest – and lots of walking.  I’ve also done lots of reading up on this sport that I love so much and researching injury prevention. 
I focused on tightening up my diet and embracing my accountability groups.  This allowed me to hit my goal weight earlier this summer.  It made me lighter and leaner and even more appreciative of my body and what women are physically capable of.  We are beautiful, amazing, strong creatures.
I’m really good at taking care of myself and exercising.  But I’m not very good at self-care.  So, I finally booked a massage and she worked her magic.  She focused on all of my problem areas and really got to the core of it.  It has seriously - changed … my … world. 
Right now, my coaching schedule is still really intense.  But I’ve made a conscious decision to scale back and focus on my clients’ goals – but also focus on myself and my well-being – and my family.
And the injuries?? …. My body is feeling so strong and healthy right now.  I’m ready to tackle my upcoming marathons in October.  My injuries are pretty much nonexistent.  And my long runs have felt really great.  I’m a different runner right now.
Being injured is no joke.  It changes you as a runner.  As an athlete.  As a person.  And it has changed me as a coach, too.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Optimum Nutrition Whey & Oats and Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie Review

I recently tried two different types of protein powder from Optimum Nutrition.  I first tried the Whey and Oats.  The flavor I tried was Vanilla Almond Pastry and that's exactly what it tasted like.  It tasted like an protein bar or granola bar, but a shake version.  The scoops are large and contain 190 calories per serving, 4 grams dietary fiber, 16 grams carbs and a whopping 27 grams protein.  This is made with premium whey protein and contains complex carbohydrates from whole oats.  I mixed it with unsweetened almond milk and a banana.  It was tasty and frothy and I felt full, using it as a meal replacement for both lunch and breakfast.  My kids liked it, too.  I used the blender and some ice and it all frothed up deliciously.  It was convenient when I was out running around with the kids this past month.  Our life has gotten extremely busy.  I also enjoyed it after a mid-distance run and this powder is great recovery fuel!  You can also mix it with water, but I much prefer mixing with milk or almond milk.  The powder dissolved well, too.
We also tried the Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie in Blueberry flavor.  It tasted like a liquid blueberry muffin, when mixed with ice and unsweetened almond milk.  I didn't mix this one with a banana. The Protein Smoothie version also comes in Strawberry or Vanilla. I tried this as an after snack and pick-me-up and it was refreshing while sitting out on our deck, watching the little ones play.  It contains 130 calories per scoop, 8 carbs and 20 grams protein. 
Neither powder had any weird clumps or after taste, something I've experienced with some other brands on the market.
I also am a HUGE fan of their Cake Bites.  We've consumed dozens of packages of these tasty protein bites over the past year. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SEPTEMBER Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom

Women Working on Wellness | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom
September 10-30
Investment in yourself:  $30
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!


- Three week calendar with running or walking program and wellness challenges to be completed on your own
- Personalized daily step goals
- Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
- Gain additional accountability by sharing your daily step count and food log with the group (optional)
- Daily group fitness check-ins, weightloss & nutrition tips and motivation from your coach
- Private Facebook group for motivation

Participant with the highest percentage of weightloss will receive a FREE ENTRY into the October accountability group.
If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Running Diva Mom Featured in The Star

Running Diva Mom recently opened its doors in downtown Sun Prairie.  The studio and I were recently featured in our local newspaper, The Star.  You can read the whole article online.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Busy Mom's Guide to Tracking Your Food

Most of my weightloss success can be credited to logging my food. I run marathons and sometimes log 40-50 miles a week.  But I can easily consume many of the calories that I’ve burned if I am not careful.  Logging my food and activity with my monthly online fitness + weightloss accountability groups has really helped me realize what portions are realistic, what foods I enjoy fueling my body with – and also just how active my lifestyle is. I don’t cut anything out permanently – I am just smart about it and look at the big picture.

Tracking my food didn’t come without growing pains.  Like with most things, this doesn’t happen successfully without a plan, streamlining your process and making a habit out of it.  Routine is definitely key.

Here are a few of this busy mom’s quick and easy tips for tracking your food in a nutrition log, like My Fitness Pal.
- Don’t track it twice.  Don’t write it down and later log it into your device.  Log it once and get it done.  Otherwise, you are just causing more work for yourself.

- Take advantage of the bar code scanner.  With one quick scan, the app will quickly insert all of the nutritional information.

- Use the frequent meals feature to routinely add the same meals.  If you’re a creature of habit like me, you probably eat similar foods before your long run or pack the same things for work every day.

- Just like meal planning for your evening meals, you should also get into the habit of meal planning for your day.  Empty your sack lunch when you get to work in the morning (or as you pack it) and log your foods for the whole day.  This will also help you stay on track with portions and avoid adding in extra snacks throughout the day.

- Fill up a glass of water and log it immediately.  Use the same glass or tumbler, and the specified number of ounces will be one, easy click away.

- Log your workouts before you actually work out.  You will be less inclined to cut your workout short, because you won’t want to edit the duration or intensity (unless you decide to go longer!).

- Take advantage of the syncing feature.  Sync your smart scale or activity tracker for the most accurate success and gain a few minutes back in your day.

- Weigh in only once a week versus once a day.  This is good from a time-management standpoint, as well as a mental standpoint.  Scales can vary and your body can fluctuate immensely over the period of twenty-four hours.  Give yourself a break – and a chance to see some real changes.

- So, now that your tracking is done - don’t forget to reflect on calories in versus calories out and see how your day ended up.  Truly touch base with yourself on how you are feeling emotionally, what your body is craving (specific foods or a rest day, perhaps?), and any stressors that perhaps came into play.

Halloween Fun Run with Running Diva Mom - October 25

Halloween Fun Run/Walk with Running Diva Mom
Wednesday, October 25, 6:30-7:30 pm
Running Diva Mom Studio | 105 N Bristol Street | Sun Prairie
Investment in yourself: $10
Join Running Diva Mom for a Halloween themed fun run/walk through downtown Sun Prairie.  Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume!  Please bring headlamps, flashlights and blinky lights.  Glow bracelets and spooky tunes will be provided.  This is not a timed event.  We will run/walk an out and back route for 45 mins in downtown Sun Prairie and finish with group stretching and spooky music.

Ladies Couch to 5K - Starts Aug 23

Fall Ladies Couch to 5K | Run/Walk Group
Starts Aug 23rd
Wednesdays, 6:00-6:45 pm, nine weeks
First class at Sun Prairie West Side Community Building, rotates Sun Prairie Parks

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! We will start with alternating one minute of running and one minute of walking.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Just be-YOU-tiful.

In the world of social media, I find women doing more and more of the comparison game.

Women have often compared themselves to one another. Who has better legs. More defined arms. A flatter tummy. Embarrased of stretch marks. Cellulite. Muffin tops.

But with social media, it's like an edited magazine cover being flashed in front of your face over and over ... and over again. Scroll through your newsfeed and you'll see women taking a dozen selfies until they get the best angle. Friends editing photos with filters before posting. I admit that I am guilty of this too.

We get sucked in. And we think that everyone is better. Prettier. Smarter. Thinner. Flawless.
Not true.

Take this for example. I have lost fifty pounds (slowly over the past eighteen months) and I feel awesome. I feel comfortable in shorts and tank tops. I don't feel like I have to suck it in. I walk around my neighborhood without makeup at times now. I feel better than I ever have.
You'd think that my life would be perfect now that I've reached my goal weight. That my journey is over.
Not true.

I still have insecurities. I have belly fat. It's there. Sometimes I hide it with the right top. But I'm no longer embarrassed of it.
I know that my body is beautiful and strong. I know that my husband feels the same way about it. I know that I'm setting a good example for my three children. If I was sitting on my butt all day complaining about it and not doing anything about it, then that would be a problem. But I workout almost every day, fuel it right and do what I love.
Lets be done with the comparison game. We are all beautiful. If there is something you don't like about your body, work through it. Work on it. Make a change. But don't compare yourself to others. They probably have things that they don't like about themselves, too. It's sad, but true.

Filters and camera angles won't make you better than the other person -- or them better than you. Just be-YOU-tiful.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Running Diva Mom Studio Open House - September 12

Running Diva Mom Studio Open House
Tuesday, September 12, 6:30 pm
105 North Bristol Street . Sun Prairie

Join Running Diva Mom for a FREE 30 minute outdoor run and refreshments, to celebrate the new studio location in downtown Sun Prairie. We will run and walk at our own pace on an out and back route to Carriage Hills Estates Park.

FREE kids yoga will be offered next door at Baby Flexible at 6:30 pm. Space is limited!!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

5 Spots Open! Living Your Best Life Series - Starts Sept 3

Are you wanting a more balanced and organized life? Do you find you’re wanting more time for yourself and your passions? Would you like to get active and live a healthy lifestyle? I want to help you get more out of life.
I’m currently enrolling clients for the fall session of my popular series, LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE. This twelve week transformation series will run September 3 through November 25. All sessions are private and customized to each client. The spring session transformed so many women and mothers in three short months, as they developed new habits and routines at home and made time for themselves. Availability is limited to only five women.
Investment in yourself: $199
Register by sending me commenting, sending me a private message or emailing runningdivamom@yahoo.com.
What you’ll receive:
- Weekly accountability check-ins and support for twelve weeks
- Private weekly weigh-ins (optional)
- Three private run/walk sessions (one hour each)
- Twelve week wellness calendar designed around your life to work on your health, wellness and personal lifestyle goals (each client will complete a survey)
What we will work on together:
- How to say “no” and give up unnecessary commitments
- Allowing yourself to say “yes” to the things that bring joy into your life
- Clearing clutter and getting your life, home and schedule organized
- Making time for yourself and your passions
- Pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle
- Meal planning for your family

August - Small Steps = Big Results | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom

August - Small Steps = Big Results | Fitness & Weightloss Accountability Group with Running Diva Mom
August 6-27, 2017
Investment in yourself: $30
Run, Walk and Run/Walk training options available!

- Three week calendar with running or walking program and wellness challenges to be completed on your own
- Personalized daily step goals
- Weekly private individual weigh-ins virtually with your coach
- Gain additional accountability by sharing your daily step count and food log with the group (optional)
- Daily group fitness check-ins, weightloss & nutrition tips and motivation from your coach
- Private Facebook group for motivation

Participant with the highest percentage of weightloss will receive a FREE ENTRY into the September accountability group.

If you would like to avoid the Eventbrite fee, please email me at
runningdivamom@yahoo.com to pay by cash or check.

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Running Playlist

I'm always refreshing my playlist for my training runs and for my runs with clients at the RDM studio.  Otherwise, it quickly gets stale.  I try to add at least five new songs every month.  Here are some new ones that I'll be listening to in July.  

I'm always looking for fresh stuff ... if you have anything that moves and motivates you, please comment below and share!!

Let's Go! (Radio Edit) - DJ Rebel
Bang! (Extended Mix) [feat. Damon Blaze] - DJ Rebel
Shawty Got Moves - Get Cool
Everybody Dance Now (Rock This Party) [Ronnie Maze Club Mix] - Power Music Workout
I Like to Move It (Calimocho Mix) - Power Music Workout
Stay - Zedd & Alessia Cara
Say My Name (feat. Zyra) [RAC Mix] - ODESZA
Help Me Mama - ZZ Ward

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017 Run 4 Troops Marathon Race Report

This spring I had a couple long runs of twenty miles and plenty of hours of coaching under my belt.  I wasn’t registered for a full marathon until October.  I really felt like I needed a target race to keep my spirits up and myself motivated.  As our summer schedule was filling up rather quickly, I scoured the internet for a marathon that would fit into our schedule.  I found Run 4 Troops Marathon in Dubuque, Iowa, which was scheduled for June 24.  It was a weekend when we didn’t have much going on, excited for my husband’s Ironman training picking up.  So, he encouraged me to register. I hadn’t done a marathon in Iowa yet, so I was excited to get out of town and check it out.

The race would be completed along a crushed gravel trail, the Heritage Trail. And it was a point to point course.  The trail looked very similar to the Glacial Drumlin Trail that I regularly run on in Cottage Grove.  Nice, flat and scenic.  There was the full marathon race.  But the larger event was the relay, where two to a dozen team members could relay run the marathon distance.  There were various exchange points and water stations throughout the course, where the runners would exchange and meet up and the full marathoners would continue onward.  I had done Ragnar before and was excited to see how this was a different experience from a typical road race marathon. But I was doing the whole thing.  Exciting stuff!  The race honored and supported tri-state military families.

We left town on Friday afternoon and stayed at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark.  The host hotel was at the Hilton Garden Inn, just a few miles away.  We stopped over and picked up my packet before dinner.  There was no expo like the other larger marathons I’ve participated in.  They confirmed that there were around 200 full marathon runners, like previous years.

We found a nice brew pub in downtown Dubuque and I enjoyed a few pieces of pepperoni and green olive pizza, and some beer battered fries and hydrated with water.  It was a rare splurge, as I recently had lost some significant weight by tracking my diet and exercise.  We headed back to the hotel and enjoyed the hotel’s waterpark for an hour.  She had fun, but it was more appropriate for my older kids, had they been able to join us.

There would be a shuttle from the host hotel to the startline (26 miles away!) at 5:30 am the following morning.  Since I didn’t want my husband to get up early and drive there, I asked our hotel concierge to drive me at 5:00 am.  This was hours earlier than their services start, but they agreed to put me on the books.

My right calf and shin had been bugging me on and off for the last several weeks, so I tried to rest when I can, ice and roll it out.  I used the stick a lot at the hotel and also slept in compression socks.  They really helped alleviate the pain.

We put Baby Diva to bed around 8:45 and hid out in the dark and I actually fell asleep right away.  I woke up at 2:45 am and my stomach was already getting nervous.  I used the bathroom a few times and then finally decided to start getting ready around 3:45.  I hid out in the bathroom and got myself ready while everyone else slept and then I headed to the lobby at 4:45 and ate my breakfast.  There was no toaster, so I ate an untoasted English muffin with peanut butter that I packed and a Chobani yogurt.  


I got in the shuttle right on time and we headed over to the host hotel.  I got on their motor coach bus (one of a few) and we were off right on time.  A man named Rich sat down next to me.  He was from Michigan and a traveling marathoner.  He told me of his international marathon race experiences and also recommended some good events in his area. The quiet bus quickly got noisy with marathoners and runner enthusiasts sharing training stories and race experiences.  It’s always funny how runners can just connect.  I noticed that the bus was pretty full of men, and not as many women.  The buses were only for the full marathon runners, as the relay teams would provide their own transportation along the course.  We quickly arrived at the trailhead and were dropped off.  It was chillier than expected and I hadn’t packed a long sleeve.  I got in the port-o-potty line – and then found a spot on the ground and enjoyed a few more spoonfuls of peanut butter and a packet of sports beans, downed with a bottle of water.  

I visited the bathroom a few more times, including during the National Anthem (which I always seem to do).  There was a mandatory meeting around 6:45 where we heard motivating stories and race day instructions.  I put my drop bag on the back of a truck for post-race and then headed to the startline, where we were joined by a bagpiper.

The race started at 7:00 am and we were to head about a half mile out on the road, turn around and then run the remaining 25 miles on the Heritage Trail towards Dubuque.  My first mile clocked in at 8:30 as I found my placement in the group.  At mile two, I realized that my mile didn’t click in.  And I soon realized that my new watch wasn’t set on the lap feature that tracks your pace for each mile.  So I quickly started doing “runner brain” math in my head.  My goal was between 9:00-9:30 miles, so I started adding ten minutes to each mile and subtracting one minute.  That was the easiest my mind was going to work over the next 24 miles!

The race course was supposed to have minimal support, only listed with water and sports drink at the few exchange points.  But there would also be emergency carts going back and forth down the trail with drinks (and a stretcher!).  I saw the carts a few times.  There were also plenty of extra water stations at the crossroads on the trail.  I never felt like I needed water or wasn’t going to have any.  I carried my handheld with me like I always do.  I grabbed extra water and or sports drink at each water station.  I believe that all of the water stations had blue Gatorade.  The intersections and water stations were well supported.  Many of the water stations only had a couple volunteers so you had to grab the water off of the table, but that was no biggie.

I had my plan to have energy gels at miles five, ten, fifteen and twenty.  That’s what I did.  I carried an extra with me, in case I needed an extra boost at the end.  But I didn’t use it.  My plan is always to use the gels before I feel that I need them.  And this plan always works for me.  This race, too.

The exchange points were nice.  The trail was pretty quiet.  So there was a lot of cheering from spectators and teams at the exchange points.  I turned down my tunes at the exchange points to gain some momentum from the crowds.  I was worried that I would feel isolated and like I was out on a training run during the rest of the race.  But I typically always saw two to ten people in front of me.  

There were a few pace groups – I believe 3:30, 4:00, 4:30 etc.  I was trying to stay in front of or near the 4:00 pace group. My PR from a flat course in 2010 was 4:02, but my racent marathons have been 4:10-4:15.  Considering I wasn’t officially training for this marathon and was injured, I was hoping for somewhere around the same.

The crushed gravel was awesome and never annoying.  And just as expected, it was very similar to the Glacial Drumlin Trail.  There were dozens (seriously!) of bridges that we crossed and extremely scenic views.  The course was described at about 70-80% shaded with periods of open sun.  And I agree with this description. The weather was a beautiful high of low-70s and partly sunny skies.  It was gorgeous.  I wore a tank, but still got a little warm, but no overheated.  The shaded areas were welcome and the tree coverings were gorgeous.  There were cattle roaming fields, streams, farms and beautiful countryside that we passed.  I really enjoyed it.  I thought I’d get annoyed without landmarks or turning.  But that didn’t happen.

The relay runners started thirty minutes after the full marathoners. Several of the faster teams did catch up to us and pass us.  Every time their runner would spring by, I kept reminding myself that I ran fifteen miles ruther or that I still had twelve miles to go.  It was hard not to get deflated.  Their bibs were a different color than ours – and easily identifiable.

I was passing and being passed by a guy consistently.  Finally he told me that he was just going to stay with me and we could pace each other.  He kept trying to talk to me, but I was getting uncomfortable and didn’t feel like talking.  I was worried I was coming across as rude, but needed to focus on my breathing and my rhythm.  From miles 10-14 he tried chatting, would stop at water stations or to use the bathroom, but would always catch up with me.  It was his first marathon and he trained regularly on this trail.  He was aiming for four hours.

I was consistently clocking around 9:00 min miles according to my runner brain calculations and the mile markers were spot on – thanks to a straight point to point race!  I crossed the half marathon point in 1:59 and some change.  I quickly knew that going sub four hours wasn’t going to be in reach and was starting to slow down a little as my hip flexers and my bottom muslces were starting to tighten up and “buckle”.  My injury wasn’t bothering me too much – or maybe I was just getting used to dealing with it.

I was surprised to see my husband and Baby Diva a few times along the second half of the course.  My leg wasn’t bothering me but the muscles in my bottom were starting to ache.  At mile fourteen, I saw a water station and my handheld was finally empty.  I stopped for the first and only time for a bout twenty seconds seconds to fill my water bottle up from the tap.  And then I saw the four hour pace group pace me – with that guy I was running with earlier.  I never did catch up with them.  
I was feeling great and never hit the wall.  I had moments where I had to find the right running song and rhythm to motivate me. But I never felt like quitting, like I couldn’t do it or like I needed to walk.  The second half I was passed by a few people.  But I also passed a lot of runners, especially other women.  I passed several individual runners that had passed me very early on in the race.
The last couple of miles I really picked up the pace and put on some good tunes.  I was in the zone.  There was a woman that stopped and was sick alongside the trail and some other runners and myself flagged down an emergency team just around the corner.  The last portion of the route was really shaded and cooler.  My stomach was starting to bother me.  I thought I drank too much Gatorade. But later my husband thought that maybe the variation of sun and shade caused my body to get confused about cooling itself down.  I repeated “Take It All Back” three times and just got into my groove as I saw sunlight and the finish line straight ahead.  I ended up crossing the finish line in 4:06 and some change.
I quickly reunited with my family and drank two ice cold bottles of water, had a carton of chocolate milk and ate two orange slices.  And then I felt sick.  My stomach turned and I felt dizzy while I stretched.  I didn't feel good.  I was also hobbling.  A lot.  After I stopped running, I immediately stiffened up.  My body wasn't liking me very much.  So I tried stretching some more and then I tried walking around a bit.  I typically don’t each much – if anything – after a marathon right away.  So I thought that maybe I ate too much too quickly.  My husband found my drop bag for me and I sat down at a picnic table under a tent and gained my composure.  After fifteen minutes or so I felt better.  I waited in the long line for a slice of pizza and I was later able to enjoy a salad at Culver’s on the drive home.
I would highly recommend this race to anyone.  It was flat, scenic, well organized and had great race support.  It was an amazing marathon and would be fun to grab a few friends and do the relay.  It was definitely worth the drive from Madison and the hotel stay.  If we didn't have a child(ren) with me, I would suggest making it easy on yourself and staying at the host hotel. If you were doing an adults-only getaway, it would be fun to visit the casinos, do some of the museums and take time to enjoy the riverwalk.  Unfortunately we were pressed for time.  I went home and tried to take a nap while Baby Diva slept and hubby did his Ironman training in the afternoon.  I figured I earned it.

Finish time:  4:06:25
Pace:  9:25 min/mile
Overall:  84/173 finishers
Females:  28/64
Age Group (30-39F):  11/20