What weekend! I hope you had as much fun as I did - but maybe a little less pain. I say that because I ran my second full marathon. The last time I rand one was in 2014 when I was much younger (yes, even at my age, a few years makes a difference), but it was this same race up in Minocqua.
The "No Frills Marathon" was the perfect marathon to start on because it's flat for the most part and has a beautiful scenic route - so even though you're running more than 26 miles, it goes by fairly quickly. In 2014, my brother and I ran the full. This time, my sister came up and ran the half while I ran the full. Janelle has always been an avid runner, but she really picked up her pace when she moved to California for a few years. Now, she runs half marathons pretty regularly, and it shows because she broke 2 hours for her half!
Meanwhile, I'm not the fastest. I used to be quite competitive in the running world, but since those days have been long gone (we're talking grade school here), I've simply used running as a way to escape the real world and admire the beautiful world around us. I did, however, have the best half-marathon time that I've ever ran at this race AND broke my PR for the full marathon by almost 30 minutes!
The race is a gorgeous one at that. We run all along the Bearskin Trail, and let me tell you, when you're driving to the race in the morning because it's pretty much a straight shot, you're driving for more than 20 minutes and think, "Why did I sign up for this? I'm running ALL THE WAY BACK TO TOWN!?!?"
That's when the idea set in that "I just want to finish." A few sores and even more pep-talks to myself, I was at the finish line! I don't know that I'll ever do a full again, but half-marathons might become my thing. At least I can run with J-Nelly then!
I had to pay homeage to my brother, Danny, who wasn't able to race this year. In 2014, he insisted we bite our medals for a picture, so naturally...
My brother-in-law, Tom, was going to do the full marathon, as well, because he's a pretty big runner, but then he faced some serious ankle injuries. He provided "Tom-Aid" on his bike, racing back and forth between my sister and I, offering Gatorade and snacks while my parents were doing the same form break points. He even felt strong enough to run the last two miles with me and talked to me until I finished...even though I couldn't tell you one thing he told me.
Marathons call for beer! We went to a local brewery in town called Rocky Reef, and I had the Peanut Butter and Jelly ale...it was actually really good! AND I could taste peanut butter and jelly!
My family used to drive up to Minocqua every weekend in summer. It's a four hour drive, but the cabin has been in our family since its birth when my dad helped my grandpa build it - and it was well-worth the long roads. It's extremely unfortunate that since I've hit high school, I haven't been able to get up there as often as I'd like. In fact, the last time I was up to my cabin was the last marathon I ran four years ago - isn't that awful?! And it's one of my favorite places in the entire world!
Well, there are things that I have to do EVERY time I'm up north. One of those things is hit up Monical's Pizza. We always get "family style" which is a thin crust pizza with a huge bowl of salad and a bunch of breadsticks. You have to order the cheese sauce with the breadsticks, though. Then, you can dip your pizza in the cheese sauce!! So good!
I had to share this because that's the view from our cabin. Like I said, it's one of my favorite places in the world, and I can't wait until I'm up there again to tear it up on the jet ski!!