Sunday, May 6, 2012

Half Marathon Race Report

Today we ran the 35th Annual Lincoln / National Guard Half Marathon!

The weather forecast didn't look real good for today...but we tried to stay positive!  About 5:00 this morning, a storm rolled through complete with thunder and lightning.  Start time for the race was 7:00am - I counted my blessings that it rolled through prior!

I was SUPER excited to see that our names were on our race bibs this year.  This is our home town race - but it sure has grown up.  Not only is it a Boston Qualifying course, but it's capped at 10,000 runners and sold out in about 10 days this year!  I just love living in such a fitness minded city.

David and I rode our bikes down to the start.  We live about a mile away, and it works SO nice to ride down there and coast home!  We got there in plenty of time to line up with the 2:20 pacer.

It was a wave start, so we didn't cross the start line until 7:30.  It was about 68 degrees and 90% humidity.  It was nearly raining...and later we wished it would.

I went out pretty slow, trying to maintain a pace that would bring me to my goal.  The pacer I was spotting fell back, so I just ran to feel.  I walked the water station at mile 3 and by that time the pace group caught up to me.

I stayed with the 2:20 pace group as they walked the aid stations and worked the strategy set down by Smart Pace.  Our pacer was really good, and was making every split about 10 - 20sec faster on every mile.  It was a little of a push to keep up with her - especially as she ran faster on the downhills - but I was goal focused.

David and I ready for some fun!
Then the wheels fell off.

The beautiful Nebraska sun came out about mile 8 and mile 10 is entirely uphill.  By the time we walked the aid station just after the 10 mile mark, I knew I wasn't running a 2:20 Half today.  I tried to focus on my goal, I tried to focus on the pacers red shirt, but the agony of my legs started screaming.

I poured a cup of water on me and ice down my shirt at that 10 mile aid station and tried to cool down...but my legs!  My stupid, lead-heavy legs just wouldn't go!!

I pulled back a little to give reprieve, and just after mile 11, I lost the pace group.

I walked a little to regroup, and started to tear up a little.  Damn.  I really trained hard.  I did everything that was laid out for me.  I even rested shin splints for 10 days before the race to ensure I wouldn't be injured.  And I almost made it.

The self doubt and shame of not reaching my goal started to choke me.  I had walked about a quarter mile, and I thought - "NO."  I will NOT be ashamed of myself for any reason while completing 13.1 miles.

So, I started to run at a pace that I figured I could live with for the next mile and a half.  It was more like a shuffle, but it was what I had left.  My legs were absolutely dead and my right foot had some nice blisters forming, I could tell.

I knew you wanted to see the blisters.
I had nothing left for a sprint across the field at Memorial Stadium.  I'm sure that when they took photos of me crossing the finish line at the 50 yard line, it wasn't pretty.

All I wanted was my medal.

And my sweet husband to accompany me home.

I found out the difference between RUNNING a Half Marathon and RACING one.  When you run one - it's fun.  when you race one - it hurts like hell.

I didn't make my 2:20 goal.  My official time was 2:25:05.  That is still THIRTEEN MINUTES off my time from last year.

I'll take it.

Darn proud anyhow.


  1. Oh bear! I'm so proud of you! You did a great job and you should be very proud of all you have accomplished! You were ONLY FIVE minutes over your goal time--that is AMAZING! (And yes I mean that! LOL!) Thirteen minutes off your last year's time is great! And I'm so glad that we could take the rain for you--it has rained all day here, but we've been inside all day anyway. :) Love you.

  2. I am sooo amazingly proud and happy for you!!!!!! I hope you are still glowing from your race! Amazing job on your PR!!!!

  3. I love this recap of the race!! (And I have read others lol)
    You are still so amazing and inspiring no matter your race time, I hope you know that. :-)

  4. Hi! I found your blog when I looked up "lincoln half marathon race report". I'm Jamie- the 2:20 pacer. I wanted to tell you to keep your head up! That race had some factors working against you for sure! Heat, hills, narrow course- not perfect, for sure!