Monday, May 6, 2013

Lincoln National Guard 1/2 Marathon Recap

I signed up for this race at the end of December. I knew that if I were going to sign up, I would need to do it right when registration opened, because this race sells out pretty quick...and it was full in 15 hours. When I signed up I had run 4 miles fairly easily and had been running for a month (after Nolan was born). Well, the day I signed up, I started having issues with my ankle...which first I was told was Achilles Tendonitis, but the second opinion said Bursitis. Well, either way, I wasn't running much and essentially didn't run January or half of February. I had pretty much given up on the race and figured I couldn't get there. I eased back in easier than I expected, but my original 13 week training plan became a 7 week training plan and I only got one 10 mile run in before the race. And while my weekly mileage was fairly conservative, I was pretty aggressive in upping my long runs (which isn't really the recommended way to do it.) A couple of weeks ago, I started having a lot of soreness in my IT Bands, which thankfully felt better before I started, but that came at the cost of several unscheduled rest days...which didn't do much for my confidence.

The race was about 2.5 hours from our house, so my husband, Nolan and I got a hotel the night before while the older two boys stayed with Grandpa and Grammy. We went straight to the expo so I could pick up my packet. A zillion people+small space= claustrophobia so we didn't stick around long. However, for some strange reason being at the expo made me less nervous for the race.

I bought a headband for the race at Scheels (breaking the nothing new rule, but I figure it would be easy to take care of a headband if it bugged me). I got a nice wide one to serve two purposes #1: Keep my frizzy hair under control and #2: Double as an ear warmer. I knew I didn't want a heavy one, but just something to keep the wind off my ears. It worked fantastically!

I find it funny that I had no problems with getting up at 5 am. It's amazing how if I have to get up for something I want to do, I can always wake up---any other day, I consider anything before 7 am the middle of the night.

My breakfast was a peanut butter sandwich with LOTS of peanut butter and 16 oz of NUUN. It was perfect. My stomach felt great the whole race.

I didn't really know what was really reasonable for a goal for the race, but finally decided on these goals and kept in mind to adjust to how I was feeling.


A: 2:10 or faster.
B: 2:10:01-2:15
C: Finish the race. Not giving up.
D: Pull out of the race if I am going to injure myself by continuing.

I lined up a bit behind the 2:10 pacers. I really did not want to start too fast. Since my training had been so limited I knew that going out too fast would be about the worst thing I could do. I started easy and my legs felt great from the beginning. I tried to rein my pace in even though I felt good, because 13.1 miles is a long way for these legs right now. I caught the 2:10 pacers in the first mile though. I stuck with them until the water station at about mile 6 because it was a long downhill and I was feeling fantastic {they walked through all the water stations}. Despite the goals I had above, I really wanted to be closer to 2:00 and I knew that I couldn't wait to speed up later. I took the gamble of speeding up while I felt so good even though I had 1/2 the race left. I was still feeling great at mile 8 when I saw Donovan.

I felt great at mile 9 and 10 I was still doing okay. But that's when my legs started dying. By mile 11, I just wanted to be done. The last 2.1 miles felt like the longest miles of my life. I was so thankful to all the spectators. The race actually finished in Memorial Stadium on the 50 yard line {where our college football team plays}which was kind of fun.

I had never fueled during a race before. The only other half I've run, I didn't know anything about fueling and only took a tiny bit of water the whole race. I've experimented with a gels a bit and as of right now, I like the Mandarin Orange GU. I took one 45 minutes in and 1/2 of one {my stomach didn't want any more} at about 1:30:00. I really do think it helped keep a little more pep in my legs longer.

My official time ended up being 2:05:39 {so I surpassed my A goal!}

So I seriously need to learn to use the splits on my watch. It is a bit pathetic that instead of learning, I just try to remember them.
Mile 1: 9:43
Mile 2: 19:28
Mile 3: 29:40
Mile 4: 36:??
Mile 5: 49:??
Mile 7: 1:07:??
Mile 8: 1:16:??
Mile 11: 1:44:??
Mile 13.1: 2:05:39

But the thing that I was even happier about was this: I passed more people than passed me :) I suppose that is the advantage of starting further back.

I know that I ran this race the best I could today. I was happy with it and it fueled my desire to get faster again, but right now I'm giving myself some time off to recover {a week or two}.

In retrospect, I would not have signed up for a 1/2 this soon after baby. But at the same time, I'm glad I did.  It ended up being fine and I surprised myself with how I did and it was kind of fun to be overambitious, but usually overambition just leads to injury. However, having a goal race DEFINITELY kept me focused in my training.


  1. How great to run about 5 minutes faster than your A goal! Congrats!

  2. Nice job, Renee!!! It looks like you had a lot to overcome-and you KILLED it! Great job!! Are you going to run Omaha in September?

  3. Wow!!! Fantastic job- congrats on surprising yourself with such an awesome time, too!