Thursday already? I know I say it every week, but it’s been a busy one! Perhaps that’s just what the life of a busy adult is like? Wow! It only took me ten years in the full-time work force to figure that one out. I’m nothing if not a quick study.
So, here we are, four days removed from my latest half-marathon so it’s I’m popping in to share a recap!
The ninth installment of our insane quest to do 12 half marathons in 12 states in 12 months took place in Omaha, Nebraska. It was my first time in the Cornhusker state, and, since my obsessive personality is always looking for ways to cross off new states, I was really excited to visit this one. P.S. Turns out you have to drive through Iowa for a bit when trekking to Omaha from my house so there’s two down!
Dad, John, and I took off fairly early Saturday morning for the seven and a half hour trip, and pulled in around 4:30. We went straight to the expo which was held in the parking lot of the Ameritrade Baseball Park. Fun fact: Apparently, this is home to the College Baseball World Series. The things you learn 😉
The expo was small without much to browse so after we got our packets and took our obligatory t-shirt picture we set off to find some food and entertainment.
We ended up at a Triple D burger place that was good but not fantastic, and then found an awesome movie theater to catch a showing of A Walk In The Woods. Seriously, if you’re ever in Omaha, I highly recommend seeing a movie at that Askarben Cinema. I’ve been pumped to see this movie for a while. I knew the book was hilarious, and you know I’m watching anything I can about long distance hiking. Nick Nolte and Robert Redford did a hilarious job bringing Bill Bryson’s journey to life, and I’d watch it again.
The next morning we headed back to Ameritrade Park for a 7:00 AM start. The weather was in the 50s to start the day, and Dad and I were pumped to run a race that didn’t include altitude, humidity, or heat for the first time in months.
We had discussed race goals the night before, and I knew the plan was to run it fast. I had spent most of August and September working on speed, and I was more than ready to see a good time on the clock after months of less than stellar finishes.
We started in the same general area as the 2:00 pacer, and matched him for the first few miles. Early on, Dad led us through fast paces on the downhills so we could get ahead of the pacer a bit for water breaks, and this strategy allowed us to stay with him for the first five to six miles of the race.
The course was an out and back, and, as we approached the turn around, the pacer kept getting further and further ahead. I knew that I didn’t have the stamina to stay with him the whole race, but I was still bummed to let him go. The next mile was mostly uphill, and I was feeling it in every ounce of my body. To say I was working hard was an understatement!
The second half of the race was all about making sure the 2:05 pacer didn’t catch us. Although I slipped a bit here and there, we kept up a good pace, but it definitely took an extraordinary amount of work on my part. Around the seven mile mark, my knee started giving me fits again that I dealt with throughout the remaining miles. Dad started keeping up a constant stream of encouragements around mile 11.5, and I needed them. You know when you see race signs that say, “Run like someone is chasing you!”? Well, that’s exactly what I was doing. I knew Mr. 2:05 was somewhere behind me, and I was determined to keep him there.
With less than a quarter mile to go, we entered the baseball field to run the rest of the way on the warning track. Despite the fact that it was taking every bit of mental focus I had to keep moving, it really was an awesome finish out there on the field. Right after we entered the stadium, I spotted John in the stands which was definitely a cool perk.
As we made the final turn into the finish, I kicked up into the highest gear I had, which, honestly, was probably not discernible to anyone but me. I just had nothing left in the tank!
The hard work paid off though! We crossed the finish line at the EXACT SAME MOMENT as the 2:05 pacer with a final time of 2:05:39. That’s an almost twenty second PR, and I’m not unhappy about a thing!
As for the race/course itself, I have nothing but good things to say. Was it my favorite race or the most scenic? No, but it was well-organized and a good solid course. Plus, did you see those medals? Those bad boys more than make up for the disappointing non-medals in Albuquerque!
So that’s #9! September’s race was really late in the month and October’s is really early so we’re actually doing #10 in about a week and a half! We’re heading to the other end of the state to do one in Oklahoma, and this one is pretty special. It happens to be held in my grandparent’s town so this particular race weekend will include a lot of family time. I can’t wait!