A Perfect Day for a Run (or Walk)

May 2, 2011 at 1:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Yesterday was darn near perfect for the Lincoln Marathon and Half-Marathon. It has been said many times but I’ll say it again anyway: there were ten thousand participants. Ten thousand! That’s crazy, and by crazy I mean really awesome.

My mother and sister walked the half-marathon. But to be honest I have a hard time calling their 13:01 pace “walking”. I dread the next time I go hiking with those two. They finished in 2:50.

Our very own Fletch clocked in at just under 1:52. Good work, Fletch! What do you say about doubling that distance next year?

As for me, I was but a mere spectator. I grabbed my donut at Lamar’s and watched most of the field go by. Then I hopped on my bike and rode Downtown to see my mom and sister finish. On the way I ran across a bit of a motorist revolt at 10th and K. A woman got out of her car and yelled about her frustrations. A nearby police officer then ... well, “put her in her place” is probably the polite way to describe what happened next. It was a beautiful moment. I tried to snap the woman’s photo so that I could shame her here, but she dove back into her car. Most drivers seemed to take the delay in stride. I’m not sure why folks try to drive through the marathon route. It just plain can’t be done for much of the morning. And given the amount of press coverage and the electronic warning signs around town nobody can plead ignorance. A friend of mine had the right idea: he went to work two hours early so he would avoid the traffic. That means he was at work at 6am on a Sunday, but you do what you’ve gotta do.

Now then, many folks have been asking me if I’ll ever participate in the marathon or half-marathon. I’m about 90% certain I will run the half next year. I would love to run the full but ... well, without going into the oddities of my body I’ll just say that I don’t think I would live through the experience. The half, though, is doable. I’m normally more of a half-mile kind of guy than a half-marathon so the challenge will be fun. I look forward to training for it. I’ll probably run on behalf of a cause so look for me to come begging about eleven months from now.

But back to yesterday. Good work to all the participants, and a huge thank you to the event organizers. The Lincoln Marathon is an event we can all be proud of.

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Fletch May 2, 2011 at 2:24pm

It was an awesome experience, despite the fact that I nearly collapsed after I crossed the finish line. An awesome National Guardsman rushed right over to me, and got a buddy, and they helped me off the field and hung out with me under the stadium until I assured them I was okay.

The crowd was awesome!! Random sightings: great signs such as, “Run Like You Stole Something,” “Millions of people decided to stay in bed this morning,” and “Good luck, Total Stranger.” There was a snare drummer on South Street, and someone on the median along Sheridan playing a full trap set. I saw a dude with a vuvuzela. There were cowbells all over. A little girl passing out Dixie cups of jelly beans or gummy bears (not sure) for runners at around mile 10.

I passed a soldier running in full gear - camo’s, boots, and a full pack on his back. It choked me up (and is now more profound after the Bin Laden news). The only thing I could think was to say, “God bless you, brother,” as I passed him.

There was what I believe to be an actual nun and a priest cheering us along on Sheridan, and dude with a goatee dressed like a nun cheering us along at Pioneers and Highway 2.

The only real scary moment was passing a man down on the side of 10th Street, surrounded by people giving him chest compressions. I heard the ambulance a few minutes later. According to the LJS, he wasn’t breathing for awhile there, but was doing better at the hospital. I’ve not heard more of an update.

After the race, driving home, we drove down 16th Street and South Street, and the amount of discarded shirts, sweatshirts, gloves, and arm warmers was amazing. So many sights and sounds to the whole morning.

Mr. Wilson, it’s something you have to experience. I don’t see a full marathon in my future, but I may do this again. You said you ran 15K - you’re 3/4 of the way there already. I ran really well for the first 15K, and then really ran out of gas. I think it was dehydration.

Sorry for the long post. It was an awesome day for me. Thanks to the National Guard, the LPD, the army of volunteers, the Lincoln Track Club, and to all the people that stood and cheered the runners. Proud day for Lincoln!

Mr. T May 5, 2011 at 11:26am

Good going Fletch. You’ll have to talk about your training routine at some point, where in town you run, etc. I’m trying to increase my distance runs as well.

Fletch May 5, 2011 at 2:00pm

Hey, Mr. T!

I used to be a very casual runner - about 2-3 miles, maybe 4-5 days a week. 2 summers ago, I took the Beginner’s Luck running class offerred by Ann Ringlein. It’s an 8-week summer class on Wednesday evenings. Only $20. It totally changed my running.

Before that, I really struggled to increase my distances. If I ran 4 miles, I just hit a huge wall (probably mentally more than physically). With the help of that class, even though I wasn’t a true beginner, it all changed. Soon I did a 4 mile run, then 5 mile run, then I ran for an hour.

I basically just kept following that training schedule and would repeat the 8 weeks over and over and over, and I’d add mileage to my long (Saturday) runs.

I have the info for the 2011 class if anyone is interested. I have a Yahoo email address. imfletcher2 could be the proper name to put in front of the yahoo name. It would be smart to add the dot com at the end. I’d be glad to shoot over a PDF file to anyone who wants it.

Mr. T May 6, 2011 at 2:41am

Fletch, I wish I had the kind of schedule where I could invest a set time commitment into a class like that. I believe you are right: its the mental game more than anything.

I’m now strictly a short distance runner. I ran a nice pace in the last State Farm 5K and since then I’ve been sort of a bum. For a while I was gradually increasing my weekend distance runs but have stopped doing that (for some excuse or another). I need to get back on track. Maybe I’ll find the inspiration you did!

Fletch May 6, 2011 at 4:58am

Cool. I didn’t think the schedule was bad. Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30-8:00 or so, for 8 weeks. Then 3 other runs on your own during the week.

I could email you a running chart from the class if you want.

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