Lincoln Marathon: The Run

May 7, 2012 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Lincoln Marathon and Half-Marathon is behind us. How’d y’all do? I know Fletch, Jack Mitchell, and several other good friends of Lincolnite ran yesterday.Did you run too?

I went ahead and ran the half-marathon despite all common sense. A little over a week ago I was assigned to a PDL soccer match in Des Moines on Saturday night. (I had marked Sunday as “unavailable” but I neglected to make myself unavailable for the entire weekend.) I figured my chance to run my first half-marathon was shot. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I might be able to pull it off.

So Saturday night I reffed the match, running over 6.5 miles and losing over 5 pounds of water in the process. I left the stadium just after 10pm. My post-game and pre-race meal? A 20-piece order of chicken McNuggets (with barbeque and buffalo sauces), a banana, a large chocolate shake, and a ton of fluids. What can I say, McDonald’s was the only food I saw near the stadium. I hit the road around 10:30pm. I pulled into the driveway around 1:40am and finally got to sleep somewhere around 2.

I told myself that I would set my alarm for 5:50am. If I turned off the alarm, no problem; I’d skip the race without shame, because who runs under those conditions? But I didn’t. I woke up with the alarm and made my way to the starting line.

At that point I hadn’t decided if I was going to finish, or if I was just going to run to where my family waited (outside Lamar’s at 48th and Pioneers), then quit and have a donut. The first mile felt great at a steady 8:05 pace. I eased up for the second mile, at 8:31. The third mile—featuring an uphill climb on South Street—made me really doubt myself and I slowed to 8:45. But then something unexpected happened—I got into a rhythm on Sheridan Boulevard, settling back in to an 8:30 pace. By the time I turned south on 48th Street I knew I’d make it to at least Highway 2. If I could get to the half-way mark, I figured I could will myself to finish. Not counting a short potty break at mile 5.5—all that hydration caught up with me—I ran 8:30s in miles 4, 5, 6, and 7.

I walked for the first time at the mile 7 marker. My heart rate and breathing were fine, but my muscles were pooped. I kept up a run/walk cycle from that point on. The 20th Street hill in particular saw a lot of walking from me. There just wasn’t enough fuel in the tank to push myself too much harder. But I didn’t care. I knew I was going to finish, and at that point that was good enough for me.

And I did finish, with a final time of 2:05:31, or about a 9:35 pace overall. That’s way off my original goal of 1:45, but well within the parameters of my updated goal of “just try not to die”. At the same time, I set a new personal record for “most miles run in a 14 hour period”. Somebody call Guinness.

I still want to hit that 1:45 at some point. I’m not sure if it will come during next year’s race, or perhaps I’ll find another half-marathon somewhere before then. Or maybe I’ll never hit that time. Who knows? I’m going to keep trying, though. Even though my body isn’t designed for those distances, my brain is dumb enough to think otherwise.

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The Comments

Fletch May 7, 2012 at 3:02pm

I’m proud of you for showing up and for sticking with it. I wish I would have been able to walk less, as I would have had around the same time. I finished yesterday in 2:16, a far cry from the 1:51:52 last year. It’s very humbling. A lot of things were working against me, and I really thought about quitting while I was on the Highway 2 trail stretch. I walked about 1.2 miles in total, but vowed to myself somewhere along Harrison or 10th that even if I had to walk it all or crawl, that I would finish and get my medal. I would love to get closer to my 1:50 mark, or somehow have everything align and run a 1:45. Race days are just really hit and miss for me, but it feels terrible to work so long and end up having an off day.

Mr. Wilson May 7, 2012 at 3:14pm

Yeah, that’s the downside of putting so much weight on a single day. What are the odds that you’re going to be 100% on that day? You can improve your chances with proper training and diet, but that’s no guarantee.

I try to remember that for a guy in my position, the process leading up to the Big Day is more important than the Big Day itself. That’s easier said than done for a competitive guy like me. I do it in part by making each training session its own competition. That both satisfies the constant need to compete, and it gives me plenty of opportunities to remember that failure happens.

I also have the benefit of using the soccer matches I officiate as an outlet for mental and physical competition.

Are you thinking about running in Omaha this fall, Fletch?

Fletch May 7, 2012 at 3:22pm

I am not thinking so at this time. I’ve heard some friends talking about it, and they don’t seem to enjoy it as much as Lincoln. However, they said the glass medals are really cool.

I think this year’s Lincoln medals were very nice. Still not a fan of the shirts. They run small and just don’t fit well to me, and I went up a size to be safe based on last year. Didn’t love the design, but it was okay.

The New Balance shirts that Ann Ringlein gets for Beginner’s Luck are way more comfortable. Go figure.

Mrs. Wisco May 7, 2012 at 3:51pm

It was a tough day to run a good race with the humidity and the sun coming out early in the race. I know that a lot of runners close to me were really feeling the effort and the heat about mile 7 (just before the mile 8 aid station). I liked the race shirts but I always order a size larger than normal for this race since they do run small. Great running to both of you for finishing yesterday.

I’ve never run Omaha but I’ve heard that the cool glass medals are the best part of the race. Des Moines is a very nice fall race if you don’t mind traveling a little.

Mr. Wilson May 7, 2012 at 3:57pm

It’s funny you mention the temperature. My body does not deal well with heat. I overheat extremely easily, I’ve done the heat stroke thing a couple times, etc. And yet I barely noticed the temperature yesterday at all. I guess I was so focused on finishing I just forgot to think about it.

Fletch May 7, 2012 at 4:08pm

I didn’t really notice the temperature, but I noticed the sun as a big factor. At one point late in the race, I was getting cold chills, which I think was not a good sign.

Nikkidemas May 7, 2012 at 5:04pm

You’re an animal!  Color me impressed.

Mr. T May 7, 2012 at 11:01pm

Good going!

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