I can’t believe the Lincoln Half-Marathon is already over! I spent 12 weeks training, and in one morning it’s done.
As I mentioned in my training recaps (here and here), I suffered from some chronic hamstring pain throughout training. This was due to teaching 4-5 cardio fitness classes a week on top of training for the race. In the two weeks leading up to the race, I only taught 1-2 classes a week in hopes that my hamstrings would recover and my legs would feel fresh for the race.
Unfortunately, my hams were hurting within minutes of beginning the race.
The BF had a little hitch in his run also because he was battling a chest cold the entire week before the race. The morning of the race his coughing sounded pretty rough.
We decided to take the race slow, not worry about our time, and just get through it.
Here are more details about what we ate before, during and after the race, and how we did during the race…
Saturday, May 2 (the day before the race)
In the morning, I did a short yoga practice focusing mostly on stretching out my hamstrings.
Then we drove to Lincoln.
Our first stop was to pick up our packets at the race expo.
We had lunch at Maggie’s Vegetarian Cafe. I had the un-fried falafel on corn tortillas and the BF had the avocado melt on corn tortillas. This is one of our fave places to eat in Lincoln!
We met my parents and my niece, Brynn, at our hotel – the Chase Suites – to check in. My parents always come to the half-marathon with us because they love driving to different points along the route to take pictures and cheer for us. Before settling in, we stopped by Scheel’s to look at camping gear (and I bought a new TYR one piece for teaching water aerobics). I loved the sign they had on display!
We always stay at Chase Suites because the rooms have a full kitchen. It allows us to cook dinner at the hotel rather than eating out. That way we can have something healthy that will fuel us for the run. This year, we picked up ingredients from Trader Joe’s, and made chicken thighs, brown jasmine rice, roasted asparagus, roasted beets and salad.
For dessert, we had these Sun Cups, which we found at a little health food store near our hotel. (I was on a frantic search for Vega Pre-Workout Energizer, which I forgot to bring. Luckily, they had it!)
Side note: I was really worried about hydration because it was supposed to be in the 60’s when we started the race and in the 70’s when we finished. This is hot considering we trained in 30-50 degree weather. I probably drank 120 oz. + of water on Saturday. This is important info for later.
Then it was time to relax and go to bed early to get rested up for the race!
Sunday, May 3 – Race Day!
5:30 a.m. wake up call!
I had a gluten-free bagel topped with peanut butter and banana slices for breakfast. I also drank about 20 oz. of water and prepared my Vega Pre-Workout Energizer to take to the start line and drink about 20 minutes before starting the race. I also stuck a Honey Stinger gel pack in the pocket on the inside of my pants.
This is what a super cool 9-year old looks like when she has to be ready to go at 6 a.m.
We arrived at the race around 6:30 a.m., so we had plenty of time to take photos and hit up the port-a-potties before the race start. The race started at 7 a.m., but we didn’t cross the start line until after 7:30 a.m.
This year, they had waves for the first time, but we were put in the 8 minute mile wave. This is WAY faster than we run. I’m not sure how we got into this wave because we’ve never run the race this fast before and we didn’t have to include our estimated run time in our registration. So we just started in a slower wave.
Miles 1-3: My hamstrings were feeling it immediately, and my right ankle hurt. But after warming up for a few miles, my ankle pain went away. We saw my family right after we passed the State Capital, and Brynn gave me a little hug and said “Good job,” which was totally adorable. I felt good going up the hill on South Street.
Miles 4-6: I felt great! We ran along Sheridan Blvd., which is probably my favorite part of the race because the neighborhood is pretty and there are lots of spectators cheering you along. We saw the fam on Sheridan. Around mile 6 I had to pee. I was super annoyed at myself because I hate stopping at port-a-potties during races because the lines are super long and it takes forever. I just decided to pretend I was fine.
Miles 7-9: Ugh. This is when we turned onto the hike and bike trail, which is my least favorite part of the course. It gets really congested. And, because it was warm, it seemed like a lot more people were walk/running. That meant weaving in and out of people and our pace slowed down quite a bit. This is when the BF’s sickness was really catching up with him. He had to use his inhaler because he was having trouble breathing. We saw my fam again along the highway. It was a nice little boost during this rough patch.
I ate my Honey Stinger at the water station near mile 8. As soon as I took it out of my pocket, I knew that it had chafed my skin pretty bad. My pants continued to rub against the raw skin, and that sucked pretty bad.
The hill at mile 9 up 20th Street didn’t feel as hard as it has in past years, but I think it’s because we were running a lot slower than we usually do. At one particularly tough point for the BF, someone yelled, “I believe in you, Chris.” It was definitely something he needed to get up that hill.
We saw my fam again somewhere between miles 9-10. I think it was on Harrison Avenue. I wasn’t expecting to see them again until the finish line, so I totally missed them until the BF asked if I saw them. I had to turn around and wave. They really rocked it this year making it to four stops along the course. It was especially impressive since my dad just had surgery last week and was on some pretty serious pain meds all weekend.
Miles 10-13: These last few miles were the hardest for both of us. The BF wasn’t feeling well at all. So we took it slow and started alternating between running and walking. I tried to keep encouraging him, but I was actually feeling pretty rough myself. Every time we walked and started running again, it felt like knives were twisting into my hamstrings. Once we would run for awhile, the pain would numb. But then we would walk again and it would start all over again.
The last 2.5 miles going up 10 Street were really hard mentally. A LOT of people were walking, which is fine, but walkers weren’t staying to the right to allow runners to pass on the left. People were just walking all the way across the road. All the weaving in and out of people was taking so much physical energy that I got really frustrated. I wanted to be done. I, honestly, wanted to cry because I was so over the race at that point.
The BF encouraged me a bit, I took a few deep breaths and said a few positive mantras to myself, and kept going.
The BF was feeling sicker and sicker and getting down on himself, so I kept encouraging him.
We finally made it to the stadium, and as we crossed the finish line, we held hands. It was definitely symbolic of our journey to get there. We ran all of our long runs together, encouraging one another along the way. And we couldn’t have finished the race without each other.
Every year after the Lincoln Half-Marathon, I want to get the heck out of there as soon as possible. All the people make it so overwhelming. So we got our medals, rushed through the food line (I got chocolate milk, a bottle water and a banana), found my family, took a couple of photos and went back to our hotel.
I drank a Vega Recover Accelerator on the way back to the hotel.
Then took a post-race selfie at the hotel.
Our medals were pretty awesome this year! And a girl in the food line gave me her sticker! I asked her where she got it, and she said they were handing them out with the medals. She said her dad and brother also ran and got stickers, so I could have hers. So nice!