Sunday, October 2, 2011

Omaha Marathon Race Report

The Omaha Marathon (September 25th) was my goal marathon for the year. I was really hoping for a nice PR and my times in training and some other races were leading me to believe that it would be possible. We had a nice time in Omaha on Saturday and had a great dinner at Vivace. I had my traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

Lucky for us the start was moved to just two blocks from the hotel so we didn’t have a super early wake up time. The hotel had complimentary bagels for the runners in the morning, which was nice and I grabbed a bag and gave it to Dave for his breakfast. When we checked in to the hotel on Friday they said a late checkout was not possible. That would mean I would be flying home all sweaty after the marathon. We called and spoke with the manager on Saturday and he allowed us a 1 pm checkout. That really put the pressure on for a PR!

We got to the start area and I did my normal stand in the port a potty line routine. I was nervous like always. It was a very cool morning and I knew the weather would not be an issue. I made my way to the start and Dave made his way to the first spot he was going to.
It was really crowded in the start corral. We started a few minutes late but finally they shot a gun and we were off! My plan was to do 12 minute miles for the first half and see how I felt. I heard and saw from the course elevation that this was going to be a very hilly course and I wanted to be conservative. Hilly course is an understatement. I never would have guessed that there would be more hills in Omaha, Nebraska than Boulder, CO. I’m really glad I had done hill work and that I did Boulder as my training run. I felt amazingly good on the hills. The course itself was not a pretty one at all. We started in downtown and then headed out of town and into some not so nice areas. The course kept looping back on itself as well. Every loop back brought us out to yet another not so nice area and more hills! I was feeling good at the half way point and had already seen Dave a few times.

I was worried about my legs getting beat up on the hills in the first half and could see more hills coming up but still tried to speed up for the second half. I did well and kept my pace well under 12:00 minutes. I saw Dave one last time right before mile 24 and, right before one last big hill. That is just cruel! But I still kept my pace and even sped up more. I was not passed at all in the last half but I passed many. It is so much more fun to be feeling strong at the end. I was doing math in my head and figured I wouldn’t meet my “A” goal of getting under 5:10 but then I realized I was really close and really tried to push it. It was going to be close. I saw Dave at the finish line and crossed with a big fist pump. I got my medal from a Marine in a full dress uniform. It was a very nice hand blown stained glass medal. My time was 5:10:41. I didn’t make my “A” goal, but did get a 16 minute PR. I was very happy!

t is now 12:15 and I have 45 minutes to get back to the hotel and shower. I jumped in the picture line, looked for the chocolate milk they said they would have, couldn’t find it and said let’s get going! I walked, limped back to the hotel, showered and packed up. We made it with 5 minutes to spare!
Overall I am extremely pleased with how the race went. A huge PR on such a hilly course was awesome. I love the medal as well. The course itself was awful though. There was just nothing nice to look at. There must be a better way to showcase Omaha. Thanks again to Dave for following me around and being such a great help. I Love You!
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