Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nebraska State Fair Marathon - Grand Island, NE - Saturday, August 29, 2015

The morning was perfect.   It was cooler, foggy, misty and nice.  All except for the massive high humidity.  The first 3 hours of running went really great, well all except the bathroom stop at mile 8ish.  I really had to go and lost precious time because of that stop.  But after that things were going very well.  I was on track for a massive PR and feeling amazingly wonderful.  At mile 14 I had to adjust my sock and toes.  I put more Vaseline in the left sock to avoid a blister.  More time lost.  I should have fixed the right foot at the same time because at mile 17 I ended up having to do just that.

The course was well marked and I felt like I always knew where to turn.

So I'm not sure if my hydration was off or the lack of sleep from the crappy hotel bed or the travel there or what was wrong but I was doing amazingly well until  mile 18ish then I fell apart.  My legs felt heavy and tired, my stomach  hurt, I was thirsty constantly, and my desire to run was gone. I wanted to stop more than anything.   Nothing hurt but I did feel heavy and thick and so thirsty and I was just done.

Then I see Jason at mile 19.  He had some Gatorade and my roller stick.  I rolled different parts of my body and took some sips of Gatorade.   He left and I ran on.  The next 7 miles were not fun.  It only got hotter and hotter out and this race didn't have ice baggies at the water stops.   I know those would have helped me for I just needed to cool off.  Every time I saw another mile marker I was so happy.  Bummer was I knew that I would miss my PR by only a few minutes because of how slowly  I was going. I know had the weather not been so bad that I could have shaved some serious minutes off the PR.  Next time I hope to do just that.

I should have been so happy with my finish but instead I was incredibly disappointed because of how sick I felt.  Bummer to do so well for 19 miles then the whole race gets trashed in the last 7 miles.

Oh well, to me a 5:04:54 is a respectable finish time especially given how my first 2 marathons went and I need to remember that finishing is the best feeling in the world.  There are many in this world that would be perfectly happy with finishing a marathon at any time.

After the race I rushed to my car and back to the hotel for a shower.  The hotel was only giving us 30 minutes late checkout and they didn't even want to do that until I begged them.  Seriously, I told the hotel, Holiday Inn, that I was a slower marathon runner and I would barely get done with the race and back to the hotel before 12 noon and I would desperately  need a shower.   They granted me a half hour.  Obviously none of the front desk staff are runners.  I won't stay at a Holiday Inn ever again.

I got showered then took a swim in their pool.  I feel swimming helps a lot with my recovery.  Then Jason and I went to the State fair because you get in free with your race entry.  We walked around a ton and I know that helped my legs as well.

A great day then back to Iowa we went.  Would I do this race again?   Most likely  not because I'm trying for a marathon in every state and even if I repeated the state of Nebraska  again then I'd go for a different, more well known marathon with more extras.

Great things about race:
Chip timed which was accurate.
Race bib for your scrapbook
Flatter than flat course.
Long sleeve dri fit shirt that says marathon on it.
Some food at the end like bananas, cut up bagels and chips.
Finishing medal
Lots of volunteers on the course
Cold water at the water stops.
Gu the course.

Things that need improved:
Ice baggies at the last 5 water stops (those help temendously when it's a hot race)
Port a potties at the start
More food at the end for ALL finishers.  This is one of my pet peeves when races do a 5K and a half race in addition to the marathon.  Those people finishing early eat all the food.  Save some for the later people please.  Or just start bringing the food 2-3 hours after the marathon starts then all marathoners get food.  Don't let people that didn't run grab food.
Different shirt for each race distance.  All the shirts said Marathon on them, even the 5K shirts.
The finishing medal was ok, not terrible,  but not amazing either.

The start line at 6 a.m.  It was foggy, misting and kinda cold.  Perfect for running.  If only it could have stayed that cold.
Printed on the ground.
A picture Jason took of me at mile 19.  I was starting to struggle in the heat.  I see now that I really lean back when I run.  I need to run more forward.  This is something I'll work on.

My final time
Right after returning to the hotel before the amazing shower and dip in the pool.

The shirt
Finish photo after a shower.
My bib #

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