Sorry for not posting for a while! We had the race on Sunday and have been swamped non-stop. However, we will have some recipes coming in the next day or two.
We had very different experiences on Sunday so we thought that we’d each write a little about them. Overall, we did not enjoy the course in Omaha and wouldn’t recommend it.
Welcome to Omaha!
What we liked:
- The medal. What was cool about it was that each medal was handmade out of recycled glass by a local Omaha company so they are very unique.
- Marines handed the medals out.
- The Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k started together so we were able to run together.
- The spaghetti dinner was free and the speakers from The Biggest Loser were interesting. And Elysia won a hat for knowing how many calories per gram of fat there are (nine)!
- The post-race food. Bruegger’s Bagels, orange slices, bananas and Qdoba soup (which was vegan!!)!
Cheese =) Having some fun outside of the hotel!
What we didn’t like:
- The overall course. We’ve never been to Omaha before and if it wasn’t for a trip to Trader Joe’s before leaving, we would have left thinking that Omaha is pretty run-down and boring. We started downtown and immediately ran through a section of town that was pretty questionable…We joked that maybe the headlines about the marathon would read something of the sort: “several marathoners suffered stab wounds as they made their way through Omaha on Sunday…”. We know that we’re quick to judge but it was pretty dodgy looking! The marathon runners had to complete this part twice so they really got the full picture of it. There were also a couple of out-and-backs that allowed us to see other runners as they were nice and far ahead of us. You know, the kind of encouragement that allows you to really kick it in…or maybe just want to kick the person that planned the course. Take your pick!
- The spaghetti dinner was in a super small venue so we waited in line for about 45 minutes. I mean free food is awesome! But there were soooo many empty seats in the place; there was just one line for people so it moved pretty slow.
- Crowd support. Where were the people to cheer us on??? A little extra adrenaline rush from a bunch of supporters is always helpfull!
- Port-a-potties. They were at almost every water-stop, but there was only one at each so there were tons of people in line.
- Water-stops for the full marathon. There was a gap in the later miles where there should have been a stop, but there wasn’t, so Charissa (and Michelle) were both dying for water.
The best part of the race = recycled glass medals!
Charissa’s Marathon Experience:
~ Personally, I was pretty upset with my race. The first several miles went great! I was running at pace and was enjoying my time with Elysia. Then…dun dun dunnn… I had to go! Those of you who are runners probably know how I felt. When I reached a port-a-potty after what felt like an eternity, there was of course a line. This in itself set me back five minutes and then I couldn’t get my shorts un-tied (I tied them tight so that they held up my gel flask). TMI? If you’re still reading…when I finally got going again, I wanted to catch up to Elysia/my goal pace. I really wanted to qualify for Boston. And I really wanted to run with my sister; especially since I knew that there was a massive hill looming. So…doing what all smart runners do at mile 6 (or 7?) out of 26.2, I kicked it in. Yep. I’m a genius. I knew that it was a bad idea. I knew I’d probably regret it. But I did it anyways. And regret it I did! Stomach cramps plagued me for the rest of the race and I had to stop again at another port-a-potty. AND I never caught up to Elysia. I waved at her in my head as I ran by the sign that said ”lucky ones done at 13.1, end here”. Okay, maybe it was just a sign with ‘half’ and an arrow written on it…but it contained a subliminal message that screamed at me as I ran by. I realize that this is quickly becoming a book so I’ll sum it up for you. At mile 24 the Gatorade that I ended up having to drink decided that it was better watering the grass of the course instead of giving me energy, and I finally crossed the finish line where there were actually people cheering us on! I’d have to say that I was very spoiled with the Twin Cities marathon because the crowd support, race organization, and course were phenomenal, so I think that the course in Omaha was doomed to disappoint me. However, I am soooo thankful for the support that Elysia, my Mom, Michelle, and my cousin Callie gave me. I really am lucky to have such a great family. Right now I’m debating……..should I run another Marathon this fall? AKA, in one month? My body feels fine now and I feel like I need to do another one so that it can make up for this one! What would you do??? Sorry for being such a downer in this post but I know that I’m not the only one who has experienced a disappointment like this and thought it would be a good idea to share 🙂
Elysia’s Half-Marathon Experience:
First of all, I would like to start of by saying how extremely proud of my sister I am! Like she said the race did not go as well as she had planned but she persevered. Unlike many of people who would have given up after several pitfalls she kept going and finished the race. Under 4 hours at that! I know that all of you runners out there can relate to Charissa’s experience. There are days when you feel like you could keep running for hours, then there are those frustrating days where your body just does not want to cooperate. I believe that it is not the setbacks themselves that truly matter, but how you choose to react to them. Charissa took her lemons and made some pretty freakin amazing lemonade =)
As for me~ originally I was planning on running the full marathon with Charissa and Michelle but plans changed when my training was interrupted by a few knee surgeries. So instead I ran the half! I was a little bit unsure how the race would go because my training has changed quite a bit in the last month or so. Becoming bored of running long distances by myself I decided to mix it up and switch over to swimming and cycling for my cardio. I also have started incorporating more lifting into my schedule so I can start working towards my next goal, figure competitions! That story is for another day though.
Back to the race! I would like to reiterate that this course sucked, like if it were a chocolate chip cookie it would be hard and crusty with one chocolate chip in it. There was a hill that stretched over about three miles and just when you thought it was over, BAM you were forced to climb mountain goat style up the largest incline yet. Another frustrating thing about this course, part of the route we had to run on cobblestone, which sore ankles do not enjoy. Right Michelle? But regardless of the courses crusty exterior, there was a warm chewy middle and I was actually pretty happy with how I did. This was my best race so far averaging 7:58 miles and finishing in 1:44:16. My theory: the swimming has helped my breath control and it gave my legs some much-needed rest from the pounding pavement. Another theory: I live at the bottom of a very steep hill and have to trek up to class every day so my glutes get a little extra work! So, now the question is whether or not to do the Mankato Marathon, which is the second to last week of October! Might as well right =)
If you have any questions about how we train or what keeps us motivated feel free to ask!
Have you had any recent disappointments or triumphs? Whether it be in running or elsewhere in your lives, tell us your stories!