Fargo 1/2 marathon was yesterday. It was a very well run, fun event.
My race was not very well run, however....
The truth of the matter is that I just didn't train particularly hard or well for this event.
My original goal, when I signed up last fall for the MARATHON was to finally have a personal best time, having missed it at New York Marathon by 3 seconds.
I was in much better shape last fall. I've lost some conditioning and gained a bit of weight since then, due to the happy, seemingly never-ending Minnesota winter of 2007/2008.
I finally threw in the Marathon towel about six weeks ago and switched over to the 1/2 marathon distance. I had done several long runs covering 14-plus miles, so I knew I could cover the distance.
I just didn't do it very well.
The event itself was a blast. I drove up to Fargo, North Dakota with two friends, Marc and Kathy T. Marc was going to run the Marathon and Kathy, who was not racing this time around, came along to cheer us along. Hubby was going to come too, but ended up having to stay in Minneapolis. His work schedule has been a bear lately and he just couldn't get out of a couple calls in order to join us.
We stayed at the Days Inn across from the Fargodome, which was both the site of the start and finish for the races.
After I checked in, I changed in to my Team Stay Put uniform and went over to pick up my race packet. I handed out a bunch of Stay Put elastics to very enthusiastic women.
Marcia and Marty, two other very good friends, had also signed up to run the 1/2 marathon. We met them at the Fargodome, along with some other runners from our club, and enjoyed the pasta and Lefse feed. (Lefse is a traditional Swedish bread... it is very flat and pretty tasteless...Fargo is FULL of Swedes, so this was a very traditional item to have at dinner.).
The weather was clear and temps were warm, but the wind was incredible! Pretty steady at 20 - 30 MPH, with gusts over 35 mph. Race day was expected to have pleasant temps, but again, very high winds.
Race day morning was beautiful. Cool, crisp and sunny. The winds were very calm when we lined up for the start. Marathoners and 1/2 marathoners all started our events at the same time and we ran together for much of the race. The course veered off three times to add the extra 13.2 miles for the marathoners.
Crowd support was wonderful. We ran through many residential neighborhoods where the entire block was full of residents out cheering and having a great time. There were lots of bands and entertainment along the course, which is always very helpful as you're plodding along the course.
It was interesting to me that parts of the course reminded me of sections of other courses including New York,Chicago and Twin Cities.
We also ran through parks and the downtown area, having a pretty good tour of Fargo.
I ran with Marcia for a little bit at the beginning. She was going to do a six minute run/one minute walk routine and I had trained doing a 7/1 routine, so we soon split up.
Despite having a bit of a cold (picked up two days before the race), I ran pretty well until about mile 9.5. My 7/1 routine served me well and I was not feeling too tired or sore. The winds had started to pick up though, and running head-long in to them was very tough and tiring.
I caught up to Sarah Reinertsen, an athlete who is missing her left leg. She was charging right along the course. I ran past her, said 'hello', told her I liked her commercial and she said "thanks". What an inspiration!
I stopped at a portapotty and after that, I could have very well been done with the race. I'm not sure if I was just tired, or hungry or what it was, but I had very little "stuff" in the tank. I ended up taking two walk breaks for every 8 minutes of running.
I kept plodding and by the time I got to mile 12 -- one lousy mile to go, I was really spent. I tried to muster some thing to get me going in to high(er) gear, but nothing came.
The finish for both the marathon and 1/2 marathon rounds the outside of the Fargodome, eventually turning in to the building, where spectators are sitting in the stands and runners 'Finish' is captured on a Jumbotron screen. That was pretty cool.
My time was 2:38:59. Certainly not my personal best, but it was what it was.
(You get what you train for, no?)
My friends had mixed results. Marty kicked some serious butt. Marc and Marcia both said they had tough races. The rest of our crew also had some serious challenges with the winds and the day.
But, we all got through it and we all agreed that the race was fun and a great event.
So now, I start training in earnest for my next two biggies: LifeTime Tri and Pigman.
Let the training begin!