May 03, 2004

Half-marathon Success!

I did it! Well, we did it more accurately! I ran the Lincoln 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles) nonstop in just 1:33 and raised over $2,700 -- I think that's pretty good for my first time! And yes, it's a good feeling. I finally got to meetup with the rest of my "Team in Training" the morning of the race, and even ran along side some of them during the run. I think I may actually have finished among the top runners in our "Team"!? The race was just fantastic though, from the nice cool weather, to the supportive fans and TNT supporters in the crowds, and especially the booming motivational tunes along the way - it was all very motivating, and kept me smiling.

I also luckily ran into my old cross country coach Todd Nott before the race (he was doing the full), Anne Medeiros (ran with us in H.S.) at the starting line, found Jerry Hoeschen (my running buddy) right after the race and an old H.S. soccer friend John How who also ran the half. My own parents luckily came along to take a few pictures and support me, and they ran into Marion Berg (my friend's mom) out there running the race as well.

I have a lot to talk about, so please keep reading...

Team Meetup
First of all, we left Plattsmouth around 4:45 to get to the Cornhusker Hotel by 5:45am (got there right on the dot) to meet up with the rest of the Omaha, NE chapter of "Team in Training". That was really a joy, to finally see some of my fellow "team mates" who have been training and fundraising just as much if not more than me over these past couple months. We had a little sea of purple in the lobby area, until we all walked over to the UNL field house at 6:00am, the race would start at 7:00am.

I realized then that I didn't quite pack enough, I was just a little colder than comfortable walking over to the UNL campus. My legs were fine (leg tights, shorts, sweats) but I only had a couple T-shirts on my upper body and forgot my 1st thing - my zippered sweat shirt - in my truck in Plattsmouth. It was fairly chilly out, I think around in the 50s (fahrenheit), but I was ok really. I actually ended up leaving behind all my shirts before the race, either it got warmer outside or my heart and adrenaline were just pumping to get running!

Before the race though, I chatted with the Help Desk for a bit to get a new racing number! Yeah, unfortunately I forgot that too back in Plattsmouth, 1 hour drive away, and less than 1hr till the race start now. They kindly changed my number to 5329 though from 4835. My good friend Jerry Hoeschen even picked up my race packet for me the day before, then I just forgot it on the couch at home. =( But I was able to run now for sure, and get my time recorded.

So I stretched out just a little bit in the fieldhouse and got to meet some of my Team mates Melissa and Heather just briefly. I wish I could have chatted and stretched more, but it was like 20min till race time and I still needed to get into the pre-race bathroom line. I got some stretching in waiting in line though, and made it out to the starting line well before the race started (a few minutes at least).

I still regret not being more involved with "the team" during the whole training time up before our race, it would have been nice to know more of them just a little better and share the experience with someone. Unfortunately, all the team meetings were during one of my evening classes, and I passed up on the spaghetti feed the night before trying to prepare for finals. (Which I should be doing more of now!) Next time I'll definately stay in the hotel with the rest of the team, I was just hoping to save TNT some extra money for the patients -- but the rooms are like quad occupancy, so it would have been cheap anyways, and well worth it for the team commodarity. (just don't do this again right before finals week!)

The Race
I situated myself between the 7:00 and 8:00 minute signs, and was looking for Jerry, but never found him. This is where I did run into Anne though, which was a pleasant suprise. The army national guard had a cannon-fire start, and that got me pumped -- I was off! I took the average crowd pace and worked my way up the left side for a picture - though my dad lost me in the crowd. =( I only did end up getting a few good pictures, basically only when I was stationary. Oh well, something is better than nothing.

Well, the race was pretty long, 1 hour and 1/2, but I said hello to a lot of people along the way, and many were just sitting outside their houses in the sidewalks cheering us on. One couple said, "You're the show of the day" referring to the marathon. Another interesting quote was a lady pulling out of her alley only to exclaim, "Oh my ! There's a marathon in the way!" (something similiar). The police had many intersections closed off for us and I just tried to find a nice steady pace, where I was not being passed nor passing anyone too much. I don't really have a good feel for my 1/2 marathon pace, so I just winged it, and it worked.

I also did not know that Lincoln had any hills, but it was nice to find a few inclines and declines along the course to spice things up a bit. I relaxed again trying to fall on the downhills (like in cross country) and pumped my arms good to pull myself up the hills, usually passing a few people along the way. Running those 16miles with Jerry last week really helped though, as I'd run past the 8 mile mark and think I'm only half-way there, but really I only had 5 miles left! Theres definately some mental strength in having run longer distances in the past, and knowing you can do it.

After about the first 2 miles, I starting getting some minor side aches and shoulder pinches, as a sign of not warming up enough. My side aches worked themselves out, but the shoulder pinch came back around mile 9 and 10. My right inner arch started bothering me again about half-way through the race, but I just ran through it. I tried to run as lightly on my heals as possible to absorb the pressure of running on concrete and that helped slightly. This long distance road run though was just a bit much for me, my knees and body still feels like it's trying to recover tonight yet.

Near the Finish
There was one TNT runner just ahead of me (and behind me for moments) from about the 8 mile mark till the finish. I think his name was Rich, but I'm not sure Mike, and I'm sure now. We kinda pulled each other along those last 2 miles in particular, as we both picked up the pace to finish strong. I had been running hard the last 1.5 miles, but got a little distraught when I couldn't "see" the finish. When I finally turned the last corner for the remaining 200 yards or so, I put in a heart-pumping finishing sprint, and finished right along side Mike.

I picked up some treats then and received my 13.1 mile Team in Training pin which was very cool. I meet Jon Howe (1:35) shortly after this and Jerry Hoeschen (1:37) just behind him. I thought I was standing around longer, but it must have only been about 5 minutes then since I finished. After that, it was basically just time to say good bye and head home for some group meetings and study for finals! And that's what I've got to do now, and get some rest. =)

Thanks for all the support! (and reading this much, lol!)


Posted by bwiese at May 3, 2004 03:21 AM
Comments has a story(mirror) on the race, evening mentioning Plattsmouth XC coach Todd Nott as the 23rd place finisher for the Men's Marathon.

Posted by: bw at May 3, 2004 04:07 PM

Nice job! After the marathon then we'll see "IRON MAN WIESE"

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