4:45am - "Ugh"
4:53am - "Shit"
5:15am - "Harumph"
5:29am - "Ugh, shit, harumph"
Ladies and gentlemen, my new pre-race routine! I knew going in that I wouldn't be in the best condition to start a race....and I wasn't. I didn't overextend myself at the football game, but the 12am return arrival to Casa de RazZDoodle Sunday morning didn't help matters.
I pad downstairs, flip on the TV, determine my attire based on the temperature and just stare off into oblivion until about 5:58am. A friend of mine was nice enough to offer to pick me up, so that bought me some time. In 2 minutes, I managed to getdressedtakeiPodputonGarminandfastenD-taggrababottledwater...and head out.
It was a beautiful fall morning and our starting line overlooked the Missouri River. Omaha has revitalized the area and it's a really cool place to start a race. While waiting to line up, I run into 2 of my relay teammates and they tell me they're running the half marathon. They ask if I am and I tell them that I'm barely even in my body and I'm going to run the 10K.
Damnit. Now I want to run the Half. Oh well. I feel like a wuss. The only way to make me not feel like that? PR this f**ker. In fact, that was my mantra. OK, let's do a quick systems check for a PR, shall we? I have had nothing in my stomach since 10pm the previous night, I consumed quite a bit of alcohol. Not a lampshade-on-my-head-and-singing-karaoke amount (Sweet Caroline! Buh buh buhhhhh), but a fair amount, I've had a few big glasses of water before leaving for downtown....oh yeah, a PR makes perfect sense.
After motivating words from our mayor and the 3rd Team meteorologist from the 2nd ranked local newscast, we were off. Oh, best anthem ever, by the way. No lie. Some recent college grad sang it. Before he sang it, he told the crowd, "If you know of anyone interested in hiring an opera singer, let me know." Funny and talented.
Within a few yards of passing over the timing strip, my run damn near came to an end. There was a traffic cone....in the middle of the course. WTF? I managed to jump over it and I can only hope no one else tripped up/got trampled.
Omaha Marathon Gripe #1: Traffic cones in the middle of the course throughout the race. On the side, I can understand, but the middle? C'mon guys. You're begging for a lawsuit.
I do the Beginning of the Race Shuffle to get into a rhythm which brings me to my second gripe:
Omaha Marathon Gripe #2: The marathon, half marathon and 10K runners all started at the same time. They need to stagger it. They do. I was definitely at a different pace than the Cool Kids (marathon/HM runners) and I kind of felt bad for cutting them off, clipping their heels, and yelling at them to get out of my way.
I had my headphones on, so I couldn't hear my Garmin beep at me. When I looked down to check my pace, I was already at 1.3 miles and had a 7:45/mile pace going.
Once things leveled out and everyone got into a rhythm, it was pretty smooth sailing. There was a LOT of scenery, so that kept me occupied. There was the time that we passed some sort of salvage yard, but I was too busy keeping track of my competition. My nicely tanned, ponytail swishing, well-"paced" competition.
Oh, and there's the picture people. I can't wait to see the pictures. Half-hungover, glasses on, sweating. I'm damn sexy. Just. Freakin'. Sexy.
I was concerned that the 10K would not have a separate finish and that we'd stop, but the Cool Kids would keep running and we'd have some sort of pileup. Not the case. We peeled off and finished our race along the river. I look at my Garmin and I'm staring down the barrel of a PR...with some time to spare. As is tradition with me, I kick a little too soon and I see someone's shadow behind me. Do I have it in me to kick just a little further? Yes, I do. I sail into the finish line with an empty stomach, a pickled liver, and a new PR.
At the end of the race, there were stale bagels and mushy bananas! Yeah!
Lesson learned? Getting lots of rest and not drinking before race day is a myth.
Seeing as though this was my first big race since Phoenix, I drew one conclusion:
I think Phoenix spoiled me.
Phoenix's Expo: Took up the entire Arizona Convention Center. It took us about 2 hours to go through everything.
Omaha's Expo: Took up the front lobby of a social hall. Not the entire social hall. The front lobby.
Phoenix's Finishing Area: Massive and had every fruit possible PLUS popsicles!
Omaha's Finishing Area: 2 tables of questionable fruit and a guy flipping pancakes.
Overall, I think that the Omaha Marathon has some potential. I do. They just need to address some things. Am I going to run the half or the full next year? I'd give it consideration.
Congrats to the real runners who raced this past weekend!