Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mariachis and Marathons in Lincoln, Nebraska

This post is ridiculously delayed as I ran this race May 6th, 2018. So I may have forgotten most of this race. But let's give it a go.

So this trip was surrounded by back to back work trips for me, so I was hoping for a quiet weekend  in Lincoln (minus running 26.2 miles). I mean, it's Nebraska, how crazy can it be? Very, it turns out. Combine a weekend of Cinco de Mayo, a marathon AND the University of Nebraska's graduation and you get crowds and noise....lots and lots of noise. I arrived and just hoped to have a quiet lunch outside, since the weather was beautiful. The first stop had a nice outdoor space, where we were able to grab a table. Soon we found out why...they weren't serving food at the time. Which was probably better since there were several graduation parties going on there, and in hindsight, it was a total college bar. And at 41, that is not so much my scene anymore. So we relocated to a Mexican restaurant (remember again it is the day before the marathon...May 5th). We grabbed a spot at the bar to wait for a table. When I then remembered I'd left my wallet at the crazy college bar. So I got a quick warm up run in to dash back to see if it was still there. Thankfully it was. Phew.  So back to the Mexican restaurant where our table was now ready. Across the restaurant was a mariachi band..hoping, praying, wishing that it stays across the restaurant.  But in typical mariachi style, they covered the ground across the entire restaurant. Don't get me wrong, they were great. But I just wanted some quiet. Not in the cards for that afternoon, I guess.

Dinner was much quieter thankfully. We dined at Dish, which I recommend if you're in Lincoln to root on the Cornhuskers, or for any other reason. 

Race day was fairly good weather, although by the end of the race it was getting to be a bit on warm side. Crowds were sporadic on the course, but overall it was a pretty good course, and the volunteers were great. The race was sponsored by the National Guard, so there were several members of our military who were participating. I always find the runners in full gear, in boots, wearing full packs, so impressive. Because I'm struggling in shoes and gear made for running without a 40lb pack on my back. So thanks to them for their service and for their inspiration to the rest of us on the course.
That was not my chip time!
The best part of this race was the finish..and not just because it means the thing is over. It's because you finish right on the Cornhusker football field!
Post-race, I didn't really get a chance to see much of Lincoln, as I had to head back to Omaha to fly out for a work trip. Which totally made me realize why I don't normally travel on race days, because sitting on a plane sure does make your legs stiff! 

Since I don't remember a lot of details on the race at this point, other than the cool finish line, I'd say if you need to do a race in Nebraska, go for this one. Just be prepared to pay a lot for a hotel room if it's the same weekend as graduation! The Marriott was the price of the Ritz in some cities! 

OMG, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the medal!!! Another great part of this race. It looks like a penny! And since I'm a whore for the bling, totally worth it. Speaking of bling, I've registered for the Little Rock, Arkansas marathon this March, and from what I've seen from the 2018 medal, this thing is going to be bigger than the race bib. I cannot wait!!  Well, actually I can, since I've done a sad amount of running since I ran this race in Lincoln.  

I typically run a race in the fall, but this fall, my life has changed a lot. I've relocated from Chicago, the love of my life, to Naples, FL to take on a new job and adventure. So the training and travel have had to go on hold for a bit.  All the chaos with work travel, trying to plan for a move, closing out things at my prior job, has made it hard to even get short runs in, but I've done a few runs to help me manage some personal relationship issues, and as always, running is always there for me when I need it to be. Probably why I keep doing it.  Although I didn't run a race this fall, I was a legit, hard core spectator at the Chicago marathon for my superstar friend, Bethany!  Her daughter and I darted all over the city to cheer her on as many times as we could possibly manage on the course. And we even did it in the rain! If you ever want to spectate with someone, Gillian is the best partner to have!  One of the highlights of spectating is when you randomly cheer for a runner with his/her name on his/her bib, and you get a mix of reactions ranging from smiles, big grins and cheers (the best) or confusion because the person wonders if he/she knows you (also fun).  Watching all of the runners in Chicago did motivate me to get back out there and take on another race sooner rather than later. So I might tackle Alabama before Arkansas, but will have to see how things feel when I start running again, as this would be only 3 weeks before. And I'm not getting any younger folks! But I've got 32 in the books, 18 to go. Let's get this done! 

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