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Feast and Feathers Trail Half Marathon - Run

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Omaha, Nebraska
United States
35F / 2C
Total Time = 2h 55m 13s
Overall Rank = 172/218
Age Group = Women
Age Group Rank = 72/108
Pre-race routine:

It was cold, raining, windy, and miserable. My prerace routine consisted of eating a trust pb&h sandwich, gathering my stuff, driving to the race, and sitting in my car.
Event warmup:

My warm up for this event consisted of walking to the "warming tent" which was definitely warmer than standing out in the rain, though I wouldn't exactly call it warm.
  • 2h 55m 13s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 23s  min/mile

The weekend before my run I spent about 12 hours puking my guts out. I lost 3.5 pounds, I have never been so sick in my life. I was so weak that my husband carried our baby up and down the stairs for me because I was afraid I'd drop her. I got sick on Saturday night, spent a good portion of Sunday in bed. Couldn't really eat well until Tuesday but I did my best to eat and drink as much as I could and gained 1.5 pounds back before the race, so that was good.

The run was pretty hilly. It had been raining all night. Many places the mud was literally inches deep with nothing to hang on to, no roots or anything to give you any sort of traction at all. A few places you could kind of go off course a bit and work around the mud but many places you just had to slog through.

The worst part, though, was being wet and cold. I wore my lightweight tights, a thick long sleeve mock-neck, and a lightweight waterproof jacket. I also wore a baseball cap and gloves. I wore the hood up over my baseball cap and that kept the water off of my face and neck for the most part. Before the race I went back and forth between wearing my thick long sleeve verses a lighter one; I'm definitely glad I chose the warmer shirt. 35 degrees isn't really all that cold, but when you are out in it for almost 3 hours and you are getting progressively more and more wet it does begin to feel quite cold.

I kept a 12:30 pace for the majority of the race. I really couldn't go much faster without risking slipping and falling. I felt pretty good starting out, though I will say I was apprehensive due to being sick and was worried about the rain. I started eating a little Cliff bar around mile 5, I just wanted to stay ahead of the caloric needs. I thought maybe I'd need more calories due to my sickness plus being so cold. I took Gatorade at the last 2 aid stations, otherwise I just drank water.

By mile 8 I was cold. I couldn't feel my fingers and began to actually worry about frost bite. I don't even know if it's possible to get it in that weather but my gloves were beginning to get damp so they weren't doing much for me. As mentioned above I also slipped and one of my feet went up to mid-calf in a puddle of water. Thankfully that was all that got wet and I didn't get hurt.

The course went on a 3 mile loop, then a 10 mile loop around the lake. The last mile there was a long bit on a dam with no tree cover at all. There was a wicked cross wind and the rain was beginning to freeze (the temperature was dropping during the race). The pellets hit my bare face skin and nearly brought tears to my eyes but I was determined to get to the end. It made me run faster because I wanted to get it over with.

What would you do differently?:

I would dress a little bit warmer, but that's about it. I couldn't have really prepared for the mud, and I feel like the mud and the cold were main factors in my performance. Plus being sick, which again was out of my hands.
Post race
Warm down:

When I got to the end I got a sweet finisher's mug (I love race mugs!) and made my way to the warming tent. By now it was almost empty. There were some frozen bagels, which I grabbed one. My sister in law ran the race too but I hadn't seen her the whole time, it turns out she had been about 5 minutes behind me. My parents were also supposed to be there, but I thought maybe they didn't come out because of the weather. I totally wouldn't have blamed them.

I decided to just walk to my car and start it, all I could think about and all I cared about was getting warm. I was soaked and hadn't brought a towel or anything, poor planning on my part. I got in my car...and it wouldn't start. So I texted my dad and it turned out they were there. He came and jump started my car for me, and I guess I must have looked pretty bad because he and my mom offered to drive me home. I went and got in his car since it was already warm. By the time I got home, 30 minutes later with the heater on me full blast the whole time, my hands were still cold. That it how freaking cold it was. I can't even convey it to you. I was mud from head to toe. Somewhere mid run I had dropped my water bottle and it landed drinking tip down in the mud. I had mud up to my knees, mud on my gloves from falling.

This was probably one of the most difficult races I've run, as far as mental effort. I did run the Psycho Wyco 20 miler which was very similar, and also very muddy, but it wasn't raining during that race and the wind wasn't blowing horridly. I was glad to have that experience under my belt though, I think it helped show me that I had done longer races in similar conditions and that I could survive this one.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mud, cold. And rain. And mud. And cold.

Event comments:

This was very well organized. There was a tent for people to get out of the weather (the tent had heavy flaps on all sides). The course was marked very well, there were several moments where I panicked thinking perhaps I had missed a turn but looked up to see the pink flags pointing me in the right way. It was very well done.

Last updated: 2015-11-10 12:00 AM
02:55:13 | 13.1 miles | 13m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/108
Overall: 0/218
Performance: Below average
Course: Muddy, hilly, single-track trails. Highlights include slipping in a giant puddle of water, dodging tree branches, and jumping over creeks
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2015-11-29 10:20 PM

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Subject: Feast and Feathers Trail Half Marathon
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Training for a specific running event is not as easy as it might seem. Here are some tips and a weekly plan to avoid overtraining and to improve your performance.
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My question is am I playing with fire entering the half marathon this close to my primary goal for this season which is the HIM?
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Steady is our walk. Ignoring the pain that is radiating from my feet, I continue to place one foot in front of the other. Again I wonder, “Why am I doing this?”
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Having three seasons under my belt I thought I knew what I was doing. That all changed with a few new challenges and a bunch of new friends.
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