Race preview: Oshkosh Half Marathon

15 Apr

I can’t believe I am running my first half marathon tomorrow morning. I don’t think I will truly believe it until I have crossed the finish line. Oh heck, I’m sure I will know it when I’m 7 miles in, body tiring, breath laboring, mind shouting, ‘What the hell is wrong with me?’

I wanted to share a little bit about the race and pre-race events not only so you can journey along with me, but also so I can have a record of this amazing endeavor.

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Race basics: The Oshkosh Half Marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Oshkosh. The flat course starts downtown, treks through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus, loops around a cemetery, jogs along the Fox River and past historic homes and ends downtown. The race draws some 3,500 runners and (allegedly) features themed water stations and live music to keep runners motivated and spectators entertained. The race also features a medal for all finishers (a big selling point for this first-time half-marathoner).

Weather: The weather looks crummy fair tomorrow—rainy and windy and temperatures in the low 40s. I’m less than thrilled.

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Outfit: I plan on wearing thermal running tights, a short-sleeve technical top, my hooded technical sweatshirt and a baseball cap. I want to protect myself from the wind and rain, but I don’t want to feel weighed down either. (I consulted Runner’s World for advice.)

Plan: I want to run a smart race. I’m not out to set any records (even though I’ll inevitably set a personal record with it being my first race at this distance and all), and I’m not even out to achieve any time goals. I simply want to run and finish and savor my huge accomplishment.

I plan to run as much of the race as I can and stop to walk only through water stations, to take in fuel and to stretch out any soreness, if necessary. I figure I probably will cross the finish line between 2:30 and 2:40, and I like the sound of that.

DSCN1830 (I took a cue from Mindy and wrote a word on the sole of my shoe for inspiration and to set the tone for the race. I chose ‘believe.’ I think the word really sums up how I feel about this half marathon. I have faith in myself, in my abilities and my training, and I believe I will finish strong and with a smile on my face.)

Travel: Andi and I left around 10:30 this morning and took our time getting from Michigan to Wisconsin. We dropped Dexter off at my mom’s in West Bend and checked into the hotel (the designated host hotel for the race) in Oshkosh.

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Packet pickup/expo: Andi and I dropped our things off in the hotel room and headed back downstairs to get out packets (Andi is running the 5K, while Amy and I are running the half marathon), which included a short-sleeve technical shirt, a sample of a gummy vitamin, a sample of Emergen-C and a sample of Biofreeze, along with a ton of brochures for other Wisconsin races. We took a quick spin through the expo, but we didn’t really see much that we wanted to look at, so we moseyed outside to get a look at the start, which is literally out the door from our hotel.

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Dinner: We (Amy and her husband Brad, Andi and I, and a couple friends of Amy’s and Brad’s) headed out for Italian (Read: carbs!) at a place called Fratello’s. I ordered the gnocchi Bolognese—pillowy potato dumplings smothered in a tomato, Italian sausage and Capicola ham—and a side salad. We also all ordered cupcakes because our race packets included coupons for a free cupcake with the purchase of an entrée.

(I had a couple bites of this amazing chocolate mint cupcake and decided to save it for a treat tomorrow.)

We’re back at the hotel now, and I’m in my pajamas in the hotel business center finishing up this post. I should get upstairs and get some sleep. I’ve got a big huge day ahead of me.

Good night!

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2 Responses to “Race preview: Oshkosh Half Marathon”

  1. Sara April 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Fratellos has awesome food. And I love the cupcakes!! (We have on in Appleton too )
    Hope you did well in the race. Can’t wait to read about it.

  2. Julia April 19, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    I can’t wait to hear how your first half went!

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