Roots N Blues N BBQ Half-Marathon/10k Recap

Yay finally our weekend race recap!

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This was our first year running the annual half-marathon and 10k at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. In years past we always shied away from the running events because a) some of us were intimidated (me) and b) we always wanted to enjoy the festival with Neil’s parents and not feel like poo. This year however, with the help of CrossFit over the past 12 months, we have a new-found sense of adventure and the confidence to know we can tackle almost anything. Plus, my brother Eric was coming to run his first 10k. He started running a few months ago, and he’s already done several races, and has just signed up to run a half marathon with me in November. His ultimate goal is to run a marathon next year! He’s even signing up for some CrossFit classes in Omaha to work on his overall strength and improve his running. I just can’t wait to see what the next year holds for him.

Unlike Eric, who maintained the perfect training schedule all summer, we slacked big time in our goal to run more. Well, not so much slacked as just got ridiculously busy. We kind of got backlogged with a few clients, took on a few projects as favors and then had some emergency client work thrown in at the last-minute. While we could have backed off our CrossFit workouts to do more running, we found it really hard to stay away from the box and our friends (who call and text when they don’t see us). I mean, who would choose running alone over working out with friends? Yup, CrossFit always won.

That morning, we woke up early for a quick breakfast of energy bars, bananas, a protein shake or two and some coffee.

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We didn’t have a designated friend or family member to take pictures, so we only have a few photos of the day, mostly ones our friends took while they were shooting their families and selfies I took throughout the morning. Do we look related?

Selfies from the race on Saturday...

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The buzzer went off and we started by running through downtown into campus toward the trail. Eric and I were pretty close for a while, but once started downward he just took off! His strides were HUGE! We had agreed beforehand to kind of run our own races and go it our own, so I was happy to watch him take off. I trotted along at about a 9:30 pace, which is my happy place.

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It was a fairly easy course, much of it going through the center of town and on the city’s winding bike trail, but it had one unfortunate steep hill that was about 1/2-mile long in mile 4. Even though I’d taken it easy on my workouts that week, I was still a little sore from some deadlifts that Monday. My legs felt like lead, and I ended up walking the hill, losing what I’m guessing was about 5 minutes. It sucked!

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Eric finished first with an amazing time of 1:01! I came trotting behind him at 1:07. We met up with Neil’s parents and turned our attention to the park where the half marathoners were starting to appear. I had said before the race that Neil would probably finish in 2:15, but he emerged from the park and sprinted across the finish line in 2:12! Doesn’t he look fierce!? He spent the last half mile encouraging the girls he was running with to finish strong. What an awesome guy!

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Do you hear Chariots of Fire when you see this or is it just me?

He had this to say about his race on Facebook:

Ran the Roots and Blues 1/2 Marathon this morning. A few thoughts after doing one in 2004 with a traditional training plan, and this one just doing CrossFit with no running training. (have not run more than 5k since last Thanksgiving)

  • Minimal shoes beat up your feet/legs if you are not used to long distances. I loved how light they were and how they fit/feel but I really would need more running time in them to be most effective. (shoe: Inov8 155 road-x lites)
  • 13.1 miles is still long and boring
  • Hills have become my strength. I could instantly tell how the large amounts of squats we do in CrossFit were working. I probably passed 100 people up hills today. This was a pretty big difference compared to just doing running training.
  • When you were beat from getting up a hill, the adrenal response that I usually get in a tought CrossFit WOD would kick in and both energy and recovery was quite quick. Another big difference.
  • My running form was much better and easier to maintain. I attribute this to how much more core strength I have now.
  • My legs are much, much more sore after this one than the one that I trained for, a big downside, but this could be shoe-attributed.
  • Although I was not running this one for time necessarily, my time was roughly 13 minutes slower than my last 2004 1/2 marathon that I completed using a traditional training plan. I do feel that I could have shaved off a few minutes of my time today, but I was certainly faster when I ran more regularly.

Anyhow, just some thoughts from a perspective of CrossFit vs traditional endurance training.

Obviously we probably would have done better had we actually trained with more runs, but our 4-5 day-a-week CrossFit habit didn’t exactly leave us hanging. I wish I would have gotten more pictures, but we were all tired and enjoying the free beer, and I just didn’t feel like being a blogger in that moment. Now to look forward to the Cohick “Bass Pro” Half Marathon!

Thanks to Matt and Katie Brucks for the pictures of Neil and I running and finishing!

Comments

  1. Very awesome race recap; congrats to you, Neil and Eric on the accomplishment of finishing with such good times. And, yes, I’m also getting “Chariots of Fire” from last last pic of Neil :-)

  2. A belated congratulations on the race! I’ve been marking this post as unread so I would remember to comment on it for days now. :)

    I think it’s so interesting the way the body works. I’m pretty sure I’m slower now than I was when I just ran, but overall I think I’m much fitter thanks to my new strength training regiment. I’m eager to see how this translates to my half marathon in November. I really enjoyed Neil’s breakdown compared to his last race. At any rate, it seems like you too are the happiest and healthiest you’ve ever been, so big congratulations on that!

    • Thanks Chrissy! We definitely have hit our sweet spot with exercise and fitness. I think for years I was trying to be good at running, and I just kept hitting walls and not feeling like it was enough. Although I’d still like to incorporate more types of fitness into my regimen, this certainly helps me (and Neil too) feel well-rounded and capable of taking on a whole range of challenges and different activities. Plus the social component is an added bonus.

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