Tag Archives: lincoln

2015 good life halfsy race recap

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis past weekend we both ran half marathon #9: the Good Life Halfsy in Lincoln, NE. This was the second year for the Halfsy and after hearing from others how fun this race was last year, we decided to sign up waaaay back in March. Although we were really looking forward to this race and a weekend in Lincoln, it became kind of easy to forget about since we were so focused on marathon training throughout the summer and fall. So, it sort of snuck up on us and going into it we hadn’t done much running since our marathons two (Kevin) and three (Hollyanne) weeks ago.


Even though we only live about an hour from Lincoln, we decided to make a weekend out of it and head down early on Saturday morning and stay the night at the race hotel, the Holiday Inn Downtown. We arrived at the hotel right at noon, just as the expo (also in the hotel) was kicking off. We were able to check in early (always nice!) and head back downstairs to the expo. Packet pickup was simple and quick. They had an area for you to look up your bib number with sticky notes for you to write it down and give to the volunteers, who then gave you your race bag (which included a free Bulu Box)! There were a few other vendors set up, but overall a fairly small expo. In a second, attached room was a large booth selling official race gear. We went back to this booth a couple times throughout the day (and after the race on Sunday) because we couldn’t decide what we wanted. We both ended up getting a fun t-shirt and a hoodie (so comfy). We also grabbed a 13.1 Nebraska sticker for our car. They also had pint glasses for $10 that came with a drink ticket for the hotel bar or post-race party, so of course we couldn’t pass those up.

storyboard001storyboard004After stopping by the race gear booth we proceeded to a downstairs area to pick up our t-shirts – a long, sleeve tech shirt (purple for women, neon green for men) with thumb holes! Three cheers for a race shirt that I might actually wear!

There was a fun photo opp area so of course we stopped for a few selfies.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOnce we finished up at the expo, we had an uneventful lunch while we watched the Huskers lose again. We then decided to stop by one of the local running stores in town, Lincoln Running Company; our race packet came with a Good Life Halfsy bracelet that got us discounts around town at local restaurants and shops, one of which was 20% a single item at LRC. We were in the market for some trail shoes so we thought we’d see if we could find some here. LRC had about 5 different trail shoe models for each of us to try on, and we both ended up with a new pair – I got the Mizuno Wave Hayate 2, and Kevin ended up with Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3 – we’re all set for our trail races coming up this weekend!

We dropped our new shoes off at the hotel, and then walked a few blocks to a nearby Lincoln brewery that we hadn’t been to yet, Ploughshare Brewing Co. The place didn’t look like much from the outside but inside is a huge taproom with lots of fun different seating options, including a staircase to some upper-level seating! Having never been here before, we both decided to do a flight to taste several of their beers. We each got four different beers, and actually liked all eight that we tried, but especially liked the Oktoberfest and the Dandelion Saison!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter our flights, we headed back to the hotel to hang out and rest for a couple of hours before partaking in the hotel’s pre-race pasta dinner later in the evening. It was quite a spread – salad, breadsticks, steamed veggies, and a pasta bar with several kinds of noodles, sauces, and toppings! It wasn’t free, but we did get a discount (15% off) with our race bracelets, and the selection/taste was much better than a lot of the free pasta dinners that other races have.

We spent the rest of the evening watching the Royals game, and of course had to lay out our flatties for the morning! We were in bed by about 11:00pm.

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SUNDAY (Race Day!)

Thanks to daylight savings time and a 9:00AM race start, we didn’t have to get up too early. We woke up around 6:30, got ready, packed up our car, checked out of our room, and headed to the hotel breakfast buffet. We typically have a bagel with peanut butter and a banana for a pre-race breakfast, but we took advantage of the options and had bacon, eggs, potatoes, yogurt, and coffee.

The Good Life Halfsy is a point-to-point course, with shuttles offered from the finish area back to the start area after the race, so we had to get ourselves to the starting line. Since our hotel (and car) were near the finish area, we intended to get an Uber to the start so we wouldn’t have to deal with the shuttles afterwards. However, there were no Ubers to be found, so we decided to just drive ourselves. It was about a 15-20 minute drive to Seacrest Field from the hotel, and we were there by around 7:45.

For the next hour, we hung out with some other friends who were running as well, stretched, used the bathroom (the runner : port-a-potty ratio was great!), ate a banana, etc. It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm morning for November in Nebraska — it warmed up to about 75 degrees by the afternoon! At around 8:45, we started lining up by pace group, the national anthem played, and the race kicked off just after 9:00AM.

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Here’s a short race recap from each of us: 

K: As you all may know by now, I’ve spent nine half marathons chasing a time of sub-2:30. While I’ve set some PRs on a few of those attempts, I still could not seem to put together a race that would get me under 2:30. Coming into this race, since I was so focused on the Des Moines Marathon, I really had no expectations. It wasn’t until last week that I decided I would run around a 2:30 pace and just see what happened. I started off running with our friend Courtney, who was also attempting to run a 2:30 race. Here’s how it went down.  I ran a 9:59 pace for three miles. There was no need to run that fast, but it felt good. At about the 4 and a half point, Courtney told me to go ahead and she would run her own pace. I decided I would keep pushing to the halfway mark and see what happened. I knew if I could keep my pace under 11:00 minute miles I would have a shot at doing it. I came in to the halfway point at a 10:45 pace. I was pretty convinced at that point that, unless something went terribly wrong, I would be able to make it, but that I would still need to push it a little. As the race went on, the weather started heating up. I saw our friend Jeremy just past mile 7, and stopped for a Energy Singer. I started to chat for a minute and he made me keep running. It provided for a nice boost as I felt the energy zapping out of me. Every few miles there would also be cheer zones with lots of spectators, so that also helped. Just past mile 9, I saw our friend Vanessa who was coming back from a turn-around point, and then once I crossed the turn-around I saw Courtney was only a minute or so behind me, still looking strong. The last couple of miles got harder and harder, as my legs started to get more tired. During the last mile, I knew I had it in the bag, but my legs didn’t want to cooperate. I just kept pushing until we got to the final bridge, which was a killer! I slogged up the bridge (slow-jogged) and ran as fast as I could down into the finish! Final time of 2:26:32, beating my previous PR by SIX minutes!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetH: Going into this race, I was still somewhat in recovery from my pre-marathon stress reaction “injury,” so I was planning to take it easy for this race and possibly run with Kevin. I’m not competitive with very many things, but I am competitive with myself when it comes to running. I was feeling good and knew I could run a semi-fast race, so when we started lining up, I stood by the 1:50 pace group. I wasn’t necessarily trying to PR (current PR is 1:49:31), but thought I’d try to stay with/near the 1:50 group as long as possible. Being a pacer is a tough job, and I’m grateful to the runners who volunteer to do it, but I was a little frustrated because our group started out way too fast. The first two miles were supposed to be 8:48 and 8:33, and they were both closer to 8:20, so by the time the 8:15/8:20 miles came in the middle of the race, I was already starting to feel burnt out. I hung with the group until about mile 10.5, and then slowly started to drop back a bit, but was still able to see them ahead of me for most of the rest of the race. My Garmin had been spot on the whole way, but somehow ended up about 0.2 miles ahead at around mile 11, which was a little disheartening. The last mile was pretty tough for me – I didn’t get that second wind that I often do at the end of races, and I had to stop several times for walk breaks. I knew I wasn’t going to break 1:50, or even beat my second best time (1:50:20), so made a new goal of beating my Des Moines Half Marathon time from around this time last year (1:51:50). I tried to muster a bit of a sprint to the finish line (downhill = ouch), and crossed in 1:51:09, for my third best half marathon time! It’s easy for me to be disappointed in myself, but I have to remember that I can’t PR at every race and for being injured and not running and eating like crap for the last three weeks, I ran a really strong and respectable race.


In the finisher chute area, we received our medal (that doubles as a bottle opener – I like this trend), and then had plenty of food/drink options available to us: water, gatorade, chocolate milk (favorite), granola bars, oranges, bananas, and Runza sandwiches (regional chain). A couple blocks away was the official post-race party in the Railyard area, where we could watch others finish, redeem our free beer, purchase race gear, hang out. We got our free beer, plus a donut from a shop in the Railyard, and rested our legs for awhile before heading over to catch a shuttle back to our car.

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Overall, a super fun race that I’m happy we participated in! Our only complaints were that there weren’t enough aid stations in the first half of the course, and that the post-race beer was hard to find (important!), so there wasn’t much to complain about. The race t-shirt, extra gear available for purchase, pre-race communication, and race day organization were all excellent, so we will definitely be back in 2016 to run our halfsies off!

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lincoln half marathon weekend and race recap

This past Sunday we ran the Lincoln Half Marathon, our 7th 1/2 and our 2nd annual Lincoln. Lincoln is only about 45-60 minutes from Omaha, so perfectly drive-able on the morning of, but since we had decided to rent out our house on Airbnb for the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting, we had to make a full weekend of it in Lincoln. We headed down Friday after work, and after much hullabaloo checking it at our classy hotel, the Super 8, went to dinner at Momo Pizzeria. Here we had a delicious cocktail, a really yummy pizza and a couple of appetizers, and seriously crappy service. 2/3; it’ll do.

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We watched a little bit of Netflix back at our hotel and tried to crash early, as sleep the night before the night before a race is extra important. We slept decent, and awoke early to the news of the newest royal baby. We proceeded to watch Good Morning America for an embarrassingly long time, then meandered down to the free breakfast and entertained ourselves with the waffle maker for awhile. There was no way we were drinking motel coffee, so off to Cultiva we went. Their new location near East Campus is bright and spacious, and we loved our cappuccinos as usual. We even bumped into a barista who used to work at our favorite Omaha coffee shop.

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Next it was off to the expo and packet pickup. Lincoln is a fairly large race (for the area) – 12,500 – but they somehow make packet pickup super simple and painless. After getting our packets and examining all the goodies inside, it was picture time.

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After a few too many selfies as usual, we headed up to the expo, where booth after booth proceeded to take all of my money. And by that I mean I gave them all my money in the form of gear purchases. The deals were too good; we couldn’t be helped! I even managed to score a Brooks winter running jacket I’d been eyeing for awhile for only $50! I won’t be able to wear it for another six months, but it’ll sure be handy come November. Among all of the other absolute necessities I bought were these runderpants (which I actually ended up wearing for the race and were very comfortable). I mean, come on! I had to.

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Post-expo we walked a few blocks down to the Haymarket and meandered around the farmer’s market, which is exciting if you’re a Nebraskan because this was its first weekend back since October. We had our fair share of samples, then met up with my sister for paninis at a really neat underground cafe, Crescent Moon Coffee. Our sandwiches were fantastic and the staff were very friendly; we’ll definitely be back here on a future trip, and if I was still in school this would totally be a place I’d study at (or pretend to study while drinking lattes). After lunch Hannah took Kevin and I on our inaugural trip to Ivanna Cone. Now that I’m writing this ivannanother one.

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We walked around a bit more and then parted ways with Hannah so we could go relax at our hotel for awhile. Once back we completed several very important tasks, including spending a good hour overanalyzing what outfit to wear for race day. Since it was expected to be warm, we both decided on shorts, short sleeves (a tank for me), and hats. Then, in night-before-race tradition, we laid out Flat Hollyanne and Flat Kevin for their photo op. There’s my runderpants again!

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After a few hours of resting, we went back downtown for the pre-race pastathon. We met up with my coworker Teresa and her friend Sydney at the dinner and just hung out and hydrated for awhile. It probably goes against all good training advice, but it’s become somewhat common for us to have a beer the night before a race – both to calm the nerves and because we love checking out breweries in cities we’re running in. We’d been wanting to check out Blue Blood for awhile so there we went. We both had their wheat beer which was light and refreshing, and had a good (weird?) conversation with the bartender.

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We were back to our hotel by 7:30 or so and read for awhile before our 9:00pm bed time. I never, ever, ever sleep well the night before a race (or really any special event), but I actually managed to fall asleep pretty fast and only wake up once before the 5:00am alarm. WOOT. At 5, we got up and got dressed, pinned on our bibs, ate a banana, and packed up the car and checked out of our hotel by 5:45 so we could be on campus where the race started by 6.

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Once on campus, we did the bathroom things before the lines got too long, dropped off our gear-check bags, and ate a mini bagel with peanut butter. We usually just have a banana before long runs but on race day those extra carbs about an hour beforehand come in handy. We took a very tired-looking selfie and also met up for a photo with a couple of other Omaha runners. Shout out to Vanessa and Rachel!

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A couple of nervous pees and a few minutes later, it was time to line up! There was a new system this year where you lined up based on the color of your bib, which corresponded to your expected finish time. I was in the green section, about halfway back, and Kevin was orange, a few corrals back from me. We said our goodbyes and good lucks, parted ways, and got in our respective waves. Temperature at the start of the race was around 60, with approximately 1000% humidity.

Now for a brief race recap from each of us:

H: Going into the race I was hoping to PR and break 1:50, but also possibly come closer to 1:45 depending on how I felt. Right away I felt HOT and THIRSTY and like even 1:50 might be a struggle. The first half or so I felt solid but was stopping at every aid station for water, and drinking most of the 6-8 ounces each time. I’m not used to drinking anywhere near that much water during long runs, so while I knew it was important to stay hydrated on this unseasonably warm and humid day, all that water sloshing around caught up to me at about mile 8. I ended up taking several walking breaks – another thing I don’t normally do – over the last 4-5 miles, secretly hoping my paces would be so bad that I couldn’t possibly meet my goals and could maybe just jog really slow and/or walk and get this thing over with. With about 5k left I knew I had just enough time to break 1:50 and so I went for it – aka, I felt like I was sprinting the entire time but was really doing 9:00 minute miles. It got a little dicey at the end, but seeing my sister and her roommate at 12.5ish really helped me kick things up a notch and finish strong with a new PR and my first sub 1:50: 1:49.31. They were even so kind to take a few photos as I passed.

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Hey, I don’t look so bad here. Probably because it’s kind of far away. Let’s get closer.

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Ah, that’s more like it. I like to call this one, “Will somebody please high five me already?!” As you have just seen, I am not someone who produces good-looking race photos. I like to think it’s because I’m working real hard. People who take cute race photos, you’re my hero and I also hate you a lot.

K: Going into the race, I was hoping to break the 2:30 barrier (finally).  I knew that my training had been solid, and that given ideal race conditions, it would be more than possible to do.  With the starting temperature being what it was, though, I knew that I needed to make sure not to start off too quick, or I would fade away down the stretch.  I spent most of the first 5K navigating around slower runners/walkers, which, while annoying, helped me from not going too fast.  About mile 4 I started to realize that the weather was warming up, and my body wasn’t reacting well.  I still continued on, walking for one minute every half mile (this was the plan all along).  Right around mile 5, there was a guy spraying runners with his garden hose.  God bless that man, it felt outstanding.  I hit the 10K point about an hour and 9 minutes in, and began to realize that it was going to be VERY difficult to hit 2:30 with the heat.  My pace had already slowed down more than it should have, and I wasn’t going to be getting any faster.  When I got to the water station at mile 7, it was clear that my strategy was going to be about just finishing.  I fully stopped for ice and water at each of the last 3 aid stations, and took as many walk breaks the rest of the way to the finish.  I saw Holl, my sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law’s roommate at about 12 and a half, and I think the only words I could muster were “It’s really F*%#ing hot.”  Anyhow, I made it to the finish in 2:39.29.  Not my fastest time, and not my slowest time, but on a day like that, I’ll definitely take it!

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Kevin takes way better race photos than I do. WHY ARE YOU SO HAPPY? Knock it off.

All things considered, a pretty great weekend. I’m so proud of both of us for our strong training during this cycle, getting out there and getting it done, and most of all – finishing. There were several medical transports and hospitalizations due to the heat, etc., so as always, having a healthy body that can finish a race is something we’re so grateful for. I’ve enjoyed all of the half marathons we’ve done, but so far, Lincoln is my most favorite – not just because I’ve set PRs here two years in a row (though that helps), but mostly because of the outpouring of amazing volunteers who help make the race possible and the support offered by spectators (many of whom don’t know anyone racing, and are just out there!) along the entirety of the course. To the people who handed out kleenex/orange slices/gummy bears/vaseline, God bless you.

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We take recovery pretty seriously around here, so once we were back home that meant breakfast burritos from a south Omaha taco shop, ice cold margaritas, and compression socks.

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What’s next? Stay tuned; we’re both signed up for our first full marathons this fall and we’ll be talking running around here way more often.

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sebastians table

Recently some coworkers and I went down to Lincoln for a Friday afternoon lecture, and Kevin and I decided he’d drive down after work that afternoon and we’d make a night out of it – get dinner, stay downtown, and run part of the Lincoln half marathon route in the morning. I haven’t eaten out much in Lincoln, so when a friend recommended Sebastian’s Table we gave the menu a quick look and were sold right away.

The restaurant excelled in ambiance, service, and food. We went on a Friday night around 7, so the restaurant was fairly busy, but the way they had their tables laid out gave each party tons of space. The trend lately seems to be restaurants jam-packing their tables together so this was a welcome change. The food is tapas/shared plates style which is my absolute favorite way to dine – the menu is divided up into bites and big plates and at places like this I always like to get a couple of each. The service was wonderful, too – our waitress explained the concept, gave us a few minutes to pick out a few things, and had that great balance of checking in on us (especially since we ended up ordering our food in several rounds) but also letting us enjoy our meal.

Here’s what we ordered:

gold sangria | marinated manchego | cider poached chorizo | tortilla espanola | hazelnut brussels sprouts | scallops | marshmallow brownie

Everything was really good, but the brussels sprouts (which had come highly recommended) were out-of-this-world amazing. A delicious mix of spicy and sweet and rich and roast-y. (I’m already dreaming about how I can recreate them at home). We were initially bummed that they weren’t serving churros that night, but the brownie with the house-made marshmallow more than made up for it.

If you find yourself in Lincoln and need a good date night spot (or girl’s night out!), we definitely recommend giving Sebastians Table a try! A few photos of the dishes we ordered, below…

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sebastians table
126 n 14th street | lincoln, ne 68508

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a day in lincoln.

many of you know that a few weeks ago, my little sister moved to nebraska from california to begin her freshman year at UNL. throughout the years, i’ve grown so accustomed to living far away from everyone i’m closest with, so kevin and i are pretty much ecstatic to have hannah nearby now! we haven’t spent much time in lincoln, but with hannah here, we’re jumping on the husker bandwagon and planning to make more frequent trips in that direction. last saturday, we went down for the day to watch the nebraska football game downtown and to visit with hannah. below, a few photos and notes from our day…

we didn’t have tickets to the game, and just planned to watch at a bar somewhere downtown, but we were told there would be traffic and to leave early regardless. we left around 7:30am for the 11am game, and grabbed breakfast at a place we’ve been wanting to try out in west omaha, over easy. we usually stay on the east side for most of our eating out, but after saturday, we’ll be breakfasting way more often at over easy. the sausage breakfast sandwich, sweet potato tots, hash brown rounds, and homemade nutella pop tart were all fantastic, and they even have a drive-thru! is it saturday again yet? (we were too busy engulfing our food to take a picture, but i did get a shot of their pretty table settings and cool reclaimed wood wall!)

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we were hoping to watch the game at a local brewery in lincoln, but they weren’t open early enough, so we opted for the railyard area instead, a newer area in the haymarket district with several bars and restaurants connected by an outdoor courtyard and a big-screen tv! since it was only 10:30am and clearly way too early for beer…we got a mimosa and a bloody mary instead. cheers!

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hannah left the game early and joined us in the railyard just after halftime. we ordered some wings from one of the restaurants, buffalo wings + rings, and were pretty impressed. this was the only one out of about 40 pictures where all three of us were making normal faces.

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after the game, we walked to the bookstore in the union so i could buy a nebraska shirt. we got distracted and had to spend some time playing on these chairs in the union that hannah had told us about. we’re easily entertained.


once we finished playing, we ran a few errands and took hannah grocery shopping, then came back to campus for awhile and hung out in her dorm room. kevin and i were hoping to pick up a growler at zipline brewery on our way out of town, but the beer we wanted (barrel aged harumeku) in it was a limited, small batch beer, so we opted for having a pint in their tap room instead.

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we had a great day spending time in lincoln and of course, spending time with hannah. already can’t wait to go back!

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