Race Report: Fargo Marathon 2016

Friday, 05/20:

11:00 AM - My husband got Friday through Sunday off of work and that was the best anniversary present! We drove to Fargo on Friday morning and went to pick up my number (and free goodies) at the race expo.

The booths were awesome at the expo and I got a free pair of Wild Hog Marathon Fitsoks, a t-shirt, and a couple Clif Mojo Bars. E was given a toddler Wild Hog t-shirt and a stuffed wallaby from Australia's Best licorice! I guess the free stuff helps to justify paying to run 26 miles.

12 noon - After the expo, we ate at the mall food court and met my parents and youngest brother for some shopping. We stopped at Savers (my all-time favorite thrift store) on the way to the hotel, too.

6:00 PM - Leo and I went out on an anniversary supper date that night and had some delicious Chicken Alfredo pasta. I really should have taken a picture.

We visited, got the kids ready for bed, laid out clothes for the next day, and I wrote 2 Thessalonians 3:16 on my arm for tomorrow's run. For every race, I write Scripture on my arm as a reminder and this specific verse had been on my heart all week. I wasn't sure how it would apply to race day but my prayer was that the Lord would give me peace at all times in every situation.

Spiderman saying, "Soh!" (Today's hipster way of saying "What's up?")

12 midnight - Toddler wakes up screaming with a night terror episode.  Baby woke up four times crying, too... It was really something. Hotels and our kids just don't seem to mix.

Saturday, 05/21: RACE DAY!

5:00 AM - My alarm went off and I woke up with a pounding headache. Took a couple ibuprofen and then it was time to get ready! Laying out clothes the night is SO helpful, as my brain is extra frazzled on race morning. Pumped, dressed, and down for breakfast with my mom. I made myself eat a toasted bagel with peanut butter.

6:00 AM - My mom drove me to the Fargodome around this time. I walked around, made about a million stops to the restroom, and enjoyed the time alone. It was tempting to fall asleep along the wall but I figured that wouldn't help me warm up for the race. I ate Honey Stinger Vanilla gel #1 before we were called down.

7:00 AM - Marathoners were called to the main floor of the dome and we lined up a while after. I started with the 3:30 pace group and met a runner also named Amy. We decided we have a pretty great name :) The morning was already warming up and it was going to be a hot day in North Dakota.

Mile 1 - 7:53
Mile 2 - 7:29
Mile 3 - 7:41
Mile 4 - 7:37
Mile 5 - 7:35
Mile 6 - 7:34 (ate Gel #2)
Mile 7 - 7:30
Mile 8 - 7:45
Mile 9 - 7:44
Mile 10 - 8:02

I felt okay for the first miles and ended up sticking closer to the 3:20 group. We had some good conversations and I met another mother runner who has a 2- and 4-year-old. Somehow we ran at a good pace while talking about pregnancy, Boston, and racing after having a baby.

At mile 10, my legs were burning and muscles started to cramp, especially my back, shoulders and arms. My face felt tingly and vision blurred slightly (which brought back memories from Boston 2012). The temp was in the 80's and my body just couldn't handle it that day.

Mile 11 - 8:17
Mile 12 - 8:28
Mile 13 - 8:38
Mile 14 - 9:14
Mile 15 - 9:08

I slowed my pace but was still overheating. The 3:30 pacer guy went down somewhere in those miles - not sure if it was the heat that knocked him over or what. I realized I wasn't going to make it to the finish if I didn't back off.

Giving up on a goal stinks but I felt peace over the whole situation and focused on making the best of this time. I know running is just a hobby (and a great one at that!) but it often translates into a metaphor for life: Things will not always go our way — Jesus himself said we will have troubles (John 16:33) — but we still get to choose our reaction to less-than-ideal situations.
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 THESSALONIANS 3:16
I felt His peace and did my best to have a good attitude and to enjoy the scenery and the race atmosphere. One foot in front of the other... I didn't waste 15 miles and quit now.

Mile 16 - 10:01 (ate Gel #3)
Mile 17 - 10:48
Mile 18 - 9:48 (ate some kid's gummy bears)
Mile 19 - 11:03
Mile 20 - 10:10 (really wanted cheeseburger)

My family cheering section was a sight for sore eyes at Mile 17. When I saw little E watching for me, I had to hold back the tears because I was so happy. I was even able to stop for a hug or two, which is something I don't usually do in the middle of a race!

After hugs and a quick pep talk, I headed out for the final 6.2 miles. The Lord blessed me with a bunch of great runners to visit with over the miles. An older gentleman was recovering from a torn calf muscle over the winter and running his 10th marathon. A guy from MN was running his 14th marathon and a runner from my hometown was running his 56th. Isn't that crazy?!

One woman was using this as a "training run" and racing Grandma's Marathon next month chasing that BQ. Others were just trying to cross the finish.

Everyone has a story and runners are so stinkin' friendly! I love it.

Mile 21 - 10:31
Mile 22 - 11:01
Mile 23 - 10:07
Mile 24 - 11:26
Mile 25 - 11:12
Mile 26 - 9:00
Mile .24 - 6:56

Nearing the Mile 26 sign, I wasn't sure if my legs could handle a sprint to the finish. I really didn't want to trip in front of all of the people in the Fargodome. I flipped up my sunglasses, carefully examined the homestretch for potential tripping opportunities and then kicked it.

My legs felt fluid and light for that final sprint but clearly my heart had had enough. I was very thankful to cross the finish line sub-4:00. It was a good 30 minutes off my goal time but was definitely the best I could do that day.

A race volunteer gave me my medal and then onward to the food tables lined with pizza, potato chips, cookies, bananas, chocolate milk and who knows what else. 

Sadly, my stomach doesn't work right when I'm overheated and I could only force a few bites of pizza. Bummer! Because I could totally wolf down a whole slice now that I'm writing this recap :) 

I reunited with my family, went back to the hotel for a shower and then we went to Five Guys Burgers & Fries for lunch. PERFECT. My stomach had returned and I annihilated that cheeseburger.

The kids were beyond cranky and exhausted - maybe we all were - so it was time for the drive home. Thank God for air conditioning and kids that fall asleep in their car seats!

THANK YOU to GOD for the health to run, to my HUSBAND for believing in me and supporting my slightly crazy hobby, to our LITTLE ONES for being so cute, to my PARENTS for all of your help and support, to my SIBLINGS & SIBLING-IN-LAWS for being there for me, and to this BLOGGING COMMUNITY for the motivation and encouraging words!

Marathon #7 is in the books and now I'm taking at least a month off of "training mode". Marathon #8 is coming up in September and I hope it's a teeny bit cooler in September. Who knows what weather ND's Fall will bring!

How do you make the best of missing a goal in running or another area of life?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. Congrats on sub 4! It's hard to miss a goal, but there will be more races!

  2. I LOVE the comment about how we can always choose our reactions. YES. I'm very impressed with your positive attitude as well as your sub 4 time, although I know it's not what you were hoping for. Heat is definitely a game changer! I'm always fascinated by the different runners' stories! Thanks for linking with us Amy!

  3. When weather is a factor, it is wise to throw your goal out the window and just try to enjoy the race. Congrats on your sub 4 and for finishing a difficult marathon. It sounds like you had some great chats with other runners during the race. For me, that is one of the best parts of running/racing, the interesting people you meet along the way.

    1. Yes! Meeting new people is one of the best parts of running. Runners tend to be very interesting people 😆

  4. Wow, you did amazing!
    That's a great medal and great finished pic at the end!

    1. Thank you! Fargo's medals were huge this year!

  5. you are amazing! i can't believed you completed this run on such little sleep and maintained a wonderful perspective. well done, mama!
    my husband ran a marathon when my son was 3 months old and he stopped for a kiss (at mile 4!) and it's still everyone's favorite memory from the race :)
    thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Your husband stopping for a kiss is so sweet! Getting a couple hugs from my family was amazing... Totally helped me make it to the finish line 😂

  6. Congrats on marathon #7! Even though you did not reach your goal time, you still did awesome considering the heat and all. Love the medal and the shirt looks nice too! Love that you were still positive throughout the whole race and I can tell since you are smiling in all of your pics. :) Way to go!

  7. congrats! Great attitude and great finish! I can't imagine powering thru 26 miles- WOW! nice that the family was there to support you, that makes a big difference! Enjoy your marathon high! :)

    1. Totally, MB! Having my family there to support me made all the difference ☺

  8. That was the perfect scripture for that day. I admire your positive attitude. It can be disappointing when we don't reach our goals, but there will always be other races. Congrats on marathon #7 and an incredible sub 4:00 finish! I hope the weather is better for you in September!

    1. Exactly, Debra! I felt God's peace and it helped me make the best of whatever outcome. Like you said, there will always be other races!

  9. What a neat reminder on race day to look down and see a special verse!
    I too can't eat right after a hot race but man can I put away the food later! Five Guys Burger and Fries sounds great! Congratulation on your Race Amy!

    1. Oh gosh... Five Guys was perfect after the race! My only regret is that I should've ordered a DOUBLE cheeseburger! 🍔🍔🍔


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