Race Report: Fargo Half Marathon 2021

Fargo was my last 13.1 for 2021! I'm making it my goal to write up a race report BEFORE moving on to the next race. Considering the 26.2 is coming up (tomorrow), I better get these race-report-writing fingers in gear.

The kids and I took off without Leo to make it to the race expo before the 5k started. The expo seemed so normal! It felt great to be back in the hustle and bustle of the race environment. Even with a "smaller" event this year, Fargo is still a big race for our area. I didn't lose track of the kids and I did pick up my race number - that was a successful trip for me.

Afterwards, we found the campground, checked in and Leo drove in with the camper just in time. He set up, we hit the playground and ended the night with a campfire. No s'mores this trip but Oreos did suffice. The Lindenwood Campground was only 5 miles from the race start/finish, which was great, though the interstate was pretty loud all night long. Camping was still a fun adventure for us and their playground was amazing.

We did turn the heater on that night in the camper. Race day was set to be in the 40-50's, which was chilly at first but perfect running weather. Fargo Marathon is usually a May race (Covid changed that this year) and this weekend has actually been the Grand Forks Marathon in previous years. The cooler weather is a huge plus for chasing Fall PRs. 

I felt a little "meh" going in to the race. Tired from life but feeling a little tapered. Training has been creative this cycle, mixing half marathon and full marathon training. I usually don't run 20-milers for half training but needed to for the full. I don't usually run AS fast for strength days in full training but needed to for the half. 

So either this mixture of half & full training was going to be super helpful OR I was going to end up running mediocre at both distances. It was a great experiment :) 

Going in to the half marathon, I felt 100% healthy and uninjured! Just lacking a little energy. Maybe needed more coffee.


Pre-Race Nutshell: I enjoyed the time visiting with friends, seeing running faces that I have missed, and the lack of bathroom lines in the Fargodome just rocks. They have bathrooms for days. A runner's dream. 

When it was time to line up, I snuggled in behind the Elite fast people and in front of the 1:30 or 1:40 pace group. 

Overall the run was pretty uneventful, in a good way! What I love about running Fargo is that I was never running alone. I always had a pack to run with or someone to chase. When I train solo for the majority of my runs, having company during the race is a great motivator and really passes the miles quickly.

Fueling went well. I had one Clif gel with water around the 7-mile mark and I think that was it for gels. (This is why I should write race reports asap! I can't remember all the details now) At the other aid stations, I took mostly sports drink because I am always in need of calories, even in a half. Breastfeeding a baby makes me a calorie monster for long distance running! ALWAYS. HUNGRY. Always. Thirsty.

Splits were fairly even with my main "crash" being around mile 11. Nothing went over the 7-min mark and that was a big improvement from this Spring's Summer Rocks Half Marathon!

I felt tired but strong overall and the pace felt good. Comfortably hard! For the homestretch, I had a sprint left in me and actually felt pretty fresh doing so. Didn't trip/fall = success.

Finish Time: 1:26:30. The final sprint was worth it to finish in an even time like that. It makes my type-A personality smile :) 

They had a nice spread of great food at the finish line: donuts, donuts, more donuts, toll house pink cookies (my favorite), chocolate milk, chips, fruit, the works! I love a good finish line buffet! I waited for a friend to finish, we stretched and recapped the race before heading out.

Back to the campground - shower - eat lunch - and to the Zoo we went! Running the half marathon left some gas in my tank and going to the zoo was really fun. 

I call this zoo friend, "My Monday Face":

Camping with kiddos is chaotic but the memories are worth it! Leo made pancakes for Nat'l Pancake Day the next morning and we headed home. We were glad to head home, too.

The Fargo Half Marathon was SO fun and getting back to the race atmosphere was a blast! Running a PR was a great way to end my half marathon racing for the year. On this end of training, I feel like running the marathon mileage (longer long runs, longer tempo runs, more mileage), benefited my half marathon race. 

Now for the last part of the experiment: Will the half training speed be beneficial for racing a full two weeks later? (Sidenote: I feel WAY better than when I have raced full marathons two weeks apart!)

Blue Ox Marathon, coming up tomorrow.


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