Eisenhower Half Marathon Race Recap

Race details: Eisenhower Half Marathon, Abilene KS.  Small marathon series, with a full, half, 10k, 5k, and community walk.  There were approximately 150 participants in the full marathon, 250 participants in the half marathon, and 100 racing the 5k and 10k.  This year was the 10th year for the Eisenhower Marathons.  The course was an out and back, and the marathon did the half marathon course twice.

Goals for the Eisenhower Half Marathon: 1.  Run without stopping.  2. Run in the 2:30 range.  3.  Finish the race.  I achieved 1 of the 3 goals, finishing the race.  Read on to find out my thoughts on my first half marathon experience.

On April 12, 2014, I completed my first half marathon.  Previous to this half marathon, the longest I had raced was 10k.  The longest I had run without stopping to walk prior to this half marathon was about 9.25 miles.  I had training runs into the 11 mile range, but had not run it all without walking.  I am proud of myself for finishing, and gained a lot of experience, and will definitely sign up for another half marathon.

On Friday April 11, my mom, who was also running her first half marathon at the Eisenhower Marathons in Abilene KS, my dad, my husband, and I drove to Abilene.  There, we met my sister (who flew in with her husband) who was running her first full marathon.  We checked into our hotels, and went to the Eisenhower Library to pick up our race packets and bibs.


All checked in, got our bibs, and ready for race day!  Mom, Kristen, and me.


At the Eisenhower Presidential Park after race check-in.


From Left to Right: my husband James, me, my brother in law Thayne, my sister Kristen, my Mom Donna, and my Dad Chris. Cheering squad and runners!











We ate dinner at an italian place, PASTA and BREAD!! Then I triple checked my race gear, and prepared my tailwind and put it in the refrigerator for morning.


Flat Runner Renee!  Race gear set out for the morning.

The morning of the race, I got up at 4:30, ate some oatmeal and a bagel, and drank some tailwind and orange juice.  After getting dressed and a few more bathroom trips, I was ready to go.  My dad took my mom and sister and I to the race, and we walked around a bit to warm up, took a few pictures, and hit the bathroom one more time.

The national anthem gave me chills, and nearly brought me to tears… then we were off!  The first 3 miles, my mom and I stayed together.  After that, we separated, and I felt really good for the first 4-5 miles.  Beginning in mile 5, I started to feel tired, like there was no way I could complete the entire thing.  It was very windy, and the first 3 miles were straight into the wind.  It was also very humid, around 80% humidity, and around 60 degrees, which was pretty warm considering it was 7:00 am and early April.

I had been using my tailwind about every 2 miles, like I had practiced, and grabbed a cup of water twice.  At mile 5, we turned back into the wind.  After my watch clicked over past 6 miles, something inside me gave up, and I walked.  I didn’t let myself walk for more than 90 seconds, and started running again.  I felt like I was chilling, and I had goosebumps on my arms and shoulders.  The headwind with sweating definitely caused the chilling.  I had to walk a couple more times in mile 6, and once I turned out of the wind, I told myself I had to keep running.  Shortly after that, we hit the turn around, and I knew I was halfway over, but I felt very fatigued, and already a little sore.  Miles 7-10 were walk-run-walk-run… I kept telling myself it would be over soon, and just had to dig deep to push through.  I had a couple orange slices at 2 of the aid stations, and kept drinking my tailwind and water.


I think this was around mile 10 or so. I was ready to be finished.  I managed a smile for my cheer squad, but that was about it.

Miles 10-13.1 were downhill and with the wind, and I tried so hard to finish it without walking, but had to walk a few more times.  I passed my sister (heading back out on loop 2) with about 2.5 miles left to go, I high fived her and tried to give her strength.

With 1 mile left, I took 1 last orange slice from the aid station, and told myself I had 11-12 minutes until I could sit down.  That was enough motivation for me to push through, and I was able to cross the finish line and get my finishers medal.  The volunteers gave me a water, some fruit, and my medal, and I was finally able to sit.

Once I caught my breath, I stood back up and stretched a little, and was watching for my mom to come through.  I knew she would be several minutes behind me, but was keeping an eye out because there was no way I would miss seeing her cross!  The volunteers let me put the medal over mom’s head, I felt like that was a very special moment.  She finished about 15 minutes after I did, and then we called our cheer squad to see where Kristen was.


After the race! I’m a half marathoner!!


After the race. ❤









The cheer squad let us know the last time they saw Kristen run by, which meant she had about 3 miles left of her marathon.  They came and met up with us at the finish, and we all watched Kristen finish.  The volunteers let me put the medal over Kristen’s head too, I was honored to do so.


After the races! My mom and I are half-marathoners, and Kristen is a marathoner!

I finished the half marathon in 2:40.  Mom finished her half marathon in 2:53, and Kristen finished her full in 4:10.  Overall, it was a fantastic experience, I learned a lot, and will definitely sign up for another half!

After the race, we all showered, and went to eat mexican and have margaritas.  It was a fantastic post-race meal.  The soreness set in immediately, especially in my hips and feet.  Once I got home, I took another shower and went to bed pretty early.


Ahh! All showered and headed home. Still wearing the medal! Give me a margarita, STAT!


Sticker is on the car, I’m officially a Half Marathoner!!










Today, Mom and I did a short and slow 2 mile run, which actually felt pretty good to stretch things out a bit.  I haven’t signed up for any other races yet, but will probably do some 5k’s this summer, and maybe a half this fall!

15 thoughts on “13.1

  1. So awesome that you pushed through and finished your first half marathon! How incredible that all three of you were able to do this together. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing 🙂

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