Monday, August 15, 2011

My Nebraska Vacation: Tons of pics, Water Fun, Men with Guns, a 5K race report, Loop Meetup and Pancakes

So much to say...
The family and I arrived in Nebraska Thursday night. We were visiting some friends who live on a lake there, and they love to live life to the fullest. So the agenda was mostly water based. Host C is also doing a full Ironman in 2 weeks, so we could talk triathlons and running while the ladies talked about whatever they talk about. Perfect!
Friday started out with a swim in the lake. I got in 3/4 mile on the perfect 80 degree flat lake water. So much easier than ocean swimming! Later we got the boat out. First step: Tubing!

Woo Hoo! Lots of fun! Then the girls went out together and laughed all the way through it and ended up like this.

Time to break out the wake boards and the water skis, but I was being cautious, so I passed. So this isn't me.

But a good time was had by all. Next up, over to the shooting range. We had an opportunity to shoot some skeet and do trapshooting with some shotguns. It was my first time ever shooting a gun, believe it or not. Me and the Teen had some fun and got a nice little bruise on our shoulders. I managed to hit a few and Teen was a lot better, what with all his XBox practice.

Friday also included a stop at Omaha's best burger place, Stella's, which lived up to it's 80 year old reputation. Then there was more boat time on Saturday. I got to try out the paddleboard.

Saturday night we checked out a local hot air balloon festival. About 6 balloons launched and it was kind of cool to watch them take off.

Then the adults went out for a fantastic dinner, and I had to try some Omaha steak so I had a fantastic filet mignon along with a lot of other simply excellent food at Firebirds (Free plug - they earned it). Although probably not the best meal the night before a race, as I completely stuffed myself. DW and I celebrated our 6th anniversary in style.

Which brings me to race day. We were doing the Boxer 5K to raise funds for colorectal cancer. We all joined the fun by wearing boxers, even the dog!

We got up early and got to the course which was one lap around a lake at a park. There was some early morning fog as we arrived.

But the sun burned it off pretty quick. Still, we had reasonable low temps for August in Nebraska. Probably in the low 70's for the race. High in the low 80's. C and I were planning to run together so we warmed up. Couldn't find loopster TOSuperstar for a long time, but then he showed up just before the start and we had time to talk for a few minutes.
My race plan was to average 6:45, run negative splits, finish strong and get under 20:45 for a PR. The course had a few hills surprisingly, but nothing too bad. It was all on a thin path, maybe three people wide, and there were over 500 people there. But TO, C and I all started together near the front and no slow people were clogging the front so it worked out just fine! Here we are just after the start (sorry I can't crop this one). TO and C are just behind me.

First mile: G says I am going about 6:30 or better so I ease it off and get comfortable. Pace slips toward 6:40 and C and TO go by me. I track them for a while but they slowly open up some space in front of me. But I am holding steady at 6:45, and that is as fast as I want to go for now so I let them go. 6:45 feels plenty fast, and faster than my plan of maybe 6:55. But I am happy with it. Mile 1: 6:46
2nd mile, those two traitors are pulling away from me without even a look back, and apparently chatting, while I am working pretty darn hard just to maintain. But I am going to run my race, which is right on schedule. I feel pretty good, working hard and passing a few people. Mile 2: 6:41
3rd mile: This one starts down hill, and I am close to 6:00 pace, but then we have the climb, maybe 50 feet? I am seriously hurting now, and just trying to hang on. My legs get a little heavy, but I know the hill is not too long, and the last 1/2 mile is downhill, so I keep pushing. By the time I crest, my lap pace is about 6:45, but I know I am going to beat the hell out of that on the way down, so I'm feeling good! My PR is toast! So I push with all I have and wait for the sweet taste of oxygen in 3 minutes or so if I just hang on... Coming in to the finish (yes I beat her)

I see the finish and it says 21:xx. What! I just haul it in and click G and it says 21:19! It also says 3.23 miles. Darn long course! G had mile 3 at 6:34 and the last .23 at 5:42 pace. So I do my own math and I am giving myself an unofficial AGPR of 20:39 for 3.11 miles.
C and TO beat me by about 40 seconds, but I am very happy with my race and my time. Then we all headed up to the free pancake breakfast! Here is TO with his 3rd place master trophy and 1st place AG medal, and a mouth full of pancakes!

And here is our official Loop Meetup photo.

And here are TO, me and C showing off our AG medals with a pump, 1st for TO, 2nd for C, and 2nd for me! Woo Hoo!

So a fantastic weekend! And a great way to celebrate our anniversary!

Life is Good!


  1. Great 5k Bangle!
    Also, that looks like a TON of fun, tubes, guns, crazy shorts?!!

  2. Haha, I love the boxers!!

    I also love how you do your own math and give youself your own agpr :). Congrats on a great race...I know TO had a blast meeting you!

    You also made me laugh at the comment "the ladies talked about whatever they talk about." If you only knew ;).

    What a fun-filled vacation! Perfect way to spend your anniversary!