a German on Team USA

A Short Fargo 1/2 Marathon Race Report

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A Short Fargo 1/2 Marathon Race Report

 May 19, 2018 – Fargo 1/2 Marathon, Fargo, ND

Going into the Fargo Half Marathon, I really did not know what to expect.

We had a long winter and most of my workouts leading up to Fargo happened indoors. Once I took the long runs outdoors, I just could not find a rhythm or flow. I felt sluggish, my legs felt heavy, and the long runs for most parts felt terrible.

In addition, as I got closer to the race and with more outdoor running, I felt some discomfort in my hip. I could not quite figure out what was causing it.

And so I entered the race hoping that I could run a sub 8:00 min/mile pace.

The morning of the race was cool (41°F) and dry, but boy was it windy! North winds of 22 mph with gusts up to 33 mph made me feel like I was running on a treadmill during the warm up.

In the corral, I lined up between the 1:40:00 (7:38 min/mile) and 1:45:00 (8:01 min/mile) pacer, hoping that I might be able to stay ahead of the latter group. A lot of people around me were talking about the wind and commenting that it would hit us on the second half of the race when we were primarily running North.

As the gun, actually cannon, went off, the 1:40 pacer literally stormed off, and all I could think was “Oh well, I guess I’m not keeping up with them!”

Leaving the protection of the Fargo Dome, the wind hit us full force and I heard more then one “Uh Oh” or “Ooih”, and for one step it almost through me off balance. But after that the wind never really seemed to bothered me that much.

What really got to me was the three miles on the trails through the parks along the Red River. It was new this year, at leas I cannot remember having ever run along those trails and some of them were really new. It introduced quite a bit more up and down on mostly concrete surfaces. My hips and legs did not like this, and because this three mile stretch was rather early on the race (between miles 2 and 5), it set up the rest of the race.

At some point during the latter part of the race, the 1:45 pacer group caught up with me. I latched on to this group but was afraid that my goal of averaging a sub-8:00 min/mile pace was hard to accomplish. Until one of the runners asked the pacer if they will make the 1:45 and the pacer answered “Right now we are one minute ahead, so if we maintain this pace definitely.”

So, I stuck with the pacer and ended up finishing the race in 1:44:07 (7:57 min/mi), and ended up with a sub-8:00 min/mi pace, even if barely.

My overall summary of the race: Cold (42°F-44°F), windy (N22, G33), hurting.

It was cool enough, that I started with arm sleeves and gloves and I never took them off; but still very comfortable road racing temperatures.

I looked at my race pictures afterwards and found that I had a obvious contralateral hip drop during the left support phase, especially at the end, when fatigued. This can explain my hip discomfort and the hurting during the race. Contralateral hip drop can cause all different kind of issues, starting from piriformis syndrome, to IT issues, and even hip flexor problems. If I get the chance I will post some pictures and explain the problem more. Save to say, that I’m now working on strengthening my glutes, especially glute med, and my abs. But strengthening these muscles does not help if you do not know how to engage them at the proper time during the running cycle, so some of my exercises are aiming at teaching my brain just that.

What’s up next?

I’m registered for the Liberty Olympic Triathlon at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve on June 9, 2018.

Author: seecktri

an Exercise Science professor at Bemidji State University who spends most of her time working, swimming, cycling, and running; a German on Team USA Triathlon who nevertheless cheers for Team Germany for anything sport

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