Lansing Marathon Race Review & Personal Experience

First, let me start by saying that marathons are NOT easy for me.  In fact, they are damn super hard.  You won’t catch me signing up for Marathon Maniacs anytime in this century.  However, if you are a member of a “I hate marathons but run them anyway” group, then let me know cuz I’m sure I’d qualify for that one!

Why do I run marathons?  Not sure.  Let’s come back to that next week, ok?  After the swelling has subsided and Alexis has worked out my hip “issue” and the blisters on my toes have fully drained and I can walk without a hobble. Next week.  We’ll talk next week.

For now, let’s break down the 2013 Lansing Marathon, the only way that I know how via “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” method.  Smile

The Good

  • Nice, scenic downtown venue with restaurants and entertainment within walking distance of hotel.  

                                                                                             Lansing Marthon_capital

  • Free parking for expo and race.
  • Amazing Volunteers
  • Lively spectators.
  • Fully stocked aid stations with water, electrolyte drink, various snacks (oranges, m&m’s, pretzels)
  • Bathrooms scattered throughout the course
  • Start & Finish location next to the Lansing Center which allowed us to wait inside until just minutes before the start.
  • Well marked course, mile marker signs, police & volunteers to direct & protect runners.
  • Variety of race distances:  5K, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay & Full Marathon
  • Smaller race, good for PRs.  363 full finishers, 1187 half finishers.
  • Officials left the course open for as long as it took for everyone to finish all events.
  • Race Officials & National Guard (or some type of military crew), lined the finish shoot and gave the very last runner a standing ovation.  Nice touch.

Lansing Marthon_last finisher 

  • Great friends, F’N Runners & a nice Chicago crew were on location to run Lansing!  F’N Runners left, most of the Chicago crew right.

Lansing Marathon_ group

Lansing Marathon_chicago crew

The Bad

  • Original course had flooded so they had to reroute the course at the last minute.  Therefore, the scenic river trail running was mostly cut out and we were shuffled thru town, along highways, across train tracks & thru residential neighborhoods.  Not real exciting.
  • Broken up roads from winter weather, had to watch footing.
  • Hills.  Nothing insane but it wasn’t flat.  Lots of up and down rollers.  One long climb that wasn’t steep, just longish.
  • Expo was very light.  Not a lot of vendors, more of a packet pickup.
  • Race shirts were unisex and oversized.  Nice color, design and logo, just too big for most of us.

Lansing Marathon_shirt

  • Double loop course (due to it being rerouted).  Rough seeing the mile marker signs for the second half while hitting that first loop.  Rough knowing the first loop was tough and we had to tackle it again.
  • Train.  Many of us were stopped by a train; however, race officials have offered to adjust times accordingly.  If you were stopped, check the Lansing Marathon Facebook page HERE for details as to how you might get your time adjusted.

The Ugly

  • My race.  Hips started burning/hurting at Mile 8 and they still hurt 2 days post race.
  • Passing the finish line party as the half way mark of my already “ugly” race.
  • Knowing my friends were waiting on me for a long time.
  • Having to resort to run/walk to just keep moving.
  • Getting to Mile 20 slower than in any other of my previous 4 marathons.

Lansing Marathon_mile 20

  • Lonely second half of the race at the back of the pack.
  • Had to send an SOS message to my F’N Runners and have them come back to help/distract me.
  • Having a bad race on a perfect weather day.  Sad smile
  • Blistered feet/toes & bruised ego.

But none of that really mattered when I finally crossed the finish line.

Lansing Marthon_me finish   Lansing Marthon_me & sue  Lansing Marathon_medal

Official time is currently 4:48:59.  However, there is speculation that the time will be adjusted for the train that stopped the majority of us runners. If that is the case, and if they take off the 4 minutes that we waited, then my time will be 4:44, which ironically is also my bib number for the race.  Poetic.

Lansing Marthon_bib medal

Weather the time is adjusted or not, I really don’t care either way.  It won’t affect my real life in any way shape or form.  I do this for fun …..  even if I have yet to have a “fun” marathon.  I like the training.  I like that it pushes my limits.  I like that it takes me beyond my comfort zone.  And I like most of all, that it gives me a foundation for which I can work from moving forward.  I’m not at all deterred that I had a rough race, just more determined to make the next one better.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend the Lansing Marathon.  It’s a great race and ran very well.  Most of the items listed in the “bad” section were either out of control of race officials  (hello, flooding!!!)  or things which they are attempting to rectify.  Good race.  Good management.  Good people who care about you and your race experience.  I’d go back.

Lastly, let me shout out to my F’N Runners who ran so very, very well in Lansing.  Susan M won her age group and qualified for Boston (after running her first 50 miler just 2 weeks previous)!!!  Joe D hit a big PR for the half & took 5th in his age group, then came back to run almost all of us into the finish.  He may have registered for the half but he ran over 18 miles before it was all said and done by helping us.   April W smashed her previous half marathon PR by over 17 minutes!!  Kim B ran an amazing race and rallied the troops to come back to help me when I sent the SOS!  Keith G runs a marathon almost every weekend and he still managed to go sub 3:45!    Amazing runners.  Amazing people.  I am so happy to have shared the Lansing journey with all of them!

And thanks to all of you for your well wishes, happy thoughts and words of encouragement.  Good times.  Good friends. 

** Keep Running, At Whatever Pace YOU Can Manage ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

26 thoughts on “Lansing Marathon Race Review & Personal Experience

  1. Congrats on the finish. Any marathon finish is an awesome accomplishment. Can’t believe you were held up by a train! Did you have a set marathon pace you were shooting for, or were you running by how you felt? Congrats again.

  2. Thanks for sharing your pain, at least I know I’m not the only one who can’t explain why in the world I pay good money to punish myself this way! Question: do you think you’ll try the Dopey Challenge in WDW this year?

    Rod Wheaton

    • Yes, I’m registered for the Dopey Challenge! I’ll be ready! I came of an injury & rehab to train for this race and it was tough. I ran four 20 milers but sometimes used split run methods to help accommodate the family schedule. I’ve learned a lot.

  3. Congrats on another marathon finish! It sounds like the trip to Lansing was all about the journey and the full experience than just an “in and out” marathon. I really hope that you guys are all out there doing these fun group running expeditions when I have the time and motivation to finish my next marathon… however many years from now that is. 🙂

    • We’ll always be here, Kelly. You know that. Picking a race where others are running, makes a big difference in the experience. I was fortunate that so many came with me to Lansing. It was so much fun!

  4. TTF…you should just focus on the accomplishment that you finished…irrespective of the time. Finish time shouldn’t matter in the sense many of your posts prior to Lansing were indicating you weren’t getting in the training you needed to run preferred finish time goal. So…you just run it to finish…to survive. So…that makes you a survivor! And if you get 4-min shaved off your official finish time cause a train held you up…count your blessings…free time and a substantial recovery break to boot! And although there are people like Keith and Susan that run marathons and finish them in astounding times despite just having run one, I do know that running a 50-miler and then several weeks later running a BQT is not something to strive for. You get away with this for some undetermined time until eventually the devil gets paid back…it will eventually catch up. She better take off running for several weeks if not more. Keith I think more like Boonsom Hartman and seems like the marathon he runs is simply the training for the next…sort of like in perpetual taper mode. Boonsom has gotten away with it for record time…but maybe she is not mortal. Most mortals pay the price for running too far…too much and too soon. In terms of recovery… it’s pay me now or pay me later. So…TTF…considering what you describe in post-marathon hurts…you better take some good time off…walk, ride the bike, swim and other stuff. No running for at least 2-weeks…3 even better…then regroup for another run-training cycle.

    • I won’t be running. Probably walk with the F’N Runners tomorrow night. I do need downtime. My body doesn’t like the pounding and notes it’s irritation with me quite loudly. 🙂

  5. Sounds like you did GREAT! I would’ve given anything to get a sub 5 in mine! Our course got changed at the last minute too, because of flooding. I still ran by a quite a few houses partially submerged.
    I hate that you were in so much pain. 😦 Hope you’re feeling better now. Congrats, girl!!

  6. Awesome job! If you’re feeling up to it in September, come down to Columbus, IN and run the half or full of the FIRST Mill Race Marathon! I can offer you a spare bed 🙂 I’m planning to run the half…if I can get MY hip issue straightened out. Info:

    • I just linked that race up on the TTF facebook page. My friends are always looking for good, cheap races. I can’t do this day. Aby is in CC and they have invites almost every SAT of Sept. I stay clear of SAT races in April, May, Sept, & Oct.

      Hope your hip gets fixed!! Go see a good chiro. The baby probably changed your alignment and you need readjusted. Michael did that to me and I didn’t get it fixed until it started creating havoc with my foot & legs.

  7. Congrats on your finish and on appreciating what you can! What’s continuing to happen with your hip? I think we need a group yoga/stretching class for the Chicago Running Bloggers

    • I have low back issues. Ruptured disks as a young high jumper, I was a bad gymnast and had injuries, add in 2 babies and my core is destroyed. I had a hard time getting out of bed on SUN to get to the startline, then had so much pressure in the low back between the hips. That settled about a mile in but I think the hills, the damaged core took its toll. I wish I could do a yoga class but my schedule (add in the family schedule) is just not friendly.

  8. A train eh? That’s a first. That would have been good if you were trying to reel someone in — fresh start for everyone! Unfortunate that you didn’t have the best race, but you got to the end regardless, and that counts for a lot (especially with that really cool medal). Congrats!

  9. Aww man, sorry to hear that you were hurting so much. And still hurting now 😦 And what a bummer they had to re-route, do two loops, etc. I can’t imagine doing two loops at a marathon. I think it’s hard enough when you split from the halfers, you know? It sounds like they responded great to the crazy flooding though.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    P.S. Cool medal!

  10. Congratulations on finishing such an awesome achievement Amanda! I hope your hips and feet feel better soon. – Simone

  11. Awesome showing by the FN Runners! Sorry this wasn’t a fun one for you, but I’m super impressed that you got out there and got it done! You’re a beast. Also a double loop marathon sounds like hell.

  12. I’m sorry your hips were bothering you so much during your race! That’s a big bummer, but at least you finished (hooray)! I really love smaller races; it’s nice to not be packed like sardines into start corrals and be elbow-to-elbow with other runners for miles after miles. Hope you start to feel better soon!

  13. Congrats on the finish! Train – um, wth?

    As an aside, there’s a free website with lots of different styles of full length yoga videos – – that you could try some yoga on your own time. I’m not affiliated with it at all but I’ve been using it during my teacher training to help expose me to different teaching methods. So – no, no kickback here. For running, Yin Yoga is incredible – especially post-marathon.

  14. Every race can’t be our best race, kid. I’m proud of you for sucking it up and pushing through despite the pain (trust me, I am the poster child for hip pain). You’re a champ in my eyes! Now rest, regroup and enjoy running because you want to, not because you have to – that is until the next race 🙂

  15. Pingback: The Countdown …. Chicago Marathon 2013 | TooTallFritz

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