I arrived Friday afternoon in Lincoln and went about my usual routine of finding a grocery store to get some fruit, Gatorade and bottled water. My initial impression of the city was that there wasn’t much around. The University of Nebraska definitely dominated the area, so much so that I worried about finding a “grown up” dinner option. There seemed to be tons of college bars around and fast food places, and not that I have anything against that, but been there, done that…not interested in being in that environment at this point in my life.
I opted to just have dinner in the hotel on Friday. It was a pretty quiet evening. I enjoyed a couple of local Nebraska brewed beers and had a nice salad for dinner after turning in. I slept really well, too, which was wonderful! I woke rested and ready to check out the city.
|Two local Nebraska IPAs.|
I was slow to get up and out, enjoying a late breakfast and then walking about a dozen blocks or so to check out the state capitol building. Unfortunately, I arrived there in between the scheduled tours, so I didn’t get a formal introduction to the building, but I walked around myself in the gorgeous cathedral-like building viewing the various beautiful murals, busts of famous Nebraskans, courtyards and other architectural details of the building. It was really an exquisite space.
|Side view of capitol building with Lincoln statue.|
|Front view of capitol from a few blocks away looking upon green space.|
I walked around the lower level of the building and saw where all the offices of the state legislators were housed. On the main level, I was able to see the legislative chamber. The state senate chamber was not open for viewing, but I saw where it was located. The outside of the building was impressive, with a tall domed center featuring a statue on its top. The statue is called “The Sower” and depicts a figure hand-sowing grain for planting, a nod to the importance of agriculture in Nebraska’s history. Outside the building was a statue of Abraham Lincoln depicted in front of a wall engraved with the Gettysburg Address. Although Lincoln never visited Nebraska during his lifetime, the city is named for him.
|Official Lexus sponsor car of The Halfsy.|
|Every runner's name was listed on a second Lexus car. Pretty cool. Can you find me?|
After my self-tour of the capitol, I walked back to the hotel to get my race packet at the expo which was being held there. It was a lively expo, and I got all my necessary race items quickly. I was surprised to find that runners got a pint glass in addition to the long sleeved tech shirt. Cool! I sat in the hotel courtyard for a bit while I looked through my race bag goodies. I struck up a conversation with a fellow runner. She was a sophomore at NU and was also running the Halfsy for the first time. Her parents were visiting from Minnesota to cheer her on. We chatted for a bit about running and various races. We had a nice chat, and they recommended Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota. I will have to check that one out.
|Really good race swag!|
Next, I headed out to Lan House for some Asian noodles for lunch. The women at a local boutique I had stopped in earlier in the day recommended it. I ordered a bowl of stewed beef noodles, and they were fabulous. I ended up with a substantial portion to bring back to the hotel, which I figured would make a great meal tomorrow after the race. Yum!
After a quick stop back to the hotel to drop off my noodles, I walked down to the Nebraska History Museum which was just a few blocks away. There was an exhibit about an early local children’s television show called Kalamity Kate’s Cartoon Corral and one featuring some amazing black and white photos by photojournalists Barbara and Ralph Fox (my favorite of all the exhibits). The second floor of the museum featured many historical artifacts relating to Nebraska’s history. It was an interesting way to spend the late afternoon.
|Sign just inside the Nebraska History Museum.|
After a quick stop back at the hotel to talk to my family, I went to Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante for dinner. I ordered my usual spaghetti and meatballs and enjoyed the fun atmosphere. The restaurant walls were lined with large black and white photographs of old family photos of an Italian family. I asked the waitress if the photos were of the restaurant’s founders. She said that they were. I was enchanted by them. They really warmed up the space and looked so cool. Dinner was terrific!
|Vincenzo's Italian Ristorante. Look at those photos!|
I then headed back to my hotel to relax and get ready for the morning. The weather here in Nebraska has been so cold since I arrived, so I am glad I packed my cold weather running gear. Time to prepare myself for the chilly temps of the morning (forecast to be around freezing by sunrise…). Here’s to the Good Life!