This is my KC Half Marathon Recap:
|Me & Jim post race|
I have to admit, going into this race I was NOT excited. I had set a PR just two weeks prior at the MO' Cowbell Half Marathon which was pretty darn flat and the KC Half is HILLY (almost 700 feet of elevation gain) so I knew there was no way I could PR here. Plus two half marathons in two weeks was alot for me. It would just be a training race for my marathon and that would be just fine. I knew I'd still have fun because I was going with my hubby Jim and he was running his first of two back to back marathons (you can read his phenomenal post here). I knew no matter what I would be done in plenty of time to watch him cross the finish line and that would make me happy!
This race is my nemesis....seriously. In 2009 I ran my first half marathon and trained for it in only 7 weeks - my longest run going in to the race was only 8 miles and I finished in 2:52. I had so much fun at that race that I signed up for the KC half. For this one I got serious - I trained for 16 full weeks, I had long runs of 11 or 12 miles. I was so ready. Race day came and the hills kicked my BUTT! By mile 4 I seriously wasn't sure if I could even make it 13.1. I was so disappointed. The weather was cold and damp (it had rained just before race start). I ended up finishing in 2:50. I was just so upset that I had trained so hard and only took 2 minutes off my time. Then I signed up for the race again last year, and ended up with a tibial stress fracture and couldn't do it. I had all these mental images in my head going into the race. I knew I could improve my previous time, but I figured I'd finish somewhere around 2:45. I could live with that.
|Course elevation from my Garmin|
Jim and I got up early Saturday morning. It was chilly in the low 40s - but perfect for running. It was supposed to be in the mid 60s and sunny by the time we finished - and no wind - seriously another race with perfect weather. The weather in Missouri this October has just been wonderful!!
We arrived a little later than we anticipated and the line of traffic was crazy to get parked. Jim started panicking a bit, but I told him we would be fine - we still had about 45 minutes til race start. We got parked and headed our separate ways. Jim went to drop his gear bag and do his pre-race warm-up and I headed to the bathroom line where I would wait for almost 20 minutes! Race time was there before I knew it. I went out to the start line and started to get those little butterflies. Here we go again!
OK, although I knew I was going to be around 2:45 I had secretly printed out a 2:35 pace schedule. I knew I couldn't do 2:35 since my PR was 2:37 just two weeks ago, but I thought maybe it would be good to keep it and try to follow it for the first 6 miles or so until I got really tired. It's the pace chart the actual pace teams use, so it's paced with the hills in mind and of course it starts out slow to warm-up. I knew I should start slow because at MO' Cowbell I went out way too fast trying to "bank" some time, and really hit the wall in the last mile. It called for a 12:14 pace for the first mile and 12:04 for the second. The first mile was uphill so it was pretty easy to take it slow, although I still finished it in an 11:50 - still a bit faster than planned. The second mile was downhill so it was easy to speed up, that one was defnintely too fast at 11:16. At mile 3 you approach your first really big hill. It was about this point that I ran into the 2:30 pace team. They were walking up the hill, so I decided if they were walking it I would too. Seemed smart - my third mile was my slowest mile of the race. I felt like I was going too slow, so I ran past the 2:30 pacers, but then decided I must be going a little too fast if I was passing them so I slowed it down a bit and hung to the side of that group for awhile. I thought if I hung with them I'd slow my pace down. I was feeling great and running strong, it was hard to hold back, but I knew I should if I wanted to have anything left at the end. At some point the 2:35 pace group passed the 2:30 pace group...not sure why. Anyway, I just decided to try to kind of stay between these two groups. I had started well behind the 2:35 pacers, so I knew I was a few minutes ahead of this pace.
Miles 4-8 just kind of flew by. Normally about mile 4 I start my walk/run ratio, but I was feeling so good, I didin't do it. I walked through the water stops and walked for 1 minute at the end of each mile, but that was it. Miles 4-8 were really fast for me averaging around 11 minutes. Miles 8-10 are pretty much straight uphill, and I started to slow here, walking a bit more up some of the hills, but never for more than 30 seconds to a minute. I was kind of expecting to "give up" here. But suddenly when I finished mile 10 I realized - hey I only have a 5K left. I can do this. My overall pace was still around 11:30 and the course was ready to move into a nice long downhill to flat section. The 2:30 pacers had passed me, but I was still right behind the 2:35 pacers. I started thinking I could actually do it. I might be able to PR. At mile 12 I paced the 2:35 pacers and knew I had it. I crossed the finish line in 2:32:29 official time - a 5 minute PR from just two weeks ago where I had a 13 minute PR. I had cut 18 minutes of my best time between the two races!! I was grinning from ear to ear when I passed the finish line! My Garmin time had been 11:29, but I had also ran 13.29 instead of 13.1. It didn't matter. I had an overall pace in the 11s!!! I couldn't believe it. And I felt GREAT at the end of the race. I knew I could have run even farther.....which is good since I will be doing just that this weekend when I attempt my first 15 mile run and first run EVER over 13.1!
|My Garmin splits|
So that's the story of how I met the NEW Michael.....the one who pushed herself, and ran her fastest race EVER! I seriously hope she stays around. I'd really like to see more of this girl!
|This is a picture of a cow. This is for Coy Martinez :)|
|And of course what race is complete without a milk mustache pic!|