Jim and I were doing the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in lovely Kansas City, MO. It's a great race that runs along Ward Parkway in Kansas City where there are many beautiful old historic homes. The streets are tree lined, there's a beautiful park. It's really just a nice run. Most people call the course flat....which it's really not. It's actually pretty hilly, but the hills are fairly short, but they are numerous. I don't think there's anything in KC that could truly be considered flat.
The World Famous Pre-race Dance Pics:
After having a few stressful weeks at work and eating myself to death, I was feeling a little icky on Saturday morning. I didn't dare weigh myself, but I'm pretty sure my weight was up 5 to 6 pounds - because that's about where I was on Friday (in a week's time). I was just feeling bloated and sluggish. I was really hoping to run a 2:25, but I just wasn't sure it was going to happen.
My friend Kristi and I were going to run together, so we picked her up on the way and headed to the race. The weather forecast was calling for rain and it looked like it could rain anytime but it never did. But man it was HUMID. It was about 65 degrees at race start with 90% humidity. It could have been worse, but it certainly wasn't pleasant running conditions. At about mile one, I was sweating pretty profusely.
Kristi and I set our sites on the 2:25 pace group, but within the first mile we were ahead of them. We were probably going a bit too fast to start, but we hadn't passed the 2:20 group, so I was feeling ok with that. I thought as long as I stayed between the 2 groups I should be fine.
I ran in to several people I knew during the race. After just a couple of miles, I ran into my friend Christa who did Brew to Brew with me a few weeks ago. She had recently pulled a hamstring, so she was hurting, but she was also running with a friend to help pace her to a new PR. Christa would normally have been far in front of me. Later in the race I found another friend, who unfortunately was walking and looked like she was in alot of pain. I found out later she thinks she has a stress fracture in her foot and ended up having to be transported to the end by ambulance at mile 8. NO fun at all!! One of the highlights of the race though was seeing my friend Susan at about mile 11 or so I think. Susan is an amazing woman and great athlete. She was supposed to run the race, but recently discovered some pretty severe heart problems. She just had a heart procedure done on Monday!! But there she was cheering the runners on and looking for her friends. I gave her a high five and it totally boosted my spirits for the rest of the race.
Anyway, back to the race. After about the first 2 miles, I kind of settled in to my pace and found it rather comfortable to run in the uppers 10s. My overall times have been getting faster and I think I am finally realizing that I've just flat out not been pushing myself hard enough. I can run faster and it doesn't kill me. The heat was pretty brutal. At about mile 8 my friend Kristi had to go to the bathroom, so I decided to head on without her. She changed her mind and ended up running to try to catch back up to me, but that was probably a bad move....by about 8.5 her heart rate was high and she was starting to feel "cold" which wasn't good. She decided to stop and walk so I said goodbye and kept going. We had already talked at the beginning of the race that either of us could go ahead if the other one wasn't feeling it. I still felt kind of bad, but I didn't want to stop running.
|Me & a few of my friends after the race|
In the end I crossed the finish line at 2:23:23!! A 10:57 pace!!! I have never posted a 10 anything in any race including a 5K. I took off 6 minutes from my recent PR in Little Rock in March. I couldn't have been happier or more excited. And the great thing is I felt great, and think I could have even been faster if the weather had been a little nicer. This slow runner, is still slow by most standards, but I'm getting faster!
|A very nice half marathon medal|
The race was great. I love the medal. And I had an awesome experience. I would definitely do this race again.