Anyway, Jim and I were going to the Royals game Friday night, so I knew getting up early Saturday morning would be tough, so I decided to move my run to Sunday. I won't lie, with the heat I was seriously dreading this run. It would be by myself, it would be long, and it would be hot. But, as luck would have it....well maybe luck, there was a half marathon in downtown KC on Sunday. I thought, if I could get up early enough, I could get in around 5 to 7 miles before the race and then finish up my run with the half marathon. I knew I'd be shy a few miles of my original goal of 22, but in the heat....I would be happy with anything between 18 to 20 miles. Yes, there would be a small break between the miles, but I would live with that too.
|The Broadway Bridge..you can already tell how intense the sun was at 7:30 am|
So, on a whim I decided to sign up for the Broadway Bridge Half Marathon the next day. This is a race I had never done before, and knew nothing about. Of course same day registration was a bit steep and Jim commented that it was an "expensive long run", but at the end of the day I would (hopefully) at least get a shirt and a medal and I would also have people and aid stations set up for me...something I would not get on a 20 mile run in my neighborhood. I did end up with both a shirt and medal though they weren't guaranteed..the race was sold out.
So, on Sunday morning, I got up at 3:40 am. I got a few things around and then went for a 5 mile run in my neighborhood. I came straight in the door and got in the car and Jim drove me to the lovely City Market area in Kansas City (about 30 minutes away). I quickly found registration and got registered and then began running again. The plan was to run until the race started. I ended up with almost 2 miles before the race start - which was great. I knew I'd get in right at 20 miles for the day - perfect.
|Really weird picture for some reason|
When I started the race I was already dripping with sweat. I had ran about 2 miles at a 13 minute pace, but it was already 81 degrees and over 80% humidity (at 7am). I was in for a long 13 miles. I tried to snap a picture of my sweaty self which didn't turn out, so these guys behind me offered to take one. I don't know why, but it came out really weird. I think I look like a bobble head. I don't know if it was the angle or what, but my head looks huge and my shoulders and torso look oddly small. Oh well.
This is a "runners" half marathon, as walkers are not encouraged. You have to maintain a 14 minute pace, which I thought I could do, but knew I'd be at the back of the pack. I've been averaging about a 13:30 pace on my long runs. I'm hoping with cooler weather I'm going to do a little better than this, but we shall see. I'll be pretty disappointed if my 2nd marathon is slower than my first (it was a 13:32 pace). Anyway, within the first mile, it became clear to me there wouldn't be too many runners around me, which was disappointing as that was part of the reason for doing the race. The first five miles of the race weren't bad. You go across the "Broadway Bridge" which has a little incline, and then run around the Charles Wheeler Downtown airport which is pretty flat, but there was little to no shade and I was feeling the heat really bear down.
|Heading back across the Broadway Bridge and into downtown|
I managed to average about a 12:30 pace for those first 5 miles, which was probably too fast. It was hard to look at this as cumulative miles and not "just a half marathon". But really, by mile 5, I was already at mile 12. After you come back across the Broadway Bridget, you head into downtown Kansas City, and they routed you through some serious hills. It was mean. Really....didn't they know the mileage I had already put in? It was hot, hot, and I mean hot, and it was hills, hills, and then more hills. By mile 11 (18) I was pretty much toast. All I could think about was just being done. It was getting hotter by the minute and there was almost no shade at all.
|The hills were never ending those last 7 miles. Almost 700 feet of elevation gain for the race, and almost all of it at the end.|
After the hills, and more hills the last mile was mostly downhill...with of course a little hill just for fun. I finally crossed the finish line in 2:57, my worst half marathon time ever...but I had to remind myself it truly wasn't a half marathon - it was a 20 mile run. The pace for my half was 13:25, and my overall pace for the 20 miles was 13:16, so honestly not bad for such a hot day (for me). I'm not sure what the exact temperature was when I finished, but it was right around the 90 degree mark. Too hot to be running.
The plus side of the race is you did get to see lots of great KC sites.
|Sprint Center and downtown|
|Cool Downtown shot|
|Liberty Memorial (WW I Memorial & Museum)|
Have you ever done a race as part of a long run before? This was my first time. Did you feel like it was hard to remember the race was really not a race?
Anyone else out there training for a fall marathon or half marathon and have this late heat wave to deal with? I'm sooooo ready for fall!