It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

April 28, 2014

Garmin Half Marathon - Wickedly "Fast" - Race Review

It seems like life has been a bit of a roller coaster lately and this weekend was no exception.

We've been on "baby watch" for awhile in the Weatherly household.  My stepdaughter Madi was due to give birth to her first baby on April 16...but she wasn't quite ready to say hello to the world yet. A week after the due date Madi started having some contractions, and on Thurs evening we got the call they were heading to the Birthing Center...only to be sent home telling her she was having false labor.

Friday afternoon we get the call again that she was heading to the Birthing Center.  This time it was the real deal, she was in labor.  A few hours later sweet little Savannah Grace arrived, weighing 6 pds 7 ounces with brown hair and brown eyes.  She's amazing.  Mom and baby did great!
Madi & Savannah

Jim and I were both planning to run the Garmin Wickedly Fast Half Marathon the next morning.  We knew due to the delivery we might not get to race, but it really didn't matter.  The birth of our second grandchild was the most important thing going on. 

Well, we ended up getting home about midnight and decided we would race. We would probably be a little tired with only about 4 hours of sleep, but we could do it.

We woke a little groggy but ready to race.  The weather seemed almost perfect.  It was 55 degrees with about 12 mph winds, but there was a chance of thunderstorms and the winds were supposed to pick up, so we knew the end of the race might not be great.

We showed up a little later than we normally would and it was a mistake.  After getting off on the exit to the race it took about 35 minutes to get through traffic and park.  By the time we got parked we only had about 15 mins til the race started and we were parked quite a ways from the start.  I had to go to the bathroom before the race started.  We both quickly left the car and headed for the porta pottys. Based on the line, I knew there was a good chance I wouldn't be through before the race started. 

Race start
I finally made it to the start line just as the National Anthem was finishing; with literally no time to spare.  I took a quick selfie since we had taken no pictures.  And then I was off.  After just a minute or so of running I looked down at my Garmin and dang it I was on "bike" mode.  I had to switch over to run, but hated that because now my Garmin time and distance would be a little off and I wasn't quite sure by how much.  Turned out to be about a min and a half.

I had originally planned to try to set a PR at this race.  But with the bad winter and spring we've had, I just haven't been able to get in the kind of outdoor training I needed to make that happen.  That said, I've been working on speed quite a bit over the last few weeks.  I decided to shoot for a 2:25, which would be 2 mins slower than my PR, but still a bit of a stretch goal for me right now.

The weather was really pretty nice when I started.  It was about 55 degrees with light winds.  I started running and felt pretty good.  My first mile was too fast, as usual, but I tried to slow down a bit and get in a rhythm.  The course was a little more challenging than I had originally thought.  It is claimed to be "wickedly fast" and flat.  I have found that in the Kansas City area "flat" is a relative term.  I have ran a few flat in Indianapolis and Florida - those races are flat, this race was not flat.  It has several steep inclines and rolling hills. As a matter of fact, the last 5 miles are pretty much uphill...and there is an uphill uphill finish??  The climbs are never more than about 100 feet, so they aren't huge, but they are enough to slow down your pace.
The "flat" course from my Garmin
I felt like I was running a pretty strong race for the first 9 miles and I was on pace to be right around 2:25.  But just as you made a sharp turn around mile 8, I looked up and the sky was as black as night.  There was definitely a storm moving in any second.  Some light rain began to fall which actually felt pretty good.  But by mile 8.5 it was a torrential downpour.  Somewhere around mile 9 you run on an asphalt running trail which was quickly flooding.  There were ankle deep puddles in some sections and water running all the way across the small trail at least a few feet wide in other sections. There was nothing you could do but run through the water.  My feet were heavy and wet.  It was getting colder.  It was coming down in sheets and it was thundering and lightening.  I was waiting for the race to be cancelled and pulled off the course at any minute.  It got really hard to focus on pace.  But at the same time I kinda just wanted to get done, so I kept pushing as hard as I could in the conditions.

Can anyone tell where I started to fight the weather and fatigue?

We got poured on for about 30 minutes.  From roughly mile 8.5 and to 11 or so.  Some people said they got hailed on, but I never felt any hail. 

The rain let up in those last couple of miles, but the wind grew stronger and suddenly I was freezing!  55 and sunny and light winds is great.  50, soaked and windy is cold!  Mile 11 was my slowest mile.  I was fighting the weather and tiredness was setting it. It was then that I realized I wouldn't make 2:25, but I knew if I pushed hard I could still have a strong race.  So, I pushed with all I had left in me and crossed the finish line in 2:28:38.  It was my 27th stand alone half marathon (28th if you count the half I did as part of my Half Ironman) and it was my third fastest ever.  So, I call that a good day.

I found Jim at the finish and he had luckily grabbed my jacket and brought it to sweet.  I grabbed some food and we quickly headed to the car.  I was freezing.  I was shaking the entire way home. 

In the end we both had pretty good races.  Jim luckily didn't have the weather to contend with as he was finished before the downpour (lucky for being so dang fast) :)  He came in just shy of a PR and 2nd in his Age Group.  He always amazes me! 

Race medal..which also glows in the dark
Did you race this weekend?  Any weather to contend with?


  1. Congrats on a string race and even bigger congrats on the new addition to the family! Also, you are far too young to have two grandkids!!!

  2. You definitely don't look old enough to have grandchildren! I really dont like races in the rain. My first (aand only marathon) was MISERABLE because of the rain. My next half is on the Oregon coast, where it almost always rains and is super windy. Crossing my fingers for good weather. ...and your husband is so sweet!

  3. That's an incredible finish time considering your winter training, the lack of sleep and the weather! Rock star!!

  4. She's such a sweet little baby. Congratulations to you all.

  5. First a huge congratulations!
    Second that medal is awesome but feels wrong in April.
    Last - I hate lightning! It is scary. Glad you are safe.

    1. LOL, I guess I should have mentioned the race is in Kansas. So it's the Garmin Marathon "In the Land of Oz". All the medalsl, race shirts, etc have a Wizard of Oz theme, hence the wicked witch medal.

  6. Congrats on a solid race, specially running though stormy weather. Also congrats on the new addition!

  7. Yay, nice run! Battling through rain like that can be hard but somehow it almost always results in a good race with a good result. I love the medal! Congrats with the new grandchild! It is so very special to be part of a new little life.

  8. Congratulations! You've had a big weekend! You ran a solid race in horrible conditions...I think that PR is well within your reach! And that baby is so sweet! All the best to you & the family :)

  9. The medal is rather cool! And well deserved too - it sounds like you ran a great race, and you can see the weather obviously affecting your pace, so next time you must PR!
    I raced this weekend and improved my 5k time by a minute. No weather to contend with though!
    Congratulations on being grandparents - exciting!

  10. Congrats on the birth of your grandchild and finishing your 28th half marathon!

  11. Congrats, grandparents!!

    I really want to run this race one day. So sorry about the bad weather!

  12. Congrats. I nominated your for a Liebster Award!

  13. That is one super cute newborn! Adorable! Congrats :)