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

November 17, 2014

Longview Half Marathon Race Review (Sorta)

This will be pretty short.  Here's the super short version. I ran the Longview half marathon in Lee's Summit, MO this weekend.  It was cold.  It was hilly.  I was SLOW.  There you go.  If you care to know a few other details read on.

It's been a rough year for me in racing and training.  I have pulled out of more races than I have completed.  But, when the Kansas City Running Company announced they would be putting on a half marathon practically in my back yard it sounded like a good idea.  It's the only' half marathon in Lee's Summit (that I'm aware of).  Several of my friends were going to do it so I figured, why not.

A few of us pre-race Jim was MIA
I bike at Longview Lake on a regular basis and it is HILLY.  There is one very long hill in particular that I curse every time I have to ride up it.  The half marathon course is very similar to several of the triathlon bike portions and would include that cursed hill.  I have to admit, the hills were what had me on the fence about the race, but I finally decided to suck it up and do it anyway.  Jim said he was in and like that we were signed up. 

I haven't been running regularly since April.  I still run quite a bit, but some days it's only 2 miles. And I am lucky to run 3 days a week.   But in the last several months I've really lacked.  My longest run since my last half marathon (which I also wasn't prepared for) in early October was 8 miles.  Last week I ran a whopping 2 miles before the race.  I had intended to run more in the last few weeks, but Winter arrived early here in KC and it was pretty much in the teens all last week in the morning and I just wasn't ready to run in that kind of cold.  In January - sure, in November, no. 

So, Saturday morning I woke up completely unprepared to go run a half marathon.  I planned to run/walk the event since I wasn't up to running the entire thing.  It was cold.  It was about 25 at race start with about 8 or 9 mph winds.  It certainly could have been worse, but it was cold.  And again, it is November....and I am just not used to running in these conditions.  I bundled up.  Maybe a bit too much.  I had on a good pair of lined running tights, a long sleeve tech tee and a pretty heavy jacket, 2 pair of gloves and a stocking cap.

After the long line to get into the event I met up with my friends.  It's always fun to hang out, though we were all freezing.  For an extra $25 you could have signed up as a VIP - which included a VIP tent and closer parking.  When I registered and it was 70 degrees, it seemed silly.  Standing outside in the freezing weather Sat, I was wishing I had spent the extra money. 
Me & Jim post race
Before the race I also ran into Allison, a fellow blogger from DaileyRuns.  She's a sweet girl from here in Lee's Summit who runs on her school's Cross Country Team.  We have done several of the same races, but never met before.  It was great to finally meet her!!  She also set a new PR at the race!  So Congrats Allison.

My friend Kelly and I started the race together.  She did her very first half marathon the weekend before and decided to not only do one half marathon, but two halves in back to back weekends.  Rock Star!!  As we were heading out of the park, there was a large amount of runners going the opposite direction.  Even with a delayed start of about 15 minutes, hundreds of people were still "running" to the start.  I guess they need to warn people next year to come early!! 

We made it about a mile together before I told her to go on.  I wasn't feeling "speedy" at all.  About mile 3 you reach "the hill".  They were even having a contest for King and Queen of the Hill.  The 15 fastest Men and Women got a plaque.  I was hoping there was an award for the slowest....but no luck.  I maintained my run walk pace and got up it.  I have to say much easier to run walk the hill than to bike it.  MUCH EASIER! 

After the hill I was warmed up and feeling like I had too many clothes on.  I took off one of my pair of gloves, and considered for a second taking off my jacket, but knew that would be a bad idea.  I actually ended up feeling pretty good for about the first 8 miles.  Around mile 8 on a shorter section, I even started spotting people and trying to pass them.....then it all fell apart.  At about mile 9 you start across the damn and the wind picked up (as it always does) and there was no shield from the wind and it just got cold.  All of a sudden I went from feeling pretty good, to freezing and getting really tired.  There are a couple of good rolling hills through this section too.  By mile 11, I just wanted to be done.  For the first 10 miles, I stayed ahead of the 2:30 pace group.  by Mile 11, the 2:40 group had passed me.  I knew it was going to be a slow time then and I just wanted it to be over.  Finally by mile 12 I knew I only had one mile left and I picked up the pace as much as I could...or at least I felt like I did.  I haven't' downloaded my Garmin data yet to see what my mile splits were.  But at mile 10 I was at a 12:02 pace, by the end I was at a 12:38 pace.  I lost a lot of speed in those last 4 miles.

I finally crossed the finish line in 2:40ish.  I honestly don't even know my final time.  But I do know that it was one of my slowest races ever.  But when I came through the finish chute Jim, and my friend Michelle and her boyfriend Chadd were all there to give me high fives!  Awesome to see smiling faces at the end.
Finishing and glad to be done
I got my finishers medal and literally went straight to the car.  I was freezing.  Jim said they had soup or something, but I have no idea. 

It certainly wasn't a great race for me, but I will probably do it again next year.  KC Running Company also has well organized events, and this was no different.  You got a great, heavy medal and a nice technical quarter zip tee.  And, it's close to home so you can't beat that.

2014 has definitely been the year for slow and no racing.  I am looking forward to 2015 and turning things around.


  1. Thanks for taking the picture without me.

    1. Sorry, no one could find you. That's what happens when we get separated.

  2. Just read the full report ... you had two pairs of gloves the whole time???

  3. That's why New Year is the best time of year. Love the clean slate and all that. And as for "slow", you were still in it and moving, so I say that's a win!

  4. I wondered if you had done this race. I'd considered it until I drove the course and tasted those hills. You get my respect for taking it on.

  5. Doesn't matter what your time was, you get the same medal as the person towards the front. And that's a pretty nice medal. Congratulations for getting it done. You've had such a tough year, no one would have blinked if you hadn't signed up for any more races.