|We're Not In Kansas anymore..wait we are|
I only did the Garmin Half Marathon in Olathe, KS because it is part of what is called the Heartland 39.3 series which is 3 local half marathons over 5 weeks. You can register for a discounted price and do all three races and there is some bonus bling at the end of all 3 events. If I do it 3 years in a row I earn a jacket – this makes year #2 for me. So I have to do it one more year for the jacket.Honestly, if it weren’t one of the required races, I’m not sure I would have done it again. To me the course is hilly (tho called “Wickedly Fast”) and kind of boring. There is little to no crowd support and at the end of the race you run like half a mile to the finish line which for some reason is just awful. It’s like so close, but so far away. They did give out a t-shirt which I really liked, and a nice large medal. Everything is Wizard of Oz themed (It’s in Kansas) which is kind of fun too. So there are always lots of people dressed in costume.
Last year there was a major storm during the race and it even hailed. This year it rained again, but it honestly felt pretty good. My race this year was a complete disaster…totally. Last year I did the Rock the Parkway half marathon, then there was a week break and then Garmin. This year the races were back to back weekends. I’ve done back to back half marathons a few other times and had no issues, so I don’t think that played a huge role.My biggest issue is that I was in the porta potty line at the beginning of the race (again). I’ve done this a few times now. So before you tell me to get in line earlier, please note that I had already gone through the line once, and thought I had time to get through again…but I didn’t. So, when I came out of the porta potty the race had already started. Yes it’s chip timed, but it always panics me. So I “sprinted” to the start and then jumped in line. I didn’t realize I had jumped in with the 2:10 pace group and I was keeping that pace for the first mile before I realized I was going just way too fast! I slowed myself down after that but it was honestly just too late. I had gone out too fast, and I had burned up my reserves too early.
By mile 4 I was feeling exhausted and I knew I was in trouble. Honestly, most of the race was a blur. I just remember being tired, feeling like I could never catch my breath and just being incredibly hot. It was about 65, and pretty humid with rain in the air, but it certainly wasn’t the worst running conditions ever. But it was a bit warm for me. Luckily it was overcast which helped. If the sun had been out I think I would have struggled even more. I was hoping to finish the race around 2:30. At about mile 5 or 6 the 2:30 group passed me so I knew I was in real trouble. As the miles ticked on, the pace groups continued to pass me and I grew increasingly annoyed. I wanted to catch up. I wanted to run faster, but I didn’t have anything…I mean nothing. I think miles 9-13 where at a 15+ minute pace. I was doing more walking than running and honestly I just wanted to get it over with.The rain came about mile 9 and felt pretty good, but it didn’t make me any faster. I ended up finishing a very disappointing 2:51. My third slowest half ever, only my 2 very first half marathons in 2009 were slower.
It was a bad race. It happens I suppose. I do think I know what caused it for the most part. It was a combination of being a little warm and going out to fast – but the going out to fast definitely had the biggest impact.I have my third race next weekend – which has always typically
been my slowest of the 3 races, so I’m hopeful it will go much, much better.