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

April 15, 2015

Rock the Parkway Half Marathon - 2015

This was my fourth year in a row running the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in Kansas City  It is by far my favorite local half marathon.  The race is always well organized and supported.  You get an awesome race shirt and medal and the course is really beautiful.  They have a very nice sized expo and the weather always seems to cooperate.  This year was no different.
Me & Jim post race
I attended the expo Thursday night.  I always love attending local run expos because there are usually race discounts for other upcoming races.  This one didn't disappoint and I signed Jim and I up for the Plaza 10K in Sept.  I met up with a friend of mine who was also running the race and we browsed and chatted with many of the vendors and of course also ran into some friends. It was fun.

Friday night I ate an early dinner and was in bed by about 8:30 just relaxing and reading a book.  This is how I like to roll. I get all my stuff together for the next day and then I just want to relax.  I don't go to bed crazy early or anything, just chill.

The next morning my alarm was set for 5:00 am and I was up a few minutes before.  I got my clothes on and Jim and I were out the door in no time.    It was a cool morning.  It was about 45 degrees at race start with light winds and overcast skies.  It was perfect running weather.  It was a bit cool waiting for the race to start but I had brought a "throw away" jacket with me.  It kept me warm enough.   We got to the race plenty early so parking was a breeze.  We parked just across the street from the start/finish line.

I left the car about 40 minutes til race start to hit the porta potty and see if I could find my friends.  I ran into my friend Allison Daily from Daily Runs and chatted with her and her parents for a few minutes then tried to find several of my other friends....with no luck. No biggie, Before long it was time to go.

There are 7,000 people in the half marathon (there is only a half and a 5K) so they started doing wave starts a few years ago.  I was in Wave D (which was a bit too fast for me -apparently when I registered I was being optimistic).  The waves are 2 minutes apart, so I was off in no time.  The race starts off with a super short downhill and then like a 2 mile uphill climb...I think it's tough.  You aren't quite warmed up yet and you are climbing.  It's not a super steep incline, but enough that you definitely notice.  Somewhere between mile 1.5 and 2, I got a sharp, sharp pain on the inside of my ankle.  It hurt so bad it literally stopped me in my tracks.  I pulled off to the side of the course and felt around it to see if there was any pain to the touch.  There wasn't so I kept running and it hurt for a bit and finally went away.  My ART guys said it was related to calf tightness.  It still hurts when I get up in the morning but loosens up all day. I am hopeful it won't be an issue for my next half...on Saturday.

In what seems to be like a broken record for me, I had a great 8  mile race.  I think in my last 3 or 4 races that I've done great for 8-9 miles and then I just die in those last few.  I can pick it up a bit in the last mile or so because I know I'm almost done...but my overall pace slows big time in miles 9-11. Saturday was no different.  I think I was averaging right around an 11:30 pace for the first 8 miles and then those last 4 miles my average pace dropped to an 11:50 overall.  I really think I need to rethink my training plan.  I need to focus on 9-11 mile runs.  I do alot of 8-10 mile runs....I think my long runs need to be a minimum of 10 (when not in taper).  Anyway, the course is fairly hilly, but no major hills, but enough to take a toll on me.  I finally reached mile 11 and there is just another little bit of hills and then you finish downhill for literally the last mile which is awesome!!  I have to say I expected to run that last mile really pretty fast and I didn't so I  know I was really tired.  Even in the last downhill mile I had to stop and walk several times.  I know I was "feeling it".  That finish just seemed way to hard.  Harder than I wanted it to be!

I ended up finishing in 2:35 - two minutes slower than last year and 12 minutes slower than my PR on this course and my PR still to this day.  My running speeds are starting to come back, but I'm still feeling "slow". A huge part of it is my weight.  I ran this race 15 pounds heavier than I did last year.  I'm not happy about it and I"m trying to get the issue taken care of, but I won't lie I'm struggling with that one.  The older I get, it definitely gets harder and harder to take and keep the weight off.

I finished and got my awesome medal and then found Jim.  I was exhausted and glad to be done.   I ended up running into my friend Kelly who had gotten a new PR - Wahoo congrats!!!  She did awesome.  She hasn't been running long and this was only her third half marathon.  I also finally, finally got to  meet  Terzah - a former blogger that I know many of you know.  She was just as sweet in person as I knew she would be.  She enjoyed the race and said she may come back even though she had some cramping issues.
Me & Terzah

I found out later Allison also got a PR.  Wahoo!! It was a great day for many.  It wasn't a PR for me, but it was still a great day! It was a beautiful morning on a fantastic course doing my favorite local race, so I can't complain at all.
Gorgeous race medal
I'll be doing it all again this weekend! I  have another half marathon on Saturday.  Right now the weather looks pretty sketchy, but it poured and there was a huge storm last year - so statistically things are in our favor right??  I mean it can't storm 2 years in a row can it?  I sure hope not!

I had kind of lost count on my half marathons so I looked it up before this race.  This was my 32nd stand alone half marathon.  I also did a half marathon as part of my half Ironman and I ran 13.6 miles in a timed race.  So I don't know if I should call it #32 or # 34.  What do you guys think?  I figure when I hit 50 I should celebrate...but I'm not sure what I should consider #50.

I have 4 more half marathons
between now and the end of May. It's going to be a busy Spring!


April 13, 2015

SaltStick Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations Terry Coupe! You were the winner of my giveaway!  Sorry if I butchered your name....hopefully I pronounced it right!

Send me your mailing address and I'll ship these out to you right away!  Send it to  weatherlymh01 at yahoo dot com
video

Thanks to everyone who entered!  Have a great day.

I have a race recap of my Rock the Parkway half marathon coming soon!