Thursday Thoughts: October 23

Last weekend, of course, was the KC Half Marathon.  I’ve added the “official” race pictures to my race recap.  Be sure to go back and check them out!

It’s cooler outside, which means Jasper has turned into a snuggle bear.

Photo Oct 18, 4 41 49 PM

Photo Oct 16, 2 53 19 PM

Photo Oct 22, 7 56 44 PM

When Mom and Kristen were here for the Half Marathon last weekend, Kristen thought we would be crafty and make wreaths.  I was not so happy, but it was fun and I’m glad she made me do it.  It will be super cute on our front door for the holidays.  Kristen also made one for Mom, but hers wasn’t done when I snapped a pic.  Mine is on the left, Kristen’s is on the right.

Photo Oct 17, 9 39 04 PM

I went to my first ever KC Running Company Groupies Speed Night on Tuesday.  I’d gone to several Thursday night runs of 3 or so miles, and Sunday morning long runs, which are up to 12 miles.  Tuesday runs are at a nearby high school track, and Tuesday’s run was 400m repeats.  Now, let’s get one thing straight here, I don’t do speed.  I don’t do speed work… but as I now am preparing for the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon next spring, I desperately want to add some speed work and tempo runs to get in better shape and challenge myself to complete the distance with no walking.

The workout was as follows: Warmup, 3/4 mile running to the track from the KC Running Company store.  4 x 400m repeats at 5k pace (I ran each in just over 2 minutes, which is about an 8:30 per mile pace, which is speedy fast for me), with 200m recovery jog in between.  My recoveries started out as a slow run, but ended up being a walk by the last couple repeats.  Then cool down by running 3/4 mile back to the store.

I was wiped out by the end of this.  It felt really good though, to get it done.  I wore my Royals shirt for extra speed.  :)  I hope to go to a couple Tuesday speed nights each month.  Thanks KCRC for this amazing service!

Photo Oct 21, 7 20 06 PM

OH MY GOSH the trees are beyond gorgeous this fall.  So much color, reds, oranges, yellows.  Breathtaking.  I only had a few minutes to snap a couple pictures of the trees, but I could spend all day walking around, taking pictures of trees and leaves. I wish these pictures could do it justice, the trees are just amazing this fall.

Photo Oct 23, 5 06 11 PM

Photo Oct 23, 5 06 31 PM

Photo Oct 23, 5 07 42 PM

Photo Oct 23, 5 07 55 PM

Photo Oct 23, 5 08 29 PM

Photo Oct 23, 5 09 00 PM

Tonight was Ladies Night at KCRC, and New Balance hosted a wonderful night for us! There were chair massages, wine and pizza, samples of Honey Stinger products, and a fun fashion show of New Balance gear.  Lots of giveaways, including free massages, free New Balance gear, and race entries… and I even won a free pair of cold weather tights!  It was a ton of fun, I’m so thankful that KC Running Company is so close and so great, and that these amazing companies can get together for giveaways and fun events like this.

Photo Oct 23, 7 34 04 PM

Photo Oct 23, 7 31 03 PM

James and I are driving home this weekend to spend time with family, see my Granddad inducted into the FHSU Hall of Fame, see a FHSU game, and drink at least 4 snoballs.  For those of you who don’t know, snoballs are pretty much the best drink ever.. frozen pop, but it’s not an ICEE, and not a freezee, it’s just the one and only Snoball, only served at Cerv’s.  Mmmmm!

Have a great weekend!!

Kansas City Half Marathon

Last weekend was the Kansas City Marathon, and I completed my second half marathon! Mom and Kristen traveled to KC for the race, and we got to hang out all weekend! Thursday night, we had a chance to run with the KCRC Groupies at Martin City.  There was a fantastic turn out (the pic below is just a few of us at the end), and we had pizza and beer after.  Thanks KCRC and Martin City Pizza Co!

10550192_10152751029284354_1495246031197558447_o

Friday morning, we went to the Marathon Expo.  Mom and I had never been to a race expo before, so that was a ton of fun.  We got our packets and shirts, spent some time and money at the KCRC store and the “custom shirts” store.  Mom and I also signed up for our next half marathon, the Rock the Parkway half marathon next April.

Photo Oct 17, 1 21 39 PM

Once we finished up at the expo, we drove around the Plaza a bit, had some lunch, and went back to my apartment to rest our legs for the half marathon Saturday.  We also had to lay out our “flat runners” in preparation for Saturday morning.  I was proud and happy that we all wore KCRC shirts.

Photo Oct 19, 2 29 37 PM

Saturday morning, we were up at 5:00, and out the door by 5:30 ish, heading to Crown Center for the start of the race.  James was kind enough to come with us to spectate.  What a trooper, up at 5:00am on a Saturday morning to stand around waiting for us to run by him for 5 seconds.

Photo Oct 18, 6 50 39 AM

Kristen had written “For Dad” and “Cancer Sucks” on Mom’s calves, and I wrote “For Grandpa” on my hand by my watch.  It was very touching during the race, many people came up behind Mom and I and spoke to Mom, or placed their hands on her shoulders.  There were many kind words about sending prayers for Grandpa, all from fellow runners during the race.  It was really special to see.

Photo Oct 20, 8 12 57 PM

James saw us run by 3-4 times I think, in different parts of the course.  Our “official” race photos won’t be up until later this week, so I only have photos taken by James for this post.  If any of the professional photos turn out, I’ll put them in here too! This was around mile 2 or 3.  Still smiling.  :)

Photo Oct 18, 7 28 41 AM

Mom and I tried to stick to our pre-race plan  of sticking together and running 2 miles at the beginning, then using a 4 minute run alternating with 2 minutes of walking to complete the rest of the race.  About halfway through the race, Mom convinced me to continue without her, as she was struggling a bit with the 4/2 plan.  I was feeling pretty good, so I went on without her.

Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

Shortly after I left her, I started struggling too.  The hills, the lack of training properly, and just not being in the right shape to conquer the race got to me, and I ended up having to walk quite a bit more than I hoped. I was also battling being cold.  I thought I had dressed appropriately, but my hands and ears were cold the whole race.  I’m sure if I ran more, my  hands would have kept warm.  I nearly (x50) picked up a pair of throw away gloves that someone ditched, but just kept the forward progress as my goal.

At about the halfway mark, I thought a PR might be within reach, and I gave it a good effort to keep pushing, but by mile 8, I accepted that I wouldn’t PR, but wanted to finish as strong as I could.

ebc0cc5fc4eceb71167e8d44e1b2944a

Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

By the end of the race, I just wanted to be finished! The arches of my feet hurt more than anything, but I remember feeling decidedly stronger than my first half marathon this past April.  I saw Kristen and James at about mile 13, and  the finishing chute was lined with hundreds of spectators.  It was a really cool finish, lots of love and cheering.

Photo Oct 18, 10 18 28 AM

I was freezing after the race, and just could not get warm.  I’m so thankful the race had heat sheets.  I’d always thought they were a little silly, people wrapping up in shiny sheets, but it did help me stay warm!  Mom and Kristen both PR’d on this course, I’m so proud of both of them! Congrats Mom and congrats Kristen, you guys are amazing.

During the race, there were 4 or 5 areas that had either live music or DJ’s.  It was really cool to see people singing or dancing during the race.  The aid stations were also run so well, with gatorade or water, some had fruit, and there were restrooms too.  There was also countless random “GO ROYALS” cheers and signs on the course.  The volunteers, crowd, and spectators were amazing, all of it really made it the best atmosphere for a race.

Photo Oct 18, 10 22 33 AM

Photo Oct 19, 2 24 42 PM

After the race, we walked around a little, got our free BBQ sandwich and beer (Kristen and I gave our beers to James), and changed out of our wet, cold, sweaty clothes.  There was live music, massage stations, and food at the finish festival.

Congratulations, especially to Erica Staab who completed her first half marathon in KC, and to Mom and Kristen for their shiny new PRs.  I had lots of friends who ran, and I’m so proud of all of you!  We saw a few friends and old classmates at the finish festival, had our picture taken, and headed home to shower.

c0d18bb0c66c2c9110e08cf85ce35b70

Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

We all showered and laid around for a bit after the race, then went to dinner and got to bed early.

Sunday morning, we had a short shake out run, and I was stiff, but it felt pretty good, especially by the end.  Kristen and Mom headed home Sunday evening.  It was a really great weekend, I’m so thankful Mom and Kristen came to KC and that we ran together and CAN run together.

Photo Oct 19, 10 09 56 AM

Overall, the course was quite hilly, but also insanely beautiful.  This being my second half marathon, I can say I definitely loved the crowd support and running through the city, compared to the solo running and wide open spaces of the Eisenhower Half Marathon.  Both races have been so special to me, but I can confidently say I will conquer the KC Half Marathon again!

Now, 2 days after the race, I can say easily this half marathon was easier on my body than Eisenhower, but I am still pretty far away from the shape I need to be in for Rock the Parkway next April.  I plan to use the next 6 months to build a strong and true running base, increase my mileage to 10-12 miles for long runs, and get in some much needed speed work and tempo runs.

Photo Oct 19, 2 05 10 PM

Photo Oct 19, 2 10 51 PM

Did you race last weekend? Do you like hilly courses?  Only 6 months until the Boston Marathon!

Thursday Thoughts: October 16

My Aunt Debi gave me a very old FHSU shirt a while ago, I’m not sure how old it is, but probably from the late 90’s? I love the logo! I wore it in KC last weekend to celebrate FHSU Homecoming! Go Tigers!

Photo Oct 11, 11 03 04 AM

I have a #throwbackthursday for today. A couple days ago my Timehop showed me a photo from 7 years ago, when Mom, Dad, Kristen and I went to a Huskers Game with Grandma and Granddad and Great Uncle and Aunt Lyle and Diann.  We’ve gone to several games over the years, but it’s been a long time since we all went together.  If I remember, the Huskers lost this game, but we still had a great time!Photo Oct 14, 8 46 57 AMThe other day, there was something (someone) in my fridge that should not be in my fridge.  Nearly every time I open the door, he’s there wanting to get in! I was putting water bottles on the bottom shelf, so the door was open for a couple minutes, and he took the opportunity to jump right in.

Photo Oct 12, 12 15 42 PM

Last weekend, James saw a tweet by The Oatmeal, he was in KC and had a book signing in the Plaza.  We didn’t really have much else going on, so we headed over to the Plaza, listened to him speak a little, and bought a couple books and had him sign them!  He drew a blerch (and blerch butt) in my book!

If you don’t know who The Oatmeal is, his name is Matthew Inman, he is an internet comic and artist.  James and I have liked reading his comics for a long time, and often send them back and forth to each other.  James bought The Oatmeal’s first book, “5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin In the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides),” and I bought his most recent book, “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.”

Photo Oct 12, 10 42 40 PM

It turned into a fun little outing, especially because after we met the Oatmeal and had our books signed, James treated me to Build a Bear to make Toothless! We both LOVE How to Train Your Dragon, and after the second movie was in theaters this summer, he saw that Build a Bear had them, but it was so popular it sold out immediately.  He found out recently they were back in stock, and surprised me by going to get one!

Photo Oct 14, 8 08 22 PM

ROYALS FEVER!! Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals made history by winning the ALCS and making it to the World Series for the first time in 29 years.  They also set the record for 8 wins in a row in the Post Season, something never done before!  Congrats, Kansas City, I’m so proud and excited to live in this city during this time.  The energy around the city is amazing, there are signs up everywhere, the busses around town say “Go Royals,” the fountains are even blue.  It’s truly an amazing time, and I’m proud to Be Royal!

10259703_10152793934598373_6641931878804908708_n

Tonight, I can’t wait to take Mom and Kristen with me to the KCRC Groupies run, which happens to be at Martin City, which is close by; there will be free pizza and beer after!  It’s shaping up to be quite a busy and fun weekend with the race!  See my KC Half Marathon preview here.  Good luck to everyone running the Kansas City Marathon this weekend, and to all other runners racing or running this weekend.