Last weekend, I ran the KC Half Marathon for the third year in a row (see my 2014 recap here and my 2015 recap here). As in previous years, I went downtown for packet pickup. Chris and I checked out the expo for a bit, got our packets, and headed home for a spaghetti dinner. After setting out my flat runner, it was early(ish) to bed.
It was much warmer this year, compared to last year’s frigid temps. It was warm enough for a tank top; I wish it would have been a bit chillier, it kind of felt more like late spring than early fall. I went to the race with Chris and Amy, and after using the bathrooms and checking our bags, we made our way into the corrals. The race started right on time, with fireworks going off at the start!
I started off and stuck to my paces, slower than previous halves, as I was trying to run the whole half marathon without walking. The course was pretty familiar to me, having done it twice before. I made it through Hospital Hill, Liberty Hill, and Trinity Hill with no problems. I was enjoying the race signs, listening to snippets of conversations as I passed people and as they passed me, listening to my music, and enjoying the course.
I knew by about mile 5 that this was not my race. Since the start of the race, I’d not had any pep in my calves; my hips had been aching, my calves felt like rocks, and I just felt sluggish, overall. I continued to watch my paces, trying to focus on something other than how my legs felt. By the time I got to the Plaza, about halfway, I was feeling chilled, and had goosebumps on my arms. I had the beginnings of dizziness, and at about mile 7, I stopped to walk.
My number 1 goal for this half marathon was to run it all without walking. I felt so defeated, mentally. I have had so many great training runs preparing for this half marathon, and I felt really confident that I could finally reach this goal. My secondary goal was to PR, and my third goal was to finish the half. When I started walking, I knew my #1 and #2 goals were out the window. I honestly didn’t even really want to finish, I was just defeated.
I spent the last 6 miles walking and running, with more walking than running. My back and feet began aching, because of all the walking. I continued my walk/run/walk/run until I was about a half mile from the finish, and ran it in. I finished, and felt happy that I had finished, but frustrated and upset and disappointed in myself at my performance. I got my medal, water, and heat sheet, and made my way to find Amy and Chris.
Let’s just talk about Chris for a sec. He finished his first half marathon, and killed it! He beat all of his goals, and felt awesome the whole time. I am so proud of him, for training and achieving this, for pushing me to run longer, for being there for me after my bad race, and for signing up for another half, so we can keep running together. He did so great, I can’t say enough.
Overall, I’m happy I did the race, and I’m happy I finished. I’ve reflected a lot this week about this half marathon, and the 10 previous halves. I’m proud of myself every time for finishing a half marathon, because it is no small feat. I know I didn’t have the day I trained for, but I know that day will come for me. I’m going to keep running, to keep training, and keep making my mind stronger, because I know it is my mind that gives up far before my body, and I need to learn to be stronger than my mind thinks I am.
I love the KC Half, it’s one of my very favorite KC races. I hope to continue to keep doing this race every fall. Amy, Chris, and I made our way back home after the race, and now my medal is proudly hanging with my other half marathon medals.
I have one more half marathon to run this year, the Longview Half Marathon, in 3 weeks. I’m really excited that Mom is coming down for Longview, it will be great to experience Longview with her – neither of us have ran this race before. Longview Lake, here we come!