September Roundup

September has come to an end, and I have some numbers rounded up to recap my month in running.  As always, you can catch up on my previous months’ recaps here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and August.  I am not running tonight, but will be attending a yoga class, so let’s take a look at my numbers for September.

I ran exactly 90 miles this month!  September’s 90 miles puts me at 713 miles for the year so far.  My goal is to reach 950 miles this year, and with three months left, I need to average at least 79 miles per month in October, November, and December to reach at least 950.  And, if I average at least 96 miles per month over the last 3 months of the year, I will get to 1000 miles for the year, which would be amazing!  I am really excited to hit the quadruple digits!Photo Sep 20, 9 33 49 AMSeptember was a very busy month, race wise!  The final two races of the Heartland 30k series, the Plaza 10k (10k PR!) and the Broadway Bridge 10k were in September, as was the Labor Day 5k.  I ran with the KC Running Co. Groupies 8 times, including 4 speed work sessions with the Groupies.  I missed most of the long Sunday runs, because of the Labor Day holiday weekend and then the two 10k races on Sundays.  I ran with Mom 3 times, when she was here over the Labor Day weekend, and finished the Labor Day 5k with her as well.  My longest run was 8 miles, on September 27th, with Amy at the KC Running Co. Sunday Groupie run.11994276_10100330663989283_814193399_n12025327_10100333951166753_1263268631_n12026654_10100336840591323_866744501_nI’ve still been seeing my chiropractor about once a week, still working on my right glute and left IT band issues.  I have (I should say, my chiropractors have) been making significant progress, and I’m doing much better… just trying to get that last 10% or so fixed.

I have also continued to practice yoga about once a week, and even got to attend a yoga class on the outfield at the K.  I missed my weekly yoga class twice during September, both due to running conflicts – celebrating KC Running Co.’s birthday at the Leawood store, and then a run and Running Healthy clinic with Golden Harper, the founder of Altra Running.Photo Sep 06, 9 21 48 AMDuring the month of September, I attempted to cut out sweets – pop, candy, donuts, etc.  I was successful for about a week to 10 days, but wasn’t able to make it the entire month.  I have drastically cut back on my sweets, which is a huge improvement, and I will continue to try to limit them, as I do feel better without sugar slogging me down.

The only other thing to share for September is that I treated my body and mind to a wonderful massage, something I get done about once a year, but could definitely use about once every 2-3 months!12016705_10100333951201683_1917265412_nLooking to October, I am visiting my sister in Milwaukee, and hope to get in a 10 mile long run before volunteering at the finish line of the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.  I am also running the KC Half Marathon, and hope to earn a shiny new PR!

How was your September? What are you looking forward to for October?

Broadway Bridge 10k Race Recap

And with the Broadway Bridge 10k this morning, the Heartland 30k Series is officially over!  This fall, KC Running Company put on a 30k series, consisting of 3 10k races in 4 weeks around the Kansas City area. The Dot to Dot 10k was first, on August 29 (race recap), followed by the Plaza 10k on September 13 (race recap).

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The Broadway Bridge 10k and Half Marathon had an early start time of 7:00am.  I was up way before the sun came up, and found this sweet present from Jasper when I woke up.  Let me explain: I always lay out my race clothes the night before the race, pin my bib on, and set out my shoes, watch, and other accessories.  My shoes were sitting next to each other by the ottoman in my living room, and when I went to get dressed, I found a little orange mousey and a tipped over shoe.  He seemed pretty pleased with himself.

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Amy and I arrived at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts around 6:15am, and the sun was just starting to color the sky.

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Photo courtesy Run and Shoot Freelance Collective and KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy Run and Shoot Freelance Collective and KC Running Co.

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We walked around a little bit, used the bathrooms (a must before any race), and lined up to start.  The National Anthem was played on a trumpet, which was something unique, and as always, gave me goosebumps.  Shortly after, the race began, uphill, of course.  The 10k course was probably the hilliest course I’ve ever ran on (233 feet of elevation difference), including Hospital Hill (199 feet of elevation difference), Rock the Crossroads, and the KC Half Marathon.  It was a hill hell!

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I don’t usually take pictures while running races.  I do while running with the Groupies, but haven’t taken one while in a race.  I knew, after the first mile, that this race would not be a PR.  But, with a pretty big PR last week at the Plaza 10k, I was just fine with settling in for a nice hard run, and was able to take in the sights.  This course was a really pretty course, including running over the Broadway Bridge to the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport. I couldn’t resist taking out my phone to take a photo of a breathtakingly beautiful sunrise.

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Miles 1 to 2.5 or so took us from the Kauffman Center to the Broadway Bridge, around a bit of the airport, and then back up the Broadway Bridge, which is at more of an incline than you’d think just by looking at it!  Mile 3 was entirely uphill, or so it felt.  I rounded the corner after the 3 mile water stop, and basically looked straight up.

I walked up that hill.  It was steep.  For those of you familiar with downtown Kansas City, the insane hill I’m speaking of is on 7th St. between Broadway Blvd. and Pennsylvania Ave.  The hill continued to go basically straight up on Pennsylvania Ave. once we turned south.  Insane. Hill.  And what goes up… must come down.  That downhill was also so steep, I don’t know how anyone could possibly get up that hill in the icy wintertime!  It was so steep, my knees and hips hurt while running down, while I was focusing very intensely on not tripping, because I would have rolled and tumbled ALL the way down!

Photo courtesy Run and Shoot Freelance Collective and KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy Run and Shoot Freelance Collective and KC Running Co.

Around mile 4.5 or 5, we crossed over a bridge and headed back north toward the Kauffman Center.  The view of the city was so pretty, that I grabbed my phone for another quick picture of the skyline.  The last mile plus was generally uphill again, all the way to the finish line!

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I finished the race with the slowest 10k time of the three in the series.  I got faster time, though, than my previous 10ks before this series (the Groundhog 10k was my previous PR before the Heartland Series).  Overall, I was happy with my time, considering the hills, and that I walked probably about a half mile up up UP one of those hills.

Photo courtesy Run and Shoot Freelance Collective and KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy Run and Shoot Freelance Collective and KC Running Co.

I met up with Amy and Mark after the race, and we were awarded our Broadway Bridge medals and 30k medals, and were able to pose for some photos in front of the backdrop.

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I also met a reader who came up and introduced herself, which was really neat.  After some chocolate milk, water, and recapping our races with friends, Amy and I headed back to my apartment.

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The first thing I had to do when I got home was put all my 30k series medals on, and have Amy take a picture.  I got’s so much bling I got’s a neck ache!  We rolled out, compared pictures, and I put my bib in my bib book.

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Later on, after a short nap, Amy and I pampered our legs and feet with a pedicure, ran some errands, then when I got home, I promptly put my compression sleeves on! Jasper approved, I think.

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I’m SO glad I did the 30k series, this was the first race series I’ve ever done.  It was challenging, fun, and very rewarding to accomplish, especially with my KCRC Groupie friends.

Next race, the KC Half Marathon, in 4 weeks!

2015 Plaza 10k Race Recap

The Plaza 10k took place over the weekend, and it’s time for a race recap!  I ran this race last year, my recap is here.  The Plaza 10k this year was 10k two out of three in the Heartland 30k series.  The first 10k was the Dot to Dot 10k, (recap here) and next week is the final race, the Broadway Bridge 10k.

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Sunday morning came super early, and I, for one, was not quite ready to get up!  Jasper and I enjoyed some chilly temps before I left for the race with Amy.

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Amy and I parked on the Plaza, and walked around for a while to keep warm and get our legs ready for the race.  After a quick bathroom trip, we were ready to go, with over 3000 of our closest running friends.  The Plaza 10k is a relatively young race; this year was the 5th year for the race.  KC Running Co. runs this event, and it’s very well run, organized, and on time.  12033506_10100333975393203_102643097_n

The location for the race, the Country Club Plaza, is just gorgeous, and this is one of the prettiest courses I’ve had the opportunity to run.  We ran on beautiful tree lined streets, by the the Nelson Atkins, the JC Nichols Fountain, and Brush Creek.  There were also lots of spectators and fun signs to read on the way by.  Both last year and this year, I’ve enjoyed the course immensely, and the weather in early to mid September is just perfect.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

My number one goal for this 10k was to run it all.  Before the Plaza 10k this past weekend, I have completed 5 10ks, and I’ve walked in all of them except one.  I know I am capable of running 6+ miles, I’ve done it before, but something always makes me walk (usually my mind!).  There was no reason to walk during the Dot to Dot 10k two weeks ago, yet I did.  I had several pep-talks to myself during the week leading up to this 10k and was determined to not walk.

My second goal for a 10k is to get under 62 minutes; I would LOVE to be under an hour, but my goal for 2015 is to get under 62 minutes.  I didn’t know if this would be possible at this race, but I knew my my previous PR would likely be smashed if I could run the whole thing without walking.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

 Around mile 2.5.  Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

As I said before, the weather couldn’t have been any more perfect.  I was running steady, and felt good through the halfway 5k point.  In the first half, there is one fairly significant hill, but it didn’t go on too long, and was really not as bad as I remembered from last year, plus I have had a year full of hill training since last year’s Plaza 10k, when the KC hills were still new to me.

Around mile 3.5 or so, I saw Amy up ahead of me.  There was a gradual downhill before turning onto Swope Parkway, and I caught up to her by the second water stop, just after mile 4  I wanted to surprise her, as we’ve never finished a race together before.  I tucked in a step or two behind her, and shadowed her for the next two miles.

In hindsight, I should have popped up next to her, and kept my good-feeling pace up, but Amy was trucking along at a good clip too, so at the time, it felt like a good idea to tuck in and let her lead me.  Funny thing about this photo below, she had NO idea I was there.  None, whatsoever.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

I continued to follow Amy through miles 4-6, just as step or two behind her (I have absolutely NO idea how she didn’t feel me right there behind her… she was in her zone, and her music must have drowned out everything else!).  We made it up the long, gentle hill on Swope, and around to Brookside Blvd. With just under a quarter mile of sweet, sweet downhill left, I popped up next to Amy, and she yelled so loudly!  We ran step for step down to the finish line, and finished hand in hand, for the first time ever.

Photos courtesy KC Running Co.

Photos courtesy KC Running Co.

I PR’d by 4 minutes and 27 seconds, beating my PR that I earned 2 weeks ago at Dot to Dot 10k.  I beat my last year’s Plaza 10k time by 7 minutes and 31 seconds.  The official time was 1:03:00, and my goal of 62 minutes was missed by 60 seconds.  Could I have run 62 minutes, I think I could have,  My decision to tuck in with Amy and not truly push through the last 2 miles may have cost me a minute or so on my time, but the feeling of crossing the finish line with her was amazing, and likely won’t happen again for a while! I still remember when Mom and I crossed the finish line of a couple 5k’s together, and it’s really a special feeling.

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I met up with a friend (great job Paul!) while Amy and I were receiving our medals, and shortly after, met up with some KC Running Co. Groupie friends.  We drank our celebratory chocolate milk, got our finish time slips, and had some photos taken.

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A very scary, but amazing thing happened while we were chatting with friends.  A 10k finisher crossed the line and collapsed, and a few seconds later, CPR and chest compressions were being preformed by spectators and EMT’s.  Several minutes later, an ambulance and fire truck arrived, and he was taken away, while chest compressions were still being performed.  I later learned that he was stable at a nearby hospital, but I don’t know who he is, or precisely what happened.  If you could keep him and his family, and those who jumped in to care for him in your thoughts and prayers, I know it will help him continue to fight to be well again.

After everything settled down, we watched the Kids Run, talked with a few more friends, and made our way home.  Later, I was looking through last year’s 10k pictures, and made the collage below, comparing last year to this year.  I don’t generally post transformation pictures, because to me, it doesn’t seem like much has transformed, but looking at a 1 year span, I can see many things are different within myself, both inside and out.  I feel pride when looking at what has changed in the last year, and I also feel hope and joy for the journey that I am on.

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Next Sunday is the Broadway Bridge 10k, the final 10k of the 30k series.  My hope is that the weather is just as gorgeous as it was for the Plaza 10k.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull out a 3rd straight 10k PR, I guess all we can do is wait and see!