The October Run Down

Hello November! October was quite a good month, in terms of running! I finished the month with 105 miles, which ties March’s total for the most miles in a month this year.  Catch up with my previous months’ recaps here:January, FebruaryMarch, AprilMay, June, JulyAugust, and September.

With 105 miles for October, my yearly total is now 861 miles! I am right on track to crush my long time goal of reaching 1000 miles in a year! I will have to average 70 miles for November and December to get to that magical 1000 number.

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October started out with an amazing 10 miler in Hays, with Chris and Momma.  We were in Hays for Oktoberfest, and had a very chilly, great feeling 10 miler to start off our weekend and the month.  Sunday morning I ran another 5 miles with Mom.  I cherish our runs together becuase they don’t happen as often as they used to.

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I had 1 race in October, the KC Half.  This was my third year running the half marathon, and it was my slowest time due to several struggles I had.  Chris ran his very first half marathon and CRUSHED it!  My full race recap is here.

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I only ran with the KC Running Co. Groupies once, but got in lots of great solo runs and lots of great runs with Chris.  I also only made it to a cycle class once in October.  I need to get back to regularly going to cycle, it is such great cross training.

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My longest solo run was 9 miles, on Oct. 29.  I had a 10 miler with Chris on Oct. 1, and I also had two 7 milers thrown in during October, along with the half marathon.  I have definitely gained some endurance over the last few months, by slowing my runs down and going for longer, slower distances.  Because of the slow down, I have also been enjoying my runs more.

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Looking forward to November, I have 1 half marathon planned, the Longview Half Marathon at Longview Lake in Lee’s Summit.  This will be the third year for this race (I think), but my first year running it.  Other than that race, I plan to keep working on my endurance, time on my feet, and feeling stronger in my runs.

October Run-Down:
Running: 21 runs, totaling 105 miles.
Cycling: 1 cycle class, 30 minutes, totaling 7.5 miles
Longest Run: 10 miles, October 1st, in Hays.
Races: KC Half Marathon

2016 KC 13.1 Race Recap

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

13.1 Tips for a Successful 13.1

It’s fall racing season! I have a half marathon coming up this weekend, and another in about a month.  Lots of my friends have been running half marathons and full marathons and doing so awesome!  The KC Half Marathon this weekend will be my 11th half.  I am not an expert by any means, but I have learned a fair deal about running half marathons, and these reminders are as much for me as for someone tackling their first half marathon!

1.  Nothing new on race day! No new clothes, no new foods, no new pre-race rituals… nothing new! Practice what you’ve been using during training runs.  And practice different things during training to see what works and what doesn’t.

2.  Arrive to the race plenty early.  Limit your race-day stress.  Get to the race and parked with plenty of time to make your way to the start line, use the restroom, check your bag, and warm up.

3.  Have extra safety pins, extra fuel, extra clothes.  I will bring my closet with me to a race, I’ll have extra clothes for after the race, including sandals, but I’ll also have body glide, safety pins, extra gloves, extra gu, etc. Just. In. Case.

4.  Have multiple goals.  I always have a goal of trying to PR, of course.  But some days, it just isn’t in the cards.  It could be too hot, too cold, too windy, or my legs may feel extra heavy, or I may not have trained well enough.  So I always have multiple goals.  Goal 1: PR. Goal 2: secondary time goal, or other goal, such as running it all, etc. Goal 3: FINISH.

5.  Start SLOW! It is so easy to get caught up in the race-start-excitement.  Start slow, slower than you think, because you can’t bank time! Running slower conserves energy, then you can push it when you need to.  On the contrary, if you start out too quickly, you risk burn out, and the second half of your race could be very painful.

6.  Hydrate often.  I take water/gatorade at every water stop.  I might not drink it all, but I take it, even just for a sip.  It’s important to not fall behind and be feeling super thirsty, because that can signal dehydration, plus you’ll be more apt to drink too much and then feel sick.

7.  Run your race, run your pace.  Just because someone else is running faster, slower, easier, etc, does not mean you need to stick with them or try to pass them.  Run your own race.  Everyone is out there for themselves, so don’t concern yourself with trying to “win,” because for almost everyone out there, it’s about completing the race and competing against yourself.

8.  Stick to your fueling plan.  Same as hydration, stick to your plan.  You’ve (hopefully) been working with fuel on your long runs, so you should know how much fuel you need, and when.

9.  Enjoy the run; run in the mile you’re in. If you’re having the race of your life, enjoy each mile and enjoy the run! If you’re having a rough race, stick to each mile, and focus on that mile only, to get you through.

10.  Keep a steady effort up hills and down hills.  Don’t worry about pace on the uphills, but keep your effort steady.  That way, when you reach the top, you won’t be dead, and then you can coast on the downhill and make up some of the time.  Keep your effort steady, and the pace will even itself out.

11.  When you start to fatigue, think about why you started running, why you signed up for this race.  When you want to walk, when you want to quit, think about why you started running, why you signed up for the race, and who you are running for.  Use the support of others to push yourself through.

12.  Smile when you see race photographers, cute kids, funny signs.  Smile at everyone! The spectators, volunteers, and police are all out there for everyone running, so thank them, smile, and enjoy it all.  Racing is something special, so definitely smile at everyone!

13.  Run happy, this race is a celebration of all your hard work and training. Enjoy every step!

and 13.1  Sign up for your next race!

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Do you have any tips and tricks for racing? Good luck to everyone racing this fall!!