Longview Half Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday, I completed the Longview Half Marathon, which was my 12th half marathon, and my last race of 2016.  Friday night, Mom and her friend Denise got to town, and we had dinner and set out our flat runners.  It was supposed to freeze in KC for the first time this fall, and was supposed to be around 38-40 degrees at the start.

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We got to Longview Lake around 7:00 Saturday morning, and watched the sun rise and waited for the race to start.  This was the third year for the Longview Half, and the weather was gorgeous for a fall half marathon along Longview Lake in South KC.  It was a bit chilly, and we stayed in the car until about 20 minutes before the race.  I think there were about 2000 people running, and I’m really glad Mom was able to come down for the weekend.

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Photo courtesy KC Run Co Smugmug.

One of the hills along the course is right about about a mile long, and the race has a “King/Queen of the Hill.”  There is a timing mat at the bottom of the hill, and again at the top.  This was a decent hill, and I was proud of myself for not walking it at all, even though I sure wanted to.  Here’s the hill, from the bottom:

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Photo courtesy Denise Orth.

By the time I got to the top of the mile long hill, around mile 3 or so, I was warm! It had warmed up a bit, and the sun felt warm, especially with the wind being blocked by the trees.  We turned around and went down the hill right after we got up it, so I spent most of the next mile taking off my shirt so I could take off my fleece lined base layer, and then putting my shirt/bib back on.  It was not as easy as it should have been, due to my gloves, visor, and earbud situation.  I finally got everything situated, and ran the rest of the race with my base shirt tied around my waist.

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Photo courtesy KC Run Co Smugmug.

Miles 4-9 were rolling hills along the roads around Longview Lake. I was kind of disappointed we didn’t see the lake at all until around mile 9.  Coincidentally, around mile 9 is when I kind of fell apart.  Miles 9-11 are along the dam, and it was more wide open, so the wind picked up a little, and though the lake was gorgeous, I was feeling fatigued, my hips were very tight, and there were a couple long inclines to get to the dam. I started walking just after 9 miles, and walked on and off for the last 4 miles.

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Photo courtesy Denise Orth.

I ended up coming through and feeling strong, but I did feel like the last 4 miles were a disappointment for me.  There was no reason that I stopped to walk.  I was not injured.. sure, my feet and hips were sore and tight, but there was nothing wrong.  My knee was acting up and achy, but there was nothing wrong.  Mentally, I decided that mile 9 was where I needed to stop and walk, and I let my mind win, and let my body lose.  I’m proud of myself for finishing.  This was my 12th half marathon, but I have a lot of work to do, mentally, to get where I want to be.

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Photo courtesy KC Run Co Smugmug.

After the race, I met up with Amy, Melissa, and Sandey, and then later, found John, and Mom and Denise.  We ended up hanging around and watching the rest of the half marathoners finish, and took some pictures by the lake before heading out.

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Left photo: Mom, Denise, Me, Amy, and John.  Right photo: Sandey, Melissa, Me, and Amy.

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Saturday night, after the race, Mom, Denise, Chris and I went out for Mexican, including yummy margaritas.  We did some shopping Saturday, too, and got pedicures, which felt amazing.

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Sunday morning, we went out for a shakeout run, and Chris joined us.  It was such a beautiful day on the trails, we even saw 5 deer!  Mom and Denise had to head home later on Sunday afternoon.

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Overall, I’m pleased with how the first 2/3 of the half marathon went, and I have a lot of work to do before my next half marathon, in April.

I’m also 95% sure I’ll be doing my first full marathon next spring, so I’m going to start training for that in January.  I’m glad to be done with races for a few months, I enjoyed all the races I had this year, but I’m ready for a quiet few months, especially with the holidays coming up!

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!

Dear Fall Running…

Dear Fall Running,

I love you.  I love the cool, crisp air, after a hot and steamy summer.  I love the leaves falling as I run, and crunching underfoot.  I love the smells of fall.  I love the feel of fall.  My lungs love running and being able to breathe.  My skin loves the cool breeze.  I love the colors of the leaves changing.  I love seeing the squirrels gathering nuts for the winter.

I simply love every single thing about fall running.  I have had such a great week of running, and it’s only half done!  I had a great long run last weekend, absolutely gorgeous run in the fall rain, followed by 5 miles each on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Each of those runs felt so amazing, like I could have kept going for twice as long.  I didn’t want the runs to end.  Compared to how difficult some of my runs felt in the heat of the summer, the runs this week were heaven.

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Running in the fall is the dessert of running.  I’m feeling rejuvenated and refreshed and ready for my two fall half marathons.  I’m ready to enjoy the best season for running.  The KC Half is 2 and a half weeks away, and I feel more ready and confident for this half marathon than I have for my previous 10 halves.  Then, 4 weeks later is the Longview Half.  I’m excited for these races, to treat them like the desserts of running, to thoroughly enjoy every mile of them, just as I’ve enjoyed every mile of these first fall runs.

I’m excited for fall running; I’m excited it’s finally here!  What is your favorite season for running?