Diva Dash & Blacklight Run Race Recaps

Saturday morning, I ran the Diva Dash 5k, then Saturday night, I ran the Blacklight Run 5k!  I have 2 race recaps and lots of pictures from my double race Saturday to share!

Amy and I won entries to the Diva Dash 5k, so there was no better plan than to run it together! It was a relatively chilly morning, for August, and it was misty and overcast.  We started conservatively, and picked up the pace each mile to end up with perfect negative splits (each mile was 30 seconds faster than the previous).  We came across the line in my second fastest 5k time, so I was thrilled, especially since I wasn’t in the mood to race!!

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After the race, we met up with Sandey and Melissa, and ended up going to brunch after the race.  Side note, there was SO MUCH PINK and SO MANY TUTUS at this race.  Pink overload, for sure.  (Sidenote: notice how I’m the only one not in pink! Stand out people!)

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5k #1 of the day DONE!

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Saturday evening, I met up with Michelle and lots of her Y friends to run the Blacklight Run 5k.  We ate a quick dinner a coupe hours before the race, then headed out to Sandstone Amphitheater for the race.  (Sidenote: notice how I’m dressed differently than everyone else.  Stand out people!)

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I ran into Derek before the race, this was his 24th 5k of the year!

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The weather was beyond perfect.  The sun had come out Saturday afternoon and burned off some of the humidity.  It was cool, breezy, and perfect.  Such amazing and unseasonable weather for August.

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I ran perfect negative splits (this time each mile was 20 seconds faster than the previous) again for this race, totally unplanned – I was tired and didn’t want to run a second 5k on Saturday, but pushed and ended up besting my 5k time from Saturday morning to pull out my new second best 5k time, only 20 seconds away from my 5k PR, which I was really proud of, considering I had already ran a 5k earlier in day!

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We all got back together after the race and celebrated by watching the after party, complete with exploding color packets, blacklights, and loud music.  We headed home a little while later, and I promptly showered and went to bed.

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5k #2 of the day done!

Running 2 5k’s in a day was fun, but not really something I’m looking to do again anytime soon! It was a tiring day.  It was really fun to run with lots of different people at different races.

Have you ever ran 2 races in 1 day before? I’ve done 2 races in a weekend before, but never 2 in a day!

The April Run Down

April is over already, and as Justin Timberlake says, “It’s gonna be MAY!”

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April started off with a bunch of group fitness classes! On Saturday, April 2, I did 30 minutes of cycling at my gym, before going to Michelle’s gym and doing a 30 minute Pound class and a 30 minute Kettlebell class, then running with Amy! It was a crazy day, and I was sore Sunday!

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I ran a total of 98 miles for April.  To be honest, I strongly considered running 2 more miles to make it an even 100, but with a long run on May 1, and with a really peaceful attitude about running lately, I decided it didn’t truly matter if I got 100 miles or 98, or 40.

I’m happy with my running right now, it’s feeling pretty good, and strong, and I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing!  So I ended with 98 miles for the month, which puts me at 309 for 2016.  After two months of low miles in January and February, I was happy to hit 105 in March, and 98 this month. I didn’t make it to as many cycling classes this month, but had some strong sessions for April.

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My knee has continued to feel pretty good, and I’m trying stretch to keep it feeling good.  I had 2 races in April, the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, where I did walk more than I wanted, but came out with my second fastest half marathon.  I have two weeks before Running with the Cows, and then 3 week after that is Hospital Hill!

I ran with the KC Running Co. groupies 5 times in April, and I had a handful of solo runs as well as many runs with friends.  I’ve continued to try to run a bit longer than I used to, running 5 miles on a weeknight instead of 3-4, and trying to run a mile or two longer on my long weekend runs.  I really feel strong lately, I think it’s a combination of running a bit longer, and also running a bit slower.

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Looking forward to May, I’m really excited for my entire family to come to KC for Running with the Cows! Mom and Dad are driving down, and Mom will run the half marathon.  Kristen is also flying in, and she’ll race the 5k.  I’ll be going home for Memorial Day, so I’m also looking forward to running with Mom!  How was your April? What races do you have coming up?

April Run-Down:
Running: 21 runs, totaling 98 miles.
Cycling: 6 cycling classes, 4 hours, and a few bike commutes to work, totaling 59.5 miles.
Longest Run: 9 miles, April 23
Races: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon and the Trolley Run 4 Miler

Rock the Parkway 2016

Last Saturday, I ran the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon for the second time.  Rock the Parkway, in it’s 7th year, is one of the largest and best run races in the Midwest.  There was a half marathon and a 5k option.  I felt like I had a little something to make up, after a personally frustrating Rock the Parkway experience last year, due to a head cold that was plaguing me during the race weekend.

Friday, after work, we checked out the expo, picked up our packets and some fun KC run local shirts.  Amy and I had a quite delicious spaghetti dinner, complete wth garlic bread and wine.  Then, it was time for bed.  I laid out Flat Runner Renee, and headed to bed.

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5:30 came very early on Saturday morning, and I got ready to go, and Amy and I headed out to the race.  Parking was no problem, and we had about 40 minutes before the race to use the bathrooms, check our bags, and try to keep warm.  It was a bit chilly, around 35 degrees, but it was sunny.  The cooler than expected weather, and the promise of warmer temps at the finish made me second guess my outfit a bit, but after adding throw-away gloves and an ear warmer, I was set.  After one last bathroom trip, we made our way to the corrals, and a few minutes later, the race started!

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If only a half marathon was 8 miles, this race would have been the best ever.  The first half of the race, for me, was picture perfect.  Miles 1-2, I stayed slow and steady, got into a good groove, and ended up tossing my gloves and taking off my ear warmer.  Miles 3-5, again, were great.  My splits had picked up a little bit, but I felt comfortable, I was enjoying the scenery; I was taking water/gatorade while running through every aid station, and had downed my first gu with no problems.  There are a few rolling hills, nothing too terrible, during the first 5 miles.

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Photo courtesy Backprint Photography and KC Running Company.

After mile 5, we turned to head toward Loose Park, the hills were still rolling at this point, but were a bit steeper.  There was a beer aid station around mile 5.5, which made me chuckle, as it did last year.  The spectators were great, and the signs were funny.  The race was going splendidly.  Miles 6-8 were good, though I was starting to have the itch to walk. I expected this, because my longest training run has only been 8 miles.

 

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Photo courtesy Backprint Photography and KC Running Company.

Near the end of mile 7, I began to get a bit dizzy.  Nothing like the KC Half Marathon last fall – that was a very dizzy feeling.  When a bit of dizziness came on Saturday, I slowed, and then walked.  I still don’t know what is causing the dizziness, as it only comes during long long runs, but I’m going to experiment with taking salt/electrolyte pills, as I think I may be sweating out too much sodium (I am a very salty sweater, and I begin sweating very quickly).

Once I walked, I feel like the drive fizzled out of me.  I continued with a run/walk/run through the last 4-5 miles, becoming frustrated with myself for not pushing through.  Mentally, I have a lot of work to do to improve my half marathons.  Physically, I know I am in better running shape than I was last fall, and better yet than I was last year when I ran Rock the Parkway, and even better yet, I’m in much better shape than when I did my first half marathon 2 years ago… but mentally, I have a long way to go.  I am confident that if I am not dizzy, I can physically complete a half marathon with no or minimal walking.  However, mentally, I struggle, and once I let myself walk that first time, it feels like it’s all over.

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Photo courtesy Backprint Photography and KC Running Company.

Mental rant aside, I finished the last 4-5 miles as strongly as I could, for me, on that day, during that race.  I finished the race with my second fastest half marathon time overall, which makes me happy, and shows my progress, considering I walked at least 3-4 times more than I did in October, when I finished the KC Half Marathon a mere 4 minutes faster.

I met up with Amy, and several other running friends, after the race.  Lots of my friends had huge PR’s; I’m so proud of all of you!  We got changed into some dry, warm clothes, enjoyed our chocolate milk, and celebrated our half marathons!

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Compared with last year’s Rock the Parkway, I finished about 15 minutes faster, I felt stronger, and I definitely feel like I ran smoother.  I didn’t have a head cold this year, which probably helped some!  Last year, Mom and Dad came down, and Mom ran, too.  I’m looking forward to having that experience with my parents again next month, at Running with the Cows.

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The rest of the weekend consisted of having some post-chafing issues, watching baseball, eating pizza, and getting pedicures after a shakeout run on Sunday with Amy.

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Did you run Rock the Parkway, or another race? Let me know how you did! What’s your next race coming up?