Ten

I’ve now completed 10 half marathons.  Each one has taught me very important things, about myself and about life…

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My first half marathon, April 12, 2014, Eisenhower Half Marathon.  I learned that 13.1 miles is a damn long way to run.

My second half marathon, October 18, 2014, Kansas City Half Marathon.  I learned that Kansas City is super hilly.  And beautiful.

My third half marathon, April 11, 2015, Rock the Parkway Half Marathon.  I learned that running with a sinus infection and bronchitis is not fun.

My fourth half marathon, May 16, 2015, Scout Strong Half Marathon.  I learned that not all half marathons are created equal. Some are never to be repeated.

My fifth half marathon, June 6, 2015, Hospital Hill Half Marathon.  I learned that I prefer fall half marathons to late spring/summer half marathons.

My sixth half marathon, October 17, 2015, Kansas City Half Marathon.  I learned that I can push past my comfort zone.

My seventh half marathon, November 15, 2015, Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.  I learned that this race is overrated, and Vegas is smelly.

My eighth half marathon, April 9, 2016, Rock the Parkway Half Marathon.  I learned exactly how amazing the running community in KC is.  How amazing? SO VERY AMAZING!

My ninth half marathon, May 14, 2016, Running with the Cows Half Marathon.  I learned that having someone to look forward to on the course, my special people, can help get me through a rough race.

My tenth half marathon, June 4, 2016, Hospital Hill Half Marathon.  I learned that no matter what, relentless forward progress will get me through each and every race.

Be who you want to be

2015 Running Roundup

December is over today.  This YEAR is over today.  This is hard to believe.  Time to recap December, and the whole year, in running!  You can catch up on the rest of 2015 here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.  I set out in 2015 with a few goals related to running.  The first goal, that was updated in May, was to run 950 miles in 2015.  With tonight’s run, I will have 71 miles for December, and I will surpass my goal for 950 miles and end with 965 miles for 2015!

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My other running goals included PRing my 5k and 10k times, with under 30 minutes for the 5k, and under 62 minutes for the 10k, and running a half marathon with minimal walking.  I reached my 5k goal, and ran a PR of 29:29 at the Wild West 5k.  I missed my 10k goal by 1 minute, and ran 1:03:00 at the Plaza 10k, but I did finish the race hand in hand with my best friend Amy, which was a perfect way to PR the 10k!  During the KC Half Marathon, I ran over 10 miles before walking, and my body felt great, but I was dizzy, so I had to walk.  I ended up PRing my half marathon time by over 10 minutes, and only walked a little bit during mile 11.  I was very happy with all three of these races, and many other races (and PRs) in 2015 as well.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased at how my 2015 running year went.  I gained a lot of endurance, speed, and confidence in my running.  Though I had some setbacks with knee and hamstring pain, I am stronger, mentally and physically, than I’ve ever been going into 2016!

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I saw a fun little year end running questionnaire on a friends blog, and thought it would be a fun and different way to recap the year in running! I’d love for you to share your answers in the comments!

Best 2015 race experience – KC Half Marathon – I love this race, and I had a great race, a huge PR, and during the race, I decided to tackle the full marathon distance in 2016!

Best 2015 run – I had so many “best” runs… runs with Mom and Shay in Hays, runs with the Groupies, runs with my best friend Amy, runs in Milwaukee with my sister… so many memorable runs.  Some runs were great because the run was great, some were great because of the company  – one thing I know for sure, none of the runs in 2015 were regretted!

Best new piece of running gear in 2015 – Hoka Clifton shoes! I tried out Hokas about halfway through 2015, and haven’t looked back! I wear my Hokas almost exclusively, and I wear my Altras here and there also.

Best running advice you’ve received in 2015 – “I can do hard things.”

Most inspirational runner in 2015 – My sister, Kristen. She’s so strong and always pushes me to go harder, longer, faster, and stronger than I ever thought.  She runs for her cousin Martilee, who has Rett Syndrome, and is raising awareness and money to help fight Rett Syndrome.  She has focus, positivity, and consistency that I strive for every day.

Favorite race picture of 2015 – This picture was taken at the Plaza 10k, about a half mile after I caught up to Amy, with about 2.5 miles left in the race.  I stayed right behind her, and about .15 from the finish line, I popped up beside her and we ran in together, and crossed the finish line hand in hand!

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Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

Race experience from 2015 you would repeat in a heartbeat – Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k – HUGE fun party from start to finish!  The racecation was lots of fun, but unfortunately the half marathon weather was awful! The 5k though, definitely a fantastic experience!

Sum up 2015 in a couple of words – More than expected!

Here’s to a great 2016!

RnR Las Vegas 13.1 Race Recap

Last weekend was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon! Mom, Kristen, and I traveled to Las Vegas for a fun little girls’ weekend and to run the 5k and half marathon.  Read all about our Las Vegas trip here!

We picked up our packets and went to the expo on Thursday afternoon, and enjoyed a couple days exploring the city before the 5k on Saturday night and then the half marathon on Sunday night.

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Sunday morning we laid low, went to a movie to rest our legs, and eventually got ready for the half marathon and made our way to the start festival!  The weather decided to treat us like crap, and it got pretty chilly, and very windy in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon.

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Kid Rock was playing at the start festival.  He was pretty good, and even said at one point that this was the fittest crowd he has ever played for! Hah!

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We checked our bags into actual UPS trucks, that would then drive our stuff to the finish line, further up the Strip.  There were also more porta-potties than I’ve ever seen.

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Mom, Mark, and I walked Kristen up as far as we could, she was to start up in the 4th corral, and we then walked back to the 35th corral to wait.  We heard the countdown, and the fireworks for the start of the race… and then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And got cold and stiff.  And waited some more.

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Photo courtesy Rock ‘n’ Roll website.

About 55 minutes after the race officially started, our corral got to the start line, and then we were off!  It had rained a bit while we were waiting, and started raining more after we started.  Between the rain, the wind, and the chilly temperatures, as well as standing around getting stiff for over an hour, it was a pretty rough start.

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The first few miles were spent trying to shake out our legs and get into a groove.  We were pretty cold, windblown, and getting rained on! It was a pretty miserable first few miles!  Mom, Mark, and I ran past the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, and had to stop real fast for a picture!

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After 2-3 miles, I was feeling pretty good, I was warmed up, there was lots of music, lots of spectators braving the cold and wet weather, and lots of fun signs.  It really was neat to run on the strip while there was nobody but runners on it!  The Las Vegas marathon/half marathon is only 1 of 2 times each year that the strip is closed to traffic – the other is New Years Eve.  Lots of high fives were given out during miles 2-6.

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I tried for some running selfies, but the dark really makes it hard!  I managed to get a couple where you can kind of see what’s going on, just ignore all the blurs!

 

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I found a few pictures after the race that the helicopters and drones took during the race, they look pretty spectacular.  If only it wasn’t so cold and windy!

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Photo courtesy Rock ‘n’ Roll website.

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Photo courtesy Rock ‘n’ Roll website.

Just after mile 4 or 5, we had to stop and take a pit stop at the porta-potties.  This is the very first time I’ve had to utilize the porta-potties during a race.  Standing around for over an hour before the race made it hard to hold it!

A mile or so after our quick stop, we came across the finish line on the other side of the street.  With some kind of voodoo luck, Mom and I actually SAW Kristen cross the finish line!  What are the odds of that?  We yelled and yelled, but the music was too loud, but WE SAW HER finish!!

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I had to get a quick selfie with one of so many Elvis’ on the course.  This particular Elvis was pretty cute.  We ran behind them for about a half mile.

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Sometime between miles 5-7, we lost Mark.  He ended up about 7-10 minutes behind us I think.  There were so many people, it was hard to keep track of everything.  Mom and I just kept trucking forward, struggling with the cold, very very tired feet from walking around the strip for 4 days, and really defeating weather conditions.  We were very lucky that we didn’t fall or get blown over – I heard of several people who got blown over, or got injured with things blowing into them.  We also saw a lady right in front of us trip or slip on something and face plant.  I hope that everyone who fell or blown over was okay.

Miles 6-10 were pretty monotonous and tiring and cold.  So cold.  During this time we were at the very old part of downtown, and off the main Strip.  We made our way through some neighborhoods, and through a few shady areas that I wouldn’t want to be alone!  Then we went through Fremont Street, gained a bit of energy, and started making our way back to the Strip and the finish line.

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I’d have to say that miles 10-13 were the roughest ever, out of any half marathon I’ve done.  R.O.U.G.H. !!! My feet hurt so bad.  I was so cold to the bones.  My nose was running, my nose was cold, my ears were cold, my shoulders were cold, my feet hurt.  It was a rough few miles.

But somehow, we made it.  Step after step, walking and running and shuffling.  Really everything but crawling.  Mom and I finished hand in hand, and then all we wanted was to sit down and warm up.

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Photo courtesy MarathonFoto.com.

We were handed our medals, then water, then a space blanket, then sample after sample of food, gatorade, milk, cranberries, etc.  So much stuff.  I didn’t have enough arm space for all the stuff.  And that finish chute was SO long.  I heard someone say it was almost a half mile long finish chute.  Walking and walking and walking!  We finally found the UPS trucks and put on jackets and dumped all our extra stuff into our bags.

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We also were given our remix medal for doing the 5k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.  We slowly made our way back to our hotel on very foot sore feet.

I must say, if the weather was a bit warmer, less windy, and dry, this would have been a super fun half marathon.  It was fun, in retrospect, but during, it was hard to think about the fun during all the pain!

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We ran the strip at night, shut down Vegas, and earned every bit of our medals!

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Monday, we did a little shakeout run and met some of the We Run Social group!

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Read about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k here, and read about our trip in Vegas here!