Race Recaps

Kansas City Corporate Challenge Half Marathon
I had no idea what to expect from myself going into this race.  I have participated the past 2 years, so I know the course.  I just didn't know how my body would handle it.  I did NOT want a repeat of the Rock the Parkway half!!!

The morning was perfect-upper 40's and it built into 50's.  You can't ask for better running weather than that!!!  The race starts out on a little bit of an uphill around a commercial area followed by a decline.  The first 3 miles are a square and then you pick up the trail.  The elevation chart is a little off because the first half mile is missing.  You really don't start the ascent until closer to mile 5. 

I always bring 2 Gu's on this race.  The water stops are every 2ish miles, so the 2 gu's help fuel the rest of the race.  First gu at mile 5-perfect for pushing up the hills.  I planned to do the 2nd around mile 9, but ended up chatting with a girl and didn't use it until almost the 10 mile marker.  It ended up being a perfect jolt of energy to get me to the end!

I felt great!!  I must admit-resting my ankle and having my back aligned really helped!!  I couldn't believe it when I was already 5 miles in and my pace was right around 8:20.  Mile 6 (aka-the big hill!!) was a little slower, but I ran the whole thing.  I knew if I could push through the mile of hills that I would be home free!  I took mile 7 a little slower to recover from the hill. 

This race is an out and back once you get on the trail.  It is really funny how they do it.  There is a cone and that is the turn around.  It is very abrupt!  I realized at the turn around that I had a very good chance to beat my previous best time of 1:53:20.  I decided to hold steady and maintain around an 8:30 pace until the last 2 miles and then speed up from there if I felt good.  As it turns out, I felt great!!!  Mile 12 was 8:11 and mile 13 was 7:55 (darn close to 5K pace!). 

All in all, a fantastic day and a new PR!!!  Bonus-I scored a few points for the company in the process.

Rock the Parkway Half Marathon
Rock the Parkway is a fun 5k and half marathon run in Kansas City.  It is really well run and a great course.  It is a wave start, so you don't get so cramped and stuck at the beginning.  The course itself is a little challenging with some hills, but overall really fun to run.  It is setup as a bit of an out and back, so it is great for fans to cheer and catch runners at several spots.  One group of 3 cheerleaders had a beer talley...they were up to 17 when I was finishing.  I'll admit, I was totally jealous!!

Pre Race Photo...we are so happy and ready!!
The weather was beautiful and a little too warm.  It was over 60 degrees when we started and probably 75 when we finished.  I don't mind a little bit of heat though.  It was awesome to be out in the sun!

I knew after my walk on Thursday where the pup and I ran for a little bit that my ankle wasn't right.  I put on some compression socks, took ibuprofen, and iced in hopes of fixing it in 2 days.  Every step hurt a little more.  I wanted to push through and run the whole thing. 

Here is the breakdown:
Mile 1: 8:34-Feeling good and fighting through the initial crowd
Mile 2: 8:28-Settling into a nice pace-even running with the 1:50 pace group
Mile 3: 8:38-Still with the pace group and starting to hurt worse
Mile 4: 8:24-Running with the pace group and hurting, but pushing through
Mile 5: 8:55-Slowing down to try to let my ankle rest a little so I could pick up the pace
Mile 6: 8:49-Still slowing
Mile 7: 9:06-Can barely see the 1:50 pace group now
Mile 8: 10:56-Decide to walk and stretch a little to see if that helps
Mile 9: 11:04-Nope, still bad...so run walk pattern it is...by that I mean walk a lot with periodic jogs
Mile 10: 10:37-Had some Gu which helped with my energy drop due to disappointment and frustration
Mile 11: 9:38-Decided to run again to push through
Mile 12: 10:12-But sadly had to walk parts still
Mile 13: 8:40-I never walk in the last mile of a run...so I did a weird gimpy run all the way to the finish.  Nevermind the fact that I limped the rest of the day!  I didn't walk in the last mile!! :)

Official race photos...coming soon.......
Brew to Brew-April 6, 2014
Brew to Brew is a 44 mile relay from Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City to Lawrence, KS where Free State Brewery is located.  There are 10 legs with varying degrees of difficulty and elements to them.  You can have a team of as many people as you want, but my team usually has anywhere between 5-8 members. 

LEG 1: Brewery to KC Hardwood, 3.9 miles moderate.
LEG 2: Hardwood to Copart, 5.3 miles, moderate.
LEG 3: COPART to 3 or 3B, 5.4 or 5.6 miles, easy.
LEG 4: Station 3 to 121st St., 2.3 or 2.5 miles, easy.
LEG 5: 121st to Loring & Loring, 4.8 miles, easy.
LEG 6: Loring to Hog or Hair, 3.3 miles mod/hard.
LEG 7: Hog or Hair to Linwood, 4.7 by sea or 5.7 miles, mod
LEG 8: Linwood KS to 230th& Golden, 4 miles hard.
LEG 9: 230th St.To Levee & RRTracks, 4 miles hard.
LEG 10: Levee & RRTracks to Bridge by City Hall, 4.7 miles moderate.

Our Team-Stellas and Stouts

Another group of friends also had a team...big group picture!

I am usually training for an upcoming half marathon, so I take the last 2 legs while my team heads to Lawrence to get a table at Free State Brewery's restaurant.  Beer is my favorite recovery drink, so I don't mind meeting them there after I finish.  It is a short walk and allows me to cool down while I head over.

This year the weather was perfect!!  I set out on my "4 miles hard" leg.  I think they call it hard because it is a gravel road with big rolling hills.  It is definitely challenging, but I know what to expect from this race since I have done it for so many years.  The last 4.7 miles is all on a levee.  There was no wind and it was not too hot, so this part was awesome!!  Flat with a light breeze...what more can you ask for!??!?!
Just past the finish line...smiling because I am done. :)

All in all, I finished in 1:13:25.  I felt great and energized for my next race...a half marathon on Saturday!!  The team finished the race in just under 7 hours, but we had to skip one leg.  We were supposed to have a team of 8, but someone backed out at the last minute.  One girl and I were already running 2 legs and no one else felt comfortable running 2, so we just skipped it.  Luckily this is a really laid back race (they serve beer at the start!!) and skipping a leg doesn't matter unless you're in contention for the win.  We just go and have fun!! 


Coming soon...I'll post all race recaps here.

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