Rock the Parkway - RunHalf Marathon

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Kansas City, Missouri
United States
52F / 11C
Total Time = 1h 30m 24s
Overall Rank = 107/4959
Age Group = 35-39M
Age Group Rank = 18/316
Pre-race routine:

I tried to eat a bagel & peanut butter. Coffee. Naked Juice. Some Gatorade.
Event warmup:

The wife and I got parked about a half hour before the start and then had a half mile walk to the start. That didn't leave for too much time other than a quick bathroom stop and then fighting my way up through the starting corrals.
  • 1h 30m 24s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 54s  min/mile

The last month/month and a half of training didn't have me feeling real confident going into this race. My mileage was fairly decent going into the race but I felt like crap on all of my long runs. The legs felt abnormally tired and something was up with my GI system that persisted for two weeks (I still, after it's now passed, have no idea what was going on). My confidence was way down coming into this race, but I had a few good, short last minute runs the week prior that gave me a little hope.

Since I didn't get lined up in the corrals early enough I could only make it up to the 1:45 pace group before the number of runners became too dense to move through. I was going to have to do a lot of maneuvering to get up ahead of the 1:30 pace group, who I hoped to finish in front of. The first mile I was hugging the curb hoping to get around people but there were so many people in the beginning surrounding the 1:45, 1:40, and 1:35 pace groups that passing them was became fairly difficult and a pain in the ass. As a result: heart rate high, opening mile split slow.

So, in the back of my mind I'm thinking "how I can replicate last year's PR?" I had a rough idea what splits I was churning out for that race. And early on I wasn't replicating them. Mile 2 & 3 are generally flat and/or uphill so when my splits came in slow I gave myself some slack and figured I'd make it up elsewhere. About this time I kinda had to use the restroom for a quick #1. Sigh. So annoying. WTF. While not a dire situation taking care of this would makes things more enjoyable for the next 7/8 miles. So I figured I would hit a port-a-pottie after whichever aid station followed the hill on the back end of Loose Park.

Once I did that (only 40 secs lost) I hopped back into the stream of runners just in time to see the 1:30 pace group go by. My goal now, at roughly mile 7.5 was to catch up and get back in front of their dwindling group of runners. I managed to do that relatively quickly but my splits up to this point hadn't been very spectacular, especially if I was going to match a PR. In fact, my legs didn't have much more speed to give at all and by the hill climb at mile 10 I thought that was it for me. I got about halfway up the hill at Gregory and just started to walk. My legs all of a sudden had nothing. No juice. The 1:30 group just trotted on by. When the road leveled out I picked up the pace again and just hoped I could get myself back into that small pack.

That wasn't to be. Miles 10-12 were pretty hard. This is where my low quality long runs caught up to me. No extra oomph in my legs. However, I did have a breakthrough revelation. I'm pretty much an all or nothing kinda guy. For running, I'm either going to go as hard as I possibly can, if not, I'm going to walk until I can resume that pace again. This really makes no sense from a race point of view and in terms of time/energy savings. I don't know why I do it. So, this time I simply slowed my pace down instead of doing a full walk so that I could power up those last final inclines. So simple, so much faster.

So, with a mile left, a PR out of the question, and with the 1:30 pace group is out of sight I still feel that I might have some shot at making it under 1:30. It took me maybe 15-20 secs to cross the start line so I have some wiggle room to play with. The last mile is all down hill with about 100 ft of elevation loss. I charge along trying to get as much turn over from my legs as I can. This hurts. I know the finish line is coming but why the heck can't I see it yet? Damn this hurts. Finally. There it is. I'm not going under 1:30. Who cares. I'm done. I'm exhausted. I negative split that mile. My fastest mile was the last mile of the whole race. What? Wow. Whatever.

What would you do differently?:

Arrive earlier and seed myself properly in the corrals.
I did this race in its first year (10k) and I underestimated the crowd this race has drawn and the time it takes to park and walk and potty (these are seperate tasks, btw).

Have a better run split strategy. While I don't think I would've hit all my necessary goal splits I still went into the race and just sort of assumed that things would take care of themselves. That approach wasn't going to work today.
Post race
Warm down:

I sat down on a large decorative rock admist the Burns & Mac landscaping and rested. Completely exhausted. So much so that my eyes felt heavy and that I could pass out and nap right there. That tells me I gave it my all and left nothing left. And with that, that's all I can ask, PR or no PR.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Feeling less than great for a month straight of training beforehand.

Event comments:

A well organized, solid, popular spring half-marathon.
Post-race food was a bit under-whelming. Liked the band.
A massive medal. I know that's the big trend with races now, but unnecessary for me.

Last updated: 2014-11-20 12:00 AM
01:30:24 | 13.1 miles | 06m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/316
Overall: 107/4959
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back on Ward Parkway with a loop around Loose park at the halfway mark.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5