Rock the Parkway was the perfect combination of timing and weather for a new PR.
Kansas half was a little cold, but workable and a nice event to keep my running miles up.
Running with the Cows had a touch of cold, hills and some headwind that made it an equal match in difficulty of the other two races.
Respect the half marathon...
I duped myself into thinking it was flat... and that I could easily set a new PR.
Sure, the elevation map looked innocent enough, but don't be fooled. It was a lot of rolling hills, one after another and the out portion was mostly into a head wind.
Miles 1 - 6.5 were painful. Up a hill, into a head wind... reminds me of the stories about your parents going uphill both ways in waist deep snow to get to school... and that's what it felt like.
Lets not also ignore that I fit in 2 hours of BRIK work the day before, because, simply put, it wouldn't have fit in anyplace else for the week. So I was running on less than rested legs on rolling hills in a headwind for the first 6.5 miles.
And then the wind shifted...
I gave it all I could when I hit the turn around and started running WITH the wind. Miles 7 through 9 were probably near 80% effort. I stopped for fluids at 9 and 11 miles and that's where it dawned upon me that setting a new PR wasn't going to happen.
With all the effort I put into the race, I didn't think I could even get a sub 1:40.
I put everything out there to the finish line. It was one of the more brutal races I have ran, personally. Not because of the weather, the course or any one thing, but the combination of not being fully rested, headwinds, rolling hills... and just some plain old tired legs.
Rounding the bend for the finish line...
I did secure a sub 1:40 with a time of 1:39:12. Good for 75th out of 1008. It's not horrible, but it wasn't my highest goal.
I know I spouted on about not every race needs to be an A race, but I thought conditions would be ripe for a new gaudy PR that I might not have the chance to set again. Oh well. Guess I should have avoided:
- Incorporating a large training load the day before the race
- Scoped out the course a little better. The elevation profile didn't do it justice.
- Incorporate a few more hill workouts.
- Not stacked events (I'm addicted, what can I say...)
Running with the Cows had something like 300 runners last year and jumped to 1000. I'm pretty sure that's not just word of mouth from past participants.
Although the had some parking issues that pushed the start back 15 minutes, each race was ran well and gave racers a quality running event.
Stay tuned for my Examiner review, results and Heartland 39.3 series review.
|That's a nasty blood blister!|
|Finish line for the Heartland 39.3 series!|