Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 Rock the Parkway Half Marathon Race Preview

The season is on us!
Even though winter is still trying to cling on to us here in Kansas City, we're moving on with race season!  It's 70, then it's 45, it's thunder and rain at 11pm, 1am and 4am and then it's snow the next night.  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

Last weekend was the Ruckus Run obstacle course.  It was a great time and the official start to the spring season.  I felt that my running endurance was up to par, but the strength component had tailed off a bit.  It happens.  I need to get more core work in before the longer biking and running sessions kick in.

April will also be the busiest month for racing.  Ruckus Run, Rock the Parkway Half Marathon and then Warrior Dash.  Warrior Dash is in the air due to my kids looking at having their tonsils out the Wednesday before.  It could be a suffer fest at the Falkenrath house that weekend.

And that darn groundhog that predicted an early end to winter lied through his teeth.  We have had glimpses of 70 degree days, only to come crashing back to freezing temps and snow.  I'm ready to move on.  My yard is ready to move on.  My kids are ready to move on and start playing outside.

I have goals.
It's been hectic since I have switched jobs a few times.  One company lost stability.  The next company wasn't a good fit.  And now, I'm self employed at  Feel free to check it out, like it on Facebook.  All of that good stuff.

But, that switching has had me moving from one thing to the next without much time to look past family, workouts and keeping income coming in.  I haven't really had time to sit down and map out what a realistic half time should be.  I'm treating this as a B+ race, maybe A.  It's far enough out from IM KS 70.3 and Kansas 5150 Triathlon, that I can train and taper accordingly and give it all I've got.

This will be year 4 running the event.  2010 was the 10k when they had one, and every year after was the half marathon.  Every year, this race was a new PR for me.  2012 set the bar at 1:37:13.  That's pretty lofty and I'm not sure if I can catch or surpass that.

I would love a sub 1:30, but I'm not sure if I can pump out 7:30's from start to finish.  Maybe 1:35, and maybe realistically a little slower than 2012.

The main thing is to run smart, capitalize on my training and not get injured.  This point in 2013, I have logged more time running that at this point in any other year.  Not so much biking and swimming, but getting long outdoor runs has been a priority.  13.1 miles should be no problem, but the question is running them with speed.

I do enjoy the last mile and a half is downhill back to the start.  Overall the course is relatively flat and a downhill runner's paradise.  The streets on Ward Parkway are well maintained (for the most part minus a few potholes from snow plows) and wide which creates space for running.  I hate running elbow to elbow and being boxed in.

Another new feature is the wave starts.  I don't recall entering a finishing time, like the other people I have talked to, but we'll just see what I end up with when I get the bib and timing chip.  Traditionally the start is pretty clogged until the end of mile 1.  Hopefully this helps out and I can pace myself correctly instead of having to make up time for being stuck in a crowd.  Those of you that lined up with the 1:35 pace group but plan on making it in 1:55 know who you are.  This should curtail some of that.

The weather needs to pull its head out of its butt.
It's 40's and raining in KC right now.  It was 70's Monday.  This Saturday for race day looks ideal.  Cool temps, but not freezing.  Minor head wind that will push a little into a tailwind for the finish line kick.

I can deal with starts temps around 50 and not much higher for the finish.  Should be perfect to bust out the Team Wheaties running gear!

Wish me luck!
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