I did the KC Half Marathon on Saturday and set a new PR for myself…..by 21 minutes! My finish time was 2:35, and my time from Lincoln last year was 2:56. So I am definitely improving! A 5:00 marathon feels a lot more realistic now. Well, maybe not for Florida, but a stand-alone marathon later on. I’d like to find a good spring marathon to do next year.
Anyway, Saturday was perfect as far as weather goes. Erin and I got down to Crown Center early, and sat around for a while before heading over to the start line. KC is a LOT bigger than Lincoln, so it was a neat feeling to be in a really large crowd of runners. Runners Edge provided pace group leaders for the full marathon, so I decided to start with the 5:15 group since that equals out to about a 12 min/mile pace.
The first couple of miles were through downtown, then we headed up the biggest hill of the race to the Liberty Memorial. After that we headed over towards Westport and the Plaza. It was fun to run through some of the most scenic parts of the city. Several of the people in our group were from my regular RE pace group, so we were having a great time chatting it up and enjoying the run. The course split just after mile 6, and the rest of my group headed off for the full marathon course while I continued on for the half. I was still feeling great and kept at the same pace I had been for the first 6 miles. At this point, I actually started PASSING people! That never happens! Usually I am the one being passed!
The next few miles were pretty uneventful, and I chatted with a few people here and there to help pass the time. Pretty soon I was at the last aid station, and they had up a bunch of signs saying “next stop, finish line!”, and things like that. I got a little choked up at this point, because even though I was just doing the half, I was imagining how I would be feeling at about mile 24 in 2 weeks. We headed down through the 18th & Vine Jazz District, and they had a jazz band out on one of the corners playing, so I clapped and cheered for them. Actually, one of the neat things about this race was that they had bands every couple of miles. The first half when I was with my pace group we had clapped and yelled for all of them, so I kept it up once I was by myself.
I kept waiting for the first marathon finishers to pass me, and it wasn’t until after mile 12 that they did. Two guys passed me about 5 minutes apart, and that was it. Between mile 12 and 13, people all around me were walking and saying that they couldn’t wait to be done, and I was so happy that I was still feeling good. I was one of those people who thought I was going to die around mile 10 at the first half I did, so this was a definite improvement.
After I turned the last corner, it was about 2 blocks to the finish line, so I picked it up and ran on in. I looked at my watch; 2:35! Yeah! I know that’s still not fast, but I held a consistent pace for the entire 13 miles which made me very happy. And I still felt great, which is what I had been hoping for since this was part of my taper. Given that, I know I can push it harder and do a half in under 2:30 next time.
I found Dawn, who had finished a little while before me, and then Dan found us which surprised me a little because he had gone out the night before and hadn’t even been home when I left the house at 5:30. So I was happy that he had made it down to the race. We waited for Erin to finish, and then went to Eggct for a well deserved post-race breakfast.
Next up: IMFL!!!!!!!