Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halfway around Kansas City

As any regular reader of my blog knows, I love me some race bling. I just really enjoy getting big shiny medals placed around my neck after completing a good race. Maybe it borders on crazy, but I don't really care. It makes me happy.

I ran the Kansas City half in 2010 and 2011. Both times, while the course was fine, and I had a good time, the bling definitely left a lot to be desired. Small, plain medals. Nothing to write home about. Well, this year, the KC Marathon majorly upped it's game. It seems to be a trend in races. I know I'm not the only one who runs for medals because races keep improving their medal designs. There are even competitions for the best race medals.

So, this year, when the medal was announced, I knew I had to do the race once again. The medals were so much better. They had color, they were bigger, they had a cool design, they had a custom ribbon. All the things you want in a good medal.

Check out the difference from 2010 to 2012 (You can't really tell the size difference in these pics, but it is significant):

Many friends of mine planned to run this race. Kelli and Ally were running the full marathon, but despite Kelli's many times of asking me, I never agreed to it. I stuck with the half. Anne was going to do the full as well, but injured her IT band and ended up dropping out. Katie was running it with her friend. Kelly was pacing it. My running partner, Sarah, and I planned to run it together.

The KC Marathon had a big expo downtown where you picked up your packet before the race. Ally went on Thursday and posted a picture on Facebook. When we finished Hospital Hill in June, a photographer from the race had taken a picture while Kelli, Ally, Anne and I were posing in front of the fountains at Crown Center. Unbeknownst to us, Hospital Hill was using that picture on their marketing for next year's 40th anniversary race: "A party 40 years in the making."

How cool is this? 
We were super excited to be on a sticker with all those running legends.
We're thinking being on the marketing material should get us free entry to next year's race ...

Anyway, back to the KC Half: For the last couple weeks before the race, my runs hadn't been feeling that great. I was feeling sluggish, and my legs felt heavy. I'm not really sure what was going on, but on the morning of the race, I was a little concerned and apprehensive about how I was going to do. And, although I didn't technically have a time goal, I knew about where I would want to finish.

The problem was, my body just wasn't agreeing with my sub-2:00 desire. My legs were still heavy and sluggish. My heel was aching. And, despite the awesome weather to run, I just wasn't feeling it. Sarah, however, was having a great day. She ended up pushing me and pulling me toward the finish. I know my time would've been even slower had she not been such a great friend and running partner. I couldn't even feel the whole top half of my body for the last mile or so. But, we kept plodding along and finished in 2:04:17.

(I could try to give you blow-by-blow descriptions of the run, but I have this problem of almost immediately forgetting the course and any landmarks as soon as I finish. I couldn't even begin to tell you almost anything about almost any course I've ever run. I think it might be a disease. Raceforgetfultitis. I'm almost positive it's a real thing.)

Sarah found us some fun halloween socks to run in. They didn't really match our shoes, but they were fun. We got called "Spiderwomen" along the race.

I was completely numb from the waist up at this point as we climbed the hill to the finish line.

Done! Cute socks!

Even when you have a horrible run, it is still fun to run into friends at the finish line and pose for pictures. I need the pictures, too, otherwise I'd probably forget everything at the finish, too. Another effect of that dreaded disease. It was an absolute madhouse at the finish, so I didn't get to see everyone I wanted, but I happened to be standing right next to Katie and didn't even realize it until her husband pointed it out. So, we posed together.

Me and Katie. Now, I won't forget!

Even though Anne had to drop out of running the race, she still was a major participator by volunteering at a water station. Their just-after-6-mile station themed it up with Hawaiian shirts and leis. Cory found her before the runners started arriving.
How cute is she?

Then, she made her way to the finish.
Next stop: the beer tent. Normally, I'm not a huge beer fan unless it's super fruity, light and girly. But, there is something to be said for a beer right after a long run. It really tastes amazing, even if it is Coors Light.

Yum. And, yes, my headband says, "I run for cupcakes." Awesome, no?
Since Kelli was running the full marathon, we wanted to wait around to cheer for her at the finish. She did amazing. Cut 20 minutes off her previous marathon time. So proud!

Look at that awesomeness!!
And, of course, we all had to pose together at the end:

Posing together with the sign we made for Kelli. BTW, check out how huge her marathon medal is! Now, that is cool bling.

I'm trying really hard to be ok with how I finished this race. My time really wasn't that bad, but I was upset with how I felt while doing it. I'm guessing I was just having an off day, but it's hard for me to accept that.  I'm a lot better at telling other people to "just be proud of finishing" than I am at taking that same advice. If only my disease let me to forget how bad I felt during the race instead of where the course meandered ...

Oh, well. I guess it's time to start training for the next one. Tulsa, here we come!

PS. There are no pictures of the girls because they were being cranky, and Cory had only slept one hour the night before because of work. I'm lucky they were there at all. There was no posing for pictures with them.


  1. Ugh, I definitely have those weeks when my legs feel like lead and I just can't find my groove for multiple runs in a row. Those are the worst. But for having a "bad" run, your time was still pretty darn good :-)

    When is Tulsa?

  2. It's November 18th. It's the Route 66 marathon. I think it's the same day as your next run, right?