So, after finishing the Heartland 39.3 series last year, I really didn't have any intention of doing it again this year. But, I still wanted to do Rock the Parkway, and I LOVED the medal for this year's Running with the Cows, so I signed up for that one. But, that was only 2 out of 3.
Then, the Kansas Half announced that they'd changed the course this year. Part of the reason I didn't want to do the Kansas Half this year was because I hated the course. And, that's saying a lot because it is in Lawrence, Kansas, which is home to my alma mater, KU. I have many fond memories of time spent in Lawrence, but the course for this race was not one of them.
So, when they announced that they'd changed the course, I started considering it. But, only vaguely. Then, Kelli said that she was thinking about it because she was going to be in Lawrence that morning anyway after attending her sister-in-law's wedding the night before. Well, that's pretty much all the convincing that it took for Anne and I to sign up, too.
Apparently, we're pretty easily swayed by peer pressure when it comes to races. I never went through a DARE program to teach me how to say no to a friend trying to convince me to sign up for a race.
Then, literally hours after I signed up for the race, I heard about Boston. As a runner, it hit me hard. I felt like all of my friends were attacked. And, the only thing I wanted to do was get out and run. So, actually, I'm really glad that we signed up for the race, because it gave us something to "do" to show our support, solidarity and spirit as runners.
|Anne found bibs for us to proclaim our support for Boston. Loved them.|
Since none of us had really planned on doing the race, we decided to just run it for fun as a training run. That meant, we got to stick together. In helping with that decision? The fact that Kelli had been attending a wedding the night before, and I had been attending a neighborhood wine party the night before. Yeah, that makes you not want to push it too hard.
The course this year took us on a couple out-and-back sections, which I really liked because I could see everyone ahead and behind us. We got to say hi to people as we crossed them, which is always fun in a race. We actually went by Haskell University, which is where I finished when I ran the Lawrence Half Marathon exactly 5 years ago, when Molly was still just a baby.
|Molly was so sweet and little posing with Jen and me after we finished the Lawrence Half in 2008.|
Anyway, back to the present:
We kept running by campus and then up past the Lied Center. I had driven down to Lawrence with Anne. Then Cory and Chris and the kids were going to meet us at the race. We were at almost mile 10 before we finally saw them. Anne and I had convinced ourselves that they had all overslept. It didn't help that the section before we saw them was hill after hill after hill.
|Charlotte looking for us.|
Then, we finally saw them!
|Super excited to see my girls after making it up that last LONG hill.|
|Connor tried to offer Anne a donut from the big box of donuts. While she appreciated the thought, she told him to save it for her for after the finish. ;)|
We got to finish the course going right by mine and Anne's freshman year dorm, then around the outside of campus. We even went by the journalism building in which I spent many an hour late at night. Ah, good times.
Despite the many hills, we finished strong for a training run, even beating Chris and Cory to the finish line.
|Awesome finish picture!|
|And, we were immediately freezing upon finishing. Good thing the boys eventually showed up so we could get our jackets back.|
After hanging out for a little while, we gathered our things and headed over to show the kids the Campanile and let them run.
|Checking out the echo in the Campanile.|
|Hey! There's Memorial Stadium!|
|A bunch of future Jayhawks in front of Potter Lake.|
The day was topped off with a trip to my favorite, McAlister's Deli, for some delicious Sweet Tea.
|There it is!|