I managed a course best, a 3rd overall female placing, and a new single age Missouri state road racing record at the Rock the Parkway half marathon with a 1:22:42 finish (1:22:43 gun time). I also accomplished a goal I've had for about a year, which was to finish a half marathon with a sub-6:00 mile, when I ran my final mile in 5:52! While the time isn't near my PR of 1:20:50, considering the course (508 ft of elevation gain), the weather (insane headwind for the final 5.5 miles), my lack of taper (including a 20 mile workout 6 days prior to this race), and all of the workouts I've bombed this year, I was elated with my performance in this race. I also ran the whole way with smile on my face and thankfulness in my heart! Based on this race, the Easter Sun Run "10K", and that 20 mile workout, I'm starting to re-gain some confidence and also a kernel of hope that, maybe, just maybe, I will be able to pull off a strong marathon in 9 weeks.
It's never easy to race a half in the heat of marathon training, and mustering the confidence to do so becomes even more difficult when the course is hilly and the weather windy! I never expected to run a PR at Rock the Parkway; even in ideal weather conditions it would be unrealistic to think that I could improve my time from a nearly pancake flat course on the hills of Kansas City, and the 20+ mph winds assured me that they'd steal a lot of precious time from my final 5.5 miles. I went into the race focused on placing as high as I could (hopefully in the prize money), and disregarding my watch. There was a little part of me that kept thinking that maybe I could beat my Rock the Parkway 2017 time, though, since 2017 was similarly stupid windy.
Janell started to speed up a bit as we eased into the race, and I went along with her, leaving Michelle and Liz. A man around us asked Janell what she was aiming for pace-wise, and she said 6:15ish. I told her I had about the same pace in mind and asked if she wanted to work together. She did, and we fell into running side by side, and picked off the unknown fast looking girl around mile 3 and the blond ponytail around mile 4. That put us in 2nd and 3rd female positions.
|This pretty much summarizes the entire race - all smiles!|
|When you run a race with someone 6 inches|
shorter than you & probably 40 lbs lighter,
you look like a giant in all of your photos!
|Into the wind during the final 5K|
|Double chin finishing shots are my specialty|
|Michelle and I after our cool down together|
|Just keeping up my pre-race tradition when I go|
to an event solo
|Now to run 1 second/mile faster for twice the distance...|