Saturday, June 5, 2010

When: June 5, 2010
Where: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 78-82F
Humidity: ~70%
Finish time: 2:22:41 (clock)

I must apologize ahead of time for what will surely be a report full of rambling. I probably should take time to collect my thoughts on this race, but where's the fun in that.

Upon heading out to the race this morning, I knew the stage was not set for me to reach my original goal of 2:10, but being stubborn, I decided to try for it anyway. I have never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed, and that was one DUMB decision on my part.

Everything started off well enough, but as the sweat comes rolling down by the half mile point, I knew it was going to be a long day. Unfortunately, at this point some lady dropped something and came to a dead stop with me directly behind her. I don't know where the reflexes came from, but I planted my foot, quickly jumped to the left and just missed running her over. She did apologize so no harm no foul. Other than feeling the humidity, the first mile went very well and I managed to get a few decent pictures.

About a minute into the race. I was feeling good at this point

A little more than a 1/4 through mile 1.

The end of mile 1.

To be honest, I won't be able to remember what miles the hills were in, because it seemed unless we were heading downhill, every section felt like it was at least slightly uphill. Mile 2 went by smoothly and was uneventful except for having the first aid station. I did manage to drink water/powerade at every aide station along the course, even though I was wearing my amphipod belt. I did manage to snap a couple of pics during mile 2, but only one was in focus.

I was still hanging strong with the pace group.

I do believe that mile 3 might have had the first significant hill. It definitely zapped some of my energy. I also started to feel some aches in my knee/shin on the leg that I had to plant/jump off with in mile 1 to flattening a lady. Since the knee/shin were just doing a loud whisper, I pushed onward. Once again, only 1 picture turned out in mile 3.

I believe this was shortly after cresting the hill.

Mile 4 was mostly downhill and we made up some time during it. I actually was feeling really good here and my breathing was back to normal after the hill. Granted, I did not get any pictures during this mile.

Mile 5 contained the steepest hill so far (I think). It was definitely a tough SOB. Thankfully it was the only hill in the mile. I did manage to get one picture after the hill.

At the start of the downhill section. I was still feeling pretty good here.

Mile 6 was a complete BIT@%! I actually had thoughts about dropping out. Not because it was a completely uphill mile. Not because I knew I was going to have to drop back. No, it was because I caught a severe case of the chills. Now I was fully hydrated before the race started, so this threw me for a loop. It also made me remember a brief episode that happened during my meeting on Thursday.

*Flashback* On Thursday, I was suddenly hit by a light-headed/dizzy feeling that was followed by a metallic taste in my mouth. This lasted about a minute or so and then I was back to normal. *end flashback*

So we now return to the normally scheduled race narrative. The chills led to a brief moment where my vision was shaky. At that point I moved over to the side and started walking. Everything cleared up in short order. It was at this point that I was thinking about dropping out. Instead, I decided to walk until the 2:15 pace group caught up with me and then reevaluate my situation. While walking, I figured it would be a good idea to take another S!Cap. I soon realized just how badly I was sweating. The S!Caps were in a small pocket of my shorts (always worked on long runs). When I reached in the pocket, the capsules had all dissolved and the powder was a paste in the pocket. I decided I would not drink anymore of my water (unless needed) and would drink the powerade at the aid stations. I probably walked about 1/3 of mile 6, but I wasn't the only one.

I think the 2:15 pace group caught up to me during mile 7. I stayed with them for a bit, but had already decided that my goal was first, to survive, and 2nd to finish quicker than 2:25:00. My plan was to walk the uphills and make up time on the downhills. I hated the fact that I had to resort to walking as much as I did, but my health comes first and it's what I felt I had to do in order to finish the HM. I did manage to take one picture during this mile.

The 2 ladies up ahead kept me motivated to keep moving I think they ended up finishing ahead of me, but I honestly have no clue.

Miles 8 was a blank. I don't remember any of it, but I know it included some walking. No pictures were taken during this mile.

Miles 9 and 10 were mostly downhill and I managed to pick the pace back up bit. I must have been focused on the race because I did not take any pictures during mile 9, but did one along mile 10.

This was heading into the "Plaza" area and I told myself "only a 5K left"

Up until this point I was still on pace to break 2:20 with an outside shot of 2:15. I started feeling pretty good again.

Then came the mother of all hills. This darn hill stretched the majority of miles 11 &12. There were a few points where it about leveled out, only to go back uphill again. These two miles were trying to suck the energy right out of me. They succeeded! My pace significantly dropped. I still managed to run about half of each mile though. I did manage to take a picture along mile 11 during a spot where it leveled off.

I guess still a "slight" incline, but look in the distance and see the hill.

That was the last photo I took during the race. I knew by this point that I could no longer break 2:20, but I was still on pace to beat my revised goal of 2:25. I remember from the elevation chart that mile 13 was all downhill. That was quite a cruel trick that "map my run" played on me! I started mile 13 going at a good clip, but close to 1/4 mile into it we turned a corner and came face to face with a STEEP hill. It took me close to 2 minutes to walk it.

When I crested the hill I could see that the remainder was downhill. I looked at the Garmin and I had about 0.7 miles to go. I KICKED! I start passing people left and right. I didn't know that my legs still had this kind of speed in them. I managed to drop it into another gear and passed a good 15-20 more people. We turn the corner and hit the final stretch. I cross the mile 13 marker and see a lady about halfway between me and the finish line. I hear someone say "looking strong, now sprint to the finish." At that point my legs had a mind of their own and I surged ahead picking up more and more speed. I was closing in quickly on the lady in front of me. The crowd was cheering. My name was announced over the loudspeaker (mispronounce the last name, but oh well). I finally caught and passed the lady and finished about 20 feet ahead of her. As she passed by while I was catching my breath, I thanked her for the motivation for my final kick.

It wasn't until after I walked around a bit and went through the food line that I remembered to stop my Garmin. So I don't have a final split from my last kick. Mile 13 was run at an 8:15 pace including the 2:00 walk break.

Considering the fact that I almost dropped out of the race, I am VERY pleased with my time. No I didn't reach my original goal. No I didn't beat the time from my HM 1.5 years ago. I DID persevere and run a smart race that would get me to the finish. I WILL get my revenge on the race next year.

Sorry for the rambling and probably incoherent report. If you did manage to make it this far, thanks for reading. If you didn't read this far, I can understand


  1. Nice RR! Tough humidity!!

  2. Hey, pr or no pr, total props for running in the heat with great photos and a good time!