Let’s start by acknowledging I took a long time away from my blog. However, I am back. I have already have a huge head start on content and I am feeling really good about my upcoming training. I hope you are ready to follow, as I am to write. I have some big plans and goals up ahead!
Rock the Parkway is one of my favorite races in Kansas City and this year did not disappoint. Every aspect of the race is well organized, it’s a good competitive field and the running community is in full support. Rock the Parkway usually has a pretty good expo that I look forward to going to find great race deals and sales on running gear. I didn’t get to take advantage of this because of coaching obligations. So I made sure to get to the race even earlier to ensure I wouldn’t be waiting around in line at packet pick up.
Runner tip, if you can pick up your packet early, do it! No matter the race, it one less thing on your race day to do list.
I have been having an onslaught of stomach/digestive issues for almost a year now. I have finally been getting things settled and under control. One of the things I have done is waking up a 2:30-3:30am in the morning of races and long runs to get a head start on breakfast. I like PB&J toast or uncrustables. Then I relax, or most likely, fall back asleep. This has helped me stop the race day throw up sessions. Which is both gross and non-ideal for race day fueling. I rolled out of bed, put on lots of layers and headed to the race bright and early. The interesting thing is, I was not all that anxious about this race. I felt a weird sense of calm. I didn’t make my usual 27 potty stops and was somewhat social. For my warm-up, I still chose to head into the empty neighborhood for my warm up and drills. As I got warmed up I began to shed layers and questioned if I needed gloves. I decided to wear them.
The many friendly faces at the line, turned waiting for the start into a fun social event. I love the running community in Kansas City. All the new KC Running Company Jerseys looks pretty good, I should add. As the race started I found my pack. I was really excited to see Sara racing. I have been following/stalking her racing and training. Check out her blog (hereHere). We chatted and were planning on hitting similar paces. The first 6-7 miles went off relatively uneventful. The course has a gradual climb for the first 3 miles so we started slightly behind pace and picked it up when the course leveled out a bit. As we picked up the pace a tad, Sarah another runner named and myself were running together. Unfortunately, Andrew had been ignoring some lingering heal pain had found himself with some plantar pain earlier in the week which had ended up slightly tearing during the early miles of the race. Leave Sarah and I running much of the early and middle miles mostly just the two of us. We caught a few guys and 2 girls along the way leaving us in positions 2nd and 3rd place overall female before the half way mark.
The course has gently rolling hills through the neighborhoods and it didn’t really phase me much until we turned into the wind around mile eight. I tried to close the gap between the two of us and some gentlemen ahead so that we could draft a bit. When we caught they, however, their pace was a bit slower than what we were wanting to run. Quickly, I would begin to struggle. I just couldn’t keep the same pace. I was struggling more when we would climb the hills through mile 10. I had to focus on keeping close. I knew, mentally, running with someone was a lot easier than trying to run solo. Sarah has a lot better endurance base and I could tell that in those last miles. We took turns having our moments of struggle but I am pretty sure my lack of endurance was showing quite a bit. As we neared the last mile marker we began to pick up the pace. As we continued our pace continued to increase. We hit a pretty solid pace through mile 13 and with just over 200 meters left, it was kick time. I had tapered for this event, and Sarah had not. She is a stronger runner than I , but I think the fresh legs allowed me the advantage in the final kick of this race. I finished 2nd overall female with a 14 second PR!
When I finished many people were telling me I had gotten second. The results had me listed as 3rd. I wasn’t sure. I must have gotten 50+ messages from people that afternoon about the incorrect results. I didn’t stress too much about it, I knew it was a situation the race directors were aware of. That evening the results were updated and I was contacted about it.
It’s such a great race, one that I look forward to every year. I will definitely put it on my race calendar for next year. My next goal will be tackling another marathon. I haven’t decided between Chicago, Indy Monumental and Cal International. Currently, I am leaning toward Indy. Although, that changes even more often than the Missouri weather. Hopefully, I will get a clearer picture as my summer base mileage phase progresses.