This morning was my third 1/2 marathon to date. I usually don't get nervous before races, but with my right knee bothering my lately I was really nervous about not being able to finish. My last run before the race was on Thursday, and I managed to step off a curb weird to irritate my knee even more. This morning when I woke up my knee was feeling pretty good, so I decided to go ahead and try to run for a five minute PR. I had made myself a pace bracelet last night with my split times for a 2:15 half, and a 2:20 half. I didn't end up using the bracelet much, but it was nice to see how my pace and time were in relation to those finish times when I did look.
Today ended up being a beautiful spring day, but this morning was quite chilly. I ended up in a running skirt, a short sleeve shirt, and compression socks. I used a cheap pair of knee high socks with the toes cut off to keep my arms warm before the race. (FYI Target usually has cute pairs on sale for less than $1!) I was still a little cold before the race, but a lot of people were way over dressed with non-throw away clothes. Once I got in the starting chute around other people I warmed up and tossed my arm warmers right before the race started. The first mile was really tight. I had to run on the grass to pass people, and there was a really sudden turn that was hard to navigate as well. I missed the first mile marker completely so I have no idea how the weaving affected my time. There were pacers for this race, so I started behind the 2:15 pacers. I ended up doing so much weaving that I lost them behind me sometime in the first couple miles. I've been training with the Galloway run/walk method, and I fully intended to do that method during the race. It was so tight at the beginning that I didn't want to stop and walk, and by the time people were spreading out I felt like I was getting into a good groove.
The course was great. Lots of rolling hills, but nothing too steep or hard to manage. There were a fair amount of spectators throughout the entire course, which was always a nice pick me up. I wore my Princess 1/2 marathon shirt, and several people saw my shirt and cheered for me specifically. Once I started getting father into the course I noticed that I was running less than 10 min/miles. I was still feeling pretty good, but wasn't counting on it lasting the whole way. Around mile 8 I started feeling a twinge in my knee, and that gradually got worse until the finish. Luckily it wasn't bad enough for me to stop running completely.
When I got to mile 12 I looked at my watch and saw that I was just under 2 hours. I realized that I was not only going to make my 2:15 goal, but I was going to beat that goal by several minutes. The last mile was basically all downhill, which really helped because I was starting to hurt bad. I ran most of mile 12. Once I got to mile 13 I saw that I was just under 2:10, and knew if I kept pushing I could finish in 2:10. I pushed hard, and it hurt, but I pulled it off. My official time was 2:10:00.0!
I was too tired to be excited about my over 10 minutes PR at the end. The race literally took all I had, but it was totally worth it. I would highly recommend this race to anyone in the Kansas City area, or anyone looking for a medium sized half to run. Very well organized, reasonably priced, and a great course.
I give Rock the Parkway 2 thumbs up!