Last month I flew “back home” to visit family and friends. While there I had the opportunity to run in the Running with The Cows half marathon. I had ran it last year and had so much fun, I made sure to plan my trip around it this year.
Race day eve I flew into Kansas City and was picked up by my crew. We decided to head over to Scheels to pick up our packets. While at Scheels, we took advantage of all the fun stuff… the photo ops, and the ferris wheel.
By the time we left it was getting late and everyone was really hungry, we ate dinner at one of my favorite sub shops – Planet Sub.
When we finally made it home, I laid out my stuff for the next day and I didn’t manage to get to bed until after midnight!
Race day morning came early! I woke up at 3:30 and we left the house at 5:45. It in the low 50’s with 90% humidity and clear (once the sun came up, it heated up pretty quick).We got to the race site and parked in good time and had plenty of time drop my bag and use the port-a-cans. What started as a fun photo opp last year, became a tradition this year… the photo while waiting at the port-a-can.
I had a big goal for the race to run it sub-2:08. I was a little nervous about my goal, but I thought I could pull it off. I made it to the start line and lined up between the 2:05 and 2:10 pace groups. The Star Spangled Banner was sung, then we were off!
The scenery was rural northeastern Kansas views. This year I saw some cows!! There were some hills… quite a few hills… many more than I remember from last year, particularly at mile 9. Who said Kansas was flat!
The first 6 miles went by in a blur, I kept what I thought was an easy pace through the first seven miles. (9:51, 9:45, 9:31, 9:46, 9:59, 9:59). At mile 7 as I was digging in my handheld pocket for some fuel, out came my lip balm… I had to head over to the side of the road and try to get it, I ended up dropping it a couple more times… oh, some precious seconds were lost during that mile.
During mile 8, I felt like I had to pass a little gas, and not really wanting to “trust a fart”, I stopped at a port-a-can just in case. At this point I thought I still had it in me to reach my goal, until I passed the mile 9 marker. This next mile felt like it was all uphill. I walked for several portions of this mile, and quickly realized my lofty goal was not going to be met (as the 2:15 pacers passed me by). I was a little disappointed, but then remembered that it was all about fun, so I set out to just enjoy the run. During mile 11, I had that lovely sensation of gas again and stopped at another port-a-can.
I was really happy to make the last turn that would lead us to the finish. At this point I didn’t have much in the tank. It was hot, the sun was beating down on us, and I realized that I had gone out way to aggressively in the beginning. I had a little fuel in my to push it a bit at the end.
I finished in 2:20:29, my second slowest time. Needless to say, I was disappointed in my performance… but I reminded myself that the reason I do this is to have fun… and that if you don’t shoot for the stars you’ll never make it.
Besides the time goals, I had a few other goals for the race:
- Have fun!! This is the most important goal… I mean seriously, why do it if it isn’t fun? Achieved! I did have fun… it is so much fun running through the country side!
- Start out slow… run 2nd half of race faster than 1st half. Nope, not even close.
- Time goals… sub 2:08. Nope, not even close.
- Be confident… trust in the work I’ve put in. I was pretty confident… even after the lip balm issue and the 1st port-a-can trip.
- Hydrate like a boss the day prior. Definitely achieved… I was a little worried about flying in the day prior knowing that flying dehydrates … but I kept up with my water intake.
My nieces and nephew ran the 5k. It started 30 minutes after the start of the half. I asked my niece Hannah to write a recap of her race:
On May 13th I ran in the Running With the Cows 5k. There was quite a large turnout, 500 or so. Though the morning began cool, by the time everyone was lined up to start the temperatures had risen significantly. The course wasn’t very hard and I had ran it the previous year. I finished sprinting with a time of 28:56.6 (I was 6th out of 40 runners in my age group). Afterwards I was crazy exhilarated and cheered on my Aunt CAV as she finished her ½ marathon. Once we had all finished my Aunt, Siblings, and I were subjects to many photos courtesy of my amazing mother.
This was a very fun event! If you have the chance to run it… don’t hesitate. There was also a obstacle course challenge (I thought it was for adults, but when I saw the pictures it was mostly kids). The post race food is like nothing I have ever seen at a race… it is a buffet in the church hall with all sorts of things. The volunteer support is outstanding and it is very well organized.
Seriously… the only con I can think of are the hills. Yes, hills… don’t let people fool you, Kansas is not flat!