How I Rocked the Parkway

Over the past few months, I’ve shared bits and pieces of my training for Rock the Parkway, a rather large, springtime Kansas City half-marathon. After my last half-marathon in October, I’d struggled with some disheartening ITBS issues, but after much research and consultation with friends, personal trainers, a physical therapist, and fellow runners, I began taking many preventative measures to keep that pain at bay.

This being said, I went into Rock the Parkway without any big goals in mind. I was pleased with my PR of 2:02:02 in October, and didn’t want to push too hard this time and end up injured again. I was pleased with how my training had gone. During training, I had encountered a few obstacles: a week of insanely strong winds, a couple of busy weekends, a trip to Florida for Spring Break, and a nasty head cold. However, I managed to stay flexible and fit in my weekly long runs, even doing one 10-miler on a 90-degree evening (in April!). As I explained to my Fan Club (a.k.a. my parents) on the way to the race, I would be happy with any time under 2:10, and would work toward my goal of breaking the 2-hour mark later in the year.

Ready to go at 5:30am!

Good luck hug from Delilah before leaving.

With half of my Fan Club before the race

Fellow blogger and runner, Amy, before the race

At 7:30am, the race began, and I fired up my audiobook (The Sixes by Kate White), hit “Start” on my MapMyRun app, and took off running. Now, I have a general strategy for races that I always use. I break the race into three segments: 5 miles, 5 miles, and 3 miles. The first five miles, I run slow and steady. The second five, I pick a strong pace that I can keep up with. The last three, I kick it into high gear. Although I intended to use this strategy again, I ended up starting a little bit in front of the 1:55 pace group. Surrounded by all these faster runners, my “slow and steady” pace wasn’t necessarily so slow this time.

Mile 1

By the time I finished the first leg of my journey, I was already averaging a 9:12 mile, which was 6 seconds faster than my overall average in my last half-marathon.

You should probably take it down a notch, I told myself. But I kept on running.

You can’t keep this up the rest of the way! I fretted. But I kept on running.

Really, pull it back, Katie. But my next mile clocked 9:02.

Mile 7

At the end of my second leg (10 miles), I was definitely feeling it. But then the voice in my head (well, the lady from MapMyRun), said, Time… 1:30:29… Distance… 10.0 miles…

What?!? I thought excitedly. It was at this pace that I realized I might actually be doing this. I might actually break the two-hour mark on this race. All I had to do was finish this last 5K in under 30 minutes, something I do on a regular basis.

That realization gave me the nudge I needed to push through those last 3.1 miles.

Mile 12.5

When I crossed the finish line, I saw the big clock that read 1:57:something. I knew that I’d done it! Not only had I completed Rock the Parkway, but I had Rocked the Parkway!!

A proud finisher
(Somebody could have told me I was holding my medal backwards!)

Amy also PR'd on this race at 1:53. Wow!

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5 thoughts on “How I Rocked the Parkway

  1. You totally Rocked it, Katie! That was awesome! I love hearing your inner monologue from throughout the race in this post.
    BTW, I totally have a picture from the KC Half where my medal is backwards. No one told me, either! 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Seemingly Impossible | Sharing Closet Space

  3. Pingback: ‘Tis the Season « Fit Butt Fabulous

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