Race report: Hangover Half Marathon

Hangover Half Marathon

Half Marathon #33

January 1, 2020

Place: 126/171

Time: 2:33:14

logoYet another Hangover Half Marathon to start the year off on a good note.

Weather: Mid-20s to low-30s, low wind, sunshine.

I had no real goals going into this one, as I just wanted to get some miles in and enjoy my new watch I got for Christmas. Kami got me the Garmin Forerunner 945 watch — hands down the coolest and most unexpected Christmas gift I’ve ever received. I love it and am still playing with new features on it each day since.

I actually wound up running a pretty good pace in the early miles and felt good throughout. At the midway point, I decided I’d pick up the pace a little bit. I was on pace to finish in the 1:54 – 1:56 range if I maintained my pace — although I was actually speeding up.

early

statue

I feel you, bro.

UNTIL… I took a wrong turn. No, really. Myself and at least two other runners got off course and wound up going too far. When it was all said and done, I had run 15.38 miles — officially finishing my slowest half marathon time ever. But pace-wise, I wasn’t mad about anything. I still had a really good run overall.

finish

After ditching a couple layers and laughing about the extra mileage.

swag

Finisher swag.

Next up: Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon — Saturday, January 18

Race report: Spooky Sprint Half Marathon

Spooky Sprint Half Marathon

Half Marathon #31

October 27, 2019

Place: 119/151

Time: 2:33:15

race logo

Wanted one more race with Bryant before the end of the year, so I signed up for this one at Longview Lake in Kansas City. I had been there before for a different race and really enjoyed it.

This experience was an interesting one for a few reasons:

  • They ran out of safety pins and asked runners to donate spare ones.
  • Bryant got cold and was tired, so I handed him off to Kami at 7.3, going the rest solo.
  • It started out out pavement, but quickly transitioned to a soft, fine gravel course.

Still an enjoyable experience overall, despite Bryant struggling. I was happy Kami was there to take him or I would’ve had my first ever DNF at a half marathon. The kid perked up once he warmed up and saw a dog at the finish line. But yeah, he wasn’t having it out there. No worries, though.

Not sure if I should count this as my fourth stroller-pushing half marathon or not, since we didn’t make it the whole way together. Oh well.

Here are some photos:

shirt and bib

swag

Race report: Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon

Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon

Half Marathon #26

May 25, 2019

Place: 835/940

Time: 2:41:50

Signed up the week of the race for the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon. While I’m not a K-State fan, I was itching for a long run and figured this a good way to force myself to get moving.

I really wanted to push Bryant in the stroller for at least some of the miles, but the forecast was iffy at best, so that plan was up in the air going in to race day.

The course is about 8 miles along the highway before entering Manhattan city limits and meandering through town and finishing on the field at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

course map

Course route.

When we got into town and Bryant was awake early and happy, I thought we’d try starting the race together and passing him off to Kami around mile 8 if he wasn’t having it — just hopefully he could make it that far.

We picked up my packet at the stadium, before making our way to the start so Kami could drop us off — meaning we’d avoid the shuttle since we had the stroller with us.

field pre race

Quiet as a mouse pre-race.

pre race swag

Pre-race swag.

 

start pack

The crowd at the start.

 

Bryant loved seeing all the people at the beginning. We had zero goals on time, just wanted to enjoy the miles together. We stopped for snacks and drinks at the aid stations, sprinkled in a bit of walking, but kept on moving.

We also practiced our animal sounds and colors, sang songs, told stories, pointed out all the cars, trucks and tractors and had a blast.

 

The course had some rolling hills, but nowhere near as hilly as a few people told me it would be. I actually found it to be a really enjoyable course that was quite a bit easier than expected — especially considering I was pushing him in the stroller.

Speaking of which, we’d never gone more than 5.5 miles together, which we had accomplished just one week earlier in/around downtown Topeka.

As we made our way into Manhattan, Bryant was still doing really well and having a good time. We called Kami after leaving each aid station. We were really thinking about giving it a shot all the way to the finish with the stroller at this point.

me and B

Almost into town!

Knew it could be a risk if he started hating it at any time.

 

When we got to her shortly after mile 8, we had decided to go for it. Of course, we stopped and snacked again and chatted for a minute before taking off again.

 

Around mile 9.2, Bryant was getting really upset. I thought I needed to change him, so I pulled off into the grass and laid him down. DRY. Crap. That meant he was just mad or bored. I desperately took a guess and said “Bryant, do you wanna keep your shoes off?”

He gave a quick, loud and clear “YEAH.” Heck yes, boy. I tossed his shoes into the bottom of the stroller, buckled him back in and took off. He was happy as can be the rest of the way, putting his stocking feet up on the ‘dash’ and laughing quite a bit those last four miles or so. Score!

We made our way onto the K-State campus, where we bobbed and weaved a little bit until finding the stadium near the finish. We were flying by several folks at this point.

 

We passed five or six people in the last couple hundred yards alone. Super proud of the kid for lasting 13.1 miles in the stroller after never going more than 5.5. He was awesome!

 

Kami even got a shot of us on the jumbotron.

jumbotron

Go us!

My slowest half marathon ever, but more than likely my most fun.

finish with B

Official race photographer finish line shot.

medal

Finisher medal.

I even got to see a few friends at the race — and missed some others, as they were all faster than us on this day.

me and Lisa

Always great to see Lisa!

swag

Post-race swag.

Bryant did phenomenal in the stroller, but was ready to get out and play some himself. He had a blast running around on the turf field, playing on the “tractor” and in the bounce house with the big kids.

 

I could definitely see doing this one again.

Maybe KU or WSU could get something similar going. 🙂

 

Race report: Liberty Hospital Half Marathon

Bling, bling.

Liberty Hospital Half Marathon

Half marathon #25

March 2, 2019

Place: 399/1,075

Time: 2:08:28

logo

With almost no running in the last month (last weekend’s trail “run” not withstanding), I had zero expectations for this one.

It was cold, which was to be expected. It was hillier than I am used to. There was a bigger turnout than I’m used to.

I showed up at packet pickup and trekked a good distance from the car to the building to check in. Once I checked in and saw a man about a horse, I then trekked a bit more back outside toward the start line. I made it there just in time — about 5 minutes before the race began. Perfect.

 

 

All in all, this one was great. I was shocked at how steadily I would run throughout the day — purely based on feel, as I didn’t glance at my once even once the entire race. I knew where my mile markers were, as there were big signs. Not to mention the beep of my watch at every mile.

Still, it usually bugs me not knowing my pace. Not this time. Always a freeing feeling when I can let go of that need to know and just run.

Though it wouldn’t have bothered me to miss it, given my lack of general fitness of late, I had a time of 2:10 in my head going in. I told myself a 10:00 pace or just under could be attainable, though I didn’t really know.

I stuck with the 2:05 pace group for a couple miles. I stopped briefly somewhere in the fourth mile — had to see a man about a horse again. Otherwise, I moved steadily all day.

by hospital

Heading around the namesake of the race — the Liberty Hospital, somewhere between miles 5 and 6.

Later on, I just tried to stay ahead of the 2:10 pace group, which I was able to sustain through the finish. If I’m being honest, that’s what kept me going in the later miles.

Splits
9:24 | 9:40 | 9:21 | 10:08 | 9:40 | 9:31 | 9:43 | 9:54 | 9:37 | 9:36 | 9:10 | 9:55 | 9:46 | 9:14 (0.33) 
A man dressed as the Statue of Liberty caught up to me and passed me momentarily shortly after mile 10. I wasn’t having that. That probably explains my fastest mile of the day occurring in mile 11. 
While this race is my 21st fastest of my 25 half marathons, considering I have not run hardly at all in 2019, I’m actually pretty pleased with this turnout. I was steady throughout and ran sub-10s in every mile except for the one where I stopped to pee — and on a super hilly course, no less.
I’m not mad about that.
stadium

Got to finish on the track of William Jewell College in Liberty, MO.

finish 1

Official time — 2:08:28

 

I’m really hoping these frigid temps will go away soon. Maybe I can decrease a few hours of my recent overtime and actually spend that time running once in awhile.

A couple of April 50-milers, plus a marathon on March 30 as a tune-up run, but first…

Next up: Mater Day Irish Fest 5K — Topeka, KS — March 16

Race report: Hangover Half Marathon

Hangover Half Marathon

Half marathon #24

January 1, 2019

Place: 35/115

Time: 1:57:07

logo

Always good to start the year off with some miles — cold as they may be.

With a real feel of 8 degrees throughout the race, this would be pretty frigid. Thankfully, though, I managed to warm up — or at least go numb — a few miles in. That made for a tolerable run for the duration.

Love the cheap, low-key feel of this one.

I found a parking spot about 30 feet from the start line and lingered in my car until I absolutely had to get to the start line. From that point, I wasn’t thrilled about running. It was cold, man.

selfie

Pre-race selfie.

And of course…

bib on shorts

Bib on shorts.

pre race cold

This perfectly captures my mentality in the moment: “Don’t talk to me. It’s cold. This is dumb.”

I didn’t look at my watch once until I stopped to pee, so I genuinely had no idea what my pace was like. My watch was covered by my sleeves for warmth, so I was actually fine with not looking at my watch. I looked once at that point, then not again until after the turnaround.

early in race

In the first mile or two of the race.

I was moving faster than planned overall, but I had kept it steady thusfar and I was feeling pretty good.

After the turnaround, another runner caught up with me and we chatted a bit. We quickly realized we were running a similar pace and actually wound up running the last six miles or so together.

Actually made the miles tick by a little quicker having some company — especially with the gloomy, depressing-looking conditions.

Thanks for the miles, Rachel.

uphill 3

About mile 11.5.

Aside from the mile with the turnaround with hills and ice thrown in (underlined below), my splits were fairly consistent, considering the conditions.

8:17, 8:19, 8:21, 8:25, 8:59, 8:42, 10:22, 9:06, 8:53, 8:35, 8:47, 9:16, 8:58, 7:35 (0.28)

finish 2

Finish line photo.

I really enjoy this event. As long as I live in the area (sort of), I’ll probably continue keep it going at this one.

Next up: Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon — January 19

Race report: Salt City Half Marathon

Salt City Half Marathon

Half Marathon #22

October 6, 2018

Place: 30/150

Time: 1:55:03

logo

2018 race logo

My sixth time running this event — my most of any race, since I just started running 7.5 years ago.

I was very happy to hear some changes were being made this year — changes I’ve been hoping for since the event started. First one: Name change. Love the new one. Simple, to the point, fitting. Second: Moving from Sunday to Saturday. So much more convenient.

The course wasn’t something that bothered me at all in the past, but the update this year was great. Loved starting and finishing in the same spot and the fact that they put a spotlight on Main Street, even if just for one morning.

course map

New course map

Another change made was the date. It was pushed back a couple weeks this year. The date isn’t something that bothered me either way, but I’m just glad to participate. You never know what you’re going to get with Kansas weather anyway. I expected to get rained on all day. Thankfully, just a few light sprinkles early. Lots of puddles, though, which was sort of fun.

Kami and Bryant were out like logs, but my mother-in-law, Lori, was willing to give me a ride to the start line. That was great. Didn’t really feel like running an extra 2.6 miles to get there prior to the race.

shirt + bib

My shirt and bib for this year’s race.

I took the above photo in the truck before she left and I headed to the start. Love the bibs especially this year. Shirt seems good, too. We’ll see how it wears on a run — should be fine.

On to the race: This was probably the steadiest half marathon I’ve run. I didn’t really have any expectations, but figured I’d be in the 2 hour – 2:10 range. I finished in 1:59:51 last year, when it was much warmer.

I also talked more during this race than I almost ever do. First couple of miles, I chatted with some guy named Mark, but there was a girl named Jessica on our heels, who wound up pulling up a bit and I ran with her the last 9-10 miles or so and talked quite a bit.

Turns out, she’s married to a guy from my hometown, who we spotted several times throughout. Fun times.

Zero complaints about my splits. In fact, I was thrilled with them. Finished in just a tick over 1:55. Had to drop back a few steps to let Jessica have her finish line photo. Ha!

8:33 | 8:38 | 8:50 | 8:54 | 8:52 | 8:38 | 8:45 | 8:44 | 8:50 | 8:41 | 8:35 | 8:35 | 8:34 |
7:12 (0.26)

After that mile four of almost 9 minutes, I thought for sure I’d continue to slip back. But I really settled in and hit a groove. Never really felt like I was pushing it much either, so that’s good.

Salt City Half Marathon

Crossing the finish line.

Even took third place in my age group, collecting a pretty sweet little trophy.

Best of all, the boy got to go up with me when I was announced.

Bryant helps get trophy

Fun moment

Of course, like everything else, he wanted to eat it.

Bryant steals trophy

Gimme that.

It was a bit cold for him, but we still got to hang out a bit post-race.

me and Bryant

The boy and me

All in all, I had a great time. No real action shots this year — we’ll blame the weather, but no worries. Still had lots of fun.

medal + trophy

2018 swag

I needed to let myself enjoy this one because…

Next up: KRT 100 — Ottawa, KS — October 27-28

Race report: Run for Your Momma Half Marathon

Run for Your Momma Half Marathon

Half Marathon #21

August 11, 2018

Place: 14/42

Time: 1:56:48

race logo

Race logo

I ran this race last year and did not love it. The views were good, but I remember writing last year about the rocks and hills and boo-hooing about my pace and time, yada yada.

Only decided to run it again because I’ve added a half marathon to our Rodeo Run in Pretty Prairie and I thought I’d add another summer-ish race of that distance to my experiences with that in mind.

This year was a whole different experience. Loved every minute of my time on the course this year.

Of course, it meant a dark and early drive to Marion once again for the 6:30 start, but once I got there, it was all good.

Lake Building

Building at the lake

Picked up my packet, visited the rest room, attached my bib, walked to the start line and got ready to run.

We started a couple minutes late, but no worries. Soaked in the nice temps and bowed for the pre-race prayer before we all took off.

pre race selfie

Pre-race selfie

I had no expectations, time-wise, other than my hope to stay at least somewhat steady. I was also hoping to start really slow and gradually speed up throughout. One of these two things would happen. Stay tuned.

early race views

Enjoying the horizon

Started off with an 8:40 first mile. That would prove to be my fastest of the day. I told myself to walk the aid stations and make sure to stay hydrated since I didn’t feel like carrying anything with me.

Slowed to grab a drink, then stopped to pee early in mile 2. That one wound up at 9:10, my slowest of the day. Wait, what? Yeah. All 13-plus miles fell between that 30-second window of 8:40-9:10. I was really happy with that.

sunrise

Can’t beat a good sunrise in the country.

While I had no intention of going fast or even speeding up much, if any, since I was already a little faster than planned, I still managed to pass some folks as the miles ticked by.

race views curve

Probably my favorite shot of the day. Spoiler: That’s fog, not water.

My steady splits continued, despite walking through the aid stations. I really just told myself to try to sustain it for as long as possible. Really happy with how that played out throughout the morning.

About mile 3, the course turned from dirt/gravel to pavement in town. I like the change-up of the views here, as Marion is really a fairly nice town. My great-grandparents lived there and I visited a few times as a kid.

Marion water tower

Nice little water tower shot in town.

We got a few miles in town before hitting the dirt/gravel roads again for a bit. I spent several miles chasing a really badass lady pushing a stroller. Tough course to do that on. She’s a warrior.

I finally caught up to her somewhere between miles 8 and 9. She slowed up a bit the rest of the way, but still did amazing. If she had not pushed me (without knowing it) the way she did, I likely would not have finished as well as I did.

late race selfie

Still not worried about my time. Chillin’ around mile 7.5.

We got almost to mile 10 when we hit pavement again for a loop around the lake the rest of the way. A couple hills here, but nothing as bad as I thought I remembered from the year before. I definitely handled everything much better this time around.

mile 10 lake

I’m telling you, man: Solid views.

I caught up to a few more people on my trip around the lake. I was able to sustain — and even improve — my overall pace a bit.

In 2017, I finished this race in 1:59:35 and was upset. I had started off fast with high expectations and faltered hard.

This year? I never really hit a wall, finished in 1:56:48 and couldn’t have been happier. I enjoyed it a lot more, that’s for sure. What a great day for it, weather-wise, too. That always helps.

Splits — 8:40 | 9:10 | 8:44 | 9:03 | 9:03 | 8:50 | 8:59 | 8:44 | 8:46 | 9:07 | 8:55 | 8:56 | 8:42 | 7:48 (0.14)

I finished 14th place overall out of 42 finishers in the half marathon. Whatever, man. I’m not mad about it.

After enjoying an ice cold bottle of water at the finish, it was back over to the lake building for breakfast.

breakfast

Biscuits + gravy were the highlight here

After being unsure if I’d return after 2017, I now can say I’m almost certain I’ll return again for this one. It’s crazy how perspectives can change.

shirt + medal

My shirt, bib and medal.

I even saw a sign for the race on my way out of town — it was pretty dark on my way in.

race sign

Thanks for a good race, Marion.

Next up: Kansas Law Enforcement Run to Remember 10K — Saturday, August 25 — Topeka