Race Recap: Go Girl Half Marathon 2016

This was my third year in a row running Go Girl. This year was super fun because I got to come onboard as an official race ambassador. I also was super lucky to have Sharon Prothe and Calvin Whitmore as part of my support group to help with training. The goal was to elevate my training and then report back to you all with new tips & tricks that I learned along the way. Reference here & here for those little nuggets.

From a running standpoint, I did more speed drills and track workouts and then popped in over at Orange Theory Leawood to take one of Calvin’s classes (boy I wish they were on ClassPass!). The stat and competitive aspect really helped me push myself on the treadmill and I’d really like to integrate more of that in my training before my next race in 7 months. Previously, I did more hill and fartlek type runs to help with speed. This was also the first race I’ve ever done with a fitness watch. I test drove the Garmin Forerunner 235. The watch comes in adorable frost blue and is super light weight. It was also extremely accurate on pace and distance (much more efficient than my iPhone). I really enjoyed running with this device. It helped me push myself and monitor my pace more efficiently.

I hinted here, but this race season has been really tough for me. Since my last half in May, I’ve been battling some stress related health issues that have made overall training super difficult. I’ve had to fight through fatigue (amongst other things) and it certainly has not helped my pace. I was nervous leading up to race day just because I wasn’t sure how I’d perform or if I’d even feel amped up to finish. I just had to trust my training because I put in the work and the mileage to make it happen.

Race day was once again super smooth. Parking for this race is always VIP and this year was no different. The immediate thing I noticed was that they fixed the porta potty situation. Instead of having them light years away, they were right by the race entrance and lines were super short due to quantity! This was one of the first halfs where I haven’t felt rushed to do my biz and then race to the start for the national anthem.

I had heard that the course changed so I was curious when that would come in to play. The first few miles were either flat or down hill. I was super pumped when I saw some 8 min splits–the first I’ve seen all summer. I also was a little nervous that I’d burn out and get fatigued way early if I was running too fast so I tried to stick to a solid pace and not over do it.

I remained pretty solid until about mile 8 and then my paced slowed down a bit due to some heavy/long distance hills. This is where the course changed slightly and I am so happy it did. It turned left vs. going straight (up more hills and facing the sun) and had a gradual down hill slope where I was able to pick up my pace and make up some time.

I gave it my all the last two miles and while super tired, I felt like I finished strong and still had some gas left in my tank. (I was able to sprint to the finish the last few yards!) My parents were at the finish, which was super special and afterwards we cheered on fellow runners and enjoyed food from Prairie Fire restaurants and bakeries.

This course is relatively hilly but I like hills. Hills keep me engaged and on track. The weather for this course can make or break you. The first year we had A++ weather and I didn’t even notice the hills + got a PB. Last year it was in the 90s and super humid and it was the worst race experience ever but it also might have been the reason I PRed in Portland. This year we had good weather and it allowed me to push my body and perform much better than I expected. My goal was to finish under 2hrs and I did that. It wasn’t my best time, by far, but I experienced and conquered new challenges, which gives me hope for the fall season.

The Race Director and all who are involved did a fabulous job and I am super honored to be part of such a special race here in Kansas City. The positivity was contagious. So many family members and friends hopped in and helped their loved ones cross the finish line. Congrats to all the finishers–you guys inspire me!

You can check out all race photos here. 

 

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