We did it again! We ran Rock the Parkway. I was so happy to do it, but at the same time I saw how cold it was going to be this year and a wave of dread came over me. The expo was good. I had to take the kids with me to get our race packets. Last year’s expo was upstairs and they have an escalator in the Overland Park Convention Center. I thought the kids would love that. However I saw signs for the expo as soon as we walked in the door. It was downstairs this year. The kids ended up enjoying it even though they didn’t get to ride the escalator. They still had fun because the people that were advertising other races had candy! They each got a sucker in the shape of a flower from the Mother’s Day 5K and a miniature (not fun size) Milky Way for Baby Girl and Three Musketeers for Baby Boy from the Putting The Boots To ALS 5K. Boy, did they LOVE that! I don’t think I’ve ever seen either one of them finish a sucker before that day. Of course the chocolate was gone in a flash.
My in-laws spent the night again, but they didn’t take the kids anywhere this time. We also didn’t do a date night. It was all just in and out kind of thing. I had a hard time getting the Littles to stay in their own room that night. It was cold and they really wanted to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy. I got Baby Boy to cuddle with the grandparents at one point so we could get ready and leave.
I’m positive we left really earlier last year. Hubby was complaining about how early we were leaving this year. I told him we left earlier last year AND it was his idea! He still continued to remark at how there were still empty spots in the parking lot and how we would come later next year. Ugh! I hate stressing if we are going to be late. We did not do a drop bag last year, but since it was SOOOOO much colder this year, we decided to bring some warm clothes with us. Most races have been giving you your race packet in a clear bag which is also your drop bag. Rock The Parkway didn’t do that. They had the bags at the drop off site to give you when you got there. I went ahead and gave them my fleece pullover at least half an hour before race time to kind of acclimate. Hubby waited another fifteen minutes.
Once again Hubby decided to get in my corral instead of his. The body heat from the crowd seem to warm us up since there was a lot of people lined up at that time. We saw on the runDisney Facebook group that one of the Kansas people from Wichita, Jeremy, was there. Hubby commented that we were in the corral behind him, but Jeremy didn’t respond before we started to run.
I really wanted to run with Cristal and the 2:30 pace group, but I lined up with the 2:20 pace group and thought, “What the heck.” Right at the beginning Hubby and a bunch of other people took off in a flash. The 2:20 pace guy, Brian, said they just didn’t know how to contain that energy and we would pass them all soon enough. The 2:20 pace girl, Sheree, had on a cardigan. I didn’t think anything of it until a lady with some wild running skirt that looked like a comic strip came running by and said something. The lady in the comic strip skirt said she just always thought to use old running clothes that she didn’t mind throwing out when running a race on a cold day. She never thought about old cardigans. Comic Strip kind of thought it was brilliant. I’m not sure why, maybe it was the cold, but I didn’t talk much this race. I kind of just eavesdropped on Sheree and Comic Strip most of the run.
I found out that Comic Strip is a few years older than me. One of her kids was running the race as well but at his/her own pace. Comic Strip has ran 30 half marathons and done 45 triathlons or maybe it was 45 half marathons and 30 triathlons. I don’t remember. I wasn’t really trying that hard to eavesdrop. Cristal’s thing was telling people to ease up on the uphill and to yell, “Woooo!” at every mile marker. Sheree’s thing seemed to be to tell everyone to lean forward and enjoy the downhill. I think that bit of advice helped me just as much as Cristal’s advice from last year.
The course was the same as last year, I think. One of the spectators was dressed as a pumpkin. She was dancing around and yelling nice things at the runners. She would tell us how bad ass we were. She was pretty awesome. Since the course was the same, I remembered that there was a beer stop somewhere in the neighborhoods. Last year I think it was kind of off course and I couldn’t make it over. This year it was in a grassy median. So I jumped off real quick and grabbed me a shot of beer. It was light, it was cold, and it was goooood.
I thought I was going to lose the 2:20 group at mile six, but somehow I caught up with them. I think I had a little extra energy that I exerted to make it up some hills that they were taking easy. That and I flew down the downhill parts. I was so happy to keep them in sight the whole time. I did lose Sheree behind me somewhere around mile nine or so. I could still see Brian though. So I kept running. I kind of felt bad at one point. I ran past this lady that was stopped off the side. It kind of sounded like she was crying when I passed her but I wasn’t sure. I was trying to make it past an intersection nearby because a police officer was letting cars go here and there when there was space. I was a lone straggler that would have kept the cars from going. I was trying to help out by catching up to a group not too far in front of me and giving the car some space to pass. I noticed the lady and turned to look at her just as I was in the intersection. I also noticed that the police officer was kind of eyeing her as I passed him. I hope if she did need help he was able to offer it to her. She wasn’t too terribly far from the intersection.
Since I didn’t see Hubby stop to walk and wait for me at the beginning, I thought he decided to go ahead and run his own race. He is still doing bicycle rides, but he isn’t running as much. He had some issues on one of the few long runs he did with me. He was concerned that I would beat him. I really didn’t think that was possible. He has always been faster than me no matter what. Running just doesn’t come easy for me.
I made another PR at Rock The Parkway. Last year I took fifteen minutes off my best half marathon. This year I took another ten minutes off of the previous year’s Rock The Parkway because you know I did not PR at Disney. My time this year was 2:20:17.7. I was so happy! I sent a FB message to Hubby to see where he was. When he did not answer right away I wondered if there was the slight possibility that I did in fact beat him. I sent him another message telling him where I was just in case. A few minutes later he came up with a lady in a Disney shirt similar to the one he was wearing. One of the first things he said is that I “snuck” past him. He told me I would have beaten him quite a bit more if it hadn’t been for the nice lady from Orlando pushing him. She was actually wearing a Disney Half Marathon shirt from a few years earlier and not a Goofy shirt from this year like Hubby was wearing. She told him while they were running that she worked at the Disney races this year. She might have been one of the people to hand us a medal. He said she came up to him during the race because she recognized the shirt. She was really nice, but she hurried off after meeting me. I guess she needed to find her group of people.
We only took a few steps and Jeremy from the runDisney Facebook group hollered at us. He was with his wife. We all introduced ourselves and talked about the race. Apparently Rodney bumped into him in during the race and talked for a bit before they lost each other. It was nice finally meeting someone from the Facebook group. We missed the meet and greet a Disney. So Jeremy is the first we’ve met. We talked about local races and Disney races. It quickly got cold again, so we parted ways to go to the bag drop.
We did not stay at the after party long. There was chocolate milk, bananas, yogurt, etc. We ate some of the food. There was a good band, but it was soooo cold. I think I really liked the vibe a Waddell & Reed better. They had cute little temporary benches and couches on the grass. They also gave runners a free beer and sandwich after the race, but not every race can do that.
I told Hubby before the race that I wasn’t sure we would do Rock The Parkway again. I really like Waddell & Reed’s course and after party better, but then again, I seem to PR every time I do Rock The Parkway. Of course Hubby hasn’t done Garmin yet and I did it a few years ago. I guess we will see. And Oh, we are officially signed up for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge in November!