Just Keep Mooooving

Once again, no rain! How did that happen? How did we do three half marathons in Kansas in the Spring and not get rained on during a single one of them? We were pretty lucky I guess.

I was worried we were going to be late (as usual I always worry), but I could have sworn the time for the Running with the Cows was a 6:30 AM. Websites and emails said it was 7:30 am. I was nervous because neither Rodney nor I had ever ran this particular half marathon. We weren’t sure where to go or what to expect. I eventually figured that I just confused the time for this race with the Garmin Half we did earlier this Spring.

The drive there looked easy enough. It was pretty much a straight shot down US 69 for us. There were signs as well. We got parked in a field near Queen of the Holy Rosary in Bucyrus, KS. We got out and didn’t have to walk far until we were at the start. I was a little bummed because my cordless headset LG HBS760 was not working. I mean it was able to charge, but once I turned it on, nothing! I love my cordless headset. I was so upset I had to use my headset that was not cordless. Then my phone started to act up and I couldn’t even get any music to play at all. I didn’t want to have to deal with the cords if I wasn’t even going to get to use it. Hubby got a new phone and I helped him get it set up so he could listen to a podcast. I just wasn’t in a good mood from the get go.

I got to the start line with Hubby and we laughed at how close the 2:15 pacers were lined up with the 2:30 pacers. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m guessing there is a reason that they line up that close at all the races? This race didn’t seem to have as many participants as Garmin or Rock The Parkway anyway. I got a little panicky because I didn’t think my phone was going to work at all. I really needed my Charity Miles to work for my Doctor Who Running Club team. I’m on Team DoctorDonna. I felt like I haven’t been pulling my weight because I’ve missed some runs, but in all fairness I missed them to be with my family during our difficult time of losing my father. I just took a deep breath and rebooted my phone. It sometimes takes a while and if there was some kind of weird update or something that it needed to do it could take up to a half hour or more. I crossed my fingers that did not happen. I was lucky and my phone came back on in time for the start. I did, however, forget to turn my Garmin on right at the start. My Garmin would go off every 1.1 miles as if I had just did one mile because of that late start. It was all good though. I really wish Charity Miles would automatically link to my Garmin account like a lot of other apps do.

We started off okay. Like I said it wasn’t too crowded. Hubby wanted to do his thing of running, then walking, and then running again when I caught up with him. It was what paid off for him during the Garmin Half. He did fine with that until about mile four. It was hot and it was zapping his energy. I didn’t see him again until the end. It was about mile five that the 2:20 group caught up to me. I tried to stay with them, but I just couldn’t. Maybe the heat was getting me as well.

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A picture of the course from my Connect App

We did a turn around on the course at about the half way point. It wasn’t a true out and back though. We took a turn off and around back to the original road where we started. It was kind of a big square with the small turn around point. I saw Hubby after the turn around point. He was back with the 2:50 people. I asked him if he was okay and he just made a funny face like a dog panting. So I knew he was in good spirits. One lady running next to me in my same direction thought I was talking to her. I told her what I was doing and that I was just worried about my husband with all the people having issues at races like this. When we were at Rock The Parkway we didn’t even know that a young gentleman had issues. We found out about it when we heard a pastor ask for prayers for the family at our church later that day. The pastor mentioned that he died. We were at the Arkansas Heart Hospital with my Dad weeks later when we saw on the news that someone had a heart attack at another race. We didn’t see much more of that report because my Dad’s doctor came out to talk to us.

I mentioned the two runners with the lady beside me. She didn’t know anything about them, but of course she could have been from out of state. There was as lady behind me that caught up and talked to me about the poor gentleman at Rock The Parkway. I told her that Hubby has a family history of heart problems and that he is on medication. We chatted about some other things. She was doing a walk/run thing like we do at our Disney runs. I left her behind when she walked, but she would catch back up to me when she ran. We didn’t talk much more during the race. The 2:25 people caught up to me at mile ten. There were several people who would go back and forth passing during the last part of the race.

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The cow in the upper corner can be taken off and worn like a pin.

I finished with my Garmin at 13.12 miles in 2:29:25. My official time on the website was 2:29:23.1. Interesting since I started my Garmin late. I got my medal and water. My right leg felt like I was trying to get a charley horse the last two miles. I didn’t hurt as bad when I was done. I went to the KC Running Company tent to get our Heartland prize. It was a medal. I asked the lady if I could get my husband’s as well. She asked if he was also a first time finisher and I said yes. She handed it to me no questions. I got the same thing from the lady handing out the little cow bells. I got a pink one for Baby Girl. I wanted a purple one for Little Man but they didn’t have purple. The nice lady gave me green one though which is another favorite color of his. So to you nice ladies that did that without question, thank you.

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I called Hubby before I got the Heartland medal and asked where he was. He said he was at mile twelve and that he was fine. I guessed it would take him about twelve more minutes to finish. I waited in a shady spot for him. When he didn’t show at the time I thought he would, I got worried again. I thought maybe I should walk down the street a bit. I prayed he was okay. I think losing my Dad had me super emotional.  I finally saw Hubby from where I was standing before I started to head down the race route. I’ll admit I teared up a bit when I saw he was okay and headed back toward the finish line. He finished in 2:50:26.2. I had on sunglasses so nobody noticed I was upset. I wiped away my tears and stood next to the guy giving out the Running With The Cows medals. I put his Heartland medal on him after the other medal was placed.

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Hubby was hot and there was no cold water. Too many runners had gone through already and taken all the cold ones. Hubby was drinking the water warm. I had cooled off a bit waiting for him to finish. We went inside someplace next to the church. We turned off the wrong way at first and did a loop back outside. Don’t ask me how or why. We went back in and found the food. Oh My Gosh! I’ve never seen that much food at a race. Seriously! It was crazy. I should have gotten a picture, but I was hungry. We definitely got our fill of food that morning.

Hubby and I sat down and ate. We both agreed we didn’t really like the course. It was so hot and there was no shade. It was just brutal. It was the wrong course to not have music. I used to run “naked” all the time. I mean no Garmin, no phone, and no headset. Once you get used to it, it is kind of hard to go back to the “old” ways. The band at the beginning was really cool and the guy playing drums in the middle of a field was pretty awesome. The people at the aid stations were great. We just weren’t “feeling it.” We probably won’t do it again unless we try the Heartland again. We do like a challenge.

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Lucky Tin Man

It seems like it always rains during the Garmin marathon. I had been eye balling the weather app on my phone several days in advance. It looked cold and rainy. Then the temperature looked a little better. I was still going to need long sleeves for sure or arm sleeves. I just knew it would rain though. I’ve done the half one other time and it rained. Then every time since then when I saw a friend post something on Facebook about running it, it also seemed like it was raining.

The last time I ran the Garmin Half it was actually at Garmin Headquarters. There was no issue with the traffic and everything started on time. The start location this year was pretty close to us in what we thought was in an industrial area. While driving there we noticed it was really congested way before we got to our exit. My husband is a firm believer in the zipper method when it comes to merging lanes. He does not think everybody needs to be in one lane for miles and miles leaving a perfectly good lane open for people to merge. When I think about it, it makes sense and isn’t a jerk move at all if everybody did it. It is a matter of taking turns.

Anyway, once we got off the exit ramp, parking wasn’t really an issue. We stayed in the car to stay warm for a bit, but I’m always anxious about being late. I also like to just see the people out there especially if there is a chance for costumes. We did see some Wizard of Oz costumes before the start. Funny thing, the start, it was delayed about a half hour because of the traffic jam. There was an empty vendor tent nearby with some people huddled in it. We went in as well. It was out of the wind and a bit warmer with all the body heat. It had rained earlier and out one entrance of the tent the sky looked clear while the other entrance of the tent looked pretty cloudy.

When we lined up I think we were with the 2:25 group. I edged toward the 2:20 people a bit. When we started the group was going kind of slow, so I ran ahead a bit, but I was still passed by a team of ten people dressed in a Chinese dragon costume. I wasn’t feeling good about that. I thought those people have to be pretty confident about their pace to do that.

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This course had a lot more hills than any of the others I’ve run around here. They weren’t big hills, but there was a lot of them. Hubby stuck to his plan. He would run, then when his Garmin went off to walk he would do that until I caught up to him. Then he would run again. It paid off for him. He finished before me this time, but I’m jumping ahead right now.

Our running club, Olathe Running Club, had an aid station along the course. I said hi to a few members I knew. Our president was dressed as Dorothy. Again, I didn’t get pictures. I made a mental note of when each pace group either caught up and/or passed me when I did the race, but I waited so long to write this that I have since forgotten. Just know that my time wasn’t a PR but it wasn’t bad for me.

I saw a ton of little ones that wanted high-fives. If you have read any of my posts you know how I feel about hi fives. I’ve gotta do em. I actually saw some little ones that looked familiar. I gave them a high-five and then saw their mom. We are Facebook friends. She has twins and belongs to several of the same mom groups that I participate.

About the middle of the race I took off my long sleeve shirt and tied it around my waist. I still had a short sleeve shirt and a vest. The wind came right after I did that and I got chilled. I thought about putting my long sleeve shirt back on, but it was nice and warm again soon after I decided to leave it.

I saw a lot of backed up traffic here and there. I do not recall the race causing such an  issue when the route was closer to Garmin headquarters. There seem to be some unhappy motorist.

I don’t recall anything else unusual during the race. I finished in 2:27:20. Hubby finished in 2:25:39. The medals were really cool. The half marathon medal that we got was a twister with different items from The Wizard of OZ. It would also spin. I think the 10K was a little Toto in a basket that moved. The full marathon was the wizard as himself on one side and his persona on the other side. Come to find out the group dressed as a dragon did the full marathon and got a Guinness world record.

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The after party was great even though it was a bit chilly. They had chicken sandwiches and hot dogs in one area. The other area they had margaritas and beer with heat lamps! I was all good with food in my belly and an adult beverage. We had a nice conversation with a gentleman visiting from New York. We told him what he could do around town while he was here.

This is my only second Garmin, and I still like it. Also the rain held out and was sunny the rest of the day. The Tin Man would have been a happy camper. This Heartland Series isn’t bad. In case you don’t know what it is; it’s a series of three half marathons. There is Rock The Parkway, Garmin and Running With the Cows. We only have Running With The Cows left to do to complete it.

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My Wicked Good Half Marathon

The weather started out nice. The temp was blah blah blah blah. I’m pulling your leg. I won’t do that to you. Although I will say that my husband kept telling me I was going to get rained on during the Garmin Half Marathon. I looked at Google weather and it only looked like a 10% or 20% chance. Here is hopefully a quick summary of the weather. It was in fact nice at the start. It clouded up when I got to mile four. It sprinkled on us when I got to about mile six. It hailed a bit a mile seven. It poured on us before I got to mile eight, and then it stopped about the time I got a little past mile ten. I blame the hat I wore for the hail. I wore my Pike’s Peak hat. I think I have mentioned how that one went in my previous posts. If you don’t remember here is short version of that one. I trained for a half. I got to the last aid station from the top and they turned me around because of the lightning storm and hail. So I ended up almost doing the full marathon that day.

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I was actually looking forward to a little rain for my Garmin run. I have been coughing and sneezing ever since we got back from the cruise. My allergies have been driving me crazy. The rain helped me breathe a little better. I just wished the temperature had not dropped so much. I wore my arm sleeves just in case because I hate getting cold. I got some under arm chafe either from them or my shirt. It still hurts but at least it isn’t bleeding like my legs were after I did the Pilgrim Pacer Half Marathon a few years ago. I wore capris this time so that wouldn’t happen.

There were a few things that made me laugh on this course. The costumes were one thing. We had a few Dorothys and some witches. I saw maybe one scarecrow and one tin-man. Being a hasher you would think I would be wearing a costume, but I haven’t been feeling the costume vibe a whole lot lately. I love dressing up the twins for Halloween, but I just haven’t felt the need to dress up myself in some time.

I laughed at the signs for the first water stop. There was reference to melting witches. There was also a few cardboard cut out witches there. I saw one lady take a selfie with one of the witches.I didn’t see any other Wizard of Oz references until almost the end. There were a few signs there too. I don’t remember what they said. I don’t remember much about the end at all except the “yellow brick road” at the finish. I was definitely tired and walking more the last three miles.

I also found it funny that some people were being so careful about getting their feet wet. I just powered through a few puddles. I did not splash anybody. That would have been rude. I guess that is something else I am used to doing coming from a hasher background. I ran a lot of trails with wet feet in my time. I have run through ponds, rivers, and ditches. One time someone set a trail that had us in a ditch for almost three miles! The bushes and trees were too thick on the sides to just follow it. I was not happy with the guy that set that trail. I wasn’t mad so much about my feet being wet as I was about the possibility of falling and busting my behind. It was summer and the ditch was mostly moss and algae as opposed to water. I have always found the bright side of running with wet feet to be that at least my feet will be nice and soft when it is all said and done.

All and all it was a pretty good run. I did better than I thought I would. According to my Map My Run app I did 13.4 miles. I guess I was a ways away from the start. It also said I did a 12:19 average pace. My official race results were emailed to me which was super nice. That said I kept a 12:12 pace. That is huge for me. I know some of you fast folks might think that is slow, but I’ll take it. It makes me laugh to think of an interview with Kara Goucher talking about how slow a 10 minute mile pace felt to her while she was pregnant. I know she is a professional and all, but shoot I’d love to have a 10 minute mile pace.

Since the theme of my post seems to be about things that make me laugh or put a smile on my face, I have to say seeing the twins at the end was super awesome. I’m sure my face must have lit up when I saw them. My husband and his parents brought them. I am so grateful to them for bringing the babies. I gave Baby Girl and Baby Boy a big kiss. That was the real highlight of my run.

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