About a month ago, I made a last minute decision to run the Broadway Bridge Half Marathon in Kansas City. I had a few other friends running, and thought it would be a perfect way to get my long run in for the week while getting in some “race pace” miles (anything at 8:00 or right under). I also thought it would be a great way to trick myself into running 13.1 miles hard! (Is it just me, or do races always seem easier than if you would just go out to run hard??)
In the days leading up to this race, I kept hearing how hilly this course was. I am not a wimp when it comes to hills, and sometimes I really like hills. So I considered this fact an added bonus of running the half. Now I will get hills, race pace and a long run in! Could it get any better?!?!
Answer: Yes it could get better! Add the insanely humid 85 degree weather to the mix and we had the perfect race to test me physically AND mentally!
My attitude about this race stayed extremely positive, and I was actually really excited to run it. I love hometown races, and this race was one going through quite a few places I had never ventured to before (including the downtown airport). Even when I walked outside the morning of the race and felt the weather, I remained excited. Call me crazy, but I was totally ready for the torture to come and knew it would do nothing but help me in NYC.
The first few miles were semi flat, with a few rolling hills. The bad thing about these miles was the sun beating down on us. I think I was sweating 3 minutes into the thing, and I don’t usually start sweating until at least a mile or two in!
Mile 6 was the first BIG hill. I remember thinking “one step in front of the other” all the way up that hill. And when I finally made it to the top, we were blessed with a mile of all downhill. I cruised through the mile and knew I had to use it to my advantage, as one of the biggest hills in Kansas City was waiting (I ended up running a 7:37 split!).
Mile 8, we hit the monster hill. I decided I would try to run this hill like a hill sprint and hang on to a solid pace for as long as I could. It was my goal to run under 8 minutes this mile, and it took all of my guts to make that happen! When the Garmin beeped a 7:54 mile, I had a BIG smile on my face!
The last 5 miles of the race were all about survival. This hills were brutal, the sun was HOT and my legs were getting VERY heavy. I just kept trying to hit under an 8 minute mile, which would result in my “goal time” of 1:45.
For Mile 13, I decided to put all my energy into it and see if I could make it my fastest. My old bootcamp teacher would always tell us that the workouts we did when we were the most tired made the biggest difference. So I figured I might as well try to run my last mile the hardest I possibly could!! There were a couple BIG hills that last mile, and when the watch beeped 7:28 on mile 13, there might have been a tear in my eye from being so proud of conquering them!
I ended up finishing in 1:44, which was a 7:52 overall pace. If I want to PR NYC, I need to run this pace for 26.2 miles…so I would say this was VERY good practice.
This was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever done, yet I would consider it my second best half marathon ever completed. Not because of the time, but because of the mental toughness I was able to fight through. The heat sucked and the hills were never ending. But my attitude remained extremely positive the entire time. Sure, I would’ve loved to run closer to 1:42 or 1:43, but I can’t be anything but proud of how I ended up.
I strongly believe that your time does not always dictate your performance. Sometimes it is your mental strength that will determine how well the race went. While a 1:44 will show up on paper as my time and won’t look that great comparative to some of my other half’s, it does not make me feel less of my performance. That thing was freakin’ HARD. And anyone that made it through all 13.22 miles (yes, adding on the extra .12!!!) is a rockstar in my book!! No matter what your time was, you should be proud of that finish 🙂
- 7:28 (.22 1:44)
Have you ever done a race that was not your best time, but made you so proud?
Did you run Broadway Bridge???? And did you survive??