Saturday, May 14, 2016

Running with the Cows: The FINAL race of the Heartland Series

Ah, running with the cows half marathon weekend.  The BEST race of the Heartland Series.  The final race of the Heartland Series.  The race I will ALWAYS do no matter what.  You honestly don't know what you are missing if you haven't done this race.  
This race does it RIGHT.  They pay attention to EVERY little detail, which makes it super fun to run.  
Packet pick up was at a new location.  It's a store called Scheels, and I had never heard of it.  It was like a sporting goods store on steroids.  This store had a ferris wheel in the store.  Amazing!  They had packet pick up well labeled and in a giant room with their uber cute merchandise.  I was a good girl this year, but I saw several pieces that I might have to get next year.  
We carb loaded the night before like champs.  We also fell asleep promptly after getting home.  I had a great night's sleep, which is unusual.  I work up prior to my alarm going off, and Mel was up too, so we loaded up and headed out.  We saw a beautiful sunrise sitting in the field in our car.  I had decided to change my pre race fuel from UCAN, that had previously caused me to have to pee shortly after starting the race, back to my old long run fuel, Belvita crackers.  I had talked to my coach about the possibility of a PR.  She told me to go for it.  The only reason I even remotely thought about a PR at all was the 40 degree weather at the start.  I LOVE running the cold, and this really was the perfect storm.  I pretty much have done 0 amount of speed work since January, so I had no clue what my body was capable of.
I think Joan of Arc helped me today:)  I didn't notice she was above us till I looked at these pics later.  So cool.  The course had changed from last year THANK GOD.  The route was back to the route it was two years ago, and I am so happy.  I am pretty sure that, the weather, and Joan all helped me get a PR, because I do NOT feel like I put in the work with my foot being so hateful.  I lined up with the 2:10 pacer, but felt good, so I just kept going with it.  Pretty soon I had caught up to the 2:05 pacer, and I hung with her the entire race.  She got ahead of me around mile 10 and I thought all was lost, but I then I caught up with her at the end. I kept telling myself I started behind her so I had a small bank of time built up.  I did not look at my overall time till mile 11.  The race honestly flew by.  I did have the odd man that was doing the weirdest breathing that stuck to me like glue the entire race.  In some ways, his rythmic breathing (think lamaze) kind of helped my breathing, so thanks odd breathing man.  I so love having an awesome pacer.  It's nice to not to have to think for an entire race.  I just stuck at her back and pushed.  I  did have to use a ton of self talk, as my music did not work the entire race.  Note to self, dig out old ipod for next year because there is 0 wifi signal the whole course.  I am glad I train without music, so this wasn't too bad for me.  With the self talk, I also sang a variety of Prince songs in my head.  Delirious kept coming up in my mind loop.  When I looked at my watch at mile 11, I noted that even if I did two 10 minute miles, i would have a PR.  I felt like I could accomplish that.  It feels so good when your body responds to what you want to do.
I know a 50 second PR isn't much to most. but I have been trying to get this PR for 2 years now.  I didn't know whether to laugh, or cry, or shout.  This means SO much to me.  So much hard work over the course of really 3 years.  
I sort of negative split.  The hills caused my pace to be all over the place, but I didn't really look at my watch.  Those hills are NO joke.  Don't let anyone tell you this course is a)easy or b)flat.  It is challenging and hilly.  We got lucky with the weather because, well, spring in Kansas is all over the place.

Wow.  I also got my third year jacket.  I LOVE it.  I may just wear it 24/7 for a few days:)  It's a little fitted, but that is motivation to loose a little weight I think.  I have lost 13 lbs lately just from training, so if I can get my nutrition down a little better, I might loose some more.  Not today though, because I am only craving sweet stuff, and I am food rewarding like a BOSS today.
I chaffed HORRIBLY under my arms.  Oh well, it was ALL worth it.  I am still floating on cloud nine.  Another great part about the day, I had a reader find me in the sea of people post-race.  That just makes me so happy.  Sometimes I feel like my mom and mel and robin are the only people who read my blog, so it makes me feel pretty awesome that I have at least one other reader out there!  I didn't get your name but seriously, you made my day!!!!
Little red got to go fishing today, while I was gone.  I just love this pic.  You can see the dutch mill in the background.  I truly love our tiny town and it's beautiful city park.  
I ran with the Cow in 2016 and I got a PR!  I also drank lots of chocolate milk too:)  I will be back in 2017 to Run with the Cows!!!!


  1. Hi, it was great to meet you! I really enjoyed the race, as did my nieces who ran the 5k... it may become a tradition that I must plan my visits around.

    1. Thanks for saying Hi! You really made my day!

    2. Thanks for saying Hi! You really made my day!