Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kansas City Marathon - 3:05:35 / 7:05

Net Time: 3:05:35 (PR)
Pace: 7:05
Rank: 31/1556
Age Group: 5/140
3.3M: 23:24
9.1M: 1:04:19
21.1K: 1:30:45
20M: 2:17:41
AG: 67.3%

Mile 01: 7:11:65
Mile 02: 6:57:65
Mile 03: 6:51:26
Mile 04: 7:14:65
Mile 05: 6:46:54
Mile 06: 6:47:50
Mile 07: 6:40:90
Mile 08: 6:43:73
Mile 09: 6:48:61
Mile 10: 6:55:29
Mile 11: 6:54:12
Mile 12: 7:08:17
Mile 13: 7:06:34
Mile 14: 6:55:99
Mile 15: 6:54:95
Mile 16: 7:06:50
Mile 17: 7:00:10
Mile 18: 7:00:96
Mile 19: 6:55:61
Mile 20: 5:11:80 (smh)
Mile 21: 9:29:35 (wtf)
Mile 22: 7:33:13
Mile 23: 7:48:71
Mile 24: 7:20:74
Mile 25: 7:15:97
Mile 26: 7:20:89
Mile .2: 1:39:86

The Kansas City Marathon experience was very positive. Running a 3:05 in this hilly course never crossed my mind. Friends have asked me: "isn't Kansas City flat?" Trust me, the course was very hilly! I was fooled as well, since the first things that comes to mind for Kansas and Missouri are flat praries!

The race features a small field with a big town feel. The race organization and enthusiastic volunteers were amazing. Weeks before the race, we were bombarded with updates and etc. The post-race schwag was bountiful as well.

The Kansas City marathon was intended to cross Missouri off the list and as a tune up before NY. However, it seems like after going balls the wall on this race, I'll run NY with a more relaxed attitude and not as a goal race. Hence a minor change in plans, as Kansas City will be my "A" race instead of NY for 2009.
Since 2008 NYC (3:09), I haven't ran under a 3:09. I admit that I'm satisfied with most of my performances but also a part of me really wanted to PR in this distance. From my past 6 marathons, I was hovering around the 3:12-3:24 range; I just knew I could do a tad better. Luckily, judging from last week's SI half marathon performance really gave me some confidence coming into the race.

Upon picking up the bib in the Crown center and realizing the hilly course profile, I figured I'll just do my best and enjoy the race. Fortunately we were blessed with optimal weather conditions (40's) at the start of the race. The first few miles were rolling and mainly uphill where we pass through the Power and Light district in downtown and Union Station/Liberty memorial. I figured to myself that if I could conquer these uphills early on, I could gauge on how I should run throughout the course.

By the time I passed through westport and the trendy "plaza" shopping center, I felt really good. My legs felt fine and had the extra gear if needed. That was when I decided to take a risk and go for broke. I also thought about having two other marathons later this year and the fact that I really have nothing to lose. I decided to run aggressively on this race and try to hold onto sub 7s as long as possible, (similar to my SI half experience). Hence I thought to myself that if this did not work out at least I know I phucked up and learned my lesson for my next marathon. In addition, it was important to know that I tried and owned up to my decision; that way no matter what the outcome was, I don't have any regrets on the wouldas couldas and shouldas. Moreover, the fact that I held back so much at the Clarence Demar marathon made me realized how much I regret on not pushing harder.

Going pass the Nelson-Atkins museum and the picturesque Ward Parkway filled with opulent mansions, I still felt I had enough in my tank to stay on pace. Once I hit the half marathon mark at 1:30 and my fastest split for any marathons, I realized that if I stay consistent and collected on the second half as well as pacing with this other runner, I could run away with a PR. Yes, there were hills and rolling ones, but I'll always remember that each uphill will be rewarded with a downhill. Furthermore, I concentrated on breaking the race into mile segments without thinking too far ahead. By mile 20, I panicked due to an inaccurate mile marker but shook it off and encountered another gradual hill at mile 23. On hindsight, I knew that miles 24 through 26 are downhill, and if I could get through this rough patch, it will be smooth sailing to the finish line.

I realized that I have the PR in the bag by mile 25. I spent the last mile thinking about my parents and how this PR is for my pops who's been through so much. Near the end of the finish line I was just high-5ing the crowds and enjoying the last 2 minutes or so. I was glad to take a risk and wound up with a positive outcome. Granted, some may say it was a stupid move on my part with all the what if scenerios. However, if one does not take a risk, I'll just keep asking myself and looking back at my performance. Positive or negative at least I know that I tried and willing to own up to it. At the end of the day, I'm not sure if I could always incorporate this effort on all my marathons simply because it could've been my lucky day :).

After 14 marathons, I was able to hit my first 3:05, lower my Boston qualifying time and back-up my recent race results. I know it is early but I'm going to focus on 2010 races. The thought of racing balls the wall for the rest of 2009 is doubtful. Although, there are times I feel like haven't run to my full potential, I was able to hit a 10K, 15K, half marathon and marathon PR this year; hence 2009 has been very positive. In addition, my 2010 and 2011 Boston marathon entrance is secured, although, Boston 2011 is doubtful considering the cost!

I have to say it was not easy but I'm just glad that the quality mileage (40-45), weightlifting, and track workouts from coach really paid off. Again, I'm happy with most of my marathons, however the fact that I was able to hit a PR on this beautiful course made Kansas City even more special. No offense to Charlottesville, but I favor Kansas City even more - HA! However, NYC is still number one.

After the race, we huddled back to the hotel, rested and was ready to chow-down some good ol' midwestern style ribs and boulevard beers. Kansas City was definitely not a prarie town and many will be surprised on how much this cosmopolitan city has to offer. I would say it is a microcosm of any major US city. The streets are clean (no dog poo!), food is cheap, entertainment center/nightlife is vivacious, and locals were friendly(drivers don't honk!). Certain parts of KC are still developing similar to our nyc's greenpoint- which is positive news. KC definitely have its unique charm and distinct beauty (city of fountains), but once you drive past the city (Lenexa etc), it's another cookie-cutter suburbia paradise, tailor-made for the stepfords in their golf carts.

I'll come back to KC soon especially for the ribs, boulevard brewery and the well-organized marathon. Till then, I'll enjoy the New York and Las Vegas marathon in a few weeks.

As of right now it is 6:30pm on a sunday and my flight to nyc is delayed till 9pm. Perhaps there is something negative about the city! Phuck me!



Blogger DawnB said...

You're amazing, congratulations!!

5:25 AM  
Blogger jbetanoff21 said...

Congrats on your new PR unexpectedly in a not-so-flat course. That must have been the best feeling! Take some rest now and enjoy NYCM

5:16 PM  
Blogger chicopea said...

I'm enjoying this tour of the US through your adventures. Congrats on the PR, you're awesome!!

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Rich said...

Looks like you had a blast in KC.

Are those tears of joy I see crossing that finish line? Great job on the PR!

12:45 PM  

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