Monday, November 18, 2019

Longview Half Marathon: Race Re-Cap

I feel like I hadn't run a race in a while, and I must have also felt like punishing myself for my not-so-tip-top shape by running gently rolling hills on a cold morning. My dreams came true and I ran a half-marathon two weekends ago (and ended up loving it). That said, on Sunday, November 10th, I peeled myself out of bed, strapped my running chip to my shoe, got ready with my two layers of running gear, pinned my bib on and hightailed it on down to the lake - Longview Lake, to be exact, in Longview, MO.

Part of Longview Lake. It's SO pretty. 


I was a bit nervous since I hadn't run 13 + miles in a while, but I stuck to the race routine I knew and it served me well. That is, eat, drink some water, get everything ready, wait in the port-o-potty lines a few times, and find my corral.

Your typical port-o-potty line. There were plenty, so that was awesome.
Runners getting ready to line up in the corrals.
I used to take the time to do some dynamic stretching, but that morning it was freezing out and my entire body felt like it had been plunged into ice cold water. I decided to huddle in my corral for warmth and use the first few miles for warming up. This never works quite as well as I hope, but it's something.

Aaaand we're off! My black jacket and earmuffs actually got a bit hot.
The Longview half and full are put on by the KC Running Company. I've run a few of their races to date, and with the excellent (yet challenging) courses, food after and gorgeous medals I hope to continue running their races. This one was no different. The starting line began in a parking lot with a beautiful view of the lake. Since there weren't too many people running this one compared to, say, the Houston or the Kansas City Marathon, you could get pretty close to the starting line without having to be an elite runner, or just generally super fast.

Taking off. Also, check out the KC Running camper back there!
After the horn went off, we all took off down the length of the lot and turned onto the road. For a good amount of time we were on the roads, with park views over that of the lake. The park views were gorgeous though, and the roads were comprised of continually gently rolling hills. This was a tough race, and about 3 miles in my legs were trashed. I took that as a sign that I A.) need to run a lot more and B.) need to be less hard on myself since I am in a new place.

The flatter part of one of the trails. I didn't pull my phone out during the race for photos, so this is all I got. 

Around mile 9 we veered into the park trails for some good old fashioned trail running. These were cleared, flat pea-gravel trails so they weren't difficult. The only part I had trouble with was the pea gravel finding its way into my socks, stopping me a few times to empty out my shoes. I also found myself settling into a bad attitude during this run. The sun came out and made the day feel crisp, cool and fun. All around me were trees, underbrush and a few other runners. The trails were amazing! 

I could kick myself for my own bad attitude, but I want to be honest with you guys. I can't stand people who act like everything's okay 100 percent of the time. Normally I'm a positive, happy person, but I can get down as well and I'd prefer to show all the sides of myself, even the ones I'm not too find of. I'm a perfectionist and harder on myself than I need to be, especially with the life changes that have happened not only this year, but over the last few. I'm making strides to overcome that - I've worked incredibly hard to get to where I am now, career and personal-wise, and I finally made the effort to distance a few friends who weren't really friends; it's harder said than done, especially when you don't want to cause drama. I used the last 6 or so miles to be more introspective about things, to really think about what was causing my negativity. This is when I realized that I need to not compare myself to my old times, and to start fresh instead. This is also easier said than done, but the beauty of Longview Lake and being around so many nice people in the running community helped.

The pea gravel tails lasted until almost the end of the race. We got off the trails and had maybe .2 miles to go until the finish line back in the parking lot area. I was SO happy! My only regret gear wise was that I should have left my jacket and running bottle in the car. Part of me always worries that I won't have enough water or that I won't warm up, but it never comes true. There were plenty of aid stations and by mile 2-3 I was already peeling off my jacket. Next time for sure! (I think) lesson learned.

Happy to be done!

Yep. This pretty much says it all lol!
After I got across the finish line and got my medal, I picked up a water bottle and walked back to the car to go home. It was a bit of a walk back to the car, and there was a runner who couldn't make it. I'm not sure what was wrong but it didn't seem too bad. There were some people with her, along with two police who were already there directing traffic, so they allowed a car to rive down the trail to pick her up and everything was okay after that. I also met an amazing runner who just ran the Longview Half as her first half, so congrats to her! The day was already turning out to be an amazing day and it was only 11 am.

Already planning out the next race in my head....buahahaha! 


I would definitely run this race again. A friend told me that she raced it last year and it began snowing at mile 8, so for me this race is a bit of a wild card. Course wise I love it, and it's put on by a well run group, so this race will go onto my -to-do-next-year list! It isn't a huge race, and there aren't cheer sections everywhere like the Houston marathon; it's also not completely empty, as you have runners around you for the entire time. I definitely recommend this one.

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