We all have different criteria for what makes a good marathon. For me, fast and flat is not one of them. I’ll take scenic and hilly any day. Good thing….that’s pretty much what the Kansas City marathon was. Here’s how the weekend played out:
Thursday: HORRIBLE sleep. Like, two hours due to stress. Ugggg.
Friday: 3:30am wake up to get to the airport. Total brain fog. Once I got to Kansas City I started to feel better. I met up with Steve, got his rental car, got to Stephanie’s amazing new house, go down her house slide and get my thrill ride fix for the year (it’s really steep, and amazing), hit up her super cool neighborhood for overdue lunch, hit the expo, ate frozen custard at Foo’s (new favorite dessert), did some shuttling around, and then met up with Stephanie’s sister in laws (who were also running) for a fantastic Japanese food dinner. I’m telling you, this is my new pre-race standard. You can get simple chicken over white rice. Perfect. Italian food laden with oil and garlic does NOT agree with me. No need for the details… Completely crashed and slept pretty good (yay).
Saturday: Race day! PERFECT weather. 46 at the start, no clouds, no wind, warming to the mid 60s. I had planned to run with Steph and Steve the whole way. The start was really organized and this race was the perfect size….smaller than Austin, but big enough to have crowd support. We started off and Steve pulled ahead at mile 6. Maybe we were too busy enjoying the leaves to keep up with him. Hello, real fall! It was soooooo pretty. You forget that leaves actually change color when you live in Texas. The course went by several KC landmarks and through some beautiful neighborhoods. The hills are impressive. I thought my hill training this summer was overkill, but now I know it was needed. This is the second hilliest marathon I’ve done. The first was Estes Park…and that was in the mountains. So yeah, bring your hill legs to this one. The course had great support. Water and Gatorade every two miles, two GU stops, and plenty of porta potties. There were very few sections that weren’t really pretty. A few stretches here and there to get from one area to the next were a little dull, but for the most part it was like running in a Norman Rockwell painting. Lots of beautiful homes from the 1920’s…oh and major Royals pride going on. It was super fun to take part in some of the festivites. People had blue pumpkins on the porches, blue Christmas lights up, and all the fountains in the city (there’s a lot) were dyed blue.
Stephanie had a running partner join us at mile 13 who was nice as could be and the three of us had a great time chatting for several miles. Stephanie was feeling the fact she had a major move a couple weeks before the race that took over her life and urged me ahead the last couple miles. It gave me a little time to reflect on how thankful I am to do stuff like this and how much I appreciated and needed the time with friends. Crossed the very much uphill finish and got a HUGE medal, which was very pretty and really nice quality. Cold chocolate milk at the finish line and bananas. For me this is my dream finish line food. Drinking that milk righ away really helped, as I was having some stomach issues. Note to self, I need to carry TUMs when I run, or suffer. There was also pulled pork sandwiches and local Boulevard beer. I can’t stomach this stuff after a race, but I thought is was a super nice touch to add something local. So I give the race an A+. If you out are looking to do the 50 states, this is a great way to knock Missouri off your list.
Post race Stephanie and I showered and then walked around her hood. There were super cute shops and the best children’s a bookstore I’ve ever been to….Reading Reptile. Apparently it’s consistently voted one of the best book stores in the country! Later Steve and Steph’s fam joined us for pizza and beer. It was fun to play with her kids since last time I saw them they were so much younger. I really wished Jasp had been there. I fell asleep that night before the kids did. Ouch.
Sunday: I’ve done enough marathons now that I know what I’m in for. Sore, but bearable but sore in weird places. My back and shoulders were super sore. My stomach was bad. Ugggg. At least the race was Saturday, which gave me one day of feeling awful before I had to go back to work. The flight home was rough with a lay over and a big delay. I was super sore, hungry and tired when I got home.
Monday and today: I’m better. Monday was kinda rough at work and required a mid day coffee. Today I felt pretty normal, but resisted the urge to run.
Final thoughts: I’ve definitely got a touch of post marathon depression. It was so much fun to see Stephanie again that it was a little sad to say good bye. I really want to go again next year. Hopefully it will work. I said over and over that if I hadn’t booked this trip so far ahead I wouldn’t have gone. Life has just been super of crazy lately and throwing a trip in the mix seemed like a lot. But I needed it. Aside from the fact I loved the race, I really enjoyed reconnecting with friends. I’m already looking forward to next year……