June 2nd: I woke up at 4:25am and laid in bed before the actual 4:45am wakeup to the alarm. Rolled around in bed for a bit. Threw on some shorts and into the bathroom. Emptied myself out completely. It was all the pasta and bread I ate the night before. Woo-wee!
Changed into my running attire while my water heated up in the coffee maker for my one packet of instant oatmeal. Once it was done, the water was a bit tinted due to some leftover coffee residue. I decided to run water through the machine again. The warning said to wait 2 minutes before making another "cup of coffee" (water in my case) and I obviously did not wait that long. I poured my water into the back of the coffee maker to have it all steam up and explode against the wall. The second time through worked like a charm and the water was much clearer. I poured the water into the paper coffee cup with oatmeal. I realized I didn't have a spoon. I resorted to the small tongs for the ice box to stir my oatmeal. Drank the oatmeal while I watched television and sipped on Gatorade.
Met the guys down in Josh's room at 5:45am. Left my racers and jersey in my hotel room because the hotel was only about 300 meters from the start line (awesome). We warmed up 2+ miles (15:05) at 6:10ish. Chilly for the warmup. Only mid 50's for the warmup. Jumped back to the hotel room to use the bathroom one last time and change into my racers/singlet. Long sleeve and half tights to stay warm at the starting line.
Starting line at 6:45am. Strides and checking out the competition. A group of Kenyans on one side of the starting line. Ran off to a bush (away from the cops) to take a leak. 7am start. Strange start with a countdown from 10 and a cannon about 2 seconds late. Whatever.
Off like normal, but settled in and let others join me within the first 100 meters. A bunch of Kenyans formed a pack in the first mile. I was right at the tail end of them in 5:15. 2 mile was overall uphill and the lead pack (basically 8-10 Kenyans) took off immediately all at once. 2 mile 10:40. Miles 3-6 had some uphills and downhills. Ran relaxed, but my hamstrings were still feeling Wachusett and the calves were feeling the Memorial Mile. I rocked the calf sleeves, but I could definitely feel the tightness setting in early. 10k: 33:28. Felt good, but was definitely hurting. Teammate Kevin Treadway pulled up next to me at 6.5 miles or so. Started cruising together through 15k (49:48). Downhill sections with a short uphill through the neighborhood, but we were rolling. 16:20 from 10k to 15k. Treadway and I were running with this guy Julius Kosgei from Arkansas. Treadway was leading from mile 9 to 10. Kosgei was drafting off of him and I was maybe 2 or 3 meters back of Kosgei. We pass through a water stop. Water first, then Gatorade. Probably 10 cups in a row. I don't need any of them, but Kosgei decides to knock the last Gatorade out of the volunteers hand to make sure I didn't get it (Uh-oh, fire in the eyes). Wow! You have to be kidding me. This got me riled up and more surprised than anything. We hit 10 miles in 53:19. The last serious climb was coming up. The total climb was about 1.25 miles. 11 mile: 59:09. 5:50. It was a solid hill and a terrible place for it. It flattened out for 5-10 meters or so before continuing to rise another 200 meters. I was falling off a bit of Treadway and Kosgei. I had to make a decision on whether to let the pain hurt for more or less time. I decided on less time. Towards the end of the climb, I took over for the pack and started hammering the other side of the hill. I knew we had about 2 miles left, if not less. I had to make my move now. I opened up the stride and took advantage of the overall downhill section before the last short steep climb at mile 12. I didn't look back and just kept charging forward. As Treadway put it after the race, I murdered the final climb before the downhill 3/4 mile or so. I had no idea who was behind me and how close they were. I hit mile 13 in 69:20. I knew I had sub-70 and crossed the line in 69:51. Pow! Kosgei was no where in sight and finished 20 seconds behind me with another guy. Treadway finished up right behind with a new PR of 70:21. Josh finished in just over 75, out sprinting the lead women by 10 seconds. Here are the results: Half Marathon and Team Results. Click on "more columns" to see 5k and 10k splits.
Made it through the refreshment tables and into the mob of runners (finishers of the 5k and 10k that went off about the same time). Treadway and I received our sandals for finishing. Found the rest of the guys and headed up the hotel to drop off our stuff before heading out for an extructiating slow cooldown. 2 miles (No time). Calves were trashed. Back for the awards ceremony. Ended up in 3rd in the team competition. $500 bucks. Not bad. BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich and coleslaw while watching the awards. Picked up a bag of ice from the finish line for a much needed ice bath in the hotel room. Bathed for 20 minutes. Munched on food and drank Gatorade. Hot shower for 15-20 minutes.
Out to eat at around 12:30ish to Gates for a BBQ Beef sandwich on a bun with a side of fries. Dr. Pepper to wash it all down. Delicious. They had an actual wood fueled smoker for the meats. It had a fast food cafeteria feel to it all, but the food was bomb!
Headed to the Kansas City Royals game for a couple innings. $13 dollar tickets. Can't beat it. Checked out the recently renovated stadium. Talked with a local couple about where we should go to see the nightlife in Kansas City. Recommended a couple of spots. Ducked out of the game early (we never even found our seats) to relax and nap back at the hotel. Picked up snacks on the way back at the gas station. Peach rings, grape flavor Big League Chew and an Arizona Iced Tea (mango style).
Napped for a couple hours before waking up around 6:30pm. Dinner at The Foundry. Turkey, applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwich. Fries on the side. A couple Woodchuck Ciders to ease the muscles and mind. All of it was so good. Chatted for a while and people watched in the restaurant. Stopped at an ice cream place to grab dessert. Chocolate Almond on a sugar cone. Hit up a bar for a Rum and Coke. Chilled for a bit before venturing over to the Power and Light District to explore the scene and get to know the real Kansas City, Missouri. Josh wasn't drinking so he was our designated driver (for those worrying at this point). We just so happened to crash into the Pride Festival at this outdoor/indoor bar area. We strolled in after some convincing by the cops and chilled there for a while. Eye opener and that's where I will leave it. For those who want more details, they won't be publicized here or anywhere. Just word of mouth.
Back to the hotel to sleep for a not so early 11am flight back to Albany.