Sunday, May 01, 2011

Derby Festival miniMarathon

After tackling a 10k twice last year, I decided that I wanted to try a half-marathon.  My niece Hannah wanted to do a marathon, so we picked one we could do “together.” My cousin Kacy lives in Louisville and she suggested we come there to do our run. 

We have been training since January.  We did a couple training runs together but I run much slower than Hannah. And my long runs were short runs for her. So most of my miles were solo miles.

Also, a lot of my miles were in snow, ice, sleet, wind, and rain.  (think northern Ohio in January, February, March, and April) Occasionally, there was a nice day and some days I just could not brave the elements and so I ran inside at our local rec where one mile is ten laps. So, after 230 training miles, I was ready to go.

I was a little nervous about doing it alone and keeping myself motivated to keep running.  Plus, the race had 15,000 participants and that’s A LOT of people.  But happy news for me… Hannah had decided not to run the marathon and instead run the half with me.  

I was a beautiful day for a race.  The sun was shining with a few clouds and a nice cool breeze blowing with temps in the 60s.  Perfect.

Here’s the crew waiting for the start.  I don’t think we were all awake quite yet, and some of us had not had their morning coffee.1 group

My number one cheerleader and fan! Love you, Billy.2 billy

My running partner (and she probably could have carried the little one and still kept up with me).3 hannah

My running pants had a handy-dandy little zipper pocket in the back and so I took my phone for pictures and to text Billy during the race.  I took this toward the start line.4 crowd

Handing off the long sleeves in the first mile.5 handoff

While Hannah and I are running, everyone else was trying not to get bored waiting for us.6 bored

We saw our fans again between miles 4 and 5.  7 waiting 

The first six miles went by pretty fast.  It was fun to have people cheering along the way, bands playing, and people giving out water.  We certainly never had any of that during training!  And Louisville is a pretty city.

Around mile 8, the race took us through the famous Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run every year.  It was so cool to be inside the track.  Hannah took my picture and I was getting ready to take hers when a lady ran by and offered to take the picture of both of us.  She said she takes a picture there every year for someone.  Nice to know we could keep up her tradition.7 churchill downs

We didn’t see our family again until right near the end so they had lots of time to entertain themselves.8 escalators

While the first few miles were “easy,” the last few were a bit more grueling for me.  I did take some walk breaks but tried to make them short.  I also grabbed a few PowerAde drinks hoping to get some more fuel for the end.  That may not have been such a good idea.

Around mile 11 or 12 I decided that walking was just as painful as running so I’d rather get this over with, thankyouverymuch.  I ran the rest of the way even kicking it in at the end.

Coming down the home stretch. Are we there yet?9 almost

At the end. So glad to be done and get the medal. I hit my goal of under 2:30. I finished it in 2:21:41.  10 done

I tried to eat some of the post-race snacks knowing I needed to re-fuel but I just wasn’t feeling that great.  On our drive home, I told Billy I thought I was gonna lose it and so he pulled over, just in time.  Thankfully we weren’t far from Kacy’s house and I was able to lie down. 

All in all, it was a great race experience and I would definitely do it again.  But I don’t think I’ll be training for a marathon any time soon.  I’m only half crazy. 


Karen said...

so glad I got to be a part of this with you! SO PROUD of all your hard work!! You GO!

Roan said...

Way to Go!!!

I am so proud of you! Your race experience sounds typical of a first half marathon. You did great! Do you ever take any GU or Clif Gel? Both of those products are helpful after about an hour of running.
You had a super race time. You took pictures and still managed a great finish time. Wow!
So, now are you hooked? I really love long runs, and the half marathon is my favorite distance. I ran 10 half marathons (two of those were actually 14.2 mile races) before I trained for my marathon. If you can keep a weekly run of 8-10 miles, plus three other runs of 3-5 miles, you will always be only 4-5 weeks away from begin ready for a half marathon.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your account of the half-marathon. We're proud of you!! Love you and see you soon, Mom & Dad

Rachel said...

Wow! So proud of you! You and Laura will have race war stories to share when she comes with me this summer.