Monday, May 2, 2011

Kentucky Derby Festival mini Marathon Race Recap

This was a great race that really fell together perfectly for me. It was super fun, and it was totally NO pressure for me. It is really crazy how well everything did go, and I feel really blessed to have everything work out. Here is the timetable and race recap:

Sunday night, arrive in Louisville and unload the cars, put kids to bed.
Monday Morning, go to VO2 Multisport (first stop of course) and ask around about the Derby Race, get a maybe on a bib.
Monday evening/Tuesday- completely stalk person at VO2 to ensure I have a race bib. Get confirmation Tuesday. Bad weather prevented me from riding my bike. Now that I have a bib, I guess I can do a mini taper for this half marathon and justify my lack of riding or swimming this week. The heater in the gym pool is broken, and the water is not normally as warm as Powerhouse in the first place. Another reason to wait until it is fixed.
Wednesday, ensure my mom can come to watch kids for the race since Ryan needs to get in a long ride on Sat with group. Also hand over an envelop of cash to a different person at VO2 store and stress about it getting into the right hands. Continue to stalk 1st person to ensure he received my money.
Thursday, get word that my packet was in fact ready for pick up. They required IDs, so I couldn't just get it myself.
Friday- go to expo and get my packet from the VO2 store booth. I was really glad I chose this option. First, it got me into the race vibe since I have always gone to the expos for races of this size. It was a nice good sized expo with cool stuff. I bought a fuel belt to hold my gus since I had forgotten my giant safety pins in MI and only had small ones. I also will want to use a fuel belt at Racing for Recovery to hold my gus and number so this would let me try it out. Second, it alerted me to the fact that the exit Google told me to take was closed due to flooding. This was key in determining my directions for Saturday morning.

Race day- Ryan and I actually got up pretty close in time to each other so that he could eat prior to his ride too. I got up at 5 to eat 2.5 hours before the start and had a marathon protein bar. I emerged from the bathroom as Ryan was getting up with full eye makeup on and Ryan called me out on it. Seriously, though, this was going to be a fun half marathon and what else was I going to do while digesting? I left a little before 6am to head down to the race. I found parking very quickly in a small parking lot that filled up before I even left the truck. It was very close to the start and finish, as well as porta potties. I had the girls who parked next to me take my picture before the race.

Since I was not running for myself, I was in the wrong corral. I spent a little time trying to fix it, but then realized it really didn't matter. I have a history of missing the start anyway, so whatever. I would just run through people since nothing was on the line. I chatted with some people who gave me some advice on the school systems, and snuck into corral C with them. I saw the 5:15 sign and new I had to move up somewhat. I found some guy who was doing the same thing and followed him through the crowd to corral B. I was still a ways back, but it was too close to the start to do anything about it. It took me 5 minutes to get to the start line. I spent the majority of the race passing people, and started a lot slower than I typically like to start. Again, I just wanted to focus on running as fast as I could for as long as I could to just see what I could do. If I blew up and had to slow down, then I did. I was on the fence about trying to qualify for NYC. I would need a 1:37 to do it, and that was dang fast. Also, I didn't want to qualify someone else for NYC and then stress about doing it a second time. I didn't even calculate the splits I would need to do it or have a goal plan like I did to get to Boston. I just went with the Pam Halpert plan of "run fast at the start, run fast at the middle, and finish fast". I didn't stress if I got in the low 7s, but if I got below 7, I tried to reign it it. I tried to also stay below 7:49, my average for my previous PR. I was amazed by the community support, and tried to high five all the little kids holding their hands out and cheering for us.

The coolest part of the race was running through Churchill Downs. It was AWESOME to be inside. It had a bit of an incline because we had to run under the track to get to the road on the infield. We ran on the road there, and then back under the track. The other reason why this was cool was because I came up on a dad with his 10 year old daughter. He was running with a camera and cheering her on, taking pictures as she ran. I couldn't keep up with her. She was super fast. I did come across her dad in the food line at the end and learn that I did have a faster time than her, but she finished with a 1:40. Totally amazing!

Shortly after leaving Churchills downs, I realized that I was pretty sure I was going to have a PR. I probably wouldn't get NYC, but that was fine. A PR and a fun race was what I wanted. It didn't really get "hard" until the last 2 miles, and at that point, it was still way easier than Martian. I finished with a time of 1:38:39 and felt great.

I also was able to find Jessica E who ran for Team Marathon last year. She had told me about this race and we knew to look for each other. Thankfully, we finished close to each other so it wasn't impossible to find her in the 11,00+ runners. This race was huge, and this was just one more thing that went my way. This really was a perfect race day for me!

There were so many great things about this race:
1. Weather was perfect. It was sunny and not too cold at the start or too hot at the finish. I was a bit chilly before we started, but fine once I got moving.
2. They passed out bottled water at a lot of the stops. At first, I was horrified. I can't stand bottled water due to the waste. However, I was able to drink a lot of water during the race. It was super easy to drink out of the bottles while running. Not all the stops were like this, but since I had trained mostly in artic conditions where I didn't hardly sweat at all, running this race in normal temps made me wonder if relying on water stops alone would be enough for me.
3. The new fuel belt worked out. I didn't lose any gels and I packed an extra just in case. I did pin my number because I wanted it higher up so the whole thing would be above my hips and not flapping.
4. It was huge. I had forgotten how fun big races are. It also had a big fat medal at the end. I actually asked the man who gave it to me if I got the right one. It seemed to big to be a half marathon medal.
5. It was a great way to see my new city.
6. The handed out chocolate milk after the race. My favorite! And, I had not had the chance to get any recovery shakes since we moved down here.

As far as results go, I ended up being 18th in my correct age group, out of about 1000 runners. There were over 6000 females, and I was the 71st female.

The bad thing about this race was that it was a fabulous Saturday that I should have spent on my bike instead. I just couldn't bring myself to get on my bike with my mom in town after she watched the kids all morning. I am really starting to stress about R4R. It is raining again today and I won't be able to do a group ride tonight. It will be time to hit the trainer.

Overall, this was a fantastic race. It really was my day! While I am not sure that I will do it next year with Boston being just a couple weeks prior, I will definitely be back. Members from my church here were passing out water at mile 23, so maybe I will do that if they do it again next year.

Please don't forget about my Aquaphor Giveaway below!


Anonymous said...

Congrats! A lot of people @ Flying Pig Expo had done the Kentucky Derby Race. They all loved it. Sounded like a good day!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the race, you are fast!!!

Richelle said...

Congrats! Sounds like the perfect race.

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

Great race report and you look fantastic in the Team Aquaphor gear! Way to go! :)

Colleen said...


Anonymous said...

I envy you - I live in KY and still haven't been able to run that race. Great job! Your race report has convinced me to get my butt down there and run it!

Derby Home Rentals said...

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