Stick a fork in me, I am DONE! I finished up the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon yesterday. It was the first year for this race. They did a pretty decent job putting it together. There were some definite high points, but also some things they could have done better. I had low expectations from the start for this race since it was pretty hilly. Those expectations dropped even lower when I had the knee jerk reaction to sign up for the Monumental Half Marathon last weekend. I figured I could finish between 1:40 and 1:45, and really wanted to be in the top 10 of my age group, but really wasn't sure since that was not entirely in my control.
As the race drew nearer, I learned of more people doing the race, so that made me more excited about doing it. I also convinced my neighbor that she should do it. We weren't able to meet up at all at the race, but we chatted a bit on the phone that morning, and then later on that afternoon. We drove in past the cyclocross race that was going on all weekend, and saw some pretty sweet bikes, as well as a car labeled the SRAM neutral support car. I already wished I had one of my bikes instead of doing a half marathon.
I met up with Rhonda, my ride leader for the summer. Shortly after, we met up with the rest of the Louisville Landsharks.
The bathroom situation didn't seem very good at all. I had gone at the coffee shop by the car when we first got there, but only saw ONE porto potty at the intersection that was listed as the start on the website. I am not sure it if was moved (they had some last minute changes to the course for some reason, I think construction related). At any rate, we walked a bit down from the intersection, and found the start, as well as a lot more porto potties. Still not a lot, and I found a line for a flush toilet that looked more promising. Thankfully, I had time to go with about 5 minutes to spare. I found a guy holding up a 1:45 sign, who turned out to be a total bandit runner who decided to be the unofficial pacer for a group of his friends from a local running store. I chatted with him at the beginning, saying that I hoped I would finish a bit ahead.
One of the coolest things for this race was the start. They had a guy play a horn like they do at the start of the Derby! I didn't realize it was a real guy and not a recording until later on, so that made it even cooler.
I started off and I just felt slow! It felt nice, actually. I hit my first mile around 7:45, and my second in about the same, maybe a tad faster. I am not looking at my garmin, but I think at around mile 3 was where it started to get a bit hilly. The water stops were not very long, and that was sort of a problem. I felt lucky to get water at the first couple of stops. The crowd was pretty thick, and it seemed like the volunteers were too close making it too narrow. I hit the hills and slowed down quite a bit. There were 2 pretty large ones in Cherokee Park. We actually ran the opposite direction that traffic normally flows, so while I knew the park, I had never run up these hills, I had run down them. It didn't seem like that big of a deal, though, because at least I knew how long they were in my mind. Those lastest until about halfway in before it flattened out a bit. I got nervous for a bit when the 1:45 guys were right on my tail. I felt like my gu kicked in, and I was able to put a bit of space ahead of them. Sadly, we had a headwind on the flats, and I started to get tired. With about 4 miles to go, the pace group caught me. They were a bit ahead on their pace, so I tried to stay with them as much as I could. I hung on for a while, but with 2 miles to go, I fell back a bit. I did try to pick up the pace towards the end, and I caught up with my former Team Marathon teammate, Jessica. She was having a rough time. She did really well at a half marathon just 2 weeks ago, and was feeling the burn out that I felt. I cheered her on a bit and got a little ahead. I just kept watching the time to try to make it under 1:45. I picked up the pace during my last .1, and got in just a few seconds under according to the finish clock. My actual finish time was 1:44:50! I got a picture with Jessica before continuing through the finish chute.
Makers Mark was a sponsor, and one drink was included at the party tent. They let me get a shot for my dad (since he was just on the other side of the fence). We went back to the finish, but I wasn't really sure when anyone was going to come in. We watched the finish line for a bit, but with my mom waiting at home for us to return, we didn't stick around too much longer. We had a long walk back to the car. The start and finish were not very close to each other.
I got home and checked the results, and as it turns out, I was 10th in my age group! Awesome! My goals were met for this race. AND, I did have fun. I also used our master bathtub for the first time too, as a cold bath. I don't do a complete ice bath due to my arthritis, but filled it up with cold water, threw on some sweatshirts, and plunked in. Don't worry about my total lack of hygiene, we have a stall shower, but about half my showers are actually taken at the gym.
Check out my last month's bling! I can't believe I did all three of these races in less than one month! The cool thing about this medal is that it was dipped in the wax that they use to seal the bottles of Maker's Mark. You only got a dipped medal if you were 21 or older, though. It was a great medal, large, and I LOVE the fleur de lis on it. They are on the ribbon and around the border of the medal itself. It is a symbol of Louisville, and I can't get enough of it while we are here.
Today, I am super sore and tired. I did get a whopping ELEVEN hours of sleep last night. I pretty much went to bed a bit after the kids went to bed, and slept until a little before 8am. The kids were worn out too yesterday. Ryan enjoyed his camping and climbing trip, and was tired too. We are both sore today. I have been hitting the ice and the advil hard. I hope after a few days of rest, I will have no lingering aches and pains. Boston training starts on Dec 12th, so I have some time to recover. I will be hitting the pool tomorrow, I hope!