Monday, April 30, 2012

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon Race Recap: Unicorn and Pegasus Medals in the same month!

I am crazy, but I think a lot of my readers are too.  It was less than one week after the Boston Marathon, and I hadn't even run at all yet, and I was already trying to find a bib that would go unused for the Derby Min Marathon.  This race is special.  It was my first race last year in my new hometown.  It was my killer PR that has proven to be untouchable.  It is the big race that practically everyone does.  They had even increased the field size dramatically from last year, which sold out VERY early.  I had thought I stood a chance to register legitly after Boston, but no such luck.  I was able to easily find a bib the same day I started looking, and was in recover/taper mode at the same time.  I had 3 toenails fall off, and a 4th turn black.    My feet were trashed going into it, but my legs had stopped aching.  My first run post Boston was a painfully slow 8 miler for my birthday that was a week out from race day.  It hurt.  Ugh, what had I gotten myself into? 

However, race day came, and I was feeling pretty good!  I rode in with neighbors, John and Greg, and Jessica and her friend Natalie followed us down.  I was glad to not need to drive.  John and his wife Lisa (who just had a baby and wasn't running for the first time in a LONG time) have their race day routine down, so it was nice to not worry about that.  We parked outside the course about a mile, for free, and then stopped at a hotel to use the restrooms, and then we were ready to get lined up for the start.

Don't I look fast? 

I put that picture on f/b.  I love how the police officers look very unamused.  One of my friends thought one of them looked like he was going to get me with a tazer.  I just hate it when I get my race photos back and I look like I am not even moving.  This is my fake action shot.  Too bad I am running sideways across the course!

I got lined up without any problem I couldn't fix on my own.  Since I had borrowed a bib, I was supposed to be in corral "I".  Wow, that was back there!  I am sorry if that is your corral, and I don't mean any offense, but I needed to be in corral B.  Thankfully, I learned how to squeeze through the lattice of the corral barricades in Boston after I missed my wave start.  After the woman rejected my plan to start with John (who is smoking fast, BTW), I just walked back a ways and then went through the side, then worked my way over to the middle where I couldn't get kicked out.  I had thought about turning the "I" into a "B" with a sharpie, but I was worried that I would end up getting kicked out of the race entirely, and this worked.  I felt pretty good at the start, but it was a bit windy when we made a turn.  I was wondering, hmm, could I PR?  Then I realized how crazy that was.  NO, I was not going to PR, and if I wasn't careful, I was going to completely bomb and be miserable.  I backed off a bit, but the damage of starting too fast/overtrained was already done.  I got to mile 8 and into Churchill Downs feeling pretty good, but the last 5 miles were sheer will to stay on pace and keep it as close to 8 flat.  Miles 10, 11, and 12 were all a little over, but mile 13 dropped back down.  I ended up with a 1:42:03.  It was a 7:42avg according to my garmin.  It was very average.  I seem to be really stuck in the 1:42s.  In 2010 and 2011, I did 6 half marathons.  Of those, 3 were in the 1:42s.  One was in 1:41, one in 1:45, and then the mystical 1:38:39 that still eludes me. 

I am glad I did it, though.  I felt pretty good stomach wise the whole race, so it is great to know that I have gotten my nutrition down for the most part.  I mean, I am not feeling sick at all, so that is great.  I might be able to tweak it even more to feel better when I race.  I only used 1 roctane, and perhaps I need to use all of them for a race like this.  I am not sure.  I also realized it was too soon to race again.  I am so tired.  It is sort of unreal how tired I am.   I think hydration was also an issue.  I felt a bit thirsty before the race.  I don't think I drank enough on Friday.  Also, last year, they gave out whole tiny water bottles on the course.  This year, then just gave out puny plastic cups.  There were a couple of stations where it was really hard to tell which had water and which had gatorade, and I almost missed the water.  I should have had more to drink before the race, because I was so thirsty all afternoon, yesterday, and even today!   It has been a bit frustrating that since we officially moved, with the exception of the sprint tri that I did that was a weird (and new) distance, I have not had an exceptional race.  I really hope I am not at the point where I am not going to get any faster.  I felt like was still improving for a while, so I don't know what it doing on.  On of my team CLIF teammates wondered if it is allergies affecting me.  This is the second worst place in the country for allergies.  Also, I don't sleep as much as I did before because of Keira's school schedule.  I am counting the days until she is done for the summer.  Hopefully I can get into my tr training and have a good summer and fall.  Maybe I am just at the age where I really need to work a lot harder, or maybe I need to be working out with faster people more often.  I don't know.  I know every day can't be my day for many reasons, but it is starting to mess with my head a bit.  It will be interesting to start the RLRF plans to see how those go.  Maybe I am just in a rut and need some rest and to shake things up.

Keira was excited that I raced.  She is completely in love with my "unicorn medal" from Boston.  She was very excited that my latest medal had a pegasus on it for the Derby.  Now if only they made a "pegasus unicorn" medal, I think she would really be in heaven.

Soren, on the other hand, has his sights set on a medal from the US Air Force Marathon/Half.  We visited the booth at the Derby expo and he nearly stole one of the medals off the table.  I had to pry it out of his hands.  I can now say that I am officially entered into this race for the half.  Maybe this will be my "unicorn" and I can finally PR at the half marathon.  I don't know.  It is September 15th, so it is a ways off.  Also, I am considering going back to Indy to do the full the day before the NYC marathon since I didn't get it.  Doing Detroit half 2 weeks prior fits perfectly with the Run Less Run Faster plan.  The Air Force race sort of throws a wrench into it, especially if I want that to be an "A" race, but I have time to work that out.  I might be able to just start the plan a few weeks early and then add some cushion weeks in there for a mini taper/recovery period, or just swap the all out race for a longer workout.  I'm not sure yet.  The Air Force race is filling up quickly, and I had to just enter now and get the details worked out later.  I am excited because Kim from Just Trying is For Little Girls will be coming out for it.  I had it on my radar from a flyer that I received at Indy last year, and then Soren's scene really tipped me over the edge.  The museum is free to the public, and it is perfect timing for the little airplane obsessed dude's birthday.  Hopefully we can get the logistics worked out so that the kids don't need to wake up at the crack of dawn or I can finish fast enough that they just sleep in and I get them after the race do do the museum.  There is time to work this out.


Colleen said...

You are a rockstar Melissa... to pull out a race like that after Boston? My hat goes off to you! :)

And I love love love that first picture of you!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, congrats

Laura Boll said...

WOW! That's an amazing time so soon after Boston... congrats to you!