Saturday, April 26, 2014

Derby Festival miniMarathon Review

Yay! We made it to the weekend!
 It's been such a long week and I've been exhausted. Last weekend was the half marathon and then on Monday I donated blood, so I've been wiped out. I've done a lot of resting this week and not a lot of running, but I think I've earned it. :)

I haven't reviewed the Derby miniMarathon yet, probably cause I've been I'm bed by 8:30 every night this week. Ha! I'm so old. Now that I have some time and I'm feeling awake, I'll fill you in on the details.

This is the second time I've run this race. It was actually my first half marathon in 2012. The Derby Festival has either a half or full marathon option and caps at 18,000 runners. I personally really like big races. That's why I chose Chicago as my first full marathon, so I could run with over 40,000 of my closest friends.

Like usual, I set out all my race gear the night before and loaded up the car so we could just get up and run out the door. The race started at 7:30am in Louisville, KY. I opted to stay at home and not get a hotel simply to save money, but that meant getting up really early since Louisville is just over an hour away and I wanted to be there and parked by 5:30am. I don't like being late, it gives me major anxiety and after my troubles with parking at Run the Bluegrass, I wasn't taking any chances. So, my alarm was set for 3:45am and we pulled out of the driveway at 4:15am. Everything worked out perfectly, and I was able to relax and eat my breakfast when we got there. 

At 7:00, we met our fellow Team Beef members near the starting line. This is my third season running for Team Beef and it's been a great experience.
"The Kentucky Team Beef is a team of athletes focused on living healthy lifestyles by combining physical activity and a nutrient-rich diet full of lean meats, whole grains,fruits, vegetables, and low-fat and non-fat dairy. Made up of athletes from all over Kentucky, they believe in the nutritional benefits of lean beef and its vital role fueling their training."

After the group picture and taking a few early morning selfies, I got into my starting corral, D. 

The corrals were really full, and there was loads of excitement, waiting for the start. The only thing I didn't like, was that there were no speakers near us, so we couldn't hear when the race started or what was going on at the front. 

Earlier in the week, I had been thinking about what my goal for this race would be. Months ago, I had dreamed of a PR of 2:20:00. After, a car accident and missing some training due to illness, I knew that 2:20:00 was not going to happen and neither was matching my current PR of 2:25:25. So my goal for the day was to have fun and enjoy the course. I thought maybe in the back of my mind that I could get under 2:30:00, but I wasn't sure. You just never know what kind of race you're going to have until you actually get into it.

So, the race started and I tried to settle in to a comfortable pace. It took a couple miles before I felt like I had my legs under me, but once I got warmed up, everything felt great! Plus, there was so much to see, so it was easy to distract myself from any discomfort.

The weather was awesome! I couldn't state that enough! I never felt too cold or too hot and as you can see, clear skies for miles!
Mile 8 is my favorite part of this course. It takes you through the infield of Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby!
The miles flew by and before I knew it, I was in the homestretch. I kept checking my watch and tried to push the pace for the last 3 miles.  I walked through all the water stops, mostly because they were very congested, but I didn't have to walk at any other point. Finally, I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:29:04 and mile 13 was my fastest mile of the day! I didn't make my original time goal, but I did accomplish a different PR. This is the first half marathon that I have not had to stop to use a porta potty! Woo hoo!'s the first race where I ended up with a black toenail, but nobody wants to hear about that.

Crossing the finish line of both, Run the Bluegrass and the Derby Festival mimMarathon, meant that I completed the Kentucky Half Classic. For this accomplishment, I earned a third medal.

Here they are all together.

This spring has been very busy, but lots of fun. I am so blessed for the opportunities that I've had this year. I love running and I can't wait to run more!

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful weekend!

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