Yesterday, I ran my 8th half marathon. I can't believe I've done so many. It doesn't seem possible.
One thing I've learned over the last couple years and 8 half marathons is how important it is to train outside in all different weather conditions; rain, snow, freezing cold, extreme heat and humidity. You never know what type of weather you'll get on race day. It's good to be prepared for every situation.
Yesterday, I got rain, and lots of it. I ran in a poncho...the whole way.
Running in the rain isn't too bad, but you've got to take some precautions. I like to wear a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes, and I also like to use Body Glide or Skin Glide to protect my feet from blisters. I did spray my shoes with a water proofer as well and that helped a lot! Oh, and anything made of cotton is a big "no, no". Cotton gets really heavy when it's wet and can also cause major chaffing. It's best to stick to technical, sweat wicking fabrics for running anyway.
These little guys were my best friends yesterday!
Anyway, enough with the lecturing...lol. This is the third year I have run the Derby Fedtival miniMarathon, in Louisville, KY. It's a large race, with both a half and full marathon that caps at 18,000 runners. I love this race as it was my first half in 2012. It is very well organized and they take care of their runners.
Since I live about an hour away, I had a very early wake up call Saturday morning, 3:40 am. The race always starts at 7:30 am and I don't like to be late. I got all my gear organized and ready Friday night, so I could leave the house by 4:15, and be parked near the Start/Finish by 5:30. This has worked very well for me each year I've done this race. I get there early enough to eat my breakfast and calm my nerves before getting into my corral with the other runners.
The race started promptly at 7:30, but since there are so many runners, it took a few minutes for me to get to the start line. I was nervous, but mentally ready to work hard during this race. Once I crossed the Start line, it was game on. To beat my time from last year, I had to maintain a pace faster than 11:20 minutes per mile.
It started raining almost as soon as the race began, and never stopped the entire way. Miles 1 through 4 flew by. Once I got to mile 5, I kind of wanted to stop at a porta potty, but since I had a time goal, I didn't want to wait in line and lose some precious time. Mile 8 is my absolute favorite, running through historic Churchill Downs, the site of the world famous Kentucky Derby!
The rain started to get really heavy at about mile 10 and I was suddenly very thankful for my poncho and the water proof spray I put on my shoes. I am not a fan of wet feet/socks. I did see some runners jumping in puddles...that is totally not for me. At this point I was struggling to keep my pace, but I really wanted to keep going, so I began "chasing" runners who were ahead of me. I found a girl in a neon yellow jacket and tried to keep up with her for the last 1.5 miles. It was tough, but I was able to keep up with her till the end!
It felt so good to cross the Finish line! And...I finished in 2:27:36!
This race is second part of the Kentucky Half Classic; the first part being Run the Bluegrass. So after collecting my medal and grabbing some food and drinks, I walked over to the KY Half Classic tent and collected my 3rd medal for completing the challenge.
Here's all 3 medals together.
Once I got back to my car and changed clothes, I headed home. I've been resting ever since. I had some really bad leg cramps yesterday and woke up quite sore this morning.
This was such a great race! The crowd support was amazing, even in the rain. And I'd like to say thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who braved the elements to keep us hydrated and safe on the course! You are all amazing!
Well, it's past my bed time! Gotta go! Hope you have a wonderful week! Until next time!