Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2013 KY Derby Festival miniMarathon Race Recap

I gotta be honest with you -- I wasn't very excited about the mini this year.

It's been difficult fitting my runs in, and I know that had a huge impact on it. (When I get out and run and stick to my training plan better, I get excited about race day and I want to challenge myself and push myself. This year, I was untrained and unmotivated.)

Spoiler alert: I didn't run ONE SINGLE TIME between the Papa John's 10 Miler and the mini (which were 3 weeks apart).

Yeah. Whoops.

Instead of getting into the why (which should be pretty obvious), let's just get into how it affected my race.

As usual, I turned off my alarm that morning instead of just snoozing it, so I was running a little late. Somehow I still managed to make it out the door and down there pretty much right on time. I also lucked into a parking spot on the street I was hoping for.

It was blocking a door, but it didn't appear to be used, and there weren't any "no parking" signs in front of this one like the others along the street.

It was also close to a fire hydrant, but there was a street on the other side so there was plenty of room should the need arise.

THIS is why I wanted to park on this particular street

I grabbed my stuff and headed to the start line just as the race was getting underway.

Just around the corner from where I parked was where everyone was lining up.

Since this race is so big (I think there were 17,000 registered this year), they use corrals to help with the congestion. My estimated time got me into corral B, but with my lack of training it's probably good that I showed up late and jumped in with corral C.

Within minutes of parking, I was running. It was weird, too. Not only because it had been a while, but also because it was just me (Jennifer had to work so she couldn't even ride down to cheer me on).

Since I knew I wasn't going to PR this one, I decided to just enjoy it. After all, it was a great day for running - 50s and overcast. I high-fived as many little kids and guys drinking beer as I could - something I never do because I'm too focused on the run. And I tried to see how "running the tangents" (I think that's the term) affected my total distance.

I ran right up against the curb

I need this shirt! 

Off in the distance is the big overpass that always kills me at the end of the Papa John's 10 Miler.
Oh, and see how I was still trying to stick by the curb? I did good!

As we were making our way back up 3rd street, the MARATHON leaders passed us.

Here's a map of the courses (the half is in blue and the full is in orange):

Here's about where we were when that happened...

So yeah, not only had they run about twice as far as I had, they even ran the hills of Iroquois!

Simply amazing.

But anyway, back to my race...

For about the first 8 or 9 miles things were going great. That was when my left IT band started acting up, which later caused my legs to cramp in places I've never had cramps (probably from adjusting my stride to avoid the IT band issues). The last two miles were similar to how my races used to go, before I learned the importance of proper training. My legs would cramp to the point where I couldn't hardly walk, so I would stretch and walk and try to loosen them back up. Once they were loose I could run maybe a quarter mile before I couldn't hardly walk again.

It was terrible. And stupid of me. And I wasn't even pushing hard so it was kinda depressing, too.

I wanted to "run" across the finish line (aka hobble like a giraffe with its legs tied together), but in hindsight that was a bad idea.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I literally couldn't take another step. Everyone kept asking if I was okay, which I was, aside from my pride. After a few minutes the cramps subsided and I was able to get my medal and some free food. Then I limped my way down to the BBC taproom for a little "refueling."

While I was there I finally managed to connect with Chris from Running with the Locals, and we sat and talked for a while. He's an awesome guy, and I'm sure our paths will cross again soon.

Compared to last year, this year's race was downright pathetic. But that's the great part about this sport -- it was still fun even though I wasn't setting another personal record.

I ended up finishing in 2:13:38 (last year's was 1:47:42). Yeah...

However, running the tangents worked really well! There's a couple of spots where my Garmin might have dropped (for instance, the tunnels in Churchill downs), but according to it I only ran 12.99 miles.

I'll have to make sure I do that in the future!


  1. Is Mini Marathon the new term for half? I'm so not hip. Great job finishing the race and I'm sure you'll be faster next year (or just get that shirt) :)

    1. I don't think so -- this is the only one I've heard of referred to as a "mini" (but then again I'm pretty much living under a rock when it comes to these things; you'd really have to ask my wife).

      And of all people, I was expecting you to give me hell about my finishing time :)


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