Monday, April 30, 2012

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon Race Report

This past weekend found me in Louisville, KY with Deb and Nikki to knock out yet another state on our quest to run a 1/2 marathon in all 50 states.  Nikki and I got into Louisville in the early afternoon and headed to the expo to pick up our packets as well as Deb's.  After getting everything we needed at the expo we checked into the hotel and then we headed to the airport to pick up Deb.  Deb flew in from CT after visiting her dad after his recent heart attack.  We all agreed it was definitely good for her to get away from it all and just worry about her for a change.  It has been a very long three weeks for her.  I truly think the race was a much needed break for her.  Yes, I realize I just said 13.1 miles was a break.  Once we picked up Deb we headed to dinner.  Nikki had done some research online in regards to the best places to eat in Louisville.  We ended up at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.  It was a very quaint, artistic restaurant with absolutely wonderful food.
Believe it or not the flowers are not real
A round of drinks
After dinner we headed back to our hotel and relaxed for a little while and then decided to go to the hotel bar for a drink before calling it a night.  We didn't stay downstairs too long before we were back in our room, setting the alarm for 5:30 AM.  The plan was to leave for the start line by 6:30 AM and I do believe we were within a few minutes of that time.  Once we got downtown we had a bit of a problem finding a place to park.  Eventually we ended up parking next to a meter and feeding it all of the change we had in the car.  We agreed that if the meter ran out and we got a ticket we would just split the cost and with that we started our walk to the starting line.  We didn't get to the starting line until after the race started but our corral hadn't gone yet so we were good.   
Ready to conquer another state!

My goal was to run another sub-2 hour half with a huge stretch goal of running that sub-1:50 or at least a PR.  The course was really nice and the weather was perfect.  Even the short-lived pouring rain was wonderful!  It was also really fun to run through Churchill Downs, however I was a little freaked out by the narrowness of the tunnels we had to run through.  I was pretty much sandwiched between two other runners and I couldn't get out of there fast enough which was a challenge due to the sand that was in the tunnels.  I did take a minute to admire the horses that were running on the track before heading back onto the city streets to finish the race.  Soon after we came out of Churchill Downs, the two lead male runners came flying past us behind the clock that read 1:37 and they were a good 18+ miles into their race already.  I don't think I saw the third place runner until at least 20 minutes later.  It was fun to be able to clap and cheer for them as they went past.  Around mile 10 I felt a slight twinge in my hamstring so I backed off the pace a bit and decided sub-2 would be sufficient for the day.  I still have time to hit that sub-1:50 mark.  One 5K later and I crossed the line in 1:53:47 with a smile on my face.  I was happy with my time and I was happy to be done.  I collected my medal, blanket, and some water and headed to the family reunion area to wait for Deb and Nikki.  Once I found Nikki she decided to head to the car to make sure we didn't get a ticket and then she was going to come and pick us up.  I waited for Deb and once she finished we left and met up with Nikki for our ride.  When Nikki was researching restaurants she also came across Cake Flour, a bakery known for its flourless chocolate cake, so we stopped in and grabbed some sweet treats to enjoy.
Yes I will admit that I ate all three of them by myself in one day!!

We finally made it back to the hotel to get cleaned up and then we all took a nap.  I think it may have been the best nap I have ever taken!  We decided on dinner at the Corner Cafe where we once again had really good food.  After dinner we ended up going downtown to the Garage Bar for a drink.  We were sitting outside as it was quite a lovely night and then out of nowhere it started pouring and hailing so we headed inside the restaurant to wait it out.  Once the rain slowed down we headed back to the hotel and called it a night. 

Sunday morning we got ready and headed back to Lynn's Paradise Cafe for breakfast.  Bourbon Ball French Toast and BLT Home Fries, need I say anymore?  Since all of us had eaten everything we purchased at Cake Flour on Saturday we had to head back so we could buy more pastry to bring home and share.  We made one final stop at the Louisville Slugger Museum gift shop to buy a few things and then started our journey home.
Holy baseball bat

And a glove and ball to go with it

It was another great weekend getaway with amazing friends!  As always I am looking forward to the next one!

1/2 marathon in all 50 states status:  #9 completed
Bring on #10

So Deb, where are we going next?

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March in Review

As March comes to a close, I am once again grateful for the very mild winter we have had in Ohio this year.  It makes for pleasant running conditions!

March 2012 stats
73.1-- running miles
0-- bike miles
0-- pool workout
27-- core fitness workouts
73.1-- total miles
151.8-- weight as of March 31, 2012 (an increase of .4 but I certainly can't complain about that since I added sweets and chips back into my diet)

Current 2012 stats
258.3-- running miles
6-- bike miles
1-- pool workout
56-- core fitness workouts
264.3-- total miles
151.4-- current weight

2012 "to do list" March check-in
2012 Running Goals
1. My number one running goal is to run a sub-1:50 half marathon
-I am considering attempting my sub-1:50 at my April or May half marathon
2. Secondary to the goal of a sub-1:50, I would like to attempt to run another marathon PR (sub-4:10:11) with a stretch goal of running a sub-4:00:00
-I haven't really thought too much about this one lately
2012 Mini Running Challenges
1. Run 100 miles per month
-73.1 miles run in March- I fell short again this month but a nagging hamstring and foot influenced my decision to take additional rest days and I'm happy to report that both the hamstring and foot are feeling better.
2. Run a half marathon each month
-Rock CF Rivers 1/2 Marathon (1:53:15)
2012 Non-Running Mini Challenges
1. Increase the amount of cross-training/strength training I do on a monthly basis
-27 core workouts done in March
2. Focus on choosing and cooking healthier foods
-15 well-balanced meals prepared in March
3. Drink more water
-I further increased my water intake for March so I am moving in the right direction here
4. I promised a certain someone that if they ran a marathon with me I would learn to swim so I intend to make good on that promise this year.
-I looked at the swim lesson information again and am trying to figure out when I can take lessons.

March was a decent month with lots of amazing running weather!  I am excited to see how April goes since I have finally created a plan to work towards that sub 1:50 1/2 marathon goal!  Next stop for the 1/2 marathon in all 50 states is Louisville, Kentucky at the end of the month!  I'm definitely looking forward to another trip with Deb and Nikki!  Should we take our Derby hats?  LOL!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!