Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Derby-rific! 7 loopster meets, and a Horsey Race Report

It's good to be back home. Had a nice long break. My last post, here, covered the early part of my trip. But to summarize, I was in Minnesota for 4 days to meet up with old friends, and I managed to squeeze in a 4.5 mile trail race where I hooked up with BSquaredMN. Here he gives me some last minute advice. Or something.

He's having too much fun. No wonder he is behind me.

This downhill was the most fun part of a generally treacherous little course. I'm flying!

Somebody's stealing my move.

Had a good time. While not really getting a "good" time. I'll just say 7:40 pace feels a lot harder on hilly trails than it looks.

Then DW and I flew to Northern Kentucky for some family time. I managed another loop meet with Lawrenceaa (Alisha) for a sterling 6.4 mile run along the Ohio river. Sadly no photos were taken.
Then Friday we drove to Louisville to participate in the Kentucky DerbyFest Mini-Marathon. So to honor the derby, I will name-drop Derby winners into my race report.

I had a good support crew in Louisville. Dear wife brought along her sister and sister's husband J, who was running the full marathon. Niece and her hubby also came. And my parents drove up from NC for the weekend too. J had his running group of 15 people to meet with, and I had loopsters to find - it was a busy weekend!

We stayed a few blocks from the race start/finish, so that was convenient. Walking through downtown to the start with hundreds of others in the street reminded me of Philly. When I got to the corral, I saw n2runningbad (Dean) right away.

We got to chat and warm up a little together. I also ran into loopster Ande-rw in the corral and we recognized each other right away and talked briefly. Soon the streets filled up with 18,000 people and we were off!

My race plan: Well, I thought I might be able to continue my streak of PRs, but I was not very confident. So I planned to start at 7:20 and see if I could get down to 7:00 by mile 3 and hold it. If not, I would ease back and run conservative and just see what I could do.

Dean quickly pulled away from me, as if he were making a Spectacular Bid for a PR. The crowds were pretty well spaced, due to 7 corrals, and I got into pace right away. By mile 2 the streets had settled into a Sunday Silence. I was at 7:15 pace, but it didn't feel too easy. Should I make an Assault on a PR? It would be a Bold Venture, and there was Genuine Risk of a flameout. Miles 1 and 2 were both 7:15. Mile 3 I tried to get close to 7:00 but it felt a little too hard. My fears of not having my A game were Affirmed, and I eased back to a 7:16 for mile 3.

I stuck with my good Street Sense and cruised along. Next 5 miles were 7:10, 7:12, 7:13, 7:11 and 7:08. Parts of the course were Real Quiet and I would get Pensive. Other parts had good fan support. It was almost dead flat and the weather was perfect. Too bad I wasn't in top shape.

Mile 8 we ran through Churchill Downs, and it was a little anti-climactic. Didn't see any horses and the infield part we ran through was just asphalt and boring buildings and stands. Meh. Plus at this point I was starting to tire and lose my mojo. I knew a PR was not going to happen, so I did not have a whole lot of incentive to suffer greatly.

Mile 9 was 7:18, and then I slowed to take a GU at a water station and walked through it to get extra water. A short little break akin to throwing in the towel. Perhaps a Foolish Pleasure. At this point I was ready to Go For Gin. No need to put my nose to the Grindstone. Mile 10 was 7:44.

After that I took the edge off a little and was just running. Miles 11 and 12 were 7:24 each. I came up to my cheering section in mile 12 and decided to show my Funny Cide. Tried to appear Charismatic or perhaps look like a Northern Dancer.

I actually pulled over and gave my parents a brief hug before continuing on my way. That gave me a little boost of adrenaline, and I decided to push it in hard. Mile 13 was 7:00, and the last section was 6:17 pace. They should have given me a Citation!

Final time was 1:35:54, a 7:15 pace. 404th of 12,091, a 69.8% rating, and 28th in my AG of 530.

A little bit off my last 4 exceptional pikermis, but what would have been a huge PR one year ago. And besides, now that I am in a new AG, I can start all new AGPRs!

Afterward I hung out and waited for loopsters. Dean must have gone back out on the course because he wasn't around to share my post-race beer with. Later I found Evansjamie and her DH and thanked her for her on-course support.

A little later, two loop alumnae dropped by. Some of you may remember Liz and Shirley from the loop or loopville. (Hope I got those names right)

Sadly, my other commitments forced me to head out before I could meet Dean's family. But we got to cheer in my BIL to a 4:34 marathon finish at age 61. I spent a good half hour rooting for marathoners in mile 26, and that was fun.

So now I am back. No races for 8 weeks (at the moment), so I can get into some serious training. My hip pain is mostly gone so I am ready to hit it hard and do some speed work and hill work.


  1. Looks like some fun meet-ups! No races for 8 weeks? That sounds like torture.

  2. Very very clever!! Love the Derby names.