Tag Archives: Derby Festival Mini Marathon

Random Running Thoughts Of No Particular Usefulness

I couldn’t come up with anything coherent,  so I thought I would fire off a few random, useless thoughts on running.

1.  You know technology has progressed, and that it has you in its clutches, when you use your GPS watch to get data on how far you walked when you mowed your yard.  1.44 miles in the back yard. I would have had a faster pace, but my yard was out of control.

2.  I don’t know whether to be excited or a bit scared for Bay To Breakers in a couple of weeks.  I think I will be ahead of most of the debauchery, and I am on a rather tight flight schedule to get home, but I want to see the “sights.”   Might need to have an R rated recap for that one.  It should be really interesting.  Ryan Hall, the US Half Marathon record holder is running.  So are folks like this:


3.   Motivation of the day #1:

“Have you ever felt worse after a run?” – George Sheehan

I don’t think I have ever felt worse after a run.  I have felt plenty bad.  Beat down.  Winded.  Drained.  Bloodied.  But never worse. . .

4.  Speaking of costumes.  It was fun to wear a bit of a costume in the KDF Mini-marathon.  I am not fast enough to look like a serious runner, so who knows, a costume just might be added to the rotation here and there for the larger races.  Heck, I wore the same shirt for 4 of my first 5 half-marathons.  A little variety is in order.  It is fun trying to think of something new.

5.  Motivation of the day #2:

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”  – George Sheehan

Works for me.  I gave up beating the other runners long ago. . .But I also signed up for another marathon because the last one kicked my butt.  That little voice said to try again.

Fun Run – KY Derby Festival Mini Marathon Recap

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon

I was really looking forward to the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon.  It would be our 7th Half-Marathon, it was our first repeat half, and we had some cool costumes to run in.   Also, it was our first time to get together with a lot of other runners since the tragedy in Boston.  I was not sure how it would go, since I had not trained very well since the Run The Bluegrass half at the end of March, and my wife’s sporadic hip issue reared its ugly head in our last long run.

To add to the uncertainty, the morning of the race started off on a bad note.  I had returned from a business trip to Chicago the night before, and was not as organized as I would have liked.  As a result, I forgot my Garmin.  I felt like I was flying blind.  We use the run/walk method by distance, not time.  Luckily I had my Ipod, so I decided to just wing it and use the time on that to estimate our walk breaks.  It turned out OK though, we ran nearly identical splits each mile.   I still felt a little naked though.

We made it to the start line a few minutes before the start.  My wife and her friend went whole hog on their outfits, while I was not nearly as put together for this one.  We were taking our Bay To Breakers outfits for a trial run.  We had decided a couple of months ago to go with the super hero theme.  I, of course, was Super Man, my wife was Wonder Woman (naturally), and her friend was Bat Girl.

Ladies love the abs. . .

Ladies love the abs. . .

Dynamic Duo!

Dynamic Duo!

Folks immediately asked for pictures with Wonder Woman and Bat Girl.  Superman was the photographer of course.

Pre Race Fun

Great Pre-Race Atmosphere!  And plenty of port-a-pots!

The race started right on time, with great weather and an awesome, boisterous crowd cheering the runners.  The first six miles flew by as we took in the sights.  The first couple of miles runs through downtown Louisville with lots of interesting sights, incuding the world’s largest Louisville Slugger bat, and this:

Yup - it is all there. . .

Yup – it is all there. . .

After leaving downtown, we headed out towards Churchill Downs, following tree-lined streets filled with cheering fans.  Some offered high fives, others offered their rears for runners to smack.  Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.  We got a lot of great comments on our outfits, though I realize most of them were for the ladies. . .

I think lots of folks were jealous of Super Man.

I think lots of folks were jealous of Super Man.

At mile 8, we entered Churchill Downs.  We hit the infield as some Derby hopefuls were getting their final works in on the track.  I remember last year at this point, I was really feeling it.  This year I felt much better.  Wonder Woman took her turn at the camera, and I also got a blurry picture of one of the horses on the track.  It was really a treat to get to run through the track while the horses were working and Derby preparations were underway.

Famous Twin Spires

Famous Twin Spires, and abs of steel. . .

More Great Athletes @ Work

More Great Athletes @ Work

At mile 9 we exited Churchill Downs, and headed back down the tree-lines streets toward the finish.   The last 4 mile stretch is mostly a straight shot to the finish, slightly downhill.  Once again, these last few miles felt better than they seemed last year.  Wonder Woman’s hip twinged a bit, but we powered on toward the finish.  Baseball picture day and a soccer game later in the morning wouldn’t wait for a little hip issue.

Tree-lined streets

Tree-lined streets

Keeping our steady pace, we rounded the corner by the Yum! Center and headed to the finish line at Slugger Field.  The crowd lining the street was great, and you could hear the roar at the finish.  At about mile 12 we saw some folks from the Reeve Foundation taking on the last mile of the race.  They were truly inspiring.  Also, thoughts of Boston came to mind at this point and gave that extra boost to the finish.  We powered to the finish, and completed #7.  6 minutes faster than last year, but not a PR.  But hey, we got to meet Elvis at the finish.



Once again, the folks at the Derby Festival put on a great race.   It was fun, well organized, and had awesome crowd support.  Oh, and there was this to finish off our race day:

Spanx, thong, and a dollar. . .

Spanx, thong, and a dollar. . .Bay To Breakers, here we come! Love the looks of the passersby!

The next day, the organizers put on their first Kids’ Races, with distances from 50-800 meters.  The little guy grumpily completed the 50m, while big brother flew through the 400m.  They got their own finisher medals, and were proud little guys.  It was a good way to finish off the race weekend. I look forward to the 2014 version.  Hopefully it will be #12 or so.

Just like daddy!

Just like daddy!

Flying to the finish!

Flying to the finish!

More Bling!!

More Bling!!

Running Season & Running For A Reason

First off, I feel pretty good about my last two weeks of training.  I did not miss a run, in spite of having a trial and a conference to attend.  In fact, I think the runs actually helped in both circumstances.  Training is going well.  Seeing all the races this weekend that my friends, Nascar drivers, and Team RunDisney participated in added to the motivation to keep it going, and reminded me that running season is beginning.  I was amazed at the times of Nascar drivers Kasey Kahne and Jimmy Johnson at the half marathon they ran the morning before qualifying for the Daytona 500.  Both sub-1:30!  Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend.

Things are getting ready to shift into a higher gear for me.  A two mile run with my oldest son in a couple of weeks (can’t wait!); only a couple more long runs until Run The Bluegrass; and then it is the Kenucky Derby Mini Marathon and Bay to Breakers in short order after that.

Snowy lunch run

Snowy Wed. lunch run

Warm Mid-Morning Run

Warm Fri. Mid-Morning Run

I thought I would share the weather for my last two runs.  It is a miracle I am not sick.  Wednesday brought a snow burst and 30 degrees.  Friday brought a conference in Fort Lauderdale and 70 degrees.  I think I enjoyed the 30 degree run more, and was actually excited to get to run in the snow, although Fort Lauderdale warmth certainly had its benefits.  I felt blessed to be able to run in both climates, but in Fort Lauderdale I missed running my long run with my wife/running partner.  I think it was our first long run that we have not shared over the last year or so.

On another note, for anyone looking to make a training run more meaningful, I would suggest the Sandy Hook Run For The Families, taking place on Saturday, March 23.  No, you don’t have to go to Connecticut.  You can run or walk virtually and join the more than 10,000 runners and walkers that will be participating in Hartford, CT, to support the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. You can enter the race as a “Virtual Runner” for a $25 entry fee (until 2/28 – $30 after that).  You run a 5K wherever you are. They will list your name in the results (without a finish time) and will mail you a race shirt after the event. Your entry fee is a 100% donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.  What a great idea to support a great cause.  If you’re going to run or walk anyway, why not sign up for this?