Saturday was it, the day I had been planning and training for had arrived.
Let's talk about preparation. There wasn't much I could have done differently. I followed the training schedule the best I could, not once did I quit due to lack of being able, it was more weather related. The snow got in our way a few times, Laura went on vacation, baseball for the boys started, life in general got in the way a few times. My schedule had me training up to 12 miles but that never happened. After the 10 miler I should have done a 12 mile run, 8 mile run, then the mini. I never made that 12 mile run, only the 8. I was okay with this. I've heard plenty of people say they only trained for 10 and since the Papa Johns race is a harder course, I should be fine. The day of the mini I was going to beat my longest run by 3 miles.
Now let's talk weather. Wow, it was all over the place the whole week. It started off with a 20% chance of light rain and ended up being a 100% chance with possible heavy rain. By Friday morning I came to the conclusion I needed to accept whatever happened and it would be what I made of it.
I had my body glide, trash bags just in case I had to wait in the rain before the race, some sports beans for energy... lets do this.
We got to downtown, walked to the start line, waited in line to pee, walked a few more blocks to our corral, they blew the starting gun and then we had about another 15-20 minute walk back to the starting line. At this point it had not rained, this was a huge answered prayer. The fact that we got to start dry was huge!
Here we go!
I felt good the entire race. Pretty much as soon as we started it began to rain, but very light rain. It stayed like this for over half the race. It was actually almost perfect conditions. It kept us cool, we weren't soaked, it kept me from feeling dehydrated. Both male and female winners finished way before we hit our halfway mark and they both broke a record for this course. Watching the coverage they said very few people needed medical attention, the light rain was actually really nice.
Around mile 8 we hit Churchill Downs and the rain started to home down harder. This is when we got really wet. Coming out of Churchill was the split for the marathon and there were some with us that split off. These people had 17 more miles, including hills, in the rain. For us, it only rained heavy for about 3 miles then started to let up again.
We got to mile 11 and I got my energy I was ready to go for it. Laura's ankle and feet were starting to hurt and we were in this together and I wasn't leaving. I stayed as close as I could and kept my eye on her, we rounded Main St for a few blocks then we made our final turn and there it was... THE FINISH LINE!! I pulled back and we crossed together. We had been in this together and we were gonna finish together.
After the race we ran into a girl she grew up with. I'm not in pain, I had food in my mouth. We found a tent with trail mix and I think it was for runners who did both the Bluegrass Half last month and the mini, but they didn't stop us :)
I had Steve tape the coverage, I watched it for over an hour and a half until I came across this. This was right after we came out of Churchill Downs. This was during our rainy portion.
A few things I'll remember-
The training is the hard part, not the race. Once you train properly, the race really isn't that big of a deal. It was one morning, the training takes weeks.
I had on a long sleeve shirt with a short sleeve over it. I knew I may get hot but if I wore the long sleeve over it, I would need to re-pin by bib. So, while running I managed to get the long sleeve off. Laura helped by pulling on the sleeves so I could get my arm out. I slid it down my waist and somehow managed to run/jump out of it. Without skipping a beat. It could have been a disaster and I totally could have fallen on my face, but I was graceful for once.
After all the water stops and orange slices, I only made one basket when I threw them towards the trash can. All the others were misses.
I love watching people and wondering what their stories are. About 3 miles to go we seen two adult kids who were spectators call out to their dad who was running near us. He ran over to them to give them a quick a hug and kept running. After we finished I turned around and he had just crossed and broke down crying. I would love to know his story.
Finally... I want to do another. My time was 2:48:22... Ideally I want to finish one in under 2 1/2 hours. It was fun, I love the energy, and who knows maybe next time I'll have sunshine.