Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Big Hit Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Louisville, KY
Sunday, October 30
Half Marathon #49
State #41
Weather - Really chilly, hovering around freezing. Overcast.
The drive was LONG. It was L’s turn to drive, and I kept dozing off. Even though I tried not to, since I know it is annoying and lonely to be driving with no one to talk to.

We stopped a few times to get drinks and gas, but we pretty much drove all the way through, and managed to get to an Applebee’s within 20 miles of the hotel (on the way) around 7:30. Dinner wasn’t quite as good as last night, but judging by the complaints of THREE tables around us, we were pretty lucky that our food was “ok.”

Got to our motel around 8:30, L was in bed within about 15 minutes. I stayed up reading, and then had a mild panic attack when I spent about 20 minutes on the race’s website and could not find ANYWHERE where they allowed race day pick up. Finally found it, and went to bed.

Tossed and turned ALL night. I woke up probably 5 times in the middle of the night, constantly checking the clock. Still one of my nightmares is that I will oversleep and miss a race. L didn’t sleep well either, she thinks it was too hot in the room. I had turned the heat up pretty high, that was a possibility.

Get ready, head out. It feels even COLDER than yesterday. My phone says it is 33 degrees. That’s about what it was like in Colorado. BRRRR. We have no trouble finding where we need to go, we are able to drive right up to the gates of Louisville Slugger Field. We parked literally about 20 feet from the start line. Awesome. There was no signage indicating where we needed to pick up our bibs, so we ended up walking about halfway around the field before we found it. Got our bib, and then had… about an hour to kill until the start. 

Louisville Slugger Field
Remember how we parked RIGHT BY THE START? We pretty much dozed off waiting for the start. Went to the bathroom at the potties RIGHT BY THE START twice, and with 3 minutes to go, walked to the start.

Start Line
Cycled through the bathroom line one more time, and about 10 minutes late, the race started. This time there were timing mats, and we had lined up with the 10 minute per mile pace sign, and of we went. The first mile of the course was in the city by the river and a lot of it was running under the highway. Slight turn right before the first mile and we head up a hill. Mile 1. Then a right turn and the course flattens out. Only. That pain in my calves? Back. And seemed to include my thighs too. I wanted to walk. Curse L for being so fast. I didn’t want to give up and walk – I haven’t the last three races, so I figured I’d hold out the best I could until the first aid station. Got passed by the 2:10 pace group. That sucked. It was still SO early. My legs were just super tight/cold.

First aid station right before mile 2. I stretch a bit off to the side, and luckily the pain went away. The next few miles went pretty well, flat and we ran by a “haunted house” and a cemetery, then we ran downtown a bit, where the ¼ marathoners split off from us. We headed to the right for an out and back, and the course here was NICE. Really flat and again, the changing leaves. I’m such a sucker for fall! I just wish it wasn’t so COLD. My hands were FREEZING. So yeah, I was still wearing my awesome free gloves from yesterday.

Speakers played the theme to "Halloween" in front of this spooky house! About mile 3.
The aid stations were spaced pretty well apart, but around mile 6, I felt I had to use the bathroom again. Damn! But at least no wait, in and out pretty fast. Then we head under a few bridges, up a HUGE overpass and out by the University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium. There was GU at the turnaround, and I had to mess with my socks because I could feel them bunching up under the ball of my foot. Annoying!! Back up the ginormous overpass, and then heading back down the same residential road. Flat!

Somewhere around mile 5 (and 10ish)
U of Louisville Cardinal Stadium - turnaround
The rest of the race actually went really well. I felt we were running a good pace and I wasn’t super tired, and we were actually passing people. And I really like that. Right after the marker at mile 12, I feel something, and turn around, my headband had come off. WTH? That has never happened before. I’m pretty sure it was because I kept flipping my sunglasses up and they probably pushed my band back too far. Either way, L kept going, and I never managed to catch her again. That last mile was ridiculously hard. Even though there was a slight downhill, I had NOTHING left. All I could think was… when this is done, I don’t have to race again for weeks. This race also ended on the field, running across home plate! L smoked me even more than yesterday. WHERE DOES SHE GET ALL THAT ENERGY??? Oh yeah. She is faster… lol.

Yep, the "free" gloves again!
Cross the line, and they are giving out instant results. Get our medal, water, bagel, so a few quick pictures, then head out.

Loved the cool chairs!
Bib #1440
Official Time – 2:11:54
Official Pace – 10:05
Overall Place – 572
Gender Place – 202/443
Division Place – 39/81
Garmin Time - 2:11:55
Garmin Distance - 13.09 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:05
Mile 1 - 9:24
Mile 2 - 11:28 (most horrible mile ever)
Mile 3 - 9:57
Mile 4 - 9:48
Mile 5 - 9:53
Mile 6 - 9:43
Mile 7 - 10:57 (bathroom)
Mile 8 - 10:53
Mile 9 - 9:31
Mile 10 - 9:59
Mile 11 - 10:02
Mile 12 - 10:00
Mile 13 - 9:26
Mile 13.1 - 10:01

Nice medal!
For an inaugural race (ok, any race), this was REALLY good. Plenty of aid stations and course support was excellent. They had speakers set up in various places playing music. They marked every mile AND had timing clocks. Course well marked and went through the city AND a nice residential neighborhood. Good medal and efficient with timing/results. And again, can’t really go wrong with finishing on a field. Wish I would have placed, THOSE lucky folks got Louisville slugger baseball bats!

Getting back to the hotel? Again, easy. We had an extended check out, so we didn’t have to rush to get out of there. We finally headed out around 11:45, and then started the drive to Nashville, even though we had hours and hours to kill before our flight.

We stopped around 12:30 and had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays. Sliders and French fries and a salad. Wow, I’m eating fabulously on this trip! Get back on the road, stop again a few miles down and get Dunkin Express at a gas station. Not quite the same thing as a free-standing location, but I think I made L a pretty decent caramel latte. I just had regular coffee.

Then we found an activity! Ever been to Dinosaur World? It was pretty awesome. Featured “true to size” replicas of maybe three dozen dinosaurs, located on a nice walking path. It took us about an hour to walk through, and it was nice to be out of the car.

Bone from an Ultrasaurus

T Rex looks hungry...
THESE were cool.
Woolly Mammoth Garden
Trail we walked around Dinosaur World... looks nice to run on!

Drive in to Nashville, and by the time we filled up the car and dropped it off, it was about 4:00, with our flight scheduled for 6:45. You might be thinking… this sounds like a pretty smooth trip so far. Well, security was a breeze, we get to the gate, and our flight is delayed. Only 10 minutes. But L has to leave straight from the airport in order to get to work by 10:30… and those 10 minutes are pretty important since it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get out of DIA in less than 30 minutes. Not to mention taking the shuttle to get your car? That can easily take another 20 minutes… We postpone dinner until 5:25, and have the chicken, bacon, swiss sandwich. TASTY. And more fries. I’m going to have to diet after this weekend.

Get to the gate just after 6… the flight is delayed ANOTHER. TEN. MINUTES. I think L might lose it. Then, no kidding, the flight is delayed an HOUR. Just when I think L's head is going to explode, a miracle occurs, they manage to get a new flight crew. We are out about 25 minutes late, but the flight is uneventful. I have a beer thanks to my free drink coupon, we land, and L manages to get to work 10 minutes early. How's THAT for cutting it close??


  1. this trip seems somewhat uneventful for yall. yay! not a bad medal for a first time race either. glad it was fun.

  2. 1. so glad you enjoyed the course
    2. If i would have known you were flying in and out of Nashville, I probably would have done the race with ya'll so you could have left the rental in Louisville and I just drove you back.
    3. Dinosaur World--- really?!?! I pass by it EVERYTIME I go home or to Louisville and no one EVER wants to stop there with me. I'm jealous. I'm also glad you posted pictures so I could see what it looks like inside!

  3. Another great race and recap. You guys looked so cute in your orange skirts.

    Yep, that L is fast. I still remember her passing me at You Go Girl...at least she said "hi" as she sped away, haha.

  4. I lost a headband on a run once - fortunately I found it. Ever since I use bobby pins just to make sure they don't go anywhere.

    Glad L made it to work. As usual I was getting nervous.

    That creepy house is AWESOME!!

  5. The dinosaur park looks really cool!

    Congrats on another race completed!

  6. What a great race and road trip! And how awesome that you got to run across home plate! This one might have to go on my wish list for 2012. I'm a sucker for everything basball.

    Does the ultrassaurus run Ultras? hahahaha


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