So ... I ran the KDF Half this weekend. This is my 2nd time on this course and really just wanted to beat my time from last year (2:34). Last year's race was chilly, rainy, and I had bronchitis. Let's see how it went this year ...
As many runners know, a race is not run in just that day. Weeks and months of training lead up to this point. The week of the race is a taper week -- where considerably less mileage is done (or next to none, in my case) so the body isn't worn out by the time the race day arrives. Nutrition is also important - throughout training but also during the days leading up to the race. Sleep ... also important. Blah blah blah.
Training -- meh ... I mostly did the Norton's Sports Health training program. Not all but most of it. Mainly signed up for the sweet (read: free) tech shirt.
Nutrition -- I actually was doing pretty good with this. Yes, I binged more than I should have. Chocolate is not safe around me. Taper week though? I bombed it. Wednesday of this week was Administrative Professional's Day -- whatever. I'm not an Admin Pro but if the Controller wants to give me a gift, I'll take it! And if it's a box of dipped fruit from Edible Arrangements? Well, that ended up as my lunch for the day. I felt like a slug.
Sleep -- whatever. I'm just thankful for coffee.
Due to rain and appointments, I wasn't able to get out to the Big Four walking bridge at lunch time for a couple days so I made certain I'd get out there on Friday. May I just say that jeans + fast walking + humid weather = chafing when I will NOT have time for it.
Packet Pick-up and Race Expo - Not sure I like the set-up for this race expo. Granted, my only big race experiences are this race and the Indpls Monumental ... and I'm usually biased towards anything Indianapolis-related. BUT ... the Monumental's expo is more open, like a market atmosphere and you can wander around and backtrack. The KDF's expo is set up like a cattle-track and you just follow the herd in front of you. If you want to stop and see something, you step out of line and then hope to jump back in when you're done. The only thing I bought (and only thing I was looking to buy) were a couple packs of Extreme Sport Beans by Jelly Belly. I had won a case of them last year and they helped get me through long runs and races (jelly beans plus caffeine and sporty nutrition? genius!) but I ran out awhile ago. The only ones I could find were at the Fleet Feet Louisville booth and they were just regular Sport Beans, not the Extreme version that has the caffeine added. It ended up OK -- they were also 20% off at the expo so I definitely would have purchased more if they had had the Extreme version.
The Parking Dilemma and Start Line - Last year, we ended up having to rush to the start line because of having to park about a mile out and we had left later than planned to begin with. This year, we debated parking by the 2nd St bridge or the Big Four bridge in Indiana and then walking in. We could have done it even though it would have been 2 miles from the start/finish lines but we were going to leave EARLY to get there. Of course we didn't leave as planned so we decided to try our luck parking in Louisville again. We ended up parking on the street by a construction zone. Found out after the race that all the cars parked in front of us received parking tickets because their meters ran out -- the 4-5 cars behind them (us included) didn't have meters to worry about, so no parking ticket!
Thoughts during the race - I really need a voice recorder to catch all the random thoughts that pop into my head during a race. I don't listen to music while I'm out on the road (can't find earbuds to stay in) so my thoughts jump around like I don't know what.
Some things I recall that I want to remember -- seeing the Flying Elvi and how much fun they were having (group of men dressed as Elvis, pushing a baby stroller with their boombox that played Elvis songs throughout the race); seeing an amputee running; seeing a fireman running in full gear (supposedly there was a crew of them but I only saw the one guy); seeing someone I thought I recognized from the blogosphere but didn't realize it until I passed and then thought it'd be odd to turn around and run back to her to say hi! and introduce myself (hint: someone dressed as Belle); being so totally soaked from rain and puddles; all the awesome water stops and encouraging spectators -- but then also getting to large crowds of spectators and it took some encouraging yells from RUNNERS to get the spectators to start cheering for the other runners; seeing all ages and shapes and sizes out there.
The Finish Line and FOOD! - I actually ran more than I thought I would and tried to only walk during the water stops (and I stopped for water/PowerAde at every single stop). I did end up walking for about 3-4 other times but for no more than 1 min or less each time. I was just sick of the rain -- but I wasn't cold (yet) so it wasn't too bad. I haven't even looked for my race photos yet but I'm sure there are looks of pain in each one. :) Seeing that finish line and digging deep to 'sprint' to the end (more like a fast jog) and then wandering around ... that's when the cold set in. I couldn't stop shivering. I knew Matt finished before me (got his finishing text when I had just passed the 12 mile marker -- awesome job!!) but couldn't find him and I couldn't dig my phone out to text him with swollen/wet fingers anyway. So I got my food (remembered to bring a bag with me so I wouldn't have to carry all the food in my arms) and started right on with my bagel as I wandered around looking at the people and for Matt. FINALLY found him and we decided to head on out -- the rain and cold was starting to get to both of us -- I didn't request hypothermia, that's fo' sho'.
Results ... not just a PR for the course, but also a PR for the half! I beat last year's time by 9 minutes and my overall half time by 4 minutes ... 2:25! And Matt? He beat his time from last year by 26 minutes and his overall half time by 3 minutes with 2:15! Aahh-mazing! We didn't really get a chance to rest over the weekend -- FIL owns an auction company and we had an auction to work on Sunday (Matt does the grunt work and is in the ring and I'm at the cashiers table so am up and down all day). This morning? Neither of us could move without sound effects ...
Looking forward to seeing everyone's recaps and what they thought. I'm definitely signing up for next year. :)
My running buddy ...