Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Papa John's 10 miler - 2017

Well, first off ... I don't like this race. I think I do and I look forward to it, but then once I've started and I see that park looming up ahead with the hills upon hills upon more hills ... nope. No likey.

I made sure to at least do most of my training runs in the two weeks between the 10k and the 10 miler. Still no cross-training, because I don't wanna. But I did make sure I also eased up on the sweets, got plenty of sleep, hydrated (though now that I think about it, I don't think I've been drinking as much water as usual), and just wanted to finish this race with a PR (anything better than 1:48).

Packet pick-up (Friday) -- Matt had to work that evening and I decided to take the day off since I was already taking Thursday off for Allie's birthday. A nice leisurely drive over to Louisville would be nice ... it's never a nice leisurely drive to Louisville for me. I fully rely on Google Maps to get me anywhere across the river and I still get lost. And my plan on getting to pick-up early so I don't have to deal with rush hour? Nope - classes were in session at UofL so I was dodging students as well as cars in an unknown area for me.

Sorry for the blur - photo from the car. This was this year's finish line ... in the parking lot. And the Jumbotron that we could see ourselves crossing the line on ... if the crowds hadn't been in between the finish line and the "Jumbotron". Hoping they've finished work on the stadium by next year, if they will be a next year for me at this race.

Race morning -- Matt was out late with rockwall buddies and I thought I'd even give him an out if he didn't want to run 10 miles after only sleeping for about 4 hours. He was up and getting ready though and we got to the start line fairly early this year (about 30 minutes early - say what?) It was a cool morning (temps in the 40s) and we didn't see anyone we knew. The smart ones didn't sign up for this race, I suppose. We positioned ourselves further to the front this time in an effort to avoid the walkers.

Side note - I complain about the walkers, but only because they don't start in the back of the runners. I'm a run-walker and I know I'm going to walk eventually, but why would someone who is planning on walking 10 miles want to start a few rows from the start line, only to get bumped and plowed over by the ones who start off sprinting (definitely not me)? This is why we like the longer races (halfs/fulls) because of the corrals that put people with others who will finish about the same time as they. Even so, some corral police are occasionally needed to make sure people aren't starting before they're supposed to.

I decided to increase my running time to 5 minutes and still walk 1 minute. And since last year's PR had me starting the intervals once I got to Iroquois park, that's what I decided to do this year too. No problems on the first leg of Southern Parkway. The route went a little further down New Cut Rd to make up for not being able to run around the football field at the finish (bummer!) but I was still feeling pretty OK, just getting anxious about the hills inside the park. And I mostly stuck with the run 5/walk 1 intervals. Those hills though ... my goodness, those hills.

At the first water stop inside the park, we traditionally get a bottle of water instead of a cup of water. I made sure to hold on to it for the rest of the race so I didn't have to stop at any of the later water stops. And a little after mile 5, I pulled out my Boom Energy gel (pomegranate grape, FTW!). I'm not sure if it helped any though. Finally got out of the park and trudged along back up Southern Parkway towards the finish. I actually had a pleasant surprise when I saw a mile marker coming up and thought it was '6' ... found out it was '7' and I only had less than a 5k to go! Right around the 9 mile marker, I got the text alert that Matt had finished. We forgot to look up his PR but I knew he finished at least 11 minutes faster than I was going to!

Then coming up on Central Ave ... and that overpass ... and I just hate it. But since they were working on the football stadium and had to move the finish line to the parking lot, there wasn't much left to run once I made it to the top of the hill -- just down the other side and turn into the parking lot ... but it really feels a lot further than that. There were a couple girls who ran out from the spectators to run with their parents in front of me ... I didn't want the photos to make it look like two little kids beat me (seriously -- they were like 6 and 8 years old) so I pulled up the last bit of reserve to finish in front of them. And you know what? All that pre-race training and preparation (extra sleep, etc.) ... finished 3 minutes slower than my PR. And Matt? zero pre-race training and preparation ... ran a PR by at least 3 minutes. I know everyone is running their own race - I get that. But I'm going to have to change up my training strategy if doing all that extra work accomplishes nothing in the end. I guess cross-training is next ... :(

I finished. Also made the mistake of sitting down in the parking lot ... so that was fun getting up after.

One of the best parts about this race is the free cheese pizza at the end. I only had the energy to eat one slice though. Cracks me up (not really) when I see people walking off with a box of a whole pizza.

Upcoming races -- a 5k benefiting the local youth shelter and then three weeks after that is the Kentucky Derby Festival half and then the week after that is the Indianapolis Mini (around the Speedway!!). Every now and then, I think I'd like to try the full with the Kentucky Derby Festival instead ... but because of this race here (10 miler) that goes through Iroquois Park/Mountain, I know there's no way I could do the KDF Full that runs through the same park midway through the 26 miles. Ain't no way, no how. At least the KDF Half is fairly flat ... I think. I've blocked it out since last year.