Thirty-five random thoughts on the Louisville Marathon....RACE STATS: 52 race of marathon or beyond distance, 35th state
1. This was my fourth marathon this year, my last was 8 weeks ago and my next is in 8 weeks. My expectation was to have a fun weekend, check the state of Kentucky off and not run a PW.
2. On the seven weekends between marathons, I did four longs runs…..16, 16, 18, and 19…..took the middle completely weekend off. The 18 miler included a half marathon and I did a half the weekend before the race. I probably should NOT have raced that half, but whatever.
3. What draws me to a particular race? NOT a megathon. Meeting up with friends. Beer/good food race. This race checked the boxes. Doughboy (Chris) also ran this smallish race. My sister lives in Atlanta, and decided she would come in for the half. The most appealing thing was at the finish line, there was PIE! (more about PIE later)
4. This was third state for which I had to take a connecting flight, something I hate doing. Well, I didn’t HAVE TO take a connecting flight, but Southwest was over $150 cheaper than any airline flying direct from Dallas and my brief layover was only in Houston, so the minimal time I wasted, was worth it. Plus, I was able to kill the last 4 episodes of the final season of House of Cards on my flights.
5. I watched most of previous season of House of Cards on the flights for my last marathon, which I ran decently. The fact I was watching the same show, meant I would run this marathon decently, RIGHT? Isn’t that how it works? In retrospect, I probably should have incorporated some in hill training along with my Netflix binging.
6. Packet pickup was in the Goodwood Brewing company. <insert good wood joke here> Of course we had to sample the local offerings. I was exceptionally fond of their Shoot Your Eye Out Stout.
7. After getting our packets and drinking some beer, we found a bakery which specialized in macaroons. Chris interrogated the guy behind the counter, made a note of their offerings and decided he would return Monday so he could get fresh cookies before he went home.
8. Random Kentucky Observation: Gas was $2.79 (I had just filled up at home for $2.11)
9. Pre-race meal was once again Olive Garden…..where you know what you will get. It was easy, we went early so there was no wait, and you get the endless salad bowl. What is there not to like about the Olive Garden? (Well, the wine, that is meh….)
10. We didn’t need any dessert because when one meets up with Chris, one is treated to their own, personal 8 pound package of brownies. He was gracious enough to make me blondies and brownies and I sampled both before going to bed.
11. We all stayed at a Hampton Inn which surprisingly, had their breakfast open at a very convenient 6:00 am….we all expected a “weekend open” of 7:00. I brought my own banana muffins, but it was nice to have access to their peanut butter and milk with my breakfast.
12. The waffle iron at the Hampton Inn breakfast did not make waffles in the shape of Kentucky. (Yes, I checked.) In Texas, many hotel waffle irons make waffles in the shape of Texas. Sure, we are stuck with fkkkking Ted Cruz another six years, but we can get waffles in the shape of our state in a hotel, so that is a thing.
13. We had a 10-15 minute drive to the start which was in a park. Easy parking and adequate porto situation. Two thumbs up, but it would have sucked had it been raining. Luckily, it was not raining.
14. The weather was, well, it could have been worse. It was sunny, not windy, but it was 19*at the start and was 40ish when I finished. This temperature change required some thoughtful attire decisions. Since I have only run in long sleeves maybe 2-3 times so far this fall, and never in tights, the dramatic temperature change threw me off.
15. I went with capri tights, long sleeve shirt, vest, cap, and two pairs of gloves. I am very candy-assed when it comes to my hands being cold, so I needed two pairs until it reached the upper 30’s. Then, I would only need one pair.
16. Chris wore a buff instead of a hat which was a fabulous idea, especially in those temperatures. I never think about wearing my buff. Chris is fancy and knows how to make it into a cool looking hat…..I am not fancy and look like a doofus when I wear mine.
17. When we got out of the car for our quarter mile walk to the start, it did not seem that cold to me, but when we started the race, my feet were FREEZING. I never thought about bringing wool socks which is dumb as I like wool socks when it is both very cold and very hot. Why don’t just always wear wool socks?
18. The full, the half and the 10K started at the same time, on the same bike path. As there were a total of maybe 300? in both races combined, it wasn’t a total clusterfkkk. Since all races were an out & back, if this race gets bigger, the joint start may be an issue, but not this year. (I think this was the third year for this event.)
19. I don’t mind an out & back as it is comforting to know what the course is over the second half. Additionally, can get to high five you friends when they are on the back and you are still on the out!
20. The race is all on a bike path which is in good condition. It winds through parks, countryside and along creeks. We missed the fall “colors” by probably a week or two as only a few trees still had some leaves. But that was okay, as we could see various farms and blah-blah through the woods. Overall, a very pretty course.
21. Random Kentucky Observation #2: That accent! I barely notice the Dallas accent anymore… though can hear the “Texas” accent. I can identify whether a person is from northern Louisiana or southern, from Oklahoma, Georgia or SC. Mississippi & Alabama sound the same to me. That Kentucky accent sounded as annoying to me as my Michigan accent probably sounds to the Texans. (The blazerkids mock how I speak ALL THE TIME. #littleshits)
22. While the porto situation was good at the start, there was at least one section where they were 4.5 miles apart. As this was an out & back, we hit this section twice. How do I know the distance between them? Guess when I needed one?
23. Two weeks prior to the race, I recalled reading there were hilly portions on this course. This information would have been best remembered MUCH earlier.
24. Where I live, we are kinda/sorta incliney and decliney. There are some hills I can do repeats on and my Tuesday/Thursday 10 milers to incorporate some hills. COULD DO, but don’t. As such, I was dreading what waited for me. Perhaps this would be like San Francisco where it wouldn’t be as bad as I anticipated. While certainly not as hilly as SF, my laziness resulted in it being no fun for me.
25. As runners, we all know the tough part about hills isn’t necessarily the uphill, the downhill kills the quads and therefore, much more sucky. Of course we don’t like the uphills, but when they are over, they are over. The effects of running downhills running lingers.
26. The course had an early steep uphill, steep downhill, then gradually declined until about 11 where we had some steep hills incorporated to the turnaround and then encountered on the way back. By mile 14, my legs were trashed. The gradual incline over several miles as we returned was not really a problem because as much as I am whining about steep hills, I am actually a strong runner for someone with mediocre ability. It wasn’t until the hills in the last mile where I totally stank it up again.
27. As my time goal of 4:30-4:40 was basically “in the bag” by mile 15, (so sad that is my time goal now), when I saw a guy carrying an American flag, running up a hill, I stopped and took a photo. (Why? I have no idea as I don’t know what I am going to do with that photo.) Anyhoo, he stopped, told me he was a veteran (it was Veteran’s Day) and I thanked him for his service.
28. I HATE being hot when I run….to me, it is far worse than being cold. At the mile 16 aid station, it had to be in the upper 30’s, so I ditched my running vest. I was kinda bummed to do so, but it was over 10 years old, UGLY and I have three more. And even though it was UGLY, I hated leaving it behind.
29. In August, my work team moved into a new, nice office and I was one a of four people provided a fancy, standing desk….my boss and I are ones who actually use them. The first day in the new office, he challenged me to see who could go the longest without sitting at their desk. Of course, I accepted the challenge though I did mention to him he may be at an advantage on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I run 10 miles before work on those days. He asked me why I do that and I told him…..”Because they are Tuesday and Thursdays!” DUH! Anyhoo, three months, 596 miles, a marathon and two half marathons later, I have determined it is tiring standing all day….especially, the week before a marathon. But have I sat yet? Hell no! I can’t let him win! In fact, I don’t even know where my chair is currently located. What is the prize for this stand-off? < -----pun> Pride. The ability to feel superior. Girl power….my typically misplaced motivations.
30. The combination of hills, standing ALL DAY LONG at work, racing a half marathon the week before, the fact I am a mediocre runner and my general, “I Don’t Give A Fkkk What My Time Is” attitude, had me clock a whopping 4:41….15 minutes slower than two months ago.
My last race, I ran with two peeps. This race, I ran solo. Running with friends makes a HUGE impact on my performance.
31. This was decent swag race as instead of a shirt, we received a nice ¼ zip pullover jacket. I already own a few, but will definitely wear it. The medal was just fine and big enough for those who want a big medal, while not being obnoxious.
32. The pullover jacket was BLUE. WTF is everything always BLUE???
33. About a year ago, a new pie shop opened in my town. My friend bought their specialty pie and her husband told me he didn’t like it as it was like a “cookie pie”……as if a “cookie pie” was a bad thing! The Derby Pie which we were served at the end of the race was the perfect marriage of cookie and pie. It was NOT a bad thing!!
34. There was also beer at the end of the race from the sponsor brewery…..The Good Wood Lager. I usually don’t eats sweets with beer, but make an exception at the end of a marathon!
35. Overall, this race was well organized, the course was pretty, the parking situation was good, the swag and post race eats were excellent. While I am a whiner about the hills, they wouldn’t bother most of y’all….I just don’t normally run them. My only suggestion to the RD would be to have an extra aid station as there would not have been enough if it was hot.
Thanks for reading.
Next Up? Zoom! Yah! Yah! in January……150 laps on an indoor track in Northfield, Minnesota