Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Final Thoughts on the Derby Festival mini marathon

My experience running the derby festival mini marathon was a great one. From the time I was picked up by the shuttle bus until I crossed the finish line I enjoyed every moment. There were plenty of water stops and the on course entertainment was good. There were spectators throughout the course cheering runners on and at the finish line it was fantastic with all the people lining the streets.

The entire event was very well organized. It is obvious they have held this event for many years. I will most definitely sign up and run this race again next year. I have to say a big Thank You to my own personal cheering section at the finish line. I really appreciated their support and encouragement. Thanks to Pam for putting up with my hobby of running. I know sometimes I have to drive her nuts talking about it. She has allowed me to commit a vast amount of time to preparing for the races I run. Thank You Dear, I love you.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kentuck Derby Festival Mini Marathon Part 2

Once we left the city park the course was flat and heading for Churchill Downs. We entered Churchill Downs at about mile 8. As I was going into the Downs I called Pam, my wife, to tell her where I was. The picture above shows where we went into the Downs. We ran into a tunnel and came out on the infield. Preparations were already underway for the Derby on May 02, 2009. There were huge white tents everywhere. We ran on an asphalt path. I made a pit stop again. The smell of horses was everywhere and there were horses & jockeys running the track. It was cool to actually be running inside Churchill Downs. I stopped and took some pictures, one of which is above of the two famed steeples which you see all the time on television.

We ran through another tunnel and came out under the grandstand and prepared to leave the Downs. Just as we left we passed mile marker 9. I figured at this point I could end up with a pretty good time. It was really warm and I grabbed a bottle of water at the next stop and took my final gel. The course turned north and headed for downtown Louisville.

The split for the mini and the full was at mile 12. Mini runners went to the left. I turned left and again let my wife know where I was on the course. She told me they had found seats in the bleachers at the finish line. At about mile 12 & 1/2 Pam told me I could beat the 2 & 1/2 hour time and I told her I was going to beat 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Both sides of the street were packed with spectators cheering on runners starting just before the mile 13 marker. It was so cool to see all the people. I made a last right turn and could see the finish line. I looked to my right and saw my own cheering section, Pam, Abby & Andy waving and yelling at me. That was really cool. They took some pictures of me, one which is above. I crossed the finish line and thought I DID IT. The time on my watch showed 2:16:06. I was pretty excited to have completed the mini in less than 2:20. I found some more Powerade and food. The bullpen like area for runners was packed and stacked. It took me about 15 minutes to get together with my family. I hugged my wife and daughter and we talked about what running the course was like. We walked back to where they had parked the car and headed to Abby & Andy's home.
Later in the afternoon I checked the Festival website and looked at the official time results. My "chip time" showed I ran the course in exactly 2 hours & 16 minutes. I was really pleased with this time and told Pam I wanted to better that time at the Disneyland 1/2 in September. I had a great time and will most certainly run this race again.
Thanks for reading.
Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon Part 1

Wow, what a great time I had running the Derby festival mini marathon. My day started at 4:45am. I got up, put on my running clothes, ate some breakfast and waited for my son in law Andy to get up as he was giving me a ride to dowtown Louisville to catch the shuttle bus to the start line. The temperature was 71 degrees. I knew it was going to be a warm day running once the sun came up.

We left the house about 5:30 and headed for Louisville. When we got downtown there were runners everywhere walking towards the shuttle buses. Andy dropped me off and I got in line waiting to board a bus. While in line I talked with a runner from Ohio and from Missouri. The runner from Missouri was running her first 1/2 marathon. The Ohio runner, who is a marathoner was running her first Derby festival marathon. Once we got on the bus, it took about 20 minutes to get to where the race started. When we arrived there were thousands of runners everywhere. There were 12,oo0 runners registered for this event. Music was already playing and I saw four different versions of Elvis walking amongst the runners. We still had a little over and hour to kill before the race started so I fired up my IPod and listened to some music.

The race began at 7:30 for the elite runners. I was placed in corral C, so it was about 7:37 before I crossed the start line. And oh yeah, the sun was coming up and it was getting warmer. The first 2 1/2 miles of the race were really flat and we ran through city neighborhoods. There was one water stop before we entered the city park which was between miles 2 1/2 & 3. The park was hilly. Not big hills, just lots of little ones. I took my first gel pack at mile 3. My plan was to take a gel every 3 miles. When we finished running through the park, we came out on the street where the race started. I made a pit stop and took off running again down the same street I started the race on. At mile 6 I took another gel and there was a water & powerade stop. I grabbed a bottle of water and drank some powerade. The next point of interest for me was Churchill Downs, the famed home of the Kentucky Derby.

More to follow in my next post.

Thanks for reading.

Run strong & enjoy the moment.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last Training Run

Yesterday I did my last training run, a 3 miler, before the mini marathon Saturday in Louisville. The weather is supposed to be in the lows 80's on race day. I hope its in the high 50's to lows 60's at race time.

I am really looking forward to running the course. There are 12,000 runners starting the race. Putting it in perspective, there were over 17,000 at the Disney World 1/2 marathon in January. I know I will want to get off to a fast start once the crowd thins out some. I also know I have to pace myself so I don't flame out early.

I will have my own cheering section at the finish. My wife, daughter & son in law will be there. Once I complete the race I am going to shut my training down some. I do have a 7 1/2 mile run on Saturday May 2nd. Its a local race that is done every year. After that I am just going to do some maintenance running until I start training for the Disneyland 1/2 in September.

Speaking of Disney World, only about 2 months until we get to spend a week there. Can't wait.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have become a Podcast listening freak. I listen to many Disney related and many running related podcasts. I also listen to a couple of conservative talk show podcasts. There are just so many great podcasts out there, that you could spend just about every minute of everyday listening to them. I think I drive my beautiful wife crazy talking about what I have listened to. She has told me more than once that I have become a Disney fanatic. Well, I was a Disney fanatic long before I started listening to podcasts, it's just made it worse.

I only have 11 days left til the Louisville 1/2 marathon. My daughter, who lives in the Lousiville area called me over the weekend to tell me the long range forecast calls for 80 degrees on race day. The race starts at 7:30AM, so I'm hoping the temp at the start is in the lows 60's. I am so ready to go do it. My training/tapering quite frankly has become boring. I'm ready to race. I really look forward to sharing my race expirience on this blog once it's over.

I want to give a big Thank You to Gordon at Run to for plugging this blog on his web site. Thank You Gordon. Thanks to all of you who have decided to follow this blog I really do appreciate it.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baseball is Back

My other favorite sport, baseball, has finally returned. I sure hope this means warmer weather, which we still don't have around here. Still having to run part of the time in winter clothing. I'm so ready to wear shorts & a shirt while running instead of having to dress like an Eskimo.

I did 12 miles this past Saturday. That will be my longest run until I get to Louisville. I am tired of the training, I ready to go run the 1/2. I got the same way when I was training for the Disney 1/2 back in late December. After Louisville, I will take a break then gear it up for the Disneyland 1/2 in September. I am looking forward to seeing Disneyland again. It is neat to walk where Walt walked. I wonder what he would have to say now about Disneyland & WDW. It sure would be fun to talk with him about it.

Thanks for reading.

Til next time, run strong & enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Several Things

Yesterday I officially registered for the Disneyland 1/2 marathon in September. I am really excited about going to CA and completing this run. I want the Coast to Coast medal. We have been to Disneyland once back in 2001. California Adventure had been open for about month at the time. We loved Disneyland, but we were really not to impressed with California Adventure. I know it is now undergoing a major re-hab. I have read it will be and look more like the golden age of Hollywood when it's done. I hope so because I think that age was a special time in our great country.

This past weekend I took advantage of the buy 4 gete 3 free at WDW. We decided to go at the end of June for a week. We will be there over the 4th of July, which is something I have always wanted to do. I'm not sure the fireworks can get any better than they are now, but I bet they do something special for the 4th. Can't wait to see.

I am still plodding along with my training for the Louisville 1/2 later this month. Last Saturday I did 11 miles and this Saturday will do 12 miles which will be my longest run before the 1/2. I will start to taper after this Saturday. The wind has been absolutely awful here, which makes it tough somedays while running. I am ready for some nice warm weather. After runnning Louisville I am signed up to do a local run called the Lake Run. It is a 7 1/2 mile run around a local lake. This one is lots of fun. Once you get done there have tons of free food and beer. It's well worth the $20.00 dollar entry fee.

Thanks for reading!!!

Til next time, run strong and enjoy the moment.