I’ve decided to dedicate my next few posts to my Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon experience. Over the next couple of weeks I hope I can give you a complete picture of the race both from the critical/review side and from my own experience (physical and emotional.)
1) What was your motivation to run the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon?
Honestly, I belong to a wonderful community (family, really) of runners here in Louisville and nearly my entire regular running group have completed at least one, if not multiple, marathons. After my regular training partner completed his first, and then second marathon last fall I was feeling a little like the odd turtle out. So I decided that I too was going to run a marathon. So I went into our spring training season saying that this was my “one and done” marathon. With that in mind I also applied for and was accepted into the Kentucky Derby Festival Race Ambassador program for this year!
2) What training Method did you follow?
I am blessed to be a Training Mentor with Fleet Feet Sports Louisville called the Louisville Distance Project and we have a 16 week training program that is offered each season, spring and fall. Our program consists of three group runs each week: two short runs on Monday and Wednesday evenings and our long run on Saturday mornings. With individual workouts or cross training and rest days laid out in our training plan.
My typical workout week looked like this:
Monday – 5 to 6 mile short run
Tuesday – Yoga for Runners/ Cross-training
Wednesday – Hill Repeats/ Speed Work/ Interval Workouts
Thursday – High rep, Low weight cross training or extra mileage run
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Long Run + low intensity bike ride afterward for recovery as needed
Sunday – Rest Day
3) What gear/shoes/accessories did you run in?
In general, I am not specifically brand loyal on my running gear. There are however a few exceptions to that rule when it comes to my headbands (PonyaBands), shoes (Mizuno Wave Riders), and hydration gear (Nathan).
For this particular race outfit I wore my Mizuno Wave Rider 19s, you can check out my review of those here, paired with a pair of synthetic blend Saucony No-Show Socks. With our wet weather on Saturday I can truly say I’m impressed with these socks – I had NO BLISTERS! I hate wearing Body Glide or 2Toms Sport Shield on my feet so my socks are a s
uper critical component to my race day gear, even more so when it’s raining! For the rest of my outfit I wore my Fleet Feet Ambassador singlet by Champion Systems, Danskin Adjustable Back Sports Bra, Nike Pro Cool 7” Shorts, a 3” Bamboo-lined PonyaBand, and Headsweats Hat.
4) What is your favorite song to run to?
I am a big believer in being alert and aware of your surroundings as a road runner so I’ve gotten used to running without music over the last couple of years. However, I love it when they have on-course DJs and bands for entertainment. I love anything upbeat and funky or any Benny Benassi song!
5) What’s inspired you while you’ve been training?
I’ve been inspired by a number of the Louisville Distance Project training group members. As I said before many of them have run multiple marathons and being able to hear their experiences and learn from their successes and missteps has been invaluable.
6) What was the highlight of your Marathon?
Every single one of my friends who were out on that course cheering me on whether running or spectating – I’ll share more on this in an upcoming post but without each of these people I know I would have struggled infinitely more with this finish. But the biggest shining moment was seeing my husband and best friend standing on the other side of the fence at the finish line… definitely a magical moment.
7) What do you have planned for recovery/tapering post event or will you just decide to never run again?
I have to admit I haven’t run in the 4 days since I crossed the finish line. Heck – today is the first day I’ve woken up without any muscle soreness! I could really get back to running tonight if I didn’t already have plans with my hubs but I think I’ll give my body a little break and get back to it this weekend.
I’ve already signed up for my next race, the Throo the Zoo 5k in a couple of weeks and while I won’t be doing another Marathon any time in the near future I plan to keep running 10+ mile runs over the summer so when I start training for my fall half marathon I’ll be well ahead of the curve.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of my Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon Series! I’ll be back on Friday with another post as we take a dive into the experiences and emotions I went through in the race. I hope you’ll come back and check it out and until then, Happy Running!
I follow another fitness blogger by the name of Alys who recently wrote about her experience at the London Marathon. I loved the format she used for her recap so I’ve borrowed and changed it a little to fit my needs in the above post. She’s a wonderful storyteller and if you’d like to check out her blog you can find her at Functional Fashion and Fitness.