This post is way overdue as the second of my two back to back marathons was the first weekend in May. My excuses include laziness and summer, which so often seem to go hand in hand and unfortunately beat the stuff out of my running abilities as well. I could list other excuses like an engagement (!), a new job (!), and moving (blah), but...well...I guess I just did, so no excuses for my excuses.
Anyway, in late April, I drove down to Louisville to visit my friend Jake and to run the Kentucky Derby MiniMarathon. What an awesome weekend. I mean, as weekends go, this one had pretty much all the elements necessary for a perfect few days (with the exception of not having one certain awesome fiance along). It had good friends (old and new), a local Italian hole-in-the-wall, an art festival, beautiful weather, a really excellent race, late night pizza, youtube videos, lessons about crazy dog breeds that can kill pumas (yeah, that's right, I said KILL PUMAS), an amazing brunch location, and of course, nine almonds. Oh, you didn't know that nine almonds was the perfect number for killing it in a race? Well, let me tell you friends, it's a secret worth knowing.
|Part of a banner you could sign at the race expo-- can you find mine?|
|There she is|
|Number 17 = DONE!|
|Okay, the weather was beautiful except for the crazy hail on Saturday night. Wild!|
|Note: A perfect gift for OCD - Monica Gellar - math loving- types like me.|
The Kentucky derby mini marathon was a lot of fun with a highlight of running onto the inner track at Churchill Downs. I ran the race alone but Jake and his buddy rode along in bikes to cheer me on. Though I never actually saw the signs they made, they kept me laughing and motivated. When I first saw them, the sign just had a giant letter "R" and Jake yelled out, "I'm not done!" The second time I saw them, they were just biking up to the location and this time Jake yelled "the sign's in my bag!" E for effort-- that kid is a champion friend even for getting up at the crack of dawn to drive me around downtown for the start of the race.
I thought the race was going to be pretty casual for me as I hadn't had the best season of training but the combination of a beautiful, relatively flat course, nice weather, good encouragement, and of course, nine almonds with my breakfast, led to me getting within a minute of my half marathon PR (1:52:02)!
The following weekend I did my first ever marathon relay for the Pittsburgh Marathon. It was so fun even heading downtown for the race as I took the bus and immediately connected with other runners. I saw a bunch of friends at my starting point, and got to cheer on others as they ran past. I also saw the guy in a gingerbread suit. Yikes.
After finishing my leg (6.9 miles, I think?) I decided to keep running with my friend for the next leg (6ish as well) as it went through more of my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhoods and ended conveniently close to my house. For a pregnant lady doing her first race, let me tell you, my friend Steph tore it up.
Now I don't know if it was the heat in Pittsburgh (brutal), pushing it beyond my training ability for Louisville, the mere fact that I did two half marathons in two weekends, or some combination, but I was more beat after finishing Pittsburgh than I was after finishing either of my full marathons.
Perhaps it was just because I didn't eat any almonds.
If you want to donate, as usual, go here.
Thanks! And keep running! (But if you're like me and punk out when it's hot, well, I don't blame you. It will be fall soon enough.)