Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Race Recap - Papa John's 10 Miler

The Papa John's 10 miler is the 3rd leg of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running and one of my favorite races. It's all a lead up to the Derby Festival Mini & Marathon which are part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. If you haven't figured it out yet, Derby is kind of a big deal around here.

Anyway, normally my training for the triple crown starts in January and is building up to the end of April. This year, my training started in March and is building up to a much different race in the middle of July. So lets just say I was drastically under-trained. I hadn't run 10 miles since the Sports Commission Half in October and hadn't even run 5 miles consistently since January. Thus, my goals going in were:
  1. Finish the race
  2. Don't get injured
  3. If not getting injured means not finishing, that's ok
I woke up at about 5:45 a.m. for the 8 am start. Drank a good amount of water and had some hot tea. For fuel I had some Belvita Breakfast biscuits with a little peantbutter on them. I tried to cut off the fluids and foods by about 6:45. We were in the car by 7:10 and headed to the stadium. We parked a good distance away from the start, but closer to the finish (which is how we both like it). It was a cool 39 degrees at the start with a little wind. I was super cold before the start but in the end I think I was dressed perfectly for a long run in these temps.
Landsharks short sleeve with Target Long sleeve 3/4 Zip on top. Moving Comfort Endurance Capris, Asics Visor, Balega Socks and my previous Brooks Adrenalines. Game on.

The race breaks down nicely into thirds. The first third is the relatively flat 3 mile route out to Iroquois Park, then three miles through a very hilly park, three miles back to the start, and a mile up an overpass and into Papa John's Stadium for the finish.
Based on goals 1-3 above, I decided to run  based on HR rather than time. I set my Garmin 310 to show me HR only.

1st Segment - Focused on keeping it slow and steady with a HR <145. Music choices really helped me here and I picked stuff that was more relaxed and fun than the typical high bpm, bass pounding jams that usually get me amped up (more on that in another post). Managed to nail this part despite the gradual uphill.

2nd Segment - The dreaded park. The coolest part about this is that while you're going down 3rd street you can see the leaders coming out of the park. Everyone cheers and claps when they come by and it's super inspiring. Particularly the wheelchair athletes. it's incredible to think about them going up the hills through the park. The park is tough. There are several big hills followed by equally steep downhills and it just rolls like that for three miles. I feel like I really did well in the park. I managed to recover on the downhills and not push too hard on the uphills. I love the feeling of making it up the final hill and feeling like "yes, it's over!".

3rd Segment - This is always the hardest part for me and I think it's mostly mental. The road feels flat and endless. My HR monitor crapped out just before mile 8 but I was running a little high before that. At that point all I could think was, "stay steady and slow until 8." Dear hubz gets Barn Fever pretty bad: when he sees the end he sprints. In a race where the finish line is  HUGE stadium you can see it well before it's advisable to take off. After the 8 mile marker we got faster and faster and felt pretty strong.

Last Mile - the last mile starts with a HUGE uphill on an overpass. It sucks. I hate it every year. We nailed the last mile though and ran it in 10:56, our fastest mile.

Elevation, Pace & HR Comparisons
Garmin Time: 10.19 miles in 1:59:54 for 11:46 min/miles

Am I impressed with our finish? No, it was by far the slowest 10 miler I've ever run. But it was also the gutsiest. And I was far more nervous and anxious leading up to this race than any recent race I can remember. So I'm thrilled with our finish and the run that got us there.

In the end, the 10 miler was a stepping stone this year and not an end goal. So on to the next one!

No comments:

Post a Comment