I fueled for the race with rice Chex cereal and a banana. I didn't have time to pick up a Doubleshot on Friday and I was pretty afraid that I had jinxed myself. So I made a french press of dark roast and threw in a Reese's egg for good measure.
I left the house at 7:25am and headed to Wilmore to pick up Sarah. The race was at 9:00am at the Kentucky Horse Park, and we hoped to arrive at about 8:20am. Let me say a few words about my friend Sarah here. Sarah got into running last spring - almost exactly a year ago (you can find her initial thoughts about running here). First of all, Sarah is a genius. I don't care what she says - she is the smartest person I know! We are the same age, but she is definitely wise beyond her years. When she told me that she was interested in running, I was so excited for her. Running has become such a wonderful component of my life and I am always excited to see others experience the joy that running can bring. She did her first 5k in June and ran through autumn, winter, and continues to run through the spring. She will be running her first half-marathon in just a few weeks, the Derby Festival Mini-Marathon and I am so happy and proud to be able to share that experience with her.
I thought that racing the 8k a few weeks before the half-marathon would be a good way for Sarah to experience "race day" type conditions before the big race. We met up on Saturday morning and headed north to the Horse Park, arriving at 8:25am.
We were able to park right in front of the registration area. Check-in was pretty seamless, but I did exchange some words with a volunteer who told me they were out of small t-shirts. I know that this is a petty, petty thing and I really feel very badly about even saying anything about it. So it all went down like this. The lady told me that they were out of small shirts, so she handed me a medium. I had pre-registered for the race, and the pre-registration forms said that if you pre-registered, your shirt size would be guaranteed. So I handed her back the medium shirt and said that since it wouldn't fit, someone else might as well have it. We got our race numbers and headed back to my car to pin our bib numbers on. Once we got back to the car, Sarah realized that her bib number didn't have any safety pins attached, so she went back to the table to get some. When she came back I asked her if they had some, and she said "Yeah, but they only had mediums." Touche, Sarah, touche! I thought that was pretty funny.
So we were standing at my car waiting for the race to start when the volunteer I had spoken with about the shirts and another volunteer walked up to me. They found one small shirt amongst the shirt boxes and then took the time to find me in the crowd so that they could give it to me - wow! I was really surprised - they definitely didn't have to do that! I really appreciate the volunteer taking the time to do that for me.
We took a few walking warm-up laps, and then headed to the starting area. Sarah's goal was to not get swept up in the frenzied adrenaline rush of the start, so she headed to the back of the pack. I was hoping to run the race in 45 minutes or less, so I wished Sarah luck and then settled into the middle of the pack.
My favorite quote of the day was when Sarah said "Well, I guess this is my last run as a protestant." Sarah and her husband Alan, as well as our friends Jason and Hannah, officially joined the Catholic Church on Saturday evening with their respective baptisms, confirmations and First Holy Communions. I know that Saturday was a very special, sacred and eagerly anticipated day for the Mostroms and Herons.
The starting gun went off and off we went. The Kentucky Horse Park is an absolutely beautiful place and it was pretty neat to be able to run through it. The course was a simple out and back course - run out 2.5 miles and then run back. There were a few rolling hills, and it was the same situation as the course last weekend - the uphills become downhills and downhills become uphills. I ran the first mile in 8:08 and was really surprised to find that I was going so fast. I dialed it back a little and settled into a nice pace.
I passed Sarah not long after the turn-around point. She said that she was doing good, but that she had almost been run over by a garbage truck! Yikes! Parts of the course were a little sketchy, as the horse park is undergoing a lot of construction due to being the host of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. The main thing that runners had to avoid was a huge crane and accompanying construction workers near the beginning and end of the course.
There were plenty of volunteers and water stops along the course, and before I knew it I was headed towards the finish line. My shoe came untied at mile 4.5, but I could not make myself stop and tie it. I knew it would throw my momentum way off, so I just keep running and hoped that I wouldn't trip. I didn't trip, and I made it across the finish line in 43:05 (8:40 average pace).
After finishing, I walked to my car to get some water and tie my shoe. Not long afterwards, Sarah came across the finish line in 62 minutes -- great job, Sarah!! She was disappointed upon first view of the finisher's clock, which read 1:02:00 - she thought this meant 102 minutes! But when she realized it was only 62 minutes she was pretty happy! Congrats on a great race, Sarah!
After the race, we drove back home. I followed my normal late Saturday morning routine and took Emma to the dog park.
Trying to decide if she wants to join the pack of puppies in the distance!
Then on Saturday evening Chad and I headed to our church for our Easter program. Chad was a Jerusalem townsperson/choir member and I was a Jerusalem townsperson/choir member/Mary Magdalene. It was interesting, to say the least! Here is a picture of us, in full Jerusalem garb. Chad and I don't love doing things like this...but we know that our church needs volunteers so we are usually happy to help...just no more costumes, please!