Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon Preview

The very first road race that I ever ran was the 1998 Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. It also happened to be the 25th running of the race. I think back about how I trained for that race 14 years ago and what I did and didn’t do. I wore a crappy pair of Reebok tennis shoes (not even running shoes) that I had bought at a sporting goods store. At the time, I lived at home with my parents, just south of Iroquois Park. The park was part of the 13.1 mile course then, so I had done a lot of my training runs on those wonderful hills.
As much as I hate to admit it, I have no idea why I decided to run this race. I wasn’t eating healthy back then, but I wasn’t really overweight or out of shape. At the time, I was a Sophomore in college and was lifting weights 5-6 days a week. I was probably carrying about 20 pounds more muscle than I have now. 
I remember having a stopwatch, but I know that I didn’t really track my training in any way. I had no idea what pace I was running or how many miles I was logging per week. I just went out and ran. To those that know me now, this seems ridiculous. I’m totally geeked out these days and I very rarely do a run or ride without knowing my instantaneous pace and heart rate. I sometimes wish I could go back to know caring about all the data.
It wasn’t about how fast I was running in 1998, it was just about being physically able to run 13.1 miles. It took me over 2 hours to finish, but I remember being excited and proud. I remember my parents and several friends being out on the course cheering me on. It was an awesome feeling to have people cheering for me, and knowing that I was accomplishing something special.
I didn’t run the race again until 2000. I did it again in 2001 and then took 8 years completely off from running…something that I can’t envision myself ever doing again.

I’ve run this race more than any other. This year will be my 7th time toeing the start line. Here are my past results:

1998 – 2:13:59
2000 – 1:46:50
2001 – 1:50:51
2009 – 2:09:22
2010 – 1:46:30
2011 – 1:37:27

My goal tomorrow morning is to set a PR. With all of the triathlon’s that I have been doing and have coming up over the next few weeks, I haven’t been specifically training for this race. I’ve only done one run over 10 miles. So while I’m not really sure what to expect tomorrow, I’ve already decided that as long as I come out injury free, I’ll be happy. With three triathlons on tap, the next two weekends are going to be pretty demanding. Doing well in those is higher on my list of priorities than the miniMarathon. With that said, I’ll give nothing less than my best effort come 7:30 tomorrow morning!
Good luck to all my the members of Team Ability that will be running in the morning. It’s been very fulfilling to help all of you reach your goal of running this race. For those of you that are first timers, enjoy every minute of it! For those veteran’s, go out and set a PR!
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