30-Minute Total Body Workout

All you need for this total body blast is one pair of dumbbells and 30 minutes! You can do this at home and burn some serious calories while watching whatever you’re binging on on Netflix.

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*For the Toe Touches you will start in plank position and raise your hips up as if moving to a downward dog, touching opposite hand to opposite foot. Return to plank and touch the other hand to opposite foot.

**Treat the dumbbell swings like you would kettelbell swings

Avocado Chicken Salad

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If you aren’t eating avocados you aren’t truly living. OK, that may be an overstatement but avocados have SO many health benefits it amazes me they taste great, too! Lucky for you they’re easy to incorporate into a ton of dishes. Try them as a spread on sandwiches instead of mayo for a creamy way to get healthy fats or chop onto a salad for a nutritional boost. Here are just some of the healthy punches avocados deliver plus a twist on your basic chicken salad.

1. Brain Health
The healthy omega-3 fatty acids along with vitamin E are brain healthy and have been proven to prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and even reversing it in the early stages.

2. Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar
With 30% MORE potassium than a banana coupled with omega-3 and oleic acids they are beneficial in reducing blood pressure. A relatively low carb food (19% of its calories are from carbs), low in sugar but with 7-8 grams of dietary fiber per one cup serving, avocados are low on the GI scale and help regulate blood sugar.

3. Anti-Inflammatory
Their abundance of plant phytonutrients polyphenols and flavonoids help prevent unwanted inflammation such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
(found on whfoods.com and naturalnews.com)

Have you put avocados on your shopping list yet? Are you eating one right now?! This recipe is so easy and so versatile I would make a good amount and get creative. I listed a few ideas to get you going but always remember you could just eat it with a fork 🙂

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Running Form Tips

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Photo courtesy of Leanitup.com
Whether you’re new to running or – literally – been around the block a thousand
times,good running form is something we all need to practice. It’s easy to allow your form to fall, especially running longer distances, but correcting them before they become a habit will lead to not only a more efficient stride, but will help you stay injury free. Here are they key things to remember from head to toe:
Head:
Your head tilt dictates the rest of your posture, determining your running efficiency. Trust your feet and do not stare down at them. Instead, gaze just ahead of you, scan the horizon and enjoy the scenery while keeping your spine from your neck to your back inline and your chin from jutting out.
Shoulders:
This is the one I check in with through out every run and is the first to slip once you start to fatigue. Correct shoulder placement will keep your body relaxed on your run and ensure a neutral spine. Keep them low and loose and notice when they begin to creep up and become high – nearing your ears – and tight. When this happens, and it will, roll them back and down and shake out your arms.
Arms/Hands:
Keep your hands loose, not in fists. When I first started running I was guilty of this one and my race photos showed. Pretend you are holding a bag of chips that you don’t want to crush. As for your arms they should be at roughly 90 degrees and swinging mainly front to back, not across your torso. If you notice you start to clinch your hands, shake them out and check in with your shoulders as they are probably creeping up as well.
Torso:
If your head is looking in the distance and your shoulders are down and back than your torso will be aligned. Once you start to slouch you will feel it in your upper body and it’s not as easy to breathe. Take a breath, straighten your core and “run tall”.
Hips:
As you probably guessed, the alignment of your torso helps your hips find their correct position. This is a very important aspect of form because of their impact on the lower back. If you begin to hinge forward your pelvis will tilt causing your stress on your back and throwing your lower body out of alignment. Pretend your hips contain a bowl of water that you don’t want to pour forward and must keep level.
Legs/Stride:
Your stride length should make your feet land directly under you as opposed to stretching out and landing in front of your body. An over-stride can cause hamstring and knee injuries from the impact and stress put upon them. Once running at a comfortable pace your knees should bend at roughly 90 degrees.
Ankles/Feet:
Your goal is for your feet to push off the ground at maximal force, making it easier to run faster. Aim for your feet to hit the ground lightly (this takes more concentration once you begin to fatigue), landing between your heel and mid-foot, then quickly rolling forward. Your ankle should stay flexed as you roll forward and push off your toes evenly, using the calf muscles to spring you forward. Your goal is to silently spring.
This probably sounds like a LOT to take into account, but don’t worry! Some of these things will happen naturally and those that do not can be practiced until they feel natural. On your next run make note of two of these items and focus on them throughout your run. The next run focus on two more and so on until you recognize the correct form in each body part. From there it’s a matter of checking in throughout your miles to ensure you aren’t slipping back to old habits. With good form you will run more efficiently and stave off common running injuries which is the best incentive! Happy Running!

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Bastille Day 5K/8K Run & Block Party

Bastille Day Race

The first year I ran the Bastille Day race was 2009 when there was only a 5K option and it ran through West Town (ironically enough, close to where we live now). I had a great time and it was one of my first 5K races in the city. It was early enough in my relationship with racing that Brett even came out to watch! Now unless we travel to a race, nothing short of a marathon gets him out to the course. I ran again in 2011 after they added the 8K option and moved it to Diversey Harbor by the Nature Museum where I ran a great race finishing in 37:01. There aren’t many 8K races so this was my PR until – spoiler alert! – last night.

270311_686125082985_4594437_nThe race is always held the Thursday before Bastille Day at 7:15pm (I’m going to write in the post-event survey that they should change that to 7:14) and although it’s pretty warm in mid-July, the evening start time makes it much more tolerable. This year I had plenty of company and met Heather and her roomie Meghan at the start along with some BuRu! girls who I hadn’t seen in a while since I’ve had clients during our usual group run. It was fun getting to catch up and while I didn’t have a specific goal in mind, I made my way up to the 8 min/mi pace sign before the start.

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We took off and with no watch I was going by the 1 mile mile split clock which had me under a 7:50. I was pushing but could hold it and surged forward whenever I felt I could. Any race under 5 miles I have a mantra that has stayed with me for years; surge when you can and hold on when you can’t. If I feel good I try to speed up but when it gets tough, especially mentally, I focus on hanging on to the pace I’m at because giving it more gas seems impossible.

By mile 2 we were nearing the soccer fields by the golf course, a place I did many long runs over the spring and was also featured in the Proud to Run 5K/10K. We kept on the lakefront path heading north and as we neared the turnaround I was on exact pace with a guy a little older than me (i.e. different division). For the next solid 2 miles we were pushing each other; we never said anything or acknowledged each other but he was making me push myself to hang on yet I couldn’t pass him. It helps SO MUCH – especially in smaller distance races – to have that person who is slightly faster than you to latch on to and focus on not losing ground. Between him and blue shirt a few strides in front of me I didn’t need my Garmin as a pacer.

I could feel my right quad saying “hi, hello?!” since mile 3 and while it didn’t hurt – just straining – I didn’t want to push it more so I hung at that pace figuring if I had anything left in the tank I better save it until past mile 4, closer to 4.5. We joined with the 5Kers past mile 4 and luckily it was never crowded but it kind of throws you off when someone breezes by you and you realize it’s an elite 5K runner.

There had to be maybe a half mile left and I finally shook my pace bunny and had blue shirt just up ahead. Sometimes a quote will pop in your head and give you that boost you need at the end. This time around it was, “leave it on the course”. I was close enough to the finish not to worry about blowing up so I dug in and cursed to myself when the finish line was in sight but still seemed far. “Leave it on the course”, went through my mind immediately followed by, “but not puke. Don’t puke on the course”. Luckily I did not and crossed the finish at 36:11, a new PR and 6th in my division/77 overall! I waited for my friends to finish and cheered them in, but not before taking a selfie of my post-race glow.

10472693_10100297188908155_7659389692464383075_nWe had made plans earlier in the week to try a Thai place near the course and before the start it sounded like a great idea still. Once we met up and grabbed our gear we admitted not only did Thai sound unappealing but any food at that point was not sounding good. Instead we walked a few blocks to Halsted where Heather and Meghan headed toward their apartment and I biked the rest of the way home to a refreshing shower and cereal for dinner. Perfect!

 

 

Bastille Day 5K/8K Run & Block Party

Bastille Day Race

The first year I ran the Bastille Day race was 2009 when there was only a 5K option and it ran through West Town (ironically enough, close to where we live now). I had a great time and it was one of my first 5K races in the city. It was early enough in my relationship with racing that Brett even came out to watch! Now unless we travel to a race, nothing short of a marathon gets him out to the course. I ran again in 2011 after they added the 8K option and moved it to Diversey Harbor by the Nature Museum where I ran a great race finishing in 37:01. There aren’t many 8K races so this was my PR until – spoiler alert! – last night.

270311_686125082985_4594437_nThe race is always held the Thursday before Bastille Day at 7:15pm (I’m going to write in the post-event survey that they should change that to 7:14) and although it’s pretty warm in mid-July, the evening start time makes it much more tolerable. This year I had plenty of company and met Heather and her roomie Meghan at the start along with some BuRu! girls who I hadn’t seen in a while since I’ve had clients during our usual group run. It was fun getting to catch up and while I didn’t have a specific goal in mind, I made my way up to the 8 min/mi pace sign before the start.

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We took off and with no watch I was going by the 1 mile mile split clock which had me under a 7:50. I was pushing but could hold it and surged forward whenever I felt I could. Any race under 5 miles I have a mantra that has stayed with me for years; surge when you can and hold on when you can’t. If I feel good I try to speed up but when it gets tough, especially mentally, I focus on hanging on to the pace I’m at because giving it more gas seems impossible.

By mile 2 we were nearing the soccer fields by the golf course, a place I did many long runs over the spring and was also featured in the Proud to Run 5K/10K. We kept on the lakefront path heading north and as we neared the turnaround I was on exact pace with a guy a little older than me (i.e. different division). For the next solid 2 miles we were pushing each other; we never said anything or acknowledged each other but he was making me push myself to hang on yet I couldn’t pass him. It helps SO MUCH – especially in smaller distance races – to have that person who is slightly faster than you to latch on to and focus on not losing ground. Between him and blue shirt a few strides in front of me I didn’t need my Garmin as a pacer.

I could feel my right quad saying “hi, hello?!” since mile 3 and while it didn’t hurt – just straining – I didn’t want to push it more so I hung at that pace figuring if I had anything left in the tank I better save it until past mile 4, closer to 4.5. We joined with the 5Kers past mile 4 and luckily it was never crowded but it kind of throws you off when someone breezes by you and you realize it’s an elite 5K runner.

There had to be maybe a half mile left and I finally shook my pace bunny and had blue shirt just up ahead. Sometimes a quote will pop in your head and give you that boost you need at the end. This time around it was, “leave it on the course”. I was close enough to the finish not to worry about blowing up so I dug in and cursed to myself when the finish line was in sight but still seemed far. “Leave it on the course”, went through my mind immediately followed by, “but not puke. Don’t puke on the course”. Luckily I did not and crossed the finish at 36:11, a new PR and 6th in my division/77 overall! I waited for my friends to finish and cheered them in, but not before taking a selfie of my post-race glow.

10472693_10100297188908155_7659389692464383075_nWe had made plans earlier in the week to try a Thai place near the course and before the start it sounded like a great idea still. Once we met up and grabbed our gear we admitted not only did Thai sound unappealing but any food at that point was not sounding good. Instead we walked a few blocks to Halsted where Heather and Meghan headed toward their apartment and I biked the rest of the way home to a refreshing shower and cereal for dinner. Perfect!

 

 

Proud to Run 10K

When my mom decided to visit this weekend I talked her in to doing a race with me. The Proud to Run 5K/10K is a long standing part of Chicago Pride Fest and I have participated in the 10K 3 times before. It’s up at Montrose Harbor which is inconvenient to get to for me, but such a pretty area to run that it’s worth the trek. In years’ past we’ve rented a car, brought Barksdale and enjoyed some time on the dog beach afterwards. Since mom and I were cabbing it, Barksdale didn’t get to go so I will make it up to him by posting past race photos of us.

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It was already 70 degrees when we left the house shortly after 7am and with my marathon being 5 weeks prior I haven’t done any speed workouts or even pushed my pace too much so this was not a year to PR, but rather to enjoy the view and aim for a tempo run. My mom’s fitness outlet is swimming so she planned to power walk the 5K while I ran the 10. The 10K takes off first followed by the 5K 10 minutes later so mom and I stayed together until it was time for me to line up, and took our spots.

Pre-RacePre-race photo op (bright colors encouraged)

The gun went off and I felt anything but fast so I focused on passing a few runners at a time then settled into a comfortably fast pace. By the first mile I felt like I found a good pace and let my mind wander, enjoying the lake view and the sounds of a race. I saw a friend who is training for Chicago and I thought how nice it was to not be doing more than 10K in the heat; my body is not used to it yet! I started to feel fast again past the 2 mile marker and picked up the pace, although with no Garmin I didn’t know exactly what I was running, based on the time splits at the mile markers I was hovering just under an 8 min/mi.

I somehow did not see the 3rd mile marker and kept thinking, “this is the longest mile ever” until I saw mile 4 in the distance and felt some relief. It was pretty humid so with 2 miles to go I focused on keeping my pace steady, not pushing it more but not backing off. The course marshals between miles 4 and 5 were super energetic and their high-fives definitely gave me the boost I needed. One guy yelled “RUNNERS HAVE NICE BUTTS!” so I yelled back, “AND WE KNOW IT!!!” because I really enjoy an interactive race experience.

Once you wind around past mile 5 and onto the final stretch it seems like you are closer than you are and it gets me every time. I kept repeating to myself not to sprint but to hold steady until I saw the finish. I think I was able to kick it a little to the finish and while the guy who handed me my medal (new this year) was a welcome sight, the guy who gave me water was a Godsend. I downed that sucker fast and hung out near the finish to get a picture of mom crossing the finish line. She finished in 44 flat, placing 9th in her age group, proving power walking can indeed be faster than running!

photo 3I finished in 48:43 , 2 1/2 minutes over last years’ time but still fast enough to place 6th in my division! We grabbed some Clif Mojo samples and fruit and snapped another photo before heading back home for coffee.

photo 4I love this race and have full intentions of doing it again. It’s a fun time and for a fair price they include a great shirt, medal and this year gave a tote that I’ve already received compliments on!

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Bayshore Marathon Race Report

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The Bayshore Marathon was my 6th marathon so theoretically I shouldn’t have been that nervous, but the year and a half break from marathons after the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon left me a bit more nervous than usual. I kept reminding myself how I did EVERY training run and each long run went exceptionally well. I tapered smart and the weather report looked good. Logically, I had nothing to worry about. But if you’ve ever run a marathon you know logic goes out the window when you decide it’s a great idea and totally reasonable to pay upwards of $85 to run for hours.

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Getting to the start:

My alarm went off at 5:05am (mentally 5am sounded way earlier) and I went into the bathroom to change so Brett could sleep another half hour and avoid my mini-freakouts. Everything was set out so I didn’t have to make any decisions or root through my suitcase and by the time I was changed with my bib pinned on my mom came downstairs. She found it amusing I was so nervous after doing so many races and this marathon thing not being my first rodeo, not in a mean way but in a “you’re so cute” way that I didn’t find as amusing. The sun had started to come up and we couldn’t pass up a sunrise pre-race photo op.

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We left the condo a little before 6am and with the sun just coming up it felt pretty chilly at 44 degrees. I brought a throw away hoodie but I think my teeth were chattering more out of nerves than actually being cold. We assumed traffic would be a nightmare so allowed a ton of time for a 7:15 start, but we beat the traffic, found a spot in the nearby neighborhood streets and waited a half hour before heading to the start. The race started at Northwestern Michigan’s track where packet pick up was the night before. Mom and I made the short trek and as the sun started shining it felt better, also standing with 1,500 other runners helped. My nerves started to calm once I was among my own and Happy was blaring on the speakers.

IMG_6315 It’s the Start!

Miles 1-10

I lined up between the 8 min/mile and 9 min/mile pace signs since there were no pacers for this race, figuring I’d fall somewhere around there. I kept my hoodie on until 5 minutes to the start, got my Garmin ready and took a few deep breaths when the crowd of runners started moving towards the start. Crossing the start pad we were a thick group but not tripping over each other and the first 2 miles stayed pretty heavy but I never felt crowded or unable to go my desired pace. The first mile wound us out of the campus through a short neighborhood street, spilling us onto East Shore Road where the view opened up to a stunning view of the bay! The fog was still hanging on the water and did so the firt 5 or 6 miles. If I wasn’t going for time I’d have taken a ton of photos but instead I cemented them into my memory.

My first 2 miles were 8:58 and 8:40 respectively and by the time I reached mile 4 I felt settled into an 8:40-8:45 pace. I had 3 goals; A) Finish under 4 hours, happy and healthy B) PR (Sub 3:53) C) Sub 3:50. To PR I would need to average 8:53s and to reach goal C I would need to maintain an 8:46. According to my long runs in training I could do that as my long run paces were consistently 9:30s. But you never know how you’ll feel. Luckily even at 10 miles my 8:40s were feeling great! I know better than to assume that means I can speed up. The first 15 miles should feel easy. You should feel you could go faster which I did but I also was aware of my muscles meaning I was pushing myself just enough.

The views throughout were spectacular and I am not saying that lightly! I was afraid I was going to trip because I kept looking to my right at the bay and behind me to see the view. I realize I lucked out with the weather but it’d be hard to make this an ugly race. At the 10K mark runners are lead to Bluff Road which mainly has houses on your left and only beach on your right. I took deep breaths and focused on getting to mile 10 since I break the race into chunks and that was section one.

Mile 10-16

I felt great at mile 10 and was on the lookout in case my spectators made the first shuttle. There were throngs of people where the shuttle dropped spectators and for a bit it felt as supported as the Chicago Marathon! Since it’s only residences on Bluff Road there aren’t a TON of spectators but there were groups scattered throughout hanging out on their porches and playing music for us, handing out water (and beer, ahem, mile 21!) and cheering with signs. I didn’t see my fam but it’s never at mile 10 that I need them plus there were 2 kids with “touch here for power” signs that I hit so I was good. By mile 11 we started seeing the leaders pass on our left, already approaching mile 15. I love courses that do that because everyone claps and shouts as they blow by, it’s especially fun when you see the first female! I was feeling fresh at the turn-around and had my arm sleeves down since around mile 8. You could feel the sun but there was also a great breeze and being on the water helped it not feel hot.

Since I didn’t see my fans at mile 10 I knew they were sure to be at the next spectator spot between mile 15 and 16. This is the point in the marathon where you’ve been running a while and still have a good distance to go so I was looking forward to seeing a familiar face. I saw our tried and true neon signs and raised both my arms up high waving for their attention. I was happy for the boost and cheers!

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Mile 16-20

These are my dark passenger miles and I save all my reserves for them. Obviously you’re body is starting to really feel spent at 20 but mentally you can count down, but at 16 there’s still a lot of race to be run. I was amazed at how good I felt at 16 this time around. I could feel my muscles working and I didn’t want to speed up until 20 if that was even possible by then so I kept steady between 8:35-8:40. I would see signs in yards that I remembered from the first pass through and thought of how much closer I was since then. I high-fived all the kids with outstretched arms and enjoyed the view from the southward route. A few times I found myself thinking in terms of the race being in the bag, then a slight incline or seemingly long stretch between aid stations would knock me back to reality. I still had work to do.

Mile 20-Finish

A spectator cheered, “mile 20’s just ahead!” and I immediately said to myself (quite possible aloud), “there’s my white rabbit!” I get weird on long runs. Throughout mile 20 I was hanging on to another runner who surprised me by grabbing one of the aforementioned beer cups at mile 21. He turned and said it was a mental boost and that the carbs were energizing him. Whatever works! Coming up on mile 23 we were between aid stations but some awesome people (may have been a radio station or something?) had a huge tent set up with music blaring and I heard, “we have pretzels, MnM’s and oranges for you runners!” I got really happy when I heard the word “oranges” and scanned the supporters who had large bowls. Ahead on the right a man yelled that he had oranges so I pointed at him, yelled, “my man!” and he jogged with me until I got my fix. It tasted great and just around the next turn was the 23 mile marker. 5K to go!

My agility was starting to go and by mile 24 I was repeating aloud not to trip. My feet were slapping the ground (I usually run like a ninja) but I had no doubts on keeping my pace and actually held between 8:30-8:35s to the finish.  As we got back on campus I knew we were super close and the curves in the road kind of helped it not look so long. I could see the crowds as we headed under the start line banner and turned onto the track. The surface felt great, nice and soft and even, and the bleachers were filled with cheering spectators. Since you rarely have the chance to run into a stadium with people cheering I took advantage of the situation and motioned my arms up in the air for them to cheer louder. Then I saw my fam and waved and pumped my fist in the air, I was about to beat my PR by 6 minutes and my C goal by 3! It felt AMAZING!

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The post marathon feeling is something I can’t describe. It’s more than just accomplishing the marathon, it’s the end piece of having the courage to sign up, the dedication to train for months (and mostly alone) and the wherewithal to run a smart race. I was smiling a lot through this course, it’s impossible not to with the amazing sights, but nothing matched the smile on my face crossing the finish line! I stopped my Garmin – and race results confirm – at 3:47:13. I collected my medal and met my amazing support crew at the ice cream tent. Moomers has some luscious salted caramel! As satisfying my accomplishment is to myself it would not be nearly as enjoyable if I didn’t have my parents and my husband there to support me. From asking about training runs to calming me down that morning I loved having them to celebrate with!

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Moomers! And I found a nice stretch (notice the guy behind me is doing the same)

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Brett takes spectating to the next level!

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One happy girl!

Derby Festival MiniMarathon

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What a day for a race! 50 and sunny at the start with a slight breeze made it the complete opposite of Run the Bluegrass, the other half of the Kentucky Half Classic three weeks ago. The Derby Festival MiniMarathon was my first half marathon in 2008 and I’ve done it every year since making yesterdays race my 7th consecutive Mini. I love participating in my hometown race and being home around Derby time is nothing short of magical. This race has grown drastically and this year, its 41st, attracted 12,000 MiniMarathoners and 2,000 Marathoners (the full was introduced in 2002). The course takes you on a tour of Louisville that is surprisingly flat after taking out the hills of Iroquois Park a few years back.

Runners start in downtown Louisville on Main Street, right by the waterfront, and are actually entertained by local radio DJs who keep up the energy while you wait for the gun. There’s a wheel chair division that goes off at 7:25, signaling to runners 5 minutes until start time. 50 degrees may feel good after the first mile but standing in a tank top gets a bit chilly so I grabbed an old towel to wrap myself in and tossed it aside when they announced 1 minute until gun time. The finish line is packed with excitement but there’s an intoxicating mix of excitement, nerves and energy at a start line that I love being in the middle of!

We headed East, passing the new Yum! Center, Louisville Science Center, Frazier History Museum, and the Louisville Slugger Museum all in the first mile. My parents made it just in time to high five me within the first half mile as I started to warm up and settle in to a comfortable pace. This was to be a long run training run of a cutback week which would normally be done around a 9:30 pace but with the weather being perfect and the excitement of my favorite race I decided as long as I wasn’t pushing my limits I could enjoy a faster pace.

The driving drum beats of the Central High School band (one of the spots I greatly look forward to), 2 water stops and one Rocky theme song later, we passed mile marker 4 and I stayed to the left knowing my parents would be before the turn taking us South on 4th Street. We’ve done this enough times to have our spectator plan down pat. Depending on the weather I know I can hand off any gear I no longer need, but my fingers still wanted gloves so all we exchanged were high fives. I was feeling great!

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As we ran South on 4th Street and into Old Louisville as the sun came fully out and just enough to feel its warmth. Heading around Central Park and back to 4th Street I resisted embarrassing myself and dancing to Roller Coaster which the DJ at mile marker 6 was pumping. Sadly, it took a lot of energy to restrain myself! Another course staple is the string band playing on the sidewalk who set up every year entertaining runners and spectators alike. I was with the 3:30 pace team for the marathon therefore holding an 8 min/mile pace which normally seems fast but I knew I wasn’t pushing it too much when my immediate thought after seeing the 6 mile marker was that the race was going by too fast! I was thoroughly enjoying everything and didn’t want it to end.

We had 2 miles to go until probably the pinnacle experience – aside from the finish line – of the race; Churchill Downs. This year marked the first year runners were taken through the front entrance of the famous Race Track as opposed to a side gate in years’ past. I was excited when they announced that a few weeks ago but underestimated the difference it would make. My favorite thing about this part of the race is how they set up speakers blasting past Derby race announcer calls so you hear things like, “…and down the stretch they come!” or, “…it’s neck and neck as they approach the finish!” which brings the Derby atmosphere to a head as you’re running around the infield path. This year the speakers were on the front concourse, pumping you up as you run through the entrance. Very cool!

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via Blue Mile

To get in and out of the infield you run under the track so there are a few moments of being in a tunnel where the only sounds are feet pounding and the obligatory, “Wooo!!!”, I can’t get enough! Coming out of the track all runners head West on Central Ave briefly before the MiniMarathon and Marathon course splits, taking Marathoners right towards the hills of Iroquois Park and MiniMarathoners North on Third Street and mile marker 9. A spectator asked a runner on my right if they could run with them for a bit which confused me until I realized it was a news reporter who ended up doing a brief interview with said runner as we continued onward. I taped all newscasts and couldn’t find the encounter 🙁

Heading to mile 10 the course passes through the University of Louisville campus and if you’re a runner who can tolerate beer during a race this is your spot. While I didn’t take a beer I did high five a row of those offering it up as I headed into the last 5K. I had no idea what my time was – I wasn’t wearing a Garmin – but my legs still felt fresh so I picked up the pace figuring the 10 mile marker was an OK spot to do so. I had roughly 2 miles until I’d see my favorite spectators and I remembered my mom promised to have a peeled Clementine at the ready. Although she had to blatantly ignore the cop telling her to clear the course, we successfully completed Operation: Clementine!

I ate half and kicked into high gear with under a mile to the finish, turning onto Main Street I knew I had less than half a mile and could keep up the pace. “They’re racing at the end!” I heard the finish line announcer exclaim as I made the final turn and took full advantage of the slight decline, hearing the announcer say my name just before I crossed the finish line in 1:43:11! I enjoyed the sweetness of the rest of my clementine, collected my medal and snagged everything I could possibly carry.

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By running the Run the Bluegrass 3 weeks ago and successfully completing the Derby MiniMarathon I collected yet another medal at the Kentucky Half Classic tent!

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I felt great and enjoyed the walk back to the car while recapping the run to my adoring fans (ahem, parents) and, of course, stopping for a post race photo op by some dogwoods that screamed SPRING!

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