Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 2014 recap.... where I wasn't even mad...

I woke up early & refreshed.  Something that never happens on race day.  Usually butterflies swirling in my belly keeps me up all night long, afraid I'll over sleep through an alarm.

I woke up right when my alarm went off, my eyes bright & my tail bushy (that doesn't sound right... bright eyed & bushy tailed is what I'm going for)....

& it was the craziest thing.  Literally, the first thing that went through my mind when I woke up was the song,

I will not fear... His promises is true... my God will come through... always!  Always!

I had the most amazing sense of peace come over me right then & there...

I hopped right out of bed & headed into the kitchen.  The dogs were all sleeping in, & Ricky was still snoozing, so I made my race breakfast (an egg sandwich with hot sauce) & sat in the kitchen just reflecting on how the day was going to go.  I made up my mind to not freak out ... to enjoy the day... to be IN the moment... & know God was with me, was going to get me through the day...

I had everything laid out the night before so I got done with breakfast & started getting dressed.  Its always exciting because the news stations are already covering the start line & it gets me fired up, ready to get down to the crowds.

They had said that the temp was in the low 50's & it was going to be a perfect sunny, beautiful day.  I went out the door with just a short sleeve shirt & figured it would warm up as I got to moving.  I didn't expect to walk out the door & have such a cool breeze hit me.  I was freezing.

We got down to the race & Ricky parked & walked with me to the start line.  Getting in the crowds, hearing the music, seeing the corrals, my nerves really kicked in.  It didn't help that I was still cold, so I was just shaking with the big ball of emotion. 
Me Shivering before the race. 
Look how tight my hands are.
Nerves were kicking in

Ricky went with me even in the corral to keep me company & he kept his arms around me to keep me warm.  Is my husband awesome or what?

Before I knew it, we were moving forward. I didn't hear the horn go off, but I knew we had started.... Ricky walked with me all the way to the start line & veered off right as I got ready to hit my watch to begin this adventure.  I told him he was lucky they didn't tackle him coming off the course :)  The things you do for love.

Mile 1 - Of course, felt great.  The first mile is just full of cheerleaders & spectators ... I think I just look at all the faces looking for their loved ones & it is just full of joy & expectation in mile one.

I was determined to keep my pace of walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes - but the first mile, I ran the first 5 minutes & then started my pace....

Mile 2 - There was a church called Liberty Temple - they were amazing!  They had to get there early & they had bought full bottles of water on their own & handing them out.  Plus, they had the Rocky theme going & honestly, they were the BEST CROWD OF PEOPLE!  They were on chairs, on tables, screaming, hitting everyone's hands... they deserve an award for "BEST CHEERLEADERS"

Mile 3 - About this time, I'm getting sick of winding up streets, back down streets, to wind back UP the street... get me out of these small roads...
It was also about this time that my new hand held phone gadget that I bought turned out not to be the best gadget I thought it was.  It was cutting into my thumb... so bad, I almost couldn't even FEEL my thumb.  Hmmm... let's get this thing off of my hand before my thumb turns blue.

Good in theory
Bad for swollen thumbs

Mile 4  - Ahh - on Broadway - a big wide road where you feel like you can breath.  I'm still keeping my same pace & feeling really good actually.  I saw ahead of me people going to the side & grabbing something at the next water station.  I thought there may be oranges there.  No - there were about 20 dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts.  UGH!  I don't get how people eat junk when they run. One year, I saw people eating White Castle hamburgers.  I can puke thinking about it.

Mile 5 - this is where you take the turn to head down the road that leads you to Churchill Downs.  We pass a retirement home & I love that the front of it is always full of people cheering us on... people in wheelchairs, people who are elderly... they just clap & clap.  I want to just stop & hug them all.

Mile 6-7 - I hate this part of the race.  I was still keeping my normal pace, doing OK.  I just hate it because its so long at this point going down the road.  I just want to get to Churchill Downs & it feels like you're never going to reach those twin spirals. 
This part of the race really is my personal hell

I will say, my song "Press on" by Mandisa came on & I was kicking butt running through that whole song.
It was right after that that I could feel a blister coming up on the bottom of both my feet, on the balls of my feet.  The right foot was worse, but it was nothing to slow me down.

Mile 8 - The coolest part.  We got to run into Churchill Downs... I hadn't even taken my phone out during the whole time but had to document going into the track.  It was the first year we got to actually go in the front way.

My favorite part of the race ended up turning into the worst for me....

Proof I was still smiling at mile 8

When I was coming out of the tunnel of the track & heading into mile 9, I had 2 issues hit me.  First, those blisters that were coming up earlier had been getting worse & the one on my right foot was becoming unbearable.  I've never had blisters on the bottom of my feet before so I didn't even know how to deal with them. 

They had me limping & walking funny, which in turn, had my legs tighten up...

I was in trouble.

It was about mile 9.5 where I broke my pace for the first time.  Every time I went to do my 2 minute run, the blisters felt like they were bleeding... I was getting ready to just cry...

Luckily, I saw a friend on the side lines with her new baby & she ran out & hugged me.  Its funny how the small things give you energy again.

Ricky called me at mile 10 & asked where I was at.  I told him where & he said he would meet me up the road.  I didn't tell him how bad I felt at this point because I knew he would freak out & not let me go any further...

But I got to mile 11 & here comes Ricky.  I see him & smile & wave & then he got up to me & I told him how miserable I was.  At this point my pace had dropped something CRAZY... I couldn't run at all anymore. 

I, at first was so disappointed because I started off with an actual goal... something I didn't think I would do.  And the thing is, I was going to make it!!! I really was!  I was like 3 minutes ahead of the game... all up to mile 9.5....

& then I had a small self pity party...

But actually, it was a very small one - especially compared to some of the other ones I've had in races.  I kept thinking, "I wasn't even sure I was going to make it.  & here I am.  Screw the time."

& at that point, Ricky & I stepped to the side of the road, he sat down & I stretched my tight legs & I eased off my foot some.

They say, "crawl if you have to" - I almost was at that point.  I got to the 12 mile mark & I looked at Ricky & said, "It would be crazy for me to not make it now..." & at that, I was basically a snail.  My 14 minute pace went up to a 22 minute pace.  I was just literally taking a step at a time.

& again?  I didn't even care.  People were passing me up & I didn't care.  Time was ticking faster then ever.... & I didn't care.

Ricky was walking with me & we just were laughing, talking about where we were going to eat, listening to a little girl on the side singing in a karaoke machine "Do you wanna build a snowman" from Frozen....
Enjoying the moment... being IN the moment... & that's what I cared about.

We made the turn to the finish line & Ricky said, "Do you want to run?"

I told him, "I'm not sure I can." - every step felt like someone putting a hot knife in the ball of my foot...

but the closer I got to the finish line, I said, 'Let's go!' & I ran the last bit...

Probably a good thing. I think I made my foot completely numb at that point....

It was the funniest thing though because as soon as I crossed the finish line, I didn't see the people handing out the medals & I just crossed the finish line & stopped dead in my tracks & said, "WHERE'S THE MEDALS?"... Ricky busted out laughing.  He said I looked like a child wanting my candy...

well, duh! :)

I limped down & got my medal & I looked at Ricky & said, "I know its an awful time, I know I'm hurting, but I actually feel proud that I did it again"....

I had a whole new race experience... the one where time didn't even matter to me... where I felt self doubt fade away...

it made it a pretty awesome race....

My new addition to the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon collection
Not my worst, not my best, but a new experience

I will say, I really didn't know what to expect in this race...
Didn't expect to start out so well...
REALLY didn't expect to have the pain of a blister (that was new)...
& Really REALLYYY didn't expect to throw the cares away of the 'comparison' away like I did. 

I honestly didn't even see what my time was until I checked my email 2 days later.  Seriously.  That's how little I cared.  I just knew I finished....

& that was my goal.

I like doing races like that.... I need to make that the habit.

(Side Note:  I took a picture of my blister on my foot, but decided to spare everyone that... you're welcome)


  1. you are such an encouragement!!! :) i don't know if i could even walk that far!!!

  2. Fantastic! (And thanks for not sharing that picture of your blister ... hope you can figure out what caused it so you won't have to go through that again.)

  3. I agree with robyn..you are an encouragement!!!

  4. What an awesome race!!! I don't think time matters at all because you did it! And you pushed through when it would have been so very easy to stop!

  5. You did it!!! And you got your medal!! That's all that matters :) I love that they call it a "mini" marathon. I'm so glad you pulled through everything!

  6. I knew you could do it. Was cheering you on from home! I think I'm inspired to sign up for another 5K now.

  7. Way to go!!! So awesome for you! You know, this is just the way the Christian race is. All we have to do is finish. Some days we move at a snails pace and sometimes we're flying along. But just like your husband was there with you and encouraging you, that is what Jesus is doing for us. Thank you for living the example of both and sharing them with us here.


  8. You have earned every single one of those medals through blood, sweat, tears, and a truckload of pure determination and will power! So proud of you!

  9. You did it!!! I'm so proud of you and inspired by you! Hope it wasn't the Brooks shoes that caused the blisters :( and hope it heals quickly! Maybe getting some air in flip flops will help ;)

  10. oh my gosh Congrats!!!! What an amazing accomplishment to make it to the end through all the pain you were dealing with!

  11. I'm so proud of you Rebecca!!! Blisters.are.miserable. But you do it!! I call such things, "doing it hard." I think there is a special joy in it somehow.


    Love you darling girl ~~ dawn

  12. This made me tear up. You are inspiration, and I think you're AWESOME!

  13. My hero! Both of you, actually. Ricky is the BEST!!!


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