Friday, May 1, 2015

Kentucky Derby Half Marathon Weekend

Girls' weekend with a half marathon thrown in.  That's what last weekend was.

We ran.  We ate.  We drank.  We laughed.

Oh, how we laughed...

This little getaway from reality was much needed by all of us.

Friday afternoon, 4 of us from Columbus, Jennifer, Erin, Sarah and I, drove down to Louisville where my BFF, Carrie, from Madison, Wisconsin was waiting for us.  She flew in on Thursday afternoon.

When we arrived, we dropped our luggage off at the hotel and we all headed to the expo.

Carrie, me, Jen, Sarah and Erin

Let me tell you about the hotel.

We stayed at the Galt House, it was the hotel suggested on the race website.

This place was nice.  I've never stayed at a hotel that had bellmen.  I felt very pampered.

Here is what our room looked like:

Photo from the hotel website.
Down the hallway is the very large bathroom and bedroom with 2 queen beds.  I was afraid 5 of us in one hotel room would be very cramped.  Nope.  We had plenty of space.

After securing our bibs, we headed to Bluegrass Brewing Company for dinner.  The food was amazing.

So was the Cosmo!
Back at the hotel, we all pulled out all of our running clothes to decide what we'd be wearing the next morning for the race.  There was a high chance of rain, so we all wanted the perfect outfit that would leave us with the least amount of chafing.

Sarah and I had discussed her race plans...she wouldn't mind a PR.  Since  I have no intention of earning myself a PR this spring, I told Sarah that I would hang with her for the whole race and keep a PR pace.  With any luck, she would beat her previous fastest time of 2 hours and 18 minutes.

The race started on a nice, wide road, so we weren't too crowded.  Soon, we nestled into a faster-than-planned pace.  Sarah and I took turns saying, "We should probably slow down just a bit." with no results.

It started sprinkling on us as soon as we crossed the starting line.  We ran in the light sprinkle for most of the race.  At mile 8, we turned into Churchill Downs.  There were jockeys practicing with their horses on the cool.

By mile 10, it was raining.  No more sprinkles.  We were completely soaked.  And we failed at slowing down.  We'd kept a pretty steady pace of 9:46.  No slowing down now!

Of course, I was grinning ear to ear.  I love the rain!  We ran by a guy runner who was complaining about the rain.  He's never run is such terrible weather!  Sarah and I were all, "Really?!?!"  We've run in WAY worse.

At mile 12, it started to rain a little harder.  I was loving it!

Sarah was looking strong and she was about to blow her 2:18 half marathon time away!

Finally.  The finish line was in view.

Sarah sprinted.  I chased her.

Then, we were done.

2 hours and eight minutes.

Sarah cut 10 minutes off of her fastest half marathon.  I'm thrilled for her, I'm proud of her and I'm so damn happy that I got to be a part of her PR race.

Everyone in our group was pleased with their races.

After the beer and chocolate milk had been consumed, we walked back to the hotel where the hot shower and dry clothes waited.

We were photo bombed!  I love it!

Soggy Selfie!
By the time all 5 of us were clean and dry, the rain had stopped and we went out in search of lunch.  We ended up at the Troll Pub Under the Bridge.  Good food, good drinks, fun atmosphere.

We walked around after lunch, popping into a few stores, getting into shenanigans...

When in Louisville, wear Derby hats!
We all had a couple of beverages at the hotel before we ventured back out for dinner.  We ended up at Down One Bourbon Bar.  I'm not a huge fan of bourbon...and by "not a huge fan" I mean, I can't stand it.  I'll have a Cosmo, please.  We split a bunch of appetizers and we all had salads for balance out all the Swedish Fish that we ate in the hotel room earlier that afternoon.

There was a little more vodka consumption at the hotel before bed and I got to drive home Sunday morning feeling mildly hungover.

That's the sign of a successful girls' weekend.


Finish Line Engravers

My friend Kris and her husband, Aaron, were at the finish line with their company, Finish Line Engravers.  When I saw them, I popped into their tent to say hi.  Kris hugged my soaking wet self and took my medal for engraving.

If you've never heard of Finish Line Engravers, it's brilliant, really.  They hang out at finish lines to engrave names and finish times into the back of finisher's medals.  Before Finish Line Engravers, I was writing my finish times in Sharpie on the backs of my medals.  Not anymore!

Medal engraving costs ten bucks and you can pre-order on their website so you don't have to carry money with you during the race.

Kris and Aaron will be at many race finish lines in the next few months.  Check out their upcoming events page to find out if they'll be at your next finish line!  It's quite a list!


About my outfit: I'm wearing the Lioness Skirt and the Runners Dream long sleeved shirt.  I was hoping to wear the Katherine Tank, but it wasn't warm enough.  I'll have to tell you all about that another time.  I've worn the Runners Dream many times and I've already talked about how much I love it.  It's my favorite long sleeved shirt.  Before this race, I'd only worn the Lioness Skirt for 4 miles on a dry day.  Sure, I'll wear it for 13.1 miles in the rain!  Why not?  I'm a risk-taker like that.  My bet paid off.  I was completely comfortable for the entire rain-soaked race and there was no screaming in the shower for this girl!  I'm loving the Lioness and can't wait to wear it again.  It hasn't been warm enough at 5am in Columbus yet.
Want a new skirt?  Save 20% at Skirt Sports with the code SSRRMR20.

Let's Chat!
Have you ever run the Kentucky Derby Half or full Marathon?
What's your favorite color Lioness Skirt?  I have Surf and I also like Flirt.