Derby Festival Mini Marathon!!!!!!

Yesterday was seriously one of the top 10 best days of my life! {which is a really weird thing to say about any day that I have to get up at 4:30am} but I accomplished probably my biggest goal in my life to date:


It started on Friday. We went to a pasta dinner to support one of Josh's friend's cross country team. Josh ended up winning a raffle drawing and getting a women's running hat. Lucky him! The pink stripe down the side was just his color. I wore it in the race for good luck :) After the dinner, my brothers & Jamie {brother's wife} came in town!

I was so happy to see them! So happy in fact, that I stayed up until almost midnight talking to them even though I was planning to be in bed BY 9 o'clock at the LATEST. Oh well, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep anyway.

Fast forward to race morning. My alarm clock went off at 4:30. I snoozed it once and then got up at 4:40 to eat breakfast. The next hour seemed to fly by and then at 5:45 Aaron met us at the house to pick up Josh's bib number so he could run in his place, and then we were out the door. We dropped off Josh's truck at the stadium near the finish line and then met up with Pat & Sheri to get a ride to the starting line and for Josh to borrow Pat's bike so he could bike along the course.

It was raining pretty steadily all morning and I was not excited. The latest forecast had said that the rain was supposed to stop by sunrise and then there was only a 30% chance during the race. I was hoping they were right but not holding my breath.


Our little group of runners... Aaron {running in place of Josh}, me, Sheri, & Pat. Aaron was only doing the mini {even though Josh was signed up for the full} and Pat & Sheri did the full marathon. We walked to the starting corrals, wished each other good luck, and then I left them all in the super-fast corrals and headed to my much slower corral of C.

Erica and I weren't able to pick a good place to meet up so we were just going to see if we could find each other in the corral. Unfortunately, with thousands of people in each one we weren't able to meet up. I ended up meeting a girl who was doing her first full marathon and I decided to at least start off running with her because she was going at a slower pace, so I knew that way I wouldn't start off too fast.

Once I got into the corral was when I really started to get nervous because I knew as soon as the gun went off I had a 13.1 mile journey ahead of me....


We started walking... closer and closer to the starting line... and then OFF WE WENT! No turning back now!


A couple blocks in and I already saw Josh! The weather was pretty good, too. It was cloudy but thankfully the rain had stopped.

Within the first mile I saw a poor trampled turtle and about 5 men pee on the side of the road.

This course went through the same hilly park as the 10 miler, but this time the park was only a mile in instead of 3. So I was totally fresh going into the park and didn't stop AT ALL on the hills! I was so proud of myself! :) I was amazed at how much difference the timing of the hills made. I felt GREAT! The same random guy who was screaming for us in the park at the 10 miler was there again, too. Apparently he's always there! This time he was screaming, "I AM YOUR MUSIC!!!! GO!!!!!" Also in the park I encountered a couple of running Elvises who were pushing a speaker blasting music. It was pretty entertaining.

The park & hills ended at mile 4 and there was a water stop, so I took my first Gu then. Coming out of the park I was feeling GREAT. I was actually a little surprised at how good I felt.


Hey, look! I passed that girl in blue shorts ;-)

Somewhere around mile 6 some local residents were out giving us orange slices. I thought that was pretty nice of them.


If you look closely at my left hip you can see the not-so-secret place where I stashed my Gu packets... right inside my shorts in my little key pocket. I suppose it made my butt look weird, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do for her Gu.

I had remembered Josh saying my family might try to see me around mile 6, so once I got there and they weren't there I was wondering where they were but I just kept on running.. I mean what else was I gonna do? I finally got to mile 7 and saw a big yellow sign that said "GO LYNN!!!" on it and I was so happy! It was so good to see my family there cheering for me!!! I almost started crying. I'm such a sap, I know! But I've always wanted a big sign with my name on it. It was so cool. It made me feel so loved and special :)


At mile 7 we got to run through Churchill Downs! That was super cool! We got to run through a little underground tunnel to get in there and everyone was screaming through the tunnel. It was one of those moments that just felt so surreal and special. It was such a neat feeling to be out there running with all these thousands of strangers who all had the same goal: to cross that finish line. Just a cool moment that I'll never forget. I'm not sure why running through that tunnel made me feel like that, although I suppose it could have just been the delirium setting in...

There were horses out training for the Derby while we were running around the track. It was such a neat experience! We made a one mile loop around and then went back out to the street. I guess it was good that my family was running too late to get to mile 6 because they were able to see me on the way out of Churchill Downs too! I totally wasn't expecting to see them again until the end, so that was pretty awesome!


Around mile 9 or so was when I first started getting a little tired. I knew it had to happen sometime. I was surprised it hadn't already happened....

Yep, a little tired if you couldn't tell. Mmm doesn't that blizzard look delicious?! Why don't they hand those out during races?


Apparently I wasn't too tired to give the thumbs up sign... tired, but at least I'm still going!!!!

I remember seeing Josh here and asking him for water so I could take my next Gu. He rode ahead to the next water stop and got me some water and I was so thirsty that I drank it all and forgot to take my Gu! So I ran along until I finally made it to the water stop and THEN took my Gu! I love that stuff.. it's like magic - instant energy! Seriously, you go from looking like death (above) to awesome! (below)


Double thumbs up!

And then I got to mile 11 and if you can't tell by the look on my face, this is when I started going crazy. Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


This is when things started to hurt... specifically, my knees. The little buggers were THROBBING. If they hurt that much with the kinesio tape, I don't even want to know how much they'd hurt without it! I wondered how much longer they were going to be able to go. Other than my knees, I felt pretty good, but they were driving me crazy! I stopped for a second to try to stretch them out a little even though I knew stopping always ends up making them worse... I just wasn't sure what the lesser of two evils was right at that moment.

The stretching didn't really help, so I kept going.

The last 3 miles were definitely the worst... they seemed to go on FOREVVERRRRR.


Mile 12. Just 1.1 to go. Not so bad right? Umm... yeah. It's amazing how much harder running 1.1 miles is after already running 12. I felt like I still had a marathon ahead of me.


But okay, I'll still give you a little thumbs up because I'M STILL RUNNING A HALF MARATHON, SUCKA! Go me!


These were the last couple pictures Josh was able to get of me before he almost got arrested.

Okay, not really. But a cop was pretty mean to him for "riding a bike on the marathon course!" Apparently that cop was having a bad day and totally chewed him out. I was unaware that we could no longer be polite and just say, "Excuse me, kind sir, you're not allowed to ride your bicycle here because this is the marathon course."

Anyway. This was around mile 12.5 or so... SO CLOSE to the end, but it felt like forever. But I told myself to just keep on going. I'd come this far, I knew I could do the rest.

I finally turned the corner and saw the big FINISH LINE!!!! I ran for it... not nearly as fast as I do at the end of other races, but I picked it up quite a bit. I heard someone scream for me but I didn't even look {I later found out it was my mom}. I was focused on that finish line!! As soon as I crossed, I almost didn't believe it was okay to stop running. And then it hit me that I had just completed my first half marathon!!! I got my medal and I was so proud of myself!

I then walked hobbled around the finishers' area and got a bunch of free food that I only paid $50 for in registration fees. And then I heard my family yelling for me from outside the fenced in area. They all congratulated me and said they were so proud and I almost started crying again... I tried to hold it in though, because you know, I didn't want to look worse than I already did.

We finally met up outside the finishers' area when they told me we still had a nice little 1-2 mile walk back to the car. They said they didn't want to feel left out, they needed to get in some miles too. I just wanted to know whose brilliant idea that was?!?! I also wanted to know where was my boyfriend!? We finally found him AND he gave us a ride back to where my mom had parked, thank goodness!!! No walking for me!


I love how short my mom looks here and how Josh and I look like we're the same height. Apparently we were standing on a small hill... and somehow the tallest person ended up being at the top!



I have been waiting for this day since the thought of running a half marathon entered my mind last September at the Philadelphia Half Marathon. Back then I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn't think I COULD do it. It seemed impossible. But yesterday all of my hard work & training came together. I accomplished the goal and I'm so proud of myself! I know I have said this before but I seriously never ever thought I could be a runner. I used to hate running and I used to give up when things got too hard. But this journey to running 13.1 miles has taught me SO much about myself.. it has shown me that I can do things I think are impossible if I work hard and stick with it. It has taught me that I can do so much more than I ever dreamed of.

My goal was to have fun and finish it in under 2 hours and 30 minutes. I accomplished both of these goals!! My final time was 2:28... and according to Gertie I actually ran a total of 13.36 miles! I know she lost signal for a second while I was running through the tunnels into and out of the track, but logically wouldn't that mean she would actually estimate a shorter distance? It's a certified course though, so I know it has to be accurate, I just don't know where the extra .26 miles came from..

Either way, I am still proud of myself! I am amazed at how good I felt throughout the whole thing! And I still felt good at the end, my knees were just sore. If my knees didn't hurt I definitely could have kept going! For my next half marathon, I'll try to push myself harder for a faster time, but for my first one I am just proud to have finished and still feel good at the end! I'm glad I didn't try to push it too hard and make the experience miserable. I had fun and soaked it all in!

Over all it was PERFECT! Everything was so much better than I expected. The weather was great and the sun even came out! I LOVED it!!!! I think it is safe to say that this definitely won't be my last half marathon!!!!

P.S. #1 is definitely done!!!

Derby Festival Mini Marathon
April 24, 2010

Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 2:28:37