Kentucky Derby half marathon recap

Number 2 half marathon for this year is in the books!

And since I already shared with you that I got a new PR – 2:09:30 (I originally said it was 2:09:33, but then when the final results were posted on the website, it was 2:09:30) – so you KNOW it was a pretty good race! :)


I had made us both oats in a jar on Friday to take with us, along with some bananas, so breakfast was super easy and convenient and we will definitely do that option for other out of town races!

We left the hotel at 6 – race didn’t start until 7:30 – but since there were 18,000 runners, I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic. And after being downtown for the expo the night before, parking seemed hard to find and I didn’t want to deal with that either. So we got there early. No traffic. Easy, close, cheap parking. Then walked across the street to White Castle to get some coffee…because there were no Starbucks open yet. :( We sat in there for a good 45 minutes drinking coffee, hitting the bathrooms, and watching the place fill up with other runners…

I had been checking the weather nonstop the week before the race because the chances of rain kept going up. It did end up just starting to sprinkle when the race started. :) It was just a light rain for the first 11.5 miles, and then at 11.5 miles, it really started raining! That’s really when I got soaked and my feet got soaked because THEN there were puddles. At least it was towards the end! ;)

Around mile 12, and I found this out after the race, The Hus was standing at the end of the one tunnel we ran through, but I never saw him. And he barely caught me, he said. Apparently he was looking towards the finish line taking pictures, and as soon as he turned his head the opposite way, I was running RIGHT in front of him. haha. Here you can tell how much it was raining…

DSC_0048 DSC_0050

After this race, I have realized that I think I tend to overdress. I HATE getting cold when I’m running because then parts start going numb, and I HATE running when I can’t feel my toes and fingers! But this time, since it was in the mid 50’s, I decided to dress slightly cooler. But I DID wear gloves just about the whole time because again, I hate my fingers going numb! I took them off for a couple miles in the middle, but then put them back on – which was a real struggle at that point, haha. But, overall, I felt like I was dressed properly, and maybe even ran faster because I knew if I slowed down, I’d start getting cold! lol

And p.s. I LOVE the Spibelt! I used it to keep my phone in because I knew it would be raining (it’s not waterproof, but at least it was something…I just should have put it in a ziploc bag first…). Anyhow, I never feel that thing! I had to reach down and fell it a few times to make sure I was still wearing it and my phone was still in it!

I wore my headphones the whole time, but never listened to music until around mile 9 or 10; and then I ended up turning it off around mile 11 because it was annoying me.

I don’t remember what mile it was, but we got to run through Churchill Downs. Of course it was raining, and muddy, so I didn’t bother to try to video it or take pictures, but there were horses on the track practicing and they were getting ready for the Derby.

Somewhere around mile 10, I started feeling my energy levels depleting, so I planned on grabbing some powerade at the next water stop (even though I HATE that stuff!), but a prayer that I didn’t even pray got answered instead – I came up on some people in a neighborhood handing out orange slices! :) I grabbed one of those and I was good to go until the end. :) Thank you strangers for handing out orange slices while we run through your neighborhoods. We appreciate it. :)

So one of the highlights of this race was the finish line. The Dream Shatterer thinks this is a slap in my face, but I’m kinda thrilled about it…I literally crossed the finish line WITH the WINNER of the FULL marathon! Yes. This guy – Bryan Morseman – finished the FULL MARATHON in 2:22:36, and ran through the ribbon at the same time I crossed the finish line at 2:09:30. UNBELIEVABLE! I was just amazed. It amazes me how fast these elites run marathons…



After I finished, my phone wasn’t really working, so it took us a little time to finally meet up with each other. It was just craziness. There was also a fair/festival going on at the finish line, so there was just a lot going on. We finally met up, I hit the gong, got my medal engraved, got my 3rd medal for doing the double – The Run The Bluegrass half in Lexington, and the KY Derby half in Louisville – and we headed for the car. In the rain. :)


Since we were both soaked, we grabbed dry clothes and changed in the car. The windows had fogged up, so we didn’t flash everyone. ;) Plus, other people were doing the same thing in the parking lot…You do what you gotta do. :)

We found a little diner that had biscuits and gravy, and grabbed some lunch before we started on the 3.5 hour drive home. Man, it was so good too! We LOVE finding these little mom and pop joints that are unique to each city instead of going to the big chain restaurants.


And that was our weekend in Louisville! :) I really enjoyed this race – despite the rain – it was well organized and a lot of fun. The course was good, and the people were friendly.  I wanna move there. :)

Now I’m gearing up for Cap City half marathon this Saturday! :) Will probably just do a strength class this week, lagree, maybe a short run and swim…I don’t want to do too much, but I don’t want to do nothing. 

Have you ever ran a race in the rain? Did it make you run faster or did you find it harder??

What do you pack for pre-race breakfast when you are traveling for a race???

A new PR! And in traditional post-race tradition… 3   Recently updated !

I’ll getcha a FULL review of the KY Derby half marathon tomorrow or Monday, but for now, I have a new PR to share – 2:09:33! 2:10:25 was the time to beat, and cutting almost a minute off my time feels good. It just encouraged me to feel like I could actually make some more progress in my time.

Going into this race, I was secretly hoping for a PR, but I knew it would be a matter of how my knee was feeling. After a few miles of no pain, and noticing that I was keeping a decent pace, I tried not to get my hopes up, but kept pushing myself to keep a good pace without hurting myself. Anytime I “felt” my knee, I just re-focused on my form and landing, shortened my stride, and then all was well. :)

Yay for the PR gong. :)


And in TRUE  post-race traditions, I’m recovering in my race shirt and compression sleeves, eating pizza, drinking wine, and watching movies.

And getting THIS present at my door when we got home tonight REALLY made my day! This is THE BEST cure for sore muscles. Hands down.


Have a great rest of your weekend! :)

On the road again…just can’t WAIT to get on the road again… 2

I’m not sure why, but whenever I hear that song – even just in my head – which is anytime we’re about to take a road trip, I think of my Grandpa. He used to live in South Carolina while I was growing up, so we would go there for vacations, and they would come to Ohio to visit for vacations, and he would always sing that song. Funny the little things that continue to remind you of something from your past huh…? :)

Anyway, it’s time for us to get on the road again today!! We will be Louisville bound in a few hours for the Kentucky Derby half marathon. (Well, it’s a full too, but obviously i’m just doing the half.)


Initially, we had planned to just continue on to TN to visit the Hus’ family since Louisville is halfway to their house, but last weekend it hit us: we have a cat. My mom is also out of town this weekend. So noone to watch our kid! And then we adopted another cat, so…we will be coming straight home after the race and planning a trip another time when my mom will be here to “catsit”. :)

Speaking of cats…we didn’t plan on getting another cat…we took Roxy to the vet on Sunday, saw all these cats there from the humane society, and were both drawn to this one 3 year old cat who had to be given up because the family had a baby and she was allergic. :( After a day and a half of talking about it and going back and forth, we went back and got him. :) I was just really worried that Roxy would be mean forever because she can be a meany like that, and then they would both be mad and destroy the condo. (And typically The Hus is the worry-wort…)

We got some advice from the vet though, and other people who have added cats in their household, so we have just been keeping him in his own room while we are gone and at night. And we’ve been taking turns sleeping in different places so Roxy doesn’t get mad, but Simba (new cat) gets comfortable. One of us sleeps on the couch with Roxy (so she can have the whole house), and one sleeps in bed, with the door closed, with Simba. But last night, we left them both out…but I slept in bed and The Hus slept on the couch…I only heard 1 major “fight”, but Roxy woke me up hissing a number of times.

Is this what parents feel like?! We can’t figure out how parents even have more kids, because we already aren’t even sleeping in the same room anymore…haha.

There is progress each day with them inching closer and closer, but there is ALWAYS this stare down…

the staredown

K, enough about kids cats.

So, a month after my last half marathon and dealing with a knee injury. How am I doing since I haven’t been really keeping you updated…Well. I went to a doctor, had a physical therapy session, got some feedback on what my issues were ( super weak glutes and hips, and tight hamstrings), was given some exercises to do, and advised to check my cadence, and most likely shorten my stride, because I was taking too long of strides and landing with my feet way out in front of my knees, putting all the impact on my knees.

Notes taken.

I took 2 FULL weeks off of running, went regularly to strength classes twice a week and lagree once a week, and after 2 weeks, I attempted short spurts of running during a couple of speed walks The Hus and I went on. (The physical therapist HAD ok-ed some running as long as I didn’t have pain.) We went for a walk on a Saturday and a Sunday, so both days, I ran – slowly! – as far as I could go without any pain, then would walk. The next days I felt great. So that 3rd week, I did some short, slow running in between the strength classes, and by the middle to end of that 3rd week, I have had 0 – ZERO!!! – pain in my knee! Hal-le-lu-jah!

This week I haven’t done much – just a strength class on Monday night, and then last night, after running a mile on the track with Girls on the Run, I ran another 2 miles – pain free. :) And this morning i’m about to head to a lagree class. So I feel pretty confident about tomorrow’s race. :) I’m still gonna tape my knee tomorrow, even though I haven’t used the tape in over 2 weeks, mostly just as a safety precaution…And then I have Cap City next Saturday! I’m still pretty bummed that I’m not doing the Pittsburgh half next Sunday too, but I feel it was the right decision so that I don’t overdo myself and just re-injure my knee. Next year, right?! :)

Oh! My mom and Hus want to start running and so we are planning on starting some training as soon as they each get a foot evaluation and get some good shoes! Their goal is to do the Ohio State 4 miler in October! I’m pretty excited for them and to get started on their training. I just don’t want them to start any serious running training until they have the right shoes because I have realized just how important they are!

We did go to Fleet Feet one night for my mom to get evaluated, but she wants to do it again because she was trying to run “quietly”, on her tip toes, so that she didn’t interrupt the No Boundaries class that was going on…haha. I made out on THAT Fleet Feet trip though!

Ok, um, after trying on these sports bras, I realize what a good sports bra IS, and how much I needed one. I knew I needed new sports bras, but the ones I have had, for the past 4 years, were NOT good! The ones I got are New Balance shockingly unshocking. They are seriously, shockingly, supportive! I even found 2 more on Ebay that were brand new with tags, for,…. $.99 and $18.75, so I grabbed those up too, because $50 for a sports bra, when you need at least 7 of them for every day of the week, is just.not.happening. Just sayin’. And they come in really pretty, vibrant colors. :)

And Oofos. You just can’t go wrong with these. Especially with the mint color. :) If I could wear these shoes to work, I would honestly live in them 24/7. They are THAT comfortable and supportive. I seriously think if you have any type of foot problem, knee problem, hip problem, these would help you. (And p.s. if you can’t find them in a store, remember you can order online and get free shipping with my code – CREWgilson :) your welcome.)

OKAY! I need to go grab some breakfast and head off to lagree for some butchering and sweating! :)

Have a great one friends! :)


Facts on Friday #10. 8

Hey guess what?! I had a 5 mile run tonight that was 100% PAIN FREE!! ZERO knee pain WHATSOEVER! I listened to NO music and just really tried to take it slow and focus on my stride and landing. And with it being 74 degrees today, the entire experience made my heart happy. :)

Ok, now that THAT exciting news is outta the way, let’s get on with it! :)

Fact: We are trying out Sirius XM radio for 90 days, for the first time, and based on just the one station’s name, The Hus feels it’s worth the monthly charge…I agree since I can have stations that take me back to my “younger days”…


Fact: I had NO idea Brad Pitt was a runner. Until we watched THIS movie last week. ‘Across the Tracks’. And p.s. it had my elementary schoold boyfriend in it…haha. Ricky Schroeder! Oooo lala. He isn’t what I remember when we dated 28 years ago though…in any case, it was a good movie.


Fact: Last Friday night, we did something different for date night. We went to Barnes and Noble, got a Starbucks, grabbed some books, sat at a table, and read. I mean, talked, drank coffee, discussed what we were reading, etc…and then I ordered one of the books The Hus was reading, and one of the books I was reading. Found them on Amazon for super cheap. I think this might be our new “thing”. It was so much fun and very relaxing. And it was nice to see that other people still read actual BOOKS. I can’t STAND all the e-readers/kindles/whatever. 1. There is just something about the smell and feel of a book in my hand; and 2. Looking at screens all the time is just BAD BAD BAD for us! That’s my rant. That’s my story. I’m sticking to it.

(And I just got my book in the mail today – The Happiness Project – so I can’t WAIT to start reading it! I might not get any sleep tonight…and I KNOW there will be a lot of highlighting so I’ll be sure to share some of this lady’s tips and experiences.)

Fact: Again, I’m having 0 pain in my knee this week! Granted, I haven’t REALLY ran in over 2 weeks (until tonight!), and last weekend we went on 2 walks – one was 2 miles and one was 4.5 miles – and I ran/walked the whole time, but usually I was feeling pain all day long while I was at work sitting. And this week? NO PAIN AT ALL! I felt some slight “discomfort” a few times this week during strength class, kickboxing, and lagree, but for the most part, those workouts have just improved my knee healing. I can honestly say, I’m 98% better and I owe it all to those classes. I seriously felt 90% better last Friday after doing Lagree Thursday night, and today, I feel 100% better after doing Lagree last night. I’m tellin’ ya, Lagree (AND strength workouts) SERIOUSLY make a difference! Heck, even kicking a bag in kickboxing helps if you really get your leg up high on the bag and put some force in it! You WILL feel it in your hips and glutes! And THAT’S a recipe for healthy running knees!

Although, if you are like me (and you should be!), then you’re running shoes are a size bigger than all your other shoes, I recommend NOT accidentally wearing your running shoes for a different workout…like, say, kickboxing. I wore my running shoes to Girls on the Run Tuesday, (obviously I would) and then forgot to take other shoes for when I went directly to the gym for kickboxing, and my feet were sliding all over the place during class. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done…

Fact: I’m gonna end this fun little “facts” post with a confession: I got my personal training certification back in November and I’m too scared to use it. There. I admitted it. I’ve had about 3 interviews where I actually turned down the jobs – some legit reasons, such as, it was full time, 100% commission, and I can’t afford to do that, and some not-so-legit-reasons that I’m kicking myself over now. And I’ve had a couple interviews where they flat out told me I didn’t know enough and I needed to start lifting weights on my own instead of doing group classes all the time, and then  I would gain some confidence in myself to be able to train. I did kinda agree on that one. But in my defense, I HATE the machines, and I probably wouldn’t even use them in a session unless I HAD to. I like free weights. I feel like they are not only “funner”, they are almost harder because you are in control of the motion and doing them properly, and they are more functional to everyday life. So in THAT aspect, I feel like I kind of DO have experience because that is what we do and use in a group class…but I do get what she was saying about creating my own workouts and that would help give me some confidence that I DO know what I’m doing…

Anyway, that’s my confession. What is something that you maybe want to do, or need to do, but don’t feel confident in yourself to get out there and just DO IT?! How are you attempting (or how HAVE you ALREADY!) overcome this problem?

I still have my knees.

I know what you’re thinking. I’ve been taking this technology break pretty serious. I mean, I kinda really have. But now my list of things to tell you about is getting longer by the day.

First of all, “the knee issue”. I went to the physical therapist last week and she had me do a couple squats, one legged squats, and a couple other things that I can’t even remember now…and we came to the conclusion that my glutes and hips are weak. WEAK! For one of the tests, she had me lay on my side, bottom leg bent, top leg straight out and raised in the air. I was supposed to hold my leg up in the air while she pressed down on it. But, when she pressed down on my leg, it totally fell. Then when we got to the other side, that leg fell too. I literally laughed out loud. Her comment? “Well, at least both glutes are equally weak!” :)

She gave me some exercises to do at home and said I would be fine with just doing 2 sessions a week. So i’ve been doing clams, planks, and leg raises.


She also said to check my cadence because that would be able to tell her if my stride was too long. She said to count 1 foot for 20 seconds and then multiply that number by 6. Ideally, your cadence should be at 180, but no lower than 160. Mine was actually right at 180, but now i’m wondering if that is because I was subconsciously trying to shorten my stride…either way, I do know that I need to shorten my stride. I can tell the difference and I can feel it when it’s right.

At this point, since I’ve been back to strength classes, kickboxing, doing the exercises the PT gave me, doing a lot of swimming and pool running, and taking 2 weeks off running, my knee feels SO much better. There is only some minor pain now and it is mostly just achy. And actually, after I did Lagree last Thursday, I really noticed a difference in my knee on Friday. After literally 2 weeks of NOT running, I attempted some running on Sunday while The Hus and I were on a 4.5 mile walk. I just did some off and on running and it felt pretty good. I just stopped running if the pain started getting worse and did a speed walk.

So there. That’s my knee update: lots of cross training, lots of strength = knee is recovering. :) Oh, and I AM still using KT tape and I really notice that helps! But I don’t want to use it all the time and allow it to become a crutch, so I take it off for a few days, and then tape it up for 3 days…

Sunday, I had signed up to volunteer at a race. It was the Scioto Miles series, and there was a 5k, 10k, and 15k. It’s a 2 part race series that is part of the training program for the Cap City half marathon on May 2nd. Since I wasn’t running, I figured I’d volunteer. :)

I got to hand out medals and let me just say: it was SO much fun.



highly recommend if you run races, take some time to volunteer at one. It was great to stand at the finish line and see all the proud, tired, strong faces cross the finish line. I know what it feels like to cross the finish line, but to see everyone’s faces at the end = priceless. :) And p.s. runners are just a happy bunch. Even the ones hobbling over the finish line, slightly hurt, were smiling. Need some cheering up? Run.

All this being said, I think I’ll be ok running the halves in Louisville on the 25th, and Columbus on the 2nd, but I’m gonna have to call it on Pittsburgh on the 3rd. :( I’m SUPER bummed about that one because I’ve been wanting to do the Pittsburgh half for over a year now, but I know my knee isn’t ready for 3 halves within 8 days. The 2 halves a week apart are going to be hard enough. So that’s that. There is always next year right?!

Plus, I’ve been looking ahead at races (who doesn’t?!) and I’d like to do the Erie Marathon in September and the Columbus marathon in October, so I want to be 100% ready for training to start in June. Which I think I will be as long as I keep up the workouts I’ve been doing. I was even able to actually kick the boxing bag tonight instead of just air kicking with my left leg! haha :) Progress.

So that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. Hopefully. ;)

What’s new in your neck of the woods???