Less Than 24 Hours to Go: Ky Derby Half Marathon Thoughts


So here we are, less than 24 hours to go until I run the race of my life–my first half marathon. I’ll be running 13.1 miles around downtown Louisville, through Churchill Downs, and along the historic buildings. I’ll be running with 17,999 other runners, some who might have already run 20 other half marathons or full marathons, and some who this might be their first race as well (like my friend Michelle).

Yesterday afternoon I drove the hour to Louisville to get my race packet–I wanted to have one less thing I had to do today, and didn’t want to do a whole lot of driving when I already know I have a lot on my plate tonight. The BB&T Running Wild Race Expo was well run, I thought (though this was my first race expo), and had quite a few different vendors (but not a whole lot), but it was a little too cramped for my taste. So I walked around to look at some things, see if there was anything I couldn’t live without (there wasn’t), and purchased some new energy stuff (two more packets of Jelly Belly’s SportBeans, and trying a new energy gel–Cliff Shots, which the salesman said was better for those with sensitive stomachs). Don’t worry, I’m not going to try the Cliff Shots during the race, I know that trying something new or different so close to a race is a bad idea. That’s why I bought two more packets of the SportBeans, which I like.

I took today off from work because I had a lot I needed to get done and wanted to be able to relax and rest up for tomorrow. Unfortunately, I can’t participate in any big spaghetti dinners or go to bed early early tonight, because I have to cover an event for a magazine later tonight, then drive the one hour to Louisville to crash at the hotel with my friends who are running in the race. I had assumed we got a room closer to the start, but it’s actually just over the river from Louisville. So I’m hoping we’ll be able to easily drive to the race start in the morning without too much drama or nerves.

So my thoughts before the race? Take deep breaths. Keep drinking water today. Eat just a little bit before the race. Warm up, stretch well. Get in line. Take more deep breaths. Start slow–you can always speed up towards the end of the race. Drink water. Keep your head up. Positive thoughts. RUN YOUR RACE.

The forecast is calling for 30-40% chances for storms in the morning of the race–no bueno! But I purchased a cheap rain poncho at the Dollar Tree that I’ll wear to the start of the race, then discard it as the race begins (sorry, I’m a pansy when it comes to running in the rain).

My hamstring is feeling better, but my confidence has been rocked due to the lack of training and working out that I’ve done this week because of the hamstring soreness and my schedule. So I’m just going to try to take it easy (on the pace and on myself) and try to just enjoy the experience. I might have to walk, but I’m going to do the best that I can to not walk too long.

My goal was to finish the race in about 2:10, but I don’t know if that’ll happen, so I’m going to aim for 2:30. I’m going to be alright with that. I want to finish the race, accept my medal, and bask in the accomplishment of running in my first half marathon.

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5 thoughts on “Less Than 24 Hours to Go: Ky Derby Half Marathon Thoughts

  1. Megan, if you have been sticking to a race training plan you will be fine! I didn’t exercise at all the week before my race, save for a short run that Monday, because I was having some tendon pain. It might even make you fresher. If you are used to it, pop some ibprofen before the race. It made a difference for me vs. Aleve. Good luck–I’m cheering for you and everyone at that race will be too.

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