Taste of Louisville Half Marathon: Alive with Hills

I woke up on Sunday morning with stiff and sore quads, rocking a little penguin waddle for the first few hours of the day. I took this as a sign; the legs worked hard, PR or not.

TasteofLouisvilleHalf 013TasteofLouisvilleHalf 014

This was a small race, we got there around 7 a.m.. This gave us more than enough time to pick up my bib, walk around the Farmer’s Market (not yet fully set up), go to the car twice to drop things off and lose a layer, and get in the bathroom stop.

I also had a mini Downtown Louisville photo shoot. Suburb or not, this place is pretty cute.

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…..Still not GO time? Alright fine, let’s sit. And find the Starting Line somewhere…

TasteofLouisvilleHalf 019 TasteofLouisvilleHalf 030

Finally grouping together with the other half-runners, I met Meghan and we chatted about what to expect – “the elevation chart didn’t seem so bad…” – uh-huh, famous last words. Once it was go-time, I put all expectations aside and realized if I don’t at least try to PR, I’ll regret every mile. Here we go!

Hi, D! This first mile feels easy! Whoop!

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The Miles, The Brain Talk
Miles 1 – 5
: 8:07, 7:48, 7:53, 7:42

That start may have been a little too fast; maybe that’s a good sign?
I’m hot; How can I pass people politely on a sidewalk? This is such a cute little town. Hey-o, Lady Gaga! You have impeccable timing.

Five miles in and my legs are a little curious as to my plan for keeping this pace, no bueno.  “Enjoy the downhill while it lasts…{wink}”, not quite as encouraging as I think you meant that to be, fellow-runner. What is that supposed to mean?! Where are the hills?! Come back, give me more insight!

Miles 6 – 9: 7:43, 8:01, 7:46, 7:46

For a few miles I actually fell into a groove, my mind was actually convinced I could keep this going and at least hit the 1:41 mark. Run, run, there’s pizza waiting!

Mile 7: the sign – well, this is no PR day, adios goals! The first HILL arrived, and it was not a friendly visitor.

Keep the effort, let the pace slow – there are still six miles to run. I was almost walking by the top (but.just.keep.running); my attitude quickly deflated. Where the heck did that come from?! Elevation chart, how’d you miss that one?!

Website, Garmin:
TOLCourseElevation GarminElevation

I need some juice! Anything with electrolytes and sugar will work – aid station, work your magic! What’s that? You ONLY HAVE WATER?! Oh, wow. You know it’s summer, right? You know we’re more than 9 miles in, yes?! Oof.

Miles 10-13.1: 8:26, 8:51, 9:32, 9:10, 7:47 (0.1)

Must. Keep. Going.
This pain is temporary; ignore that hill that you ran up and down, and will have to run up again! Ignore the fact that people are passing you, and the fact that you’d rather stop and sit in the shade than keep going into the sunlight.

I finally got some {watered-down} Gatorade, and a little motivation to just FINISH already. Turn off the brain, turn off the tunes, look at the mountains and tell the legs to keep moving

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Finishing stride = not so hot. It’s okay legs, you did what ya could!

Now seriously, where’s the pizza?! Need. FOOD.

13.19 (Garmin) miles, 1:48:13 – avg 8:12 min/mile

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Official Results:  TBD.


Lessons Learned: this list is long, another post for another day. At first I was frustrated with myself for a few things, but by the end of the race I was laughing it off. This is how we get stronger; we test ourselves and realize what will work and what will not. We may also learn that we need to train on more hills in the process, or that we should carry our own sports drink.

Over all, this was a very well organized race – extremely friendly and helpful volunteers, with about 10 miles of trails (easy on the joints!), which was great. If you’re looking to add this one to a 2012 race agenda, prepare accordingly! 🙂




Filed under Exploring Colorado, learning, pictures, race report, running

24 responses to “Taste of Louisville Half Marathon: Alive with Hills

  1. ~K~

    Great job! I love the pic of the Garmin and shoes! Might hafta try that one myself with my shoes and stopwatch! Too cute!

  2. i love how big your smile is in the crowd of runners! great pic. Also, i noticed you ran with a small camelbak on? Is that something you normally do or advise? I’ve only run one race ever, and I just get so thirsty when I run/bike in general. Am looking forward to your race post later. Nice work!

    • Heather C

      I LOVE my little Camelbak! I actually got it at Performancy (a cycling store) – its pretty small and doesn’t bother me at all. Also much ealier than carrying a handheld water bottle, in my opinion 🙂

  3. Gahh no sports drink at a 9-mi aid station in a SUMMER half marathon?! Yikes.

    Sure, sure, we need to be prepared but come on… you should be able to expect certain things.

    Definitely a deceiving elevation profile too – NOT a pleasant surprise, I am sure.

    Way to gut it out for a VERY respectable finish, even if it wasn’t an “A+” day! Congrats!

  4. Holly

    Great job! You had fun and that’s always number one with running! I’m so glad you got to meet Meghan; how fun. We need a runner tweep-up sooon!
    Happy running!

  5. Jason

    “(but. just. keep. running.)” made me think of “just keep swimming”. When I was at Pepperdine a couple weeks ago, one of the guys in my siminar and I went for a run. Pepperdine is built on the side of a mountain, and as a result there is no such thing as a flat area of the campus. My legs were sore for 4 days…hills are stupid.

  6. Congrats on finishing #11! Pretty impressive if you ask me. 🙂 Not all races can be PRs – I love what you said about learning from the tough races and getting stronger (mentally and physically) for the next! Hope your week is off to a great start! xo

  7. I am positive you will find a lesson learned in all this. Like I told you, I’m always proud of you for your races. You finished another half! That’s always awesome.

  8. the first mile shot of you is terrific! and whew, tough course indeed. nice job pulling out a pretty fast race with some late toughness!

  9. awesome job! We can’t always PR but we can always try our best which is what it seems you did.

  10. Abby

    Great job! Way to rock it out and finish! 🙂

  11. Hey, I say way to work it – PR or no PR, you kept MOVING despite the heat, lack of gatorade, intensity of hills. And that’s what matters. You passed the test. Great job!! For the record, I doubt I could EVER run a half that quickly so I bow down to you, my friend!

    • Heather C

      Thanks, girl 🙂 These are the days we learn the most, no matter how many times we have them right?! Ha, moving on!

  12. Dang, that sounds like a tough course! Nice work. I’m sure that pizza never tasted better! 🙂

  13. Michelle Fritzler

    I was thinking the same thing about “what you only have water?” I need to plan accordingly next year for this race like not having a hairline stress fracture on my tibia (ya I know I shouldn’t have even ran), having to train at 4:30am on a treadmill for majority of the training because I have a 6 month old baby, carry my own sports drink, and not take so long to pick up my pace. Also I loved knowing the joy of the first hill and knowing that you have to run up a hill towards the end when your legs are toast. You did awesome though. Also I will be running this next year with someone, my friend that was supposed to run it with me decided that morning she was just going to run the 5K!!!! What a surprise that was. 🙂

  14. Lauren

    “just keep swimming” haha love it!!

    Good job regardless or PR or not 😀 Yayy learning lessons from races. I’m proud of you!

  15. Great recap Heather! I really fell into a nice groove between miles 5 and 7 as well. I thought maaaaybe, things would go well enough for a PR…but gosh darn that stinking hill! Haha…oh well. Also, I wish the elevation profile hadn’t looked so mellow on the race website. If I had seen the Garmin’s version of the course elevation prior to the race, I would have probably run my race a bit differently (or at least been more mentally prepared for those final miles).

  16. Mamacita

    Great pics – love your smile. And I enjoyed J’s comments about his run experience at Pepperdine. Back to work.

    Love, Mamacita

  17. Pingback: It’s the Lactic Acid Speaking | Dietitian on the Run

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