Masters Running


Kentucky Derby Marathon (Read 45 times)

MM #5615

    Going into The Kentucky Derby Marathon I honestly felt that I was going to be able to run it in under 3 hours.  My training had gone so well.  I had never run my long runs at that pace for that long…ever.  My speed work wasn’t great…but I really thought it was good enough.  So, when my quads started screaming at me around mile 14, and it became a struggle to maintain my pace, it was very disappointing.  I held on and fought hard to keep going and stay positive, but by mile 20, it was obvious that I was not going to get it…the legs would just not do what I was asking them to do.  So…I will settle for 3:06:14.


    You know, I don’t care if your goal is 2:30, 3:00, or 6:00—when you set a goal and you work your butt off to achieve it—it’s just disappointing when you don’t.  I know I’m very lucky to have been given the ability to run as well as I do…and I’m sure I take it for granted at times.  It also makes it a little easier to take when I am still able to eke out an award.  But, it is still disappointing.  So, while I appreciate everybody’s well wishes and pats on the back, I hope you all understand that I am still disappointed.  I failed at accomplishing my goal…period.


    Now—don’t think I’m going to spend a whole lot of time beating myself up over it.  I like to take a little time to feel sorry for myself, and then I get back at it.  Fortunately, this time around, I had some great people to hang out with who really kept my mind off my failed attempt and made this marathon experience fun and a truly successful.


    My goal of running a marathon in every state (+ DC) has turned into more than just running 51 races.  In fact, I think it has become more about meeting the people that have become my friends on this site, than running the race.  I had just started thinking seriously about deciding on my next marathon when I saw Holly post that she had signed up for the Kentucky Derby Marathon…and that made my decision.   A few days later, I was officially registered, and a couple days after that, I received a message from Holly inviting me to share an apartment that she and her girlfriends were staying in.  Well, I didn’t have to think too hard about that one!


    Holly and her friends made this marathon an event that I will never forget.  I had so much fun just getting to know them.  As expected, Holly is the typical motherly type.  She, of course, took care of all the arrangements concerning the apartment.  She figured out where we were going and when we going to be there.  She even gave each of us a map to use on race morning to find our way back to the apartment after the race.  Seriously…I would still be wondering around Louisville if it weren’t for that map.


    So, while I failed to achieve my goal of breaking the 3 hour mark, I will remember this marathon for the friends that I shared it with.  And...I can check Kentucky off my list knowing it was a huge success.


      I think we all understand about the disappointment of missing a targeted goal. You are very fit, Mike. Light at the End of the Tunnel may still be the place where you get that sub 3 Big grin.


      Yes, Holly is a magnificent lady! I am not surprised by the way she took care of all of you and pampered you. I love that girl!


      Cheers for the great race!

      "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard

        Nice job, Mike, and you got it right on the purpose behind the marathons. Meeting up with friends (for the first time or a repeat meeting) is such a big part of the whole experience, the race just becomes the means to that end sometimes. But you did well, and I agree with Nancy that you could see that sub-3 soon. (practice downhill running, by the way... just sayin')

        MM #5616

          Your long training runs were going so well - I thought you'd go sub-3, too.  I guess anything can happen on marathon day.  Still, I know it was fun to meet Holly - I've met her twice now!  And congrats on 2nd in AG.  You gave it your best - don't beat yourself up about it.


          Hope you have better luck at the next one!  I'm looking forward to seeing you again at the Tunnel marathon in July, along with the rest of the RA folks!  And you should really think about doing Moab Trail Marathon with me and Holly in November - I know you already have Utah, but it's a beautiful race!

          I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.


            Mike - you'll get that sub three. Just keep working and believing.

            "He conquers who endures" - Persius
            "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel


              Okay, I won't give you a pat on the back.  How about a high five!  I know what you mean about disappointment.  Sometimes even a marathon PR can be disappointing if it isn't your big goal.

              "This is my approach as both athlete and coach: (quoting Steve Magness) Even if the training is perfect, if you don't buy into it, you will not run fast.  Chase Consistency, Not Perfection."  Neely Spence Gracey

                It's nice, Mike, that you found the silver lining in this experience.  Mile 14 does look like downhill on the course map.  A friend doing Comrades in a month says he's finally figured out how to handle downhills--rapid turnover keeping his feet under him.  Good luck with the Tunnel--if the problem is that you're distracted by running goddesses, you might still be in trouble.

                  I'm sorry to hear you missed your goal.  You still ran a fine marathon.  It was great you got to share it with friends.  Meeting friends at races is always special.





                    So, while I failed to achieve my goal of breaking the 3 hour mark, I will remember this marathon for the friends that I shared it with.  And...I can check Kentucky off my list knowing it was a huge success.




                    Marathon Maniac #957

                      Mike - it was wonderful to finally meet you in person, and to share this race weekend!  You are right that the meet-ups and the people who share the experience with are what truly make it memorable.  Much as I teased you, know that I am in awe of your running ability.  I agree with C-R, you have a sub-3 in you.  Not that I have any suggestions or anything (Presque Island, super flat, September), but don't give up on that thought - you are amazing!

                      Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."

                      MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803

                        You know, I don’t care if your goal is 2:30, 3:00, or 6:00___[editor note: seven too!}—when you set a goal and you work your butt off to achieve it—it’s just disappointing when you don’t.  



                        Dear MikeE -
                        It was back in the days when some marathons had four hour cutoffs and any walking would have mortifyingly embarrassing but I distinctly remember vowing to quit marathons if my running ever became so slow that it took more than the five hours I used to think was so pathetic by other runners who I just assumed hadn't prepared adequately for their abilities to run 26.2 miles, keeping the volunteers out waiting for them when everyone else was finished, taking care of their exhaustion, etc.  I never though that maybe they just couldn’t.
                        Though you are way faster than we were when we were just trying for beat four hours, you already understand what it took me 25 years of sub-fives to figure out about our respective passions for goals, whatever they are. . You are a very wise man and I look forward to meeting you at this summer’s Light-at-the-end-of-the-Tunnel Marathon. With two flat miles in the tunnel and 24-miles down a 2% railroad grade to North Bend, you should smash three hours handily.  However, it is a very, very unforgiving surface with lots of mechanically-crushed, and very sharp, gravel “improvements” and some leftover rocks and pebbles from railroad days.  Maybe practice running on gravel if there’s any around where you are or do a little barefoot running to toughen up your soles.  Otherwise, maybe practive running with a stiff insole or get a vibram-tough soled trail shoe.
                        In particular, after a winter of ennui, I was mostly walking in today's Tacoma City Marathon in preparation for my own Big goal at the end of the month so, after taking 20 minutes between mile 23 and 24, it took an extraordinary effort to churn out consecutive 12 and 13 minute miles between miles 24-25 and 25-26, respectively.  I really wanted to walk but, as breakingi seven hours started to seem possible, for some reason , I wanted to stay out of the seven hour range today.  I was thinking of you for all of the last 2.2 miles and totally shocked myself with a 6:54.  I won’t mind the seven anythings after Roger Bannister Day tomorrow (his version of a sub-four came on May 6, 1954 but I’d already been celebrating fo eleven years).  I don't think I would have even tried if it  hadn't been for y our post but it was like the 3:59's of old and just the same for me as 2:59 will be for you. Thank you Mike.

                        Ps - I was surprised to see dove at the early start (called “remedial” by some of us) but she said, after running the Tacoma Ghost on Saturday she thought it would be worth the early-start requirement not to break five hours to miss an extra hour of the blazing sun she experienced yesterday. (it exceeded 80 degrees on both days).  Accordingly. Goddess ultraperfection finished in 5:00:22.


                        Pps - we’ve missed SRLopez since his “retirement” from weekly multi-marys after number 333 qualified him for the Marathon Maniacs Hall of Fame in last year’s Light-at-the-end-of-the-Tunnel Marathon so it was a treat when he hollered “ohayou gozaimasu” out at this guy wearing the straw farmer’s hat and happy coat of the Japan 100-Marathon Joyful Running Club. <<<(that would be me - same as avatar attire from 2010 Tacoma City Marathon)>>>.
                        A little later, one of the many spectators along the way yelled out, “go ladies, . .. and gentlemen” and then, seeing this same guy running barefoot added, “and goofballs.”  No wonder I love running so much.


                        pps - with that calligraphy about running water or something behind you, where did you and holly go?

                        Maybe econo and I can check it out.

                        Henry the Great: "I'm going to keep running as long as I can."  Me too, I hope.

                        T. Igarashi (top of Mt. Fuji at age 100 in 1987): "Enjoy yourself. Your younger days never come again."


                        Old , Ugly and slow

                          Mike did your wife know about staying with 3 woman in the apartment.?

                          first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007


                          2018 goals   1000  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

                            You did make the most important goal:  meeting some friends in person.  I like your perspective about the race.  Not happy, but not defeated!  Best wishes on breaking 3 in your next 26.2.

                            Live like you are dying not like you are afraid to die.

                            Drunken Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Bread this way -->

                              You may have been disappointed with your time, Mike. But most of us can only DREAM about running a marathon that fast. Hell, I wish I was able to run a marathon period. Plus, you got to stay with three beautiful women for the weekend. Not all bad. And your finish time? I think it was awesome. Well done!

                              janie b good

                                awww... aren't you two the cutest of the cute!  ... thanks for the race report Mike!  sorry you missed your goal time, but i'm still way proud of you!

                                goodness is its own reward; for more tangible outcomes, you need to try badness.