Running on gluten-free carbs…

Rodes City Run 10K – Louisville, KY (March 17, 2012)

Me after finishing the Rodes City Run 10K - Downtown Louisville, Kentucky

Me after finishing the Rodes City Run 10K - Downtown Louisville, Kentucky

Race: Rodes City Run 10K

Place: Downtown Louisville, KY

Date: March 17, 2012

Time: 54:43

It was a warm morning when I got up to dress and prepare for the second race in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running.  Only two weeks prior, I had run the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic.  Now, the Rodes City Race 10K was here.  And, for once, I wasn’t feeling nervous about it.  I was having a nice morning.  I got dressed in a pair of shorts, without having to worry about wearing pants over them prior to the race.  I wore a hoodie for the time being over my shirt, but I was more than happy to hand that off to my roommate that morning before I went to line up behind the start.  It was a good day for a race.  The weather was cooperating.  So, I took my time, ate a light breakfast, brushed my teeth, and then my roommate and I headed down to Louisville to hopefully get some parking and head over to the race itself.

Luck was with us that day too, as we were able to park in the parking garage nearest to the starting line.  Awesome.  We got parked, grabbed our stuff, and headed down the stairs.  Packet pick-up was happening on the ground level, and that was a little hopping.  A news crew was there, filming some of the racers getting their packets, their shirts, and prepping for the run.

You see…the Louisville Triple Crown of Running is kind of a big deal.  The Rodes City Run 10K…it is too.

I had a bit of time to mill about before I began to stretch out a little.  I did my usual stretches, working my muscles as much as I could.  While I’ve done 6.2 miles and beyond before, it was already warming up outside and I wanted to make sure my body and joints were warmed up too.  I had just finished my stretching when I glanced up and saw the start area was already beginning to fill up with runners.  So I hugged my roommate, she wished me luck, and away I went to find a place in the chaos.

It was still early…but I got a decent spot.  Just standing there, the sun not even up yet, but the sky brightening, I could already feel it getting warmer.  I chatted with a couple of guys who were nearby, about running, about marathons, about the best cities to run.  They didn’t have numbers on, so I think they were running bandits in this one.  I don’t begrudge anyone their workout, but, register.  We have all paid to be a part of this…everyone should do the same.  Besides, it’s for a great cause.

The National Anthem played and soon the wheelchair racers were off.  They are amazing and inspiring for sure.  We were so close to the start now.  There were 200 runners who were seeded for this race, among them the winner of the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic, who would go on to win this race too, smashing the course record in the process.  The women’s course record was also smashed.  It was a good day for a run, despite the unseasonably warm weather.

All of a sudden…we were off.  This is where the walk to the start, then the initial push happens.  I love this part.  The thrill of crossing that starting gate and setting a good pace.  Today, we were hitting the streets of downtown Louisville, Kentucky, and the sun was rising as we were running right toward it, blinding us all until we were able to make our first turn.  It was already hot.  Very hot.

My first (and only so far) half marathon was run in Chicago in September in 80 degree heat.  It was hot.  And my pace was affected by it.  The same can be said for 60 degrees and rising temperatures in May in Louisville, KY.  The water stops were a godsend.  The water was refreshing, even for the quick sip I got before tossing the cup.  Best to stay hydrated when the heat hits.  The course was flat, beautiful, winding through the Highlands, around Cave Hill Cemetery, and just offering up a gorgeous setting for a hot, sunny race.

I felt good.  I felt better than good.  I knew my pace was slower than I would have liked, but it was constant, and that’s what matters.  Heat can take its toll on you in a number of ways.  I was just going to run this smart and I’d finish when I finished.

It was an amazing thing to watch those mile markers tick away as I was running those streets.  My legs were getting tired, I knew that, but I also had a finish line waiting for me.  Pressing on, I fought fatigue and the heat of the morning and rounded that last turn before sprinting with all I had left in me toward that finish line.  I crossed it, throwing my arms up in the air, feeling sweat just dripping from my neck.  Like I said…it got hotter and hotter on the run and I finished it in less than an hour.  I couldn’t have been happier with that time either.  I was aiming for a bit faster, but with the warm March morning, this was beyond what I thought I was going to get.  A 10K in 54:38 is nothing astounding, but for me, it felt like such an achievement.  I had a great run.

Finding my roommate after this race was much easier than at the 5K.  She paced me over to the recovery area, where I bypassed the offered goodies and grabbed my gluten-free, vegan vanilla protein shake instead from a cooler she kindly carried with her.  That and a couple big glasses of water and I was already feeling better.  The coldness was doing me good.  And we proceeded to the buses that would shuttle us back to the parking garage.  We had to wait though, because they needed more people to ride.  But eventually we were let on the bus and taken back to the stop…kinda.  The bus overshot the parking garage and let us off at another one, but the walk back and up the stairs was just what my legs needed.

We celebrated my achievement with brunch at North End Café, where I had a delicious (and gluten-free) plate of their Migas (three eggs scrambled with blue corn tortilla chips, jalapenos, and cheese (mine was soy cheese)), served with home fries.  I was getting some protein and carbing up for later that evening.

Why?  Because I was running in another race.  In fact…the second race I was heading to would be kicking off another series of race events in another part of Kentucky.  The Frankfort Trifecta was beginning that evening and I had a date with a 3K road race there.

But that’s for the next update.

As for the official standings of the Rodes City Run 10K, I was 118/665 runners in my age division and 1880/7453 finishers.  Not too shabby for my first time taking on the Rodes City Race 10K, and especially given the unseasonably warm weather in March.  Honestly, I was thrilled.

On March 31, the finale of the Triple Crown happens…with the Papa John’s 10 Miler.  Yep…a good long run is heading my way.  I’m nervous and excited all at once.  And in the meantime…I’m simply trying to do well in my training and make it to the finish when all is said and done.


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