Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bourbon Chase 2011: Part Two

So, it is finally time for me to run.   This is my first leg, and the above map is the visual I have in my head.   I also have the printed directions in my pocket, just in case the course isn't well marked.    It is now about 10pm.  It is pitch black outside.   I put on my vest, blinking red light, head lamp, get out of the van and wait.   And before long I hear my group yelling, "here comes Maggie!"   and sure enough there she is!   I grab the snap wrist bracelet from her (which is what we have to pass between each leg at the relay points) and I go!   And two blocks later, I don't know where to go.   The street on my map isn't on any of the street signs.   And then a guy comes up behind me asking the same thing I am thinking "now where do we go?"  Fortunately less than 30 seconds later, some lady comes  up behind us and shows us the right direction, she has done this before.    Once through town it is a straight shot and I lose both of them, they are faster than me.   But, I can still see their lights in the distance, which gives me comfort, and gives me something to follow.   So my first leg is just over 5 miles.   I do not have a garmin, all I have on is a stopwatch.   And the miles aren't labeled.   So as I am running I have absolutely no idea where I am or how far I have run.   All I know is that my breathing is really labored.   And Kirk (from the yellow team) is somewhere behind me.   So, I focus on just trying to keep a pace that I can breath and hopefully stay ahead of Kirk for a little while.   I also have that map in my head with the elevation chart which gives me some idea of where I am.   After about 25 minutes of running, Kirk catches up with me, says hello and I ask him how far we have gone.   About 2.6 miles.   Cool, over half way.   And he is then quickly out of my sights, but I can still see his light for awhile.   Finally, I see the one mile left sign (they have all of these marked on course).  Awesome, I pick up my speed and head to the finish.   So happy to see the relay area, hear someone yelling my name and Dave Bush waiting there to take the slap bracelet!   So after 47 minutes of running (9:15ish pace) I am done and finally realize I have been so short of breath - that is 5k pace for me!! 

I catch my breath, drink some water and then quickly hop in the van, we have to go to the next relay point and Dave B. is much quicker than I am.   Sitting in the back of that van I am happy, exhilerated and can't believe I just ran that fast! Yesss!!!  One leg down, 2 more to go...

Once we pick up Dave and drop off our 5th runner, Mike, I realize how tired I am and lay down in the back seat.   That is the last thing I remember for a little while.   All of the sudden I realize the van is stopped, the doors are slamming and we have picked up Dave Z. our 6th and final runner.   We are done for the first part of our legs and now on our way to the hotel we have rented for the night, to hopefully get a few more hours of shut eye before our next leg starts.   I look around the van and Dave B. has also just woken up, he is as confused as I am, LOL!  It doesn't take too long and we are at the hotel, up to the rooms.   It has been decided that Ben and Kristen will stay in the van and try to sleep before Ben has to run again (approx 3.5 hours away), the rest of us head up to the room for showers, sleep, whatever.   Maggie and I decide to hit the bed instead of showers, we don't think we smell too bad and would rather sleep.   The rest of the boys take showers, reorganize their bags, and try to sleep.   With all the rustling around I have a hard time sleeping.  Kristen texts and says things are a little slow and that Maggie won't have to be ready to go until about 6:30am.  At this point it is about 3am, so we decide to set the alarm for 6am, still time to get up, get changed and reorganize our stuff.   I will have to be ready the same time as Maggie, as her leg is only 3.5 miles long.   So, we will need to leave the hotel right away so I can get to the relay exchange point right away.  

Finally fall asleep for a little bit and all of the sudden their is a knock on the door. It is about 5:45am and it is the rest of the red team.   They are done and Ben just started.   Shit!   That means we have about 15-20 minutes to get Maggie to the next relay point.   We are both declothed and half awake.   Maggie quickly gets her stuff on and heads out the door.   I am standing there in a t-shirt and not much else, someone is already in the bathroom showering.   I have to completely change, so I yell at all the boys to get out of the room and get clothes on while also eating a honey stinger waffle.   Not sure how I do it, but ready in 10 minutes and out the door, to the van.   Dave B, Dave Z, and Kristen are there.   No sign of Mike.   No answer to his phone and nobody knows where he is.   As both Dave's run off to get him, we make the executive decision for Kristen to take me to the relay point and then go back and get the boys.    So we hope in the van and half way there get a call from a very frantic Ben wondering where the hell we are.  Ooops, should have told them all first.   Kristen calmly explains things and refocuses on getting us to the next stop.    It is getting closer to 6:30am but still dark, so I still have to wear the reflective vest, headlamp, etc.   This is my longest leg.
It is also all rolling hills.   Not really looking forward to this, but it must be done.   We get to the relay point with plenty of time to spare.   Maggie arrives right on time, then it is my turn again.    This time it is really simple to get out of town.   I get in a groove and go.   After what seems like a really long time, I hear a garmin beep as some guy passes me.   "What mile are we at?"  1 mile is his answer.   That's it?  Oh boy, this is gonna be a long one.   I don't have any music on b/c I didn't feel it would be safe.   Being dark and night time I want to hear everything that is coming my way and be more alert.   I am more short of breath this time, but the hills are also more steep and rolling.   I keep looking back expecting to see Kirk, but nothing.  After about 30 minutes of running I start humming "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.  I know this has a beat close to 180 cadence and I just try to keep on track with that for the next few miles.   Pretty cool too because everytime I get to the top of a hill I can look out ahead of me and see all the lights of the runners strung out in front.   Finally, I see the 1 mile to go sign and still no Kirk.   Very cool.   1/2 mile left and I can see the relay exchange off in the distance.   Then Kirk catches me.  D'oh!!   But that is the kick I need for that last 1/2 mile and I finish only a few hundred feet behind him, with the sun coming up.  It is a beautiful site and leg #2 for me is complete!

Me finishing leg #21!

The cool thing about me finishing so close to Kirk, besides another good time (58 minutes for 6 miles), is that it allowed Dave B. and Larry (from the yellow team) to play cat and mouse for a bit.   They said eventually they decided to just run together and then they would pick off people in front of them to pass.   So, when we passed them on course they were running together and stayed together until they finished their second leg!

Dave Bush and Larry

Mike and Mary waiting at the relay point for the exchange. 

We actually stayed at this point for a little bit because the yellow van was also there so we got to chat and compare stories for awhile.   But, once again we had to get in the van and get going.   This next leg was really pretty and I wish we would have gotten some pictures.   As we were driving through we all were talking about how nice of run it would be for a normal training run.   But it was hilly and curvy, so I am sure Mary and Mike, who were running it, probably had different thoughts!  LOL!   We also had the yellow van in front of us and we swear they were blocking us.   They slowed way down and took up the whole road while they chatted with their runner, Mary, as she was going up one of the hills.   By this point Mike was already ahead of Mary and we were worried we weren't going to get there in time for the exchange.

But, not to worry, before too long we dropped off Dave Z. and picked up Mike to head to our next location.   Shortly after we take off we come to a river that is across the road.   Now what? Do we back up and turn around and try to find a different way or drive through?   As we are sitting there a car comes from the other direction and goes right across.   After watching that, Kristen decides just to go for it.   And we get half way, and get stuck...But, Kristen doesn't panic, floors the accelerator and we become unstuck and up the hill back onto the road.  Whew!   Nothing like an offroad adventure in the middle of Kentucky!   

Next major exchange is at the Four Roses Distillery.   We get Dave Z. and now have several hours to kill before any of us have to run again.   We decide to do a quick drive through Jim Beam Distillery, where we do a few more samples of bourbon, buy some trinkets, and stretch our legs.   From there we head out to our next exchange point, which is the Woodford Reserve Distillery.   The place is rocking.   There are people and vans everywhere.   We park in a relatively remote field and then get out to explore a bit.   Definately a very cool place with great bourbon (which Maggie and I also sampled).   After hitting the bathroom, watching the crowds, we head back to the van.   We have a couple more hours to kill, so several of us sleep in the van or pulled blankets out and sleep on the ground for a bit.   I also snack a little and finally it is time for Ben to start running.   As we hope in the van and start driving, we come across a ton of hills.   Not an easy run and all of us in the van are glad we aren't the ones doing it.   It is also now the middle of the afternoon and it is hot!   So we start to stop halfway and give the runners water.    All or our legs this last time are hilly.   Ben finishes his, job well done and you can tell he is so happy!   Maggie on her way and it is getting closer for my last leg.   I am dog tired.  Been awake nearly 24 hours.   I still have 4.9 miles to run and it is another hilly one.   This time though, I have memorized the map in my head, so I know approximately where the mile markers are on course...

Eventually it is time.   I am waiting for Maggie and so excited when I finally see her.   Not sure what happened exactly but I nearly take her out in the process of trying to get the bracelet from her.   Fortunately we are able to steady each other and then I am off running.   And it is hot.   And my legs are tired.   But, I figure everyone else is in the same boat.  And I realize we have started catching up with alot of the slower teams.   So I now have people to pick off.   That is what keeps me occupied this last leg.  I would pick out someone ahead of me, make the decision to pass them, and go for it.   Pretty sure I passed 3-4 people this leg!   So awesome and then I finally make it to the next relay exchange point and I am done!!!  And no Kirk, he never caught me on this leg.    And our team  only has 3 legs left and we will be finished with the full race!   

The last 3 legs passed quickly and next thing I knew, we were parked and at the finish line.   So much fun and finally, we see Dave Z. coming down the final stretch!   And we all jump out with him.   He is still running full force and yelling at us to run faster, half of us are in flip flops and already had a few beers!  LOL!  But we did cross that line as a team!    So much fun!    25:40 total time.  26th place out of 250 teams.   11th place in over 150 teams in our division.   We rocked it!    We did go back out and waited with the yellow team and got to see them all finish.   After this we decided to go back in and get our picture taken at the finish.   And then enjoy some of the free bourbon tasting at the finish line party...

Hills, Thrills, and Stills Team #2

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Bourbon Chase 2011 - Part One

The idea of doing this race and planning actually started by a group of my fellow MITers October 21, 2010.   Almost one year ago exactly.   I was not a part of this group initially, so I really have no idea of what went on at that time.   I actually got invited to join the group in April 2011 when they were still looking for a few more people to complete the 3 teams that they had submitted to the Chase.   You see this race is quite popular and it has a cap of 250 teams, which it reached.   Once I officially paid the deposit, I was in and added to the list of 36 runners that would be needed to complete this race.   From this point I had to give someone my best 10k and 1/2 marathon times.   I later learned it would be to help them divide up the teams evenly and also help to plan for an estimated finish time.    It also became a number that loomed over my head for a few months.     We then had parties, umm, planning meetings, every month or so to try and figure out things like housing, team name, t-shirts, etc.    I learned pretty quickly that someone was doing alot of planning.   It wasn't me.   I just showed up when told to, paid money when told to, and voted when told to...For me the process was pretty easy, I know this is not the case for Barbara Grant who did most of the planning an delegating.   I am forever grateful for this, because all of the organization helped to make it a great experience for me!    This was easily one of the most fun races I have ever done and in large part to Barb and all the amazing people that were down there with me.

Maybe I should back up a bit and actually explain what the Bourbon Chase is.    It is a team relay.    You can have teams of 6 or 12 people and you have to complete 200 miles.   Of running.   Across Kentucky.  And you have 36 hours (or less to complete it). 
The race actually starts at the Jim Beam Distillery and follows the Bourbon Trail.  It consists of 36 legs that have to be run by you and your team members.   We actually had 3 teams of 12 people, which we named Hills, Stills, and Thrills (teams 1, 2, and 3).   Each team member had to run 3 legs which totaled anywhere from 11.5 to 20.4 miles total.   All this was figured out for us by some fancy spread sheet that someone came up with to help us figure out who was to be on what team, what legs we should do, and what time we would actually start.   The start times were staggered, with the slower teams running first, with the thought that most teams would then finish around the same time.    I believe the first waves went off at 8am on Friday, Oct. 7th.    All three of our teams were slated to start at 4:15pm on Friday.  

So, after a full year of planning, on someone else's part, the day finally arrived for us to head down.   It had been decided ahead of time that we would head down on Thursday, as we didn't know our official start time until a few weeks before the race.   We met at a church parking lot and headed down in groups.    Each team was actually divided into 2 vans, each van would house 6 runners and a driver for the actual race.   We rented these in Columbus and drove them down.   We had rented 4 different houses and actually were split up into groups based on when we were to leave town.   A 3pm group and 6pm group.    So, the people we left town with, was not necessarily who was on our team.     

Jim and Dave, two of my van mates, getting ready for the weekend to come...

Dan, Kirk, Julie, Bryan, and Dave Z.  also getting ready for the weekend.

So, after some initial confusion and direction, we loaded up our van and were on our way down to Louisville, which was only about 35 minutes away from the race start.

A few of my van and house mates, Jim M. and Julie M. in the back, Bryan, I and Dave B. in the middle.   Not pictured are Julie A., John, Mike B., and Dan Huston, one of two driver's for my team.

Hit alot of traffic and construction on the way down, stopped for food, and eventually made it to Louisville.   We had a cool 3 story house by one of the college campuses.   After unloading the vans, claiming our rooms for the night, and exploring the house, a few of us decided to head out on the town.   This consisted of walking to a local bar for some draft beer, karoake, and dancing.

Bryan, John, Jim M., Julie M., Mike B., and myself

All I will say about this night was that it was a lot of  fun and what happens in Louisville, stays in Louisville...

After a night of restless sleep, I awoke fairly early the next morning.   We all ate, reloaded the van, took some pictures, ate again, and then headed to Jim Beam Distillery for the race start.  

Our house in Louisville

Ready to go in our team uniforms! 

Our shirt logo, designed by our friend Rocco who wasn't there for the race but was with us in spirit!  It was decided that we would all have the same shirt, but each team would be a different color.

 Once we got to the distillery we had some time to explore, we took a self guided tour that included the gift shop, storing barn for the barrels, educational barns, the house and the grounds in general. 

Hanging with Mr. Beam

 We also had some free samples...

Once everyone was there, we headed back to the parking lots to divide into teams and load up the vans.

Organized Chaos

more organized chaos

Our van, packed and ready to go!

Hills, Stills, and Thrills Team #2

Hills, Stills, and Thrills Team #3

Hills, Stills, and Thrills, Team #1

Hills, Stills, and Thrills - all of us, including the van drivers!

Eventually it was our turn to start!   Julie (in red), Elizabeth (in white) and Barb (in yellow) got to start the race for each of our teams - leg 1 of 36...

And they're off!

At this point we all loaded into our vans and headed to our next destination.   For some of the vans that meant to the relay exchange point for leg #2.   For us it meant supper, as we had  legs 7-12 in our van.   This meant we had at least 4-5 hours to kill until our segments of the race would start.   We eneded up going to  Chile's and meeting up with the other 2 vans that had the same legs as us.   After this we decided to head on over to Maker's Mark Distillery, which was were we would start leg #7

My team for the next 24 hours: Ben, Maggie, Mike Z.

Me, Dave Z. and Dave B.

Maker's Mark Distillery

We also got here a few hours early, so had more time to kill.   Once again we took a self guided tour and got our runner's ready for the race...

Dave, Maggie, Ben, Mike, and Julie A. learning about making bourbon...

Kim, me, Sandy, and Greg, sampling some bourbon...

Ben getting ready to start his leg of the race.   At this point it is dark out.   My concept of time was lost the whole weekend, but I think it was probably about 8:30 or 9pm by  this time.  From 7pm to 8am (dusk to dawn), it is required  that we wear a head lamp, reflective vest, and rear blinking red light for safety. 

Some  of Team 2 (aka red team) members - Dave, Maggie, Rubesh, Julie W., and Mike
Waiting for Michelle to finish her leg so Ben can start his. 

Here comes Michelle, she was running so fast I almost missed her!

Michelle, finishing leg #6.  Ben is right behind me ready to start leg #7!

After Ben starts, the rest of us hop into the van so we can go to the relay exchange point.   Maggie is to do leg #8 and I have leg #9.

So, this is my first leg.   And now that number/pace I have been thinking about it really making me anxious.  The avg. pace that I am listed at is 9:48 per mile.   I have 16 miles to complete in total.  Legs can be classified as "E" for easy, "M" for medium, and "D" for difficult.   All three of my legs are medium, meaning rolling hills.   And Kentucky rolling hills are much different than Ohio ones, which I found out during the bike course of IMKY.   And I realized earlier in the day that I forgot my maintanence inhaler for my asthma.   So I have been almost 2 days without it at this point (I do have my rescue inhaler though, and plan on using it prior to starting my legs).   I am really starting to get nervous.   I am by far (almost 2 minutes per mile) slower than everyone else.  This includes all 3 teams.   Did I also mention that we have a friendly competition going with the yellow team to see who can finish first.   And the two most competitive people are on my team?  And one of them is in my van, with a clipboard, that has all of our expected times and paces on it?  And, did I also mention that 9:48 is only a little slower than my 10k race pace.  And that is on flat ground?   I also am only barely recovered from IMKY and haven't done much speedwork this full year.   I also will give it my all when it comes to a team event.   So, yeah, at this point I am nervous.  Glad I don't have my HR monitor on, because I am pretty sure that sitting in that van, on my way to my first exchange zone, my HR was probably already in zone 4...

Monday, September 19, 2011

IMKY Race Report

The day started very early.  3:30am wake up call for me.   A breakfast of oatmeal and water.   Got on my clothes, did my business and met up with Kathy, Kristen, Ben, Fede, Rick, and Joey in the lobby at 4:30am to head to the transition area.  Still can't believe I actually managed to drag myself out of bed that early, but I did.   Transition supposed to be open at 4:45am, we are lucky and Super Sherpas Ben and and Joey drive us over.   Unfortunately there is already a good sized line waiting to get into transition.   Pretty uneventful for me, as all I have to do is drop off water and quickly get my bike chain checked by the mechanic, which fortunately was fine and needed no work.   Back to the car I went, first one back there of the five of us.   Which I jokingly said "hey at least I am in first place for something today!"   Eventually everyone gets back to the car and we head over to the swim start. 

IMKY is has a unique swim in two ways.   The first is the "time trial start" which I will get to later, the second is that the start is actually a mile away from the transition area.   The result is that most athletes have to walk there on race morning from transition.   We lucked out and Super Sherpa Ben, drove us there!   First stop is body marking...

Kristen and Fede showing off their guns, er numbers!

From there it is to get in line for the swim start.   This year supposedly it wasn't supposed to open until 5am, but by the time we got there at about 5:15am, there were already hundreds of people in line.   So we weren't first, but we were close.   This is something I debated about prior to the race for a few days.   Even though it is a time trial start, it isn't assigned.   So, it is first come first serve.   Where you wait in line is where you start.   There is a cut off for the swim, but it doesn't start until the last person enters the water, 2:20 (that is hours) is the cut off.   I wasn't worried about the cut-off.   The time I was aiming for was 1:20.   So, to me, I didn't really care when I got in the water and the idea of waiting 2 hours before the start was, well, tiresome.   But,  2 people in our group of 5 were worried about time issues, so they wanted to start as early as possible.   So, ultimately I decided to go ahead and start with my friends, which actually worked out great in the end because 4 of the 5 of us finished within 15 minutes of each other! 

Waiting in line at the swim start: Kristen, Kathy, Me, Rick, and Fede

Super Sherpas Joey and Ben!

It was a long wait, but actually went pretty fast, especially sitting there with friends.    Eventually we all had to get up and they started to shuffle us into the starting gate area.  
The docks we jump in off, you can see the entry area and lots of spectators behind!

Volunteers and our safety people out on the water, ready for the swim start!

This is the entry area just to the starting point, once we entered we had to wait another 15-20 minutes before even going in the water.   Enough time that Kristen and I were able to hop out of line to go to the bathroom and still make it in time.    Right before 7am they did the national anthem, then a someone played the bugle, the cannon fired and people started.   Once we started moving, I finally saw my mom, Jean and Aunt Debbie.   I wasn't sure they were going to make the start of the swim, so was very happy to see them and even gave my mom a big hug on the way by!  

Waiting patiently in line: Kristen, Fede, Kathy, Me, Rick

Found Mom, quick hug!

My kick ass swim outfit!

So the time trial start really just meant that we went in single file onto two docks and jumped in right after each other.   And if you hesitated and didn't go quick enough, you would get pushed into the water! 
That's me in yellow shirt and pink hat, getting close to the dock!

On the dock, getting ready to jump into the water!

I got up there, took a deep breath, and jumped in as far as I could so I wouldn't get hit by the person behind me and started swimming.   Water was warm and kind of gross, but I tried not to think about it and just swam.  

I did pretty good navigating the water and just tried to stay on course with the buoys for the first part of the swim.   There is always some panic when you first start the swim, mostly because of all the people and suddenly you are in the midst of them just trying to not get hit and swam over.   I actually felt pretty good with this one for the first 1/2 mile or so.   Then, wham!   All of the sudden, out of nowhere, I caught some guys fist in my mouth as I turned my head left to breath.   Immediately bloody and split lip, ugh.   I treaded water long enough to figure out what happened, the guy apologized and tried to help, but what could he do in the middle of the Ohio River.   I told him to go on and then very carefully resumed swimming.   The rest of the swim I alternated between carefully trying to swim around everyone and then thinking about the gigantic carp in the Ohio River that were probably swimming underneath me.  

 I finally made it out of the water, and looked at my watch.   1:19:54.   Right on track! 

So, bloody lip and I, ran into transition, changed quickly, hit the bathroom.   Attempted to eat 1/2 peanutbutter sandwhich but my huge lip made it difficult, so I only ate about 1/4 of it and trashed the rest.   decided to stop at the med tent.   I knew they couldn't do much and the med guy said my lip could be stitched, but he couldn't do it.  So, I asked him if he could at least rinse the Ohio River out of my mouth with some saline, which he did.   Then after a quick visit to my volunteer friends Deanne and Catherine for some sunscreen, I was on my way!   T1 = 12:39, quicker then my first, but not as quick as I had hoped.

Me, heading out of transtion.
  Looking forward to the bike, but dreading it too.   One fun thing about the bike is that I got to see alot of my friends, as they passed me, LOL!   I am strong on the bike, but not fast.  And knowing that it was going to be a long day, I thought I started out a little more conservatively.  Based on the hills, my last training ride, and the heat (predicted 87 high for the day), I thought it would be about an 8 hour day for the bike.   For the most part the ride was uneventful.  My legs felt pretty good for the first loop, it was hard to drink out of my bottle because of the lip swelling.  Felt like I almost got as much down the front of me as I did in the bottle, but fortunately it really didn't hurt much.  Was happy to get towards LeGrange as I was expecting to see my friends and family that were cheering for me.   And they didn't disappoint, they were there, cheering their hearts out and I loved every minute of it!   I am one of theose people that the cheering helps, it gives me some oomph and motivation to keep going.  So I am thankful they were there. 

Me coming through Legrange

The second loop was a little harder.   Wind picked up and it got hotter.   I could feel both.   The legs were starting to feel a little tired, and the hills, neverending.   But once again, my faithful friends and family were still there in Legrange, cheering me on towards the finish!   It was what I needed and I kept pushing.   Towards the end my stomach felt a little crampy but overall didn't feel bad.   I looked at my watch as I came into T2 and my befuddled brain figured out that I had a 7:50 on the bike (in reality it was a 7:22).  

Me, happy, to be done with the bike! 

T2: would have been pretty quick but the stomach cramping became a little worse.   As I was getting ready to head to the bathroom, I saw my friend Kathy just getting into the change tent.   Pretty cool because that meant we could start the run together.   I told her where I was heading and we made plans to meet at the port o johns!   No luck in the bathroom but a bunch of air, and no change in the bloating/cramping sensation that I was experiencing.   Fortunately it didn't really slow me at all on the run at first, just felt uncomfortably full.   Total T2 time = 13:50, definately longer than expected...

It was really cool to start out with Kathy on the run.   I have never had this experience and it was good to be able to do it with a great friend.   We stayed together for about the first mile and in time to see some of our crazy spectator friends!

The girls, patiently waiting for us: Maggie, Brenda, Teri, and Jeanne

Here we come, about to be mobbed by our friends! LOL!

The full group: Jeanne, Teri, Maggie, Brenda, and Debbie

Kathy and I parted ways shortly after that.   Her legs started to cramp so she needed to walk and I felt pretty good.   I debated but she told me to go.  And when you can fun during an Ironman, you do.   My plan was a 4:1 run to walk ratio.   I did pretty well with this for the first 6-8 miles.   The hard part was that I vowed to stop at each water stop to make sure I was hydrating enough and it didn't always work out with my plan.   My legs actually felt good for the first 6 miles or so.   My stomach didn't.   It still felt really full and bloated.  My infinit tasted terrible and wasn't setting well.   So, for the first few miles I really only did water, ice, and pretzels at the stops and sipped my infinit when I could.   I also stopped at the bathroom a few times, thinking that was the problem.  I didn't go at all when I stopped, so it wasn't the issue.   Shortly after my first bathroom stop I passed the point where the first loop comes back and turns into the second loop.   Low and behold, my friend Aaron is coming around.   We run together for a little bit and his words of wisdom are "the second loop sucks."  Thanks, especially since I am probably only about 4 miles into the first one.   No worries though because at this point I am still just happy to be off the bike!     He eventually moves on his way and to a PR finish!   

 So, back on my own again I plod along.   One thing that I do like about the run course is that because it is an out and back with 2 loops, it gives you a chance to see other people, in my case, friends, running the race.   It was great to be able to cheer everyone on and give some high fives along the course.   It almost makes up for how boring it is.   You go through some pretty interesting neighborhoods on the way out to Churchill Downs, where the first turn around point is on the course.   By this time I have only drank 20 oz of my infinit and had water and a few pretzels.   I am not really sure what the mileage is but I guessed it to be around 8-9 miles.   I am starting to bonk.   I can feel it in my legs.   And I realize I need to change my plan quickly.   I need calories and salt/electorlytes.   I think about everything at the water stops: cookies, pretzels, oranges, bananas, grapes, coke, chicken broth, water, ice, gatorade, protein bars, and gus.   None of the solid food sounds appetizing and my stomach still feels really full.   So I decide to force coke and chicken soup at the next few stops.  And the coke makes me burb, alot.   And, I start to feel better.   The stomach is actually less full and uncomfortable.   So now I am starting to wonder if maybe there has just been too much air in my stomach since the bike?   Is it the straw for the aerobar that did this?  Or the fact that I had to drink differently because of my lip?   Definately something I will need to figure out for future races...

About this time I come to the half way point and turn around to go back out on the second loop.   It is a slap in the face.   You literally run to within 1/2 block of the finish.   You can hear Mike Riley saying "...and so and so, you are an Ironman!!"   and you can see the finishers shoot.   And then you hear a volunteer saying, "if you are just finishing your first loop, turn right here..."   Ugh, it was all I could do to turn and make the loop.   But right there on that stretch I can see my mom, aunt, and friends! 
My friend Aimee, came around shortly before me.
Me, just turned onto the second loop and spotted Mom, Deb, and Jeanne.  
Stopped to show mom my split lip.  It is so much better now, but starting to scab, everytime I smile it starts bleeding again!   Need some sympathy from Mom...On the other side is my crazy friends, I also stop over for a group hug, before I am on my way again.   
Kathy, just a little behind me.

So, I start on the second loop.   But I think Aaron is wrong.   For me the second loop actually feels better.   Not sure if it is because I saw everyone that I loved that was out there, the fact that I know I am over half way done with the run, or that I am actually feeling better.   Still, it is a long way.   And I plod along.   By this point I have seen and run with all 20 of my friends that did the race except David Bush.   Not sure how I missed him, but I never saw him.   I also heard he had a great race and PR'd the course.    The second half of the run is a little lonelier despite seeing my friends periodically.   Alot of the athletes have finished and it is starting to get dark.   The legs in general are sore and tired at this point.   But, I keep pushing.   The end is getting nearer.  From about mile 23 on I periodically see friends that are spectating, which really helps.   With about 1.5 miles left I catch up with Rick who is walking.   He is doing alright, just really tired.   I walk with him for a bit, but at this point I just want to be done.   And I know he will finish too.    So, I take off and finish my race.   I am pretty sure my last mile is about the same time as my first.     And this time when I come around to the turn around point, it is my time to go straight.   It is awesome.   My friends are all lined up along the shoot.   Both spectators and fellow IM finishers.   And right at the end I spot my Mom and Aunt! 
Me coming down the final stretch, smiley faces on both knees and face!

And then it is also my turn to hear Mike Riley say "Ann Kurtenbach, you are an Ironman"
My predicted run time was 5:30 with an overall finish of 15 hours.   My actual time was 5:58 with an overall time of 15:07.    So, I was pleased with the swim and bike, but not the run.   But, still happy to have completed my second Ironman.
Mom, right there at the end for a victory hug.
Tani and Aaron, also there to congratulate me!

After this I stayed in the finish area.   Very cool because I then got to see Julie, Rick, Kathy, and Fede come in behind me!
Julie and I.

Fede, Me, and Jeremy

So, IMKY was a great experience because of all of my friends who did the race, all the people that watched and spectated for us at the race, and accomplishing a second IM.   I wasn't really that pleased with my overall time, but it just gives me more incentive to train for a better race, maybe next year...