Recap: 2014 Papa John’s 10 Miler

I have a bone to pick with the NCAA. Scheduling the University of Kentucky to play the late game the night before a 10-mile race doesn’t really work for me. Let’s shoot for an earlier time next year.

After a close(r than it should have been) win in a game that didn’t end until after midnight, I was still so keyed up I couldn’t fall asleep right away. I think I drifted off to sleep somewhere around 1 am. And when my alarm went off in the dark at 6:15, I did not want to haul myself out of bed and get ready for this race.

So I didn’t.

I finally stopped pressing the snooze button on my phone until 6:55. Then I slogged around putting on race clothing and getting ready for about 10 minutes when I walked out the door.

In an ongoing mission to repeat my spring race schedule of 2012, I had just one race left in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running – the Papa John’s 10 Miler. After a decent finish in the Anthem 5k and a PR in the Rodes City Run, I gave myself the goal of running this race in under 9:00 miles.

I’d misjudged how long it would take me to get to the race. After getting stuck by the world’s slowest-moving train and waiting in some ridiculous traffic, I finally found a place to park. I had planned to run this race with my friend and coworker, Becky, because we’ve been training at about the same pace. I met her and her sister-in-law, Julia, and we walked briskly to the start line on a long-awaited gorgeous morning. We tried to make our way toward the front, but it was too crowded. So we stood around for just a few minutes before the race began.

We were so far back. It took me over 4 minutes to cross the start line.

We were so far back. It took me over 4 minutes to cross the start line.

Jules and Becky before the race.

Jules and Becky before the race.

Even though Becky and I had discussed running together, within 20 yards of crossing the start line, I’d lost her. For the first several miles, I bobbed and weaved my way down the wide boulevard that runs through the southern neighborhoods of the city. I passed my friend, Shannon, and shortly thereafter, my friend, Eileen.

I was holding steady at around an 8:50 pace when Iroquois Park and its leg-killing hills rose up ahead of me. I recalled the first time I ran this race and I remembered how it felt like running up and down mountains. This time, though, it didn’t seem so bad. Part of my racing strategy lately has been to give myself premeditated 20-second walks. There’s something about this plan that works for me, both physically and mentally. For this race, I’d planned on walk breaks at 4 and 8. When mile 4 ended up at the top of a hill, I decided to keep going because I didn’t want to waste the downhill.

After my quick break, I took back to the hills, feeling surprisingly strong as I climbed the inclines and bombed the downhills as fast as I could. When I crested the final hill, I let it go on the backside and I was clocking in the 7s for about half a mile. That’s really fast for me.

The elevation chart for the race. You can see the Iroquois park section.

The elevation chart for the race. You can see the Iroquois park section.

The return part of the out-and-back was on the same wide boulevard that took runners into the park, and in this direction, there was a headwind that wouldn’t go away. I was still feeling good when I got to mile 8, but as luck would have it, this was also a decline. I ran a little past it and took my walk break. By now, my legs had started to get a little tired, but I was maintaining sub-9:00 miles. I knew there would be one hill left ahead. Well, not a hill but the Central Street Bridge at mile 9. And did it ever suck. I climbed about 2/3 of the way before I decided to take another walk break. I was wearing out and a quick rest wouldn’t hurt, right?

Right.

I bounded down the other side of the bridge and made my way toward Papa John’s Stadium, where the race ended on the 50-yard line. My friend, Scott, captured the video below of me finishing.

It felt like I was running way faster than it appears in the video.

Official time: 1:29:04

I did it! I hit my goal and I set a 10-minute PR in this distance! I’m pretty happy with that.

Friends Lindsay and Ryan after the race

Friends Lindsay and Ryan after the race

I wore blue on purpose.

I wore blue on purpose.

Fluorescent yellow tech shirt. I dig it.

Fluorescent yellow tech shirt. I dig it.

So that concludes the Triple Crown. The only race left on my spring schedule is the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in three weeks, where I hope to hit another PR.

Until then, keep running, friends.

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10 responses to “Recap: 2014 Papa John’s 10 Miler

  1. That’s a big crowd at the start line lol I hate having to weave the first few miles trying to find a space where you can establish your pace. I am running a 10K next week that has a huge crowd and that is what always happens to me and my running buddy we lose each other weaving folks. Great job on the PR 🙂

    • Thanks, Karen! This series in Louisville has taken off and now each of the three races features massive crowds. It’s good for the running community, but it makes for some disorganized starts. And I can’t really place all blame on them; I was rather late. 😉

      Good luck at your 10k!

  2. Congrats, Glenn! Another race, another PR, and with an NCAA tourney hangover to boot… this could get to be an addictive habit if you’re not careful. I’m one of those who fancies the idea of races finishing inside sports stadiums, though so far my own experience has been limited to The Giant Race in San Francisco, which runs along the warning track before finishing on the third-base side of home plate at AT&T Park. Excellent race that one, if you ever find yourself in the Bay Area in August.

    Now then, if you wouldn’t mind I’d appreciate your kickstarting your UK team, since I need them to erase this halftime deficit to Wichita State…

    • Thanks, Mike! It’s not just the finish that makes this race so special. It traces one of my favorite running routes in the city through under-appreciated neighborhoods and parks. The Giant Race sounds intriguing. I do love the Bay Area…

      Well, now that the game is over, my heart rate has returned to normal levels. I kinda wish WSU had been on the other side of the bracket. I would have been pulling for them throughout the whole tourney had they not played us.

  3. Congrats on your PR!!!! After reading that you hit your snooze forever I thought the next thing you would say is that you missed the race start. Glad you didn’t though 🙂

    • Thank you! I was so exhausted I began to think this race would knock me out completely. So I was really happy with my performance. 🙂

  4. Once again, you sangbaggin’ sonuvabitch … starting off the post ominously only to turn it around at the end. The night before wasn’t ideal, it was a sluggish start, you lost your running buddies. Oh and then I PR’d by 10 minutes. Very sneaky — but I’ll be ready for the Derby recap, where you have to run to the start from your house because of a giant sinkhole and an outbreak of a RAGE virus in certain subdivisions … oh, and potentially a huge PR.

    Well done, sir. I’m sure your performance at this race has shown you how much you’ve improved in the last two years. I look forward to your next encounter with the mini. Will you have the same insanely perfect pristine conditions as 2012? My PR still stands at that race.

    • Haha! The early deception adds to the drama, my friend. Funny enough, I wrote the post completely unaware of how I was structuring it. I’m hoping I’ll have a pre-race ritual down a little better before the mini.

      I am pretty happy with my performances so far this spring. More than that, I begin to think about how much better I could run if I focus and put the time and energy into training that I should.

      I love that your PR still stands at KDF – especially since you’ve turned in some impressive times since then. A repeat trip to the Bluegrass to drop it even more?

    • Thanks, man! I’m pretty fond of that shirt. I have to make a concerted effort to pull it out of rotation to prevent it from falling apart.

      Welcome to the #BBN, Jeff! Happy to have you on board. Nazr would be proud!

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