Taking on the last 10 miles of the Louisville Triple Crown of Running…for me…

Papa John's 10 Miler
Papa John’s 10 Miler

Tomorrow marks the last race in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, and it all comes to an end with the Papa John’s 10 Miler.  I absolutely loved this race last year.  We had rather perfect weather for it.  Low 60s and no sun.  Cloudy the entire time.  I remember my race photos have my sunglasses on top of my head for the entire race.  Never needed them once.

It’s going to be a little cooler this year…and there are a few things I’m working through in order to have a good race.  Most of these are beyond my control.  I can only say a prayer to the Goddess of Running (that would be Atalanta, FYI) and hope for the best.  And, while I’m not 100% okay with that, I’ve come to terms with it.  I’ve had to ever since the Rodes City Run 10K and my epic battle to race with bronchitis.  No one said running was easy.  If it was…everyone would be doing it.

While my bronchitis is in remission, finally (all it took was a lot of running inside on the dreaded treadmill…which is boring…especially on longer distance days), I’m still coughing and I am still a but snuffly from it.  Breathing is coming easier, but I still wheeze and have to clear phlegm from my throat on occasion (is this TMI?).  I’ve gotten back into running outside, though normally not in the mornings now.  I do hit the dark sidewalks on Monday morning, in case I can’t make it to my group run that evening, but mostly I’ve been running home from my office.  I’ve been doing okay with that, finding my easy pace to be faster than it has been…but maybe it’s because I can actually see where I’m going.  Being able to see your running path makes all the difference, trust me!

For some reason, unknown to me, ever since going off my medication for bronchitis, I have been retaining water.  Badly.  And it sucks.  I don’t know how to remedy this problem…but it’s been with me all week and I’m really tired of it.

On Easter, the stepdaughter of my friend Amanda gave me some bits of candy from her Easter basket.  Normally I would just set this aside…but she was watching and waiting for me to eat the offered sweets that she was willing to part with.  So, I ate it.  And discovered quickly that this was a huge mistake.  You see, being a Celiac means I have to be very careful about the things I eat.  And not all candy is gluten-free…especially holiday candy because it is usually processed in a plant that isn’t set to deal with cross-contamination.  Or…that brand just doesn’t do gluten-free in the first place.  I am usually so good about this…but for some reason, on Easter, I got careless.  And my intestines have been dealing me fits ever since.  Lesson learned…but not the week I needed to learn such a lesson.  UGH.  I’m smarter than that…I don’t know why I reacted like that…but my stomach has not been happy with me all week and it has made my runs home…interesting.  Thank goodness for Kroger and their public restroom along the way.  (Again…is this TMI?).

So, with all of that in mind…I’ve made a pact with myself.  On Saturday morning, I am running 10 miles…for me.  Not to better my time.  Not to chase down friends or compete with others there.  No.  I’m not doing that here.  This race is my redemption race.  This race is to prove to myself that despite obstacles…and challenges…and the cards that life has dealt to me…I can run with my heart and be happy with whatever result comes from it.  I know this is a tough course.  Three miles of it go through the extremely hilly Iroquois Park.  Three miles of it right in the middle of the race.  That means legs could be feeling strong…or feeling tired.  Lungs could be doing well, or fighting for each breath.  The point is…I’m not running this for the sake of running it.  I’m running this race because I need to run this race…for myself.  Not for time.  Not for glory.  Not for a new PR.  I just need to do it because every iota of my body is trying to shut me down…and I am stronger than that.  I can overcome bronchitis, gluten, and water retention and have an amazing run.  Forget the race part.  This is truly just for me.

I know quite a few people are using this race as their build up to the Derby Festival Mini Marathon…a race I have yet to run.  I know, that’s strange being that it is right here in my backyard…but I’m always racing the following weekend in a different half marathon.  Therefore…I haven’t done this one.  I have no doubt I could churn out back-to-back weekends of half marathons…but…I want to be ready for the one I am doing in Minnesota.  It means a lot more to me than running in the Derby Festival Mini.  But…I’ll get into that in a different post.

So, if you see me on Saturday out there, battling my lungs, my stomach, and the hills…give me some words of encouragement.  I’ll need them and appreciate them.

On lunch today, I went down to Louisville to pick up my race packet.  I’m as ready as I’m going to be.  And…except for the few niggling issues with my body…I’m feeling good about it.  I’m okay with where I am for this race on Saturday, and that’s the most important part.

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