Tuesday, April 15, 2014

KDF Marathon Race Preview

I had originally pinned in the Garmin Marathon as my spring marathon but after some feedback from Coach Ken, I elected to look elsewhere.  He recommend the Louisville Marathon, also known as the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) Marathon.  The only thing against the Garmin Marathon is it is mostly on a paved trail system and with a half marathon going on at the same time, there's a point in which the front marathoners will run into the back of the half marathoners on this 4 foot wide trail path.  It becomes a challenge trying to keep pace and stay safe.
The KDF Marathon provides another bonus in that it gives me the opportunity to run some of the Ironman Louisville course, which is an Ironman that may be in my future.  Not sure how much is the same, maybe none of it.  Maybe I'll find out someday!

It's no secret that my goal for this marathon has been to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Well, that's it.

Thanks for reading.

OK.  I'll add some more commentary.

Training has gone really well.  I've been hitting my 20-miler long runs in the mid-7:40 pace in a low aerobic heart range.  Bumping that to a BQ pace should be doable for a 26.2 miles.  My biggest concerns is can my legs handle that pace?  Can I mentally focus for that long?  We'll see in a few days!

So what is my BQ pace?  I'm going to state 3 of them:

7:14 minute miles or 3 hour, 10 minute marathon:  I must hit this time to be able to register for the Boston Marathon.

7:10 minute miles or 3 hour, 8 minute marathon: I likely need this time to be accepted to the marathon.  If this is confusing, here's my explanation.  Let's say they have 3,000 spots for my age group.  Everyone who ran a 3:10 or faster can register and they take the fastest 3,000 runners.  So maybe 4,000 people registered and if the 3,000th fastest person in my age group ran a 3:08 marathon, then that's truly the time I need to beat.  Historically, that's been about a 3:08 marathon.

7:03 minute miles or 3 hour, 5 minute marathon:  Always need to have an unrealistic goal!

As for my planned splits, I'm still working on that.  I would love it if they had a 3:05 pace group that I could fold myself into and just run but 3:10 is the fastest available pace group.  Obviously I need to take it slow the first 3 or 4 miles and then move up from there.

I have found out that I am in Wave "B", so that will hopefully put me in with folks that start out around 7:30 pace.  It would be even better if Wave "B" starts two minutes after Wave "A" and that Wave "A" contains the 3:10 pace group.  That means if I caught up with the 3:10 pace group, I'd be able to stay with them the rest of the way and finish with a 3:08.  Well, it all makes sense to me.

My biggest concern?  Look at the elevation chart:

What is that thing starting around mile 11.5?  I'm going to have to adjust my pace appropriately for that section but it looks like we go right back down that, so I'll be able to make up the time.  I'm going to win the mental game on this hill!!!

Weather is looking fabulous.  Start of the race appears to be upper 40s, low wind, and partly cloudy.  Can't ask for better conditions than that!

Thanks for reading and check back next week to see how it went!  I'm hoping to be celebrating Saturday in bourbon country as opposed to drowning my sorrows!


  1. Hi Scott. Found your post on Twitter. Your strategy on starting from corral B and catching the 3:10 pace group makes perfect sense. "That thing" around 11.5 is the start of the lower loop in Iroquois Park. There is some info on the web if you are wanting to research, but it is not as bad as it appears on the chart. The little bump at 22 is the killer.

    We will be running nearly the same pace. This will be my 3rd KDF (2nd at a semi-competitive speed (3:08:42 last year)).

    @JSanders502 on twitter if you have any questions. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the comments. I spent a couple hours last night reading previous race reports of the last few years. I guess I shouldn't discount that hill at 22! I have a couple hills I run nearly every training run that equate to that, but not after running 22 miles at pace! I'll catch you on twitter.... Good luck to you as weel!

  2. ~175 feet over ~1.5 miles. 64th street east of 29 is the same elevation over 0.5 miles. Hospital Hill is about the same elevation over ~1 mile. 9 Hwy is the right distance but about 75 feet more elevation.

    I am sure that there is a comparable hill around here but the moral of the story is the big hill in the middle has nothing on the hills that you have PRed here in KC.

    1. Yeah, I'm liken it to Hospital Hill Run going up broadway. I just hate hills because I feel they are my delimiter. Planning to get back to the weight room for the tri season.

      Thanks for your stellar analytical skills!