Kentucky Derby – The Fitness Way

My History with the Kentucky Derby Festival Full & Mini Marathons

The 2019 Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon was my fifth time on this course. Since 2013, I have completed four half marathons, and Boston Qualified on the full. During Black Friday I snagged a great entry fee deal. A couple of weeks later I was sidelined from a running fall resulting in a fractured little finger and other sprains.

Training for the KDF Mini

I started training for the KDF Mini in February, only to have the annoying pain of shin splints cause me to take off three weeks. I was frustrated, because I could not train to my potential. My original goal was to run a personal best which is common for runners who want to prove to ourselves that, “We still got it.” Reality was another thing. There was no way I could run a sub 1:42 half with the extra weight gain and lack of mileage.

Determined to race, I used the Florida heat during Spring Break to get in a couple of longer runs. I even rode my Mom’s beach cruiser to stay active. Training in 80 degrees would make it easier to run in Kentucky Spring temps. Fortunately, my school has a brand new track. I squeezed in some lunch miles to make after work life easier as a therapeutic foster parent. My foster daughter and I would get in 6-9 miles after school on our bikes.

I had to cut portion sizes, and ease up on meat and junk foods. This was about the time I started a 10-week Express Invisalign. I have to wear my aligners for 23 hours a day. I cannot sip tea all day like I normally do. Increased water intake helped with the shin splints. No candy and no snacking. Basically, I take the aligners out to eat lunch and dinner. I can only drink water. This helped me shed a few pounds.

I made sure to get plenty of rest all week before the race. My new goal was to finish under 2:00. The night before, I took a look at my page to make some updates and remind myself of previous performances.

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini and Marathon Race Times
(The 3:15 time was when I walked the Mini)

The positive thinking and sacrifices resulted in me having an extremely pleasant race. The weather was PERFECT!! I did not run with music. The real reason is because I have not taken the time to link music to my new Forerunner 645 Music. The crowd support and DJs along the course kept me entertained.

I was disappointed in a non-technical shirt for 2019. The cotton t-shirts were made to go along with the landmark Louisville Slugger Museum Theme.

Race Highlights of the KDF Mini Marathon

  • As soon as I entered Corral B a stranger asked me to tie his shoe. I thought it was a little odd, but I humbled myself to kneel down and tie this man’s shoe. Then, he asked me to tie the other one. I made sure I double knotted and tucked the ends under his laces like I do mine. When I stood up, I saw that he was wearing a Special Olympics shirt. I introduced myself, and he told me his name was Nick. His corral was F, but he was all the way in the Bs. He told me he had run the Mini before. I let him lean on me to stretch. We crossed the starting mats and ran together for a block. I did not see him after that. I’m glad I was able to be Nick’s friend in that brief moment.
  • The first few miles has a lot of turns. The pattern is: 2 lefts, 2 rights, 2 lefts. It makes it easy peasy to run those tangents.
  • There was a water station between miles 6-7. I thanked the volunteer. As I passed I heard her yell, “Kelsie!” I turned back and saw her face. It was the former Finance Manager at Job Corps. She and I settled up a lot of checks back when I was the Recreation Supervisor. It was so good to see Dawn after all these years.
  • So normally, I’m the photo queen. Without my phone, I did not get ANY photos. I walked past the finisher photographers and straight to where I parked. When I got ready to pull off I got a text. My co-worker, Karen, was at the finish line awaiting her boyfriend to finish the Full Marathon. She heard the announcer say, “Kelsie Smoot” and found me getting ready to finish. This made my day.

Results of the 2019 KDF Mini

  • Finish Time: 1:52:28
  • Age Division: 40/643
  • Women’s Division: 313/4557
  • Overall: 1175/8138

The non-measureable is feeling like myself again, having that surge going into summer with fun 5 and 10Ks, and a unique half marathon picked out for the fall. The full marathon calls my name sometimes, but I suppress those thoughts. I’m not insane anymore.

Later that night. A better finisher photo.

While I was finishing my race another co-worker, Ms. Glass, was participating in the preliminary rounds of the National Physique Committee Derby Championship. She has been training since January, and I saw her already toned body become even more defined. She emailed me her eating plan, and I was blown away with the attention to detail and the daily water intake. In addition to her lifting, she had to do 70 minutes of cardio a day and increase her water consumption even more.

I went back downtown to support her Kentucky Derby fitness efforts. Unfortunately, I did not get to see her Master’s Figure 35+ pose on stage because the NPC program is so long. The bikini category was the largest and took a couple of hours to go through each category, class, etc.

2019 NPC Kentucky Derby Championships Schedule.
The winners from each Bikini Class (based on height) competed for overall winner. The Bikini Champion was the forth lady from the left. They are judged heavily on their glutes. The Figure category is mainly shoulders and back.
The 50 plus age category for Bodybuilding and Bikini.
Bodybuilding Champions. 2nd from the left, Chauncey Wilson, was the winner.

There is more to the Kentucky Derby than horses. Next year, I may do the Tour de Lou bike ride.

The Marathon Continues🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁

💙Kelsie Lou💙

About Kelsie Lou

Teacher on the move.
This entry was posted in fitness, half marathon, health, Louisville, running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Kentucky Derby – The Fitness Way

  1. This was a fascinating post. You are so inspiring!


  2. Well I learned something new. I didn’t know that the Kentucky Derby had Fitness components.

    Hopefully in the future I can do more 5k Walks. My brother Stephen and I did a 5K Walk to benefit Queens Centers for Progress back in March but since Stephen lives in an area only accessible by car and I no longer drive due to vision impairment we rarely get the opportunity to be together.

    Therefore I only do Solo Walks.


    • Kelsie Lou says:

      The Derby Festival is a two week celebration of fireworks, a Pegasus parade, fitness stuff, fashion shows, and lots of food. Sadly, it’s the only lively time in Louisville.

      I can tell from your blog posts that you and Stephen make the most of the times you two get to spend together. Your protection and advocacy for him is amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KyRunnerTam says:

    Great job on your run!


  4. KELSIE!! Hey lady!! Congrats on a great mini!! You never cease to amaze me!!


  5. ckennedyhola says:

    What an exciting read! I love to run, but I don’t think a full or half marathon is my future. I’m sticking to my 5ks. I love to collect finisher’s medals, so I need to enter more races. I’d better get moving:)


    • Kelsie Lou says:

      Haha, you better get registered for some races! The Color Runs offer finisher medals now. There are a lot of glow runs in the summer months, but I’m not sure on the medals. As long as you are active, you get an A+.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. theresaly520 says:

    Incredible! You did an amazing job. Loved this post!


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