Happy Belated Earth Day! Odd way to start a running blog post I know, but the Saturday of the Carmel Marathon was Earth Day after all. I realized this when I saw my finishers medal on Saturday, but I digress.
To say this was a standard marathon run would be far from reality. First, I decided to do this marathon at about 7:00pm the Thursday before the race. Second, not only was this race impromptu I hadn’t really been training for it. I had done several longer runs with a good friend of mine who had the sense to actually train for this 26.2 mile adventure, but otherwise I had been focused on trying for a PR on May 5th at the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. As fate would have it I tweaked my knee a couple weeks ago doing some core work which made speed a problem for me. It turned out to be more of a bother than a true injury.
…don’t worry, I had my knee checked by an NP and my chiropractor independently. Both came to the same conclusion independently that I had just tweaked it a little and that there was no ligament or meniscus damage. They both told me to take it easy for a week by cutting my mileage volume and to return to full activity as I saw fit. As I returned to full activity I realized that speed was an issue, but distance wasn’t so I decided “what the hey!” and registered for the marathon. I had done all the long runs with my friend so I felt the distance was in reach. One caveat is that my PR goal for the Mini Marathon is on hold for now.
So back to the marathon recap!
I ran the Carmel half marathon last year for the inaugural event when it was scheduled in June. That race was super hot and my performance suffered as I came in 20-30 minutes behind what I expected from my 02:05:00+ performance at the Indy Mini Marathon in May.
This year was chillier with temperatures in the low to mid 40s for most of the race and a 14mph wind that chilled you when running into it. The weather was predicted to break and get a little sunnier with temperatures in the low 50s. This never happened so the entire race was in the 40s and overcast.
I started out with my friend and quickly had to slow as my left shin was super tight. I told my friend to go it alone and I dropped back. Somewhere around mile 5 a lady approached and remarked that I was not Lou Mongello. Lou is the founder of the WDW Radio Running Team and the online podcast phenomena by the same name (sans running). I was wearing my WDW Radio Running Team shirt for the race. It’s pretty cool when someone so far from Disney recognizes the shirt and the efforts of the team toward the Dream Team Project and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Eventually I saw and started running with the 5-hour pace group. The group was small and the pacer, Marie, was very talkative! She had 100s of stories it seemed and had herself run a couple hundred marathons. She didn’t count ultra marathons in that number though because she liked to know the straight count on those as well. She’s training to run the Comrades Ultra Marathon and Badwater. Besides being a marathon maniac, she was also a little insane…I liked her immediately! 🙂
I stayed with this group until mile 15, but then dropped back with another runner. We made a valiant effort to keep the 5-hour pacer in sight, but it wasn’t to be. Still, I knew there was a 5:30:00 pacer somewhere behind us so I didn’t worry. My new running partner and I took on a run/walk regimen for the remainder of the race and kept on motivating each other. Thanks Lisa!
It wasn’t long and the miles ahead became less than the miles behind us. Soon after we were running through the Carmel Art & Design district headed for the finish line. On the final stretch I kicked it into gear for a sprint to the finish.
I finished up by doing a few high (or medium rather) fives as I went into the finisher’s chute. All my friends had waited for me to finish. Luckily I didn’t make them wait too long….well, except Dave. He finished in a little over 4 hours! He’s a machine!
All in all it was a good day. I PR’d by 09:41, met a lot of cool people, and added another marathon to the list. There’s only one other marathon road race in the local Indy area that I haven’t run, the Indianapolis Marathon, but I’ll have to wait until next year to run that one as I already am running a trail marathon on that same day this year near West Lafayette, IN.