This past Saturday I participated in a local 10K race in Thorntown, IN put on by a charity organization, Hope for his Children Inc, that benefits orphaned, abandoned, and impoverished children of the world. Being a foster parent I was drawn to this race for the good work this organization does on behalf of our most vulnerable population, kids.
The event gives participants the option to run or walk a 5K or 10K distance for an out and back on a flat and fast section of a reclaimed rails to trails system starting at the Thorntown trail head. The start of the trail is paved and eventual turns to packed gravel. The trail is beautiful as it explores the Indiana countryside and cornfields. I really enjoyed the course and the event overall.
The volunteers and event staff were well organized, friendly, and informative exemplifying Hoosier hospitality. The race coincides with Thorntown’s Turning of the Leaves festival weekend so there’s plenty to do, plenty to see, and plenty to eat after finishing the race!
If you want to run a great local race for a good cause then add the Hope on the Trail Run/Walk to your race schedule for 2018. I know I’ll be back next year!
Today was the 3rd annual Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon. I signed up for this race last year right after running the soggy 2nd annual Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon. Today’s weather was a cool 47 degrees and overcast. If you are unfamiliar with the West Lafayette and Lafayette, IN area that surrounds Purdue University’s campus then let me tell you the course is a bit hilly.
The course starts out on the edge of campus near Ross-Aide stadium and heads out toward the Purdue golf courses. The first 5-6 miles are very pleasant with a few rolling hills and even includes a great deal of downhill grade running as you cross down into the Wabash river valley to the Lafayette side. Once into Lafayette you run around the downtown Lafayette area and then begin your trek back to the shores of the Wabash around miles 7-8. It is very picturesque and filled with memories for those returning alumni, like myself, who spent our formative years at our ol’ Purdue.
Do you remember me saying a few sentences ago that you were running DOWN into the river valley? Holy hell, you have to get back to campus! Mile 8 to 9-ish is all uphill. You think a bridge would be flat. NOPE! It looked flat from the other side! …optical illusion apparently.
Up until then I had been maintaining a nice sub 9-minute pace and feeling great! I was fueling on a strict schedule and running through the water stops without slowing down. I used the crush top cup method to pour water and gatorade down my gullet and kept running never breaking stride and surprisingly getting most of the life giving liquids into me without too much spillage.
That “last” hill felt like it went on forever and it took a lot out of me. We climbed and climbed and climbed. I passed many a runner who was brought to a walk, but I had trained for this hill as I run most all my treadmill runs at a 1% incline so I am used to maintaining pace on an incline. By the time I was at the top of the hill I felt like I was moving so slow, but my Garmin was still telling me that I was well below a 10-minute mile pace even though I was over my 9:05 needed to come in under 2-hours. At the top of the climb we made a turn to take us over to the Purdue University hotel and through the heart of campus to head back toward the stadium.
Passing the 10-mile marker I remembered where the course goes next and I remembered I was mistaken on that “last” hill comment earlier. The course doubles back on itself to go back by the Purdue golf courses toward the finish line in order to avoid running up that enormously steep hill that is right next to Ross-Aide stadium. In order to accomplish this the course goes up Stadium Avenue to McCormick Road, passed the fraternities near Slater Hill…yes, it’s called Slater hill because well, it’s a big hill…like the kind you can sled down in the winter time…with a couch if done correctly.
The good news! It’s not that long of a climb. The bad news! It’s steeper than the bridge I mentioned earlier. This time my Garmin told me that I WAS over the 10-minute pace for a short period. I caught more and more runners as many walked up that hill. At the top of the hill was the 11-mile marker. I had 2.1 miles to go on relatively flat terrain and I was about 95+ minutes into the race. I realized I could do 10 minute miles the rest of the way and still beat 2-hours! However, I didn’t come here to run 10-minute miles so I pushed it to keep a pace closer to 9:20. After passing the 12-mile marker I enjoyed the last 1.1 miles. At about a quarter mile out three Fleet Feet guys passed me and I decided to stick with them. They were running an 8:22 pace which felt surprisingly good to me! I cleared passed the three as I sprinted to the finish looking at the clock right as I crossed the line.
The clock read 01:57:08. I know a few more seconds will be shaved off since I wasn’t toeing the start line at the gun.
Afterwards I was prepared for the smile, but I was unprepared for the emotion as I’ve chased this sub 2-hour goal for a couple years through unbearable heat and more than one very chilly race. Today’s race was perfectly set with a cool temperature, a sun under cloud cover and otherwise dry conditions. I cannot be happier right now and I’ve already put my new PR medal in it’s place of honor on my PR medal holder!
Great race today for the 45th annual Sam Costa Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon. This was my 41st race overall and my 18th half marathon. This race was my first of the season and I felt I got off to a good start as this was also just my second outside run of the year! I represented Team DAWS by wearing my red Do Away With SMA running shirt!
The race started out a bit breezy and the temperature was a balmy 37 degrees! Once we were underway I warmed up and the temperature was perfect! The course took us through some of the more rural areas around Carmel, IN and Noblesville, IN as well as some scenic neighborhoods. Overall the course was a good one and the all of the volunteers, firemen and police officers were great at helping us get through the 13.1 miles.
Aside from a couple slight inclines in the road the course was mainly flat and fast. If anyone wanted to run a good local race with easy logistics and a smaller group of runners then this would be a good event!
The only downside of the event today is that I have no idea how I actually did as far as timing. When I crossed the finish line I asked if the clock time was total time for the race at ~02:02:13. The two guys manning the timing equipment said yes, but that I would get my “official time” on a print out inside. In my four plus years of racing every time I look at a clock at the end of the race I know that my official time would be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes faster depending on how far back from the start line I began. I was initially elated as 02:02:13 would be a 3+ minute PR!!! I couldn’t wait to get the official results inside!
I go inside and get my print out and my “official time” is almost 9 minutes (00:08:41) slower than the total clock time. My official time was 02:10:54 meaning the time on the clock at the finish line could not be accurate or the print out is incorrect. I went back out to look at the clock again and the finish line clock was just then reading 02:10:00 plus. So how can I have a net time for the race that is longerthan the total time for the race from start to finish????
Thinking back to the race, I had two guys behind me at mile marker #2 whom I overheard saying that they needed to slow down because they were at a 9min/mile pace and would burn out if they did not slow down. They slowed and I didn’t. I carried my own water so I didn’t have to walk any water stops save for three toward the end for just a few feet to swig some gatorade as I was running low on fluids.
So I either PR’d by ~3 minutes today or I just had a decent first Half Marathon of the season at 02:10:54. I’ve never had total clock time and official time be so different AND have me slower than the total clock time. Makes me wish I would have worn a sport watch today!
I apologize. Wait….what? That’s a weird way to start out such a happy post about a weekend of running at the most magical of places! An apology? What gives?
Well, I have to apologize for what will be a blog post with nearly a complete lack of pictures. You see, for the first time in four years I decided to not run the Disney marathon “just for fun.” Therefore, I didn’t take a lot of pictures…none actually. Instead, I had my eyes set on a PR (Personal Record for non-running folk). Originally, my friends and I had planned on running a sub 5-hour marathon which would be a PR of ~15 minutes for me. Let me tell you that running for over 26 miles at a pace that is ~30 seconds faster per mile than the last marathon you PR’d is a LOT faster. I knew it was going to be doubly tough because over the last year I managed to gain an extra 20 pounds…my training and focus on nutrition just wasn’t as sharp as in years past.
Three of us planned to run it together and use the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method. As the time approached for the race we found out that Mitch had a stress fracture in his foot and would not be able to run with us. Also, the week before the race Matthew came down with a stomach flu, but was still going to give it a go! Joe decided to run with us though he was doing the Dopey Challenge and had turned his ankle during the 10K so we were a sorry lot by the time Sunday came around. Joe, Matt and myself started the marathon together and it was a laughfest!
We went along for over half the race when not too far from DAK Joe had to slow a bit due to the pain in his ankle (he still finished!). Then it didn’t seem too much further down the road Matt had to slow down as well most likely due to a bit of dehydration (he ALSO still finished and PR’d). This left me to run the remaining back half of the race on my own and I just kept moving forward.
They say that at some point during a long run that it won’t hurt any more than it currently does…that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like hell just that once it really hurts it probably won’t get any worse. I would like to thank the person who thought that tidbit of insight up and shared it. When Matt and I had been at the 13.1 mile mark we knew that we weren’t going to come in under 5 hours, but that didn’t bother me as my previous PR was 5:15:07 so as long as I PR’d I was happy, but it was a bit disappointing that the initial goal was already out of reach.
At the 20 mile marker running solo I was not a happy camper. My feet hurt like hades and I was looking forward to a trip around the world showcase. It was then that I really appreciated the volunteers and the spectators. It’s not difficult to see the look of pain on a runner’s face as they go by plus if a runner is taking 5 hours then most likely they have long since passed the enjoyment phase of the marathon until they see the finish line.
One spectator called out to me by name to keep going and that I was getting close. Another couldn’t see my name on the bib, but instead called out my team name (Team DAWS). Again and again the crowd was yelling out to individual runners! I was amazed at the sheer number of spectators yelling to the runners. I’ve ran a lot of races and have observed this before, but never so many.
By the time I reached the Disney Hollywood Studios I knew I was still on track to PR by over 10 minutes which is a great accomplishment considering I was carrying the extra weight.
I knew members of Team DAWS & the WDW Radio Running Team would be waiting just inside EPCOT and I really needed the boost of energy from seeing my fellow team members and running family. As I came into EPCOT I saw everyone and my face broke out into a big smile that stayed with me for the last mile plus of the race. I hadn’t smiled that big since I had finished my first marathon on this same course four years ago.
After crossing the finish line I knew that two of my friends were volunteers assigned to hand out medals so I hung back until I found Beth and Mike. It was extra special to have them give me my medal!
In the end I found that I had improved my PR for a marathon by 10 minutes and 25 seconds and this was also my best course time for the Disney marathon by over 26 minutes! It was time to celebrate with my running family so I headed to the buses to go back to the resort, get cleaned up and head back to EPCOT to start the celebration!
2014 promises to be a big year as I train for my first 70.3 triathlon, my first ultramarathon, and the Dopey Challenge for January 2015! Be sure to checkout my Facebook page for weekly motivation and running tips at Facebook.com/RunningDownsDream23!
The Carmel Marathon was my 7th full marathon. I feel like I should always learn something from a race whether it’s about my current training, race strategy, goals, or whatever. I did learn a couple things across these 26.2 miles and am happy to see that my training is paying off. Except for the fact that it was uncomfortably cold it was a great day to run. I ran the first 14 miles with a friend then took off on my own when he got a nasty cramp and had to slow down. Over all I PR’d by 2 minutes and 46 seconds coming in at an official time of 5:15:07. I really think that if it had been 10 degrees warmer I may have been able to shave another 5 minutes off my time. Yes, that is how much cold weather effects me on the run.
The Carmel marathon course is mostly flat with only a few inclines so it really is a great place to run a fast race. Due to A LOT of rain the previous week the course had to be changed to an alternate route as some of the course was flooded. Therefore, we were able to see a lot more of the housing editions of Carmel than I care to recall. At one point I even turned to my friend and said, “I didn’t realize that we registered for the ‘Houses of Carmel Real Estate Marathon'”. That statement was a lot funnier after 12 miles.
The day was mostly sunny and beautiful, but unfortunately the temperature was in the low-30s with a high of 41 in the afternoon. Add in a 5-9 mph wind that chilled you to the bone with only a small reprieve when you were in direct sunlight and while it may look pretty it was not fun to be outside for 5 hours. I was dressed in head to toe under armour cold gear and was still chilly.
The volunteers on this course were great. The field for the full marathon was relatively small, but when just one or two runners came by an aid station, the volunteers erupted in cheers and words of encouragement. Again, they were all great! There is a section in the last mile that goes through the Arts and Design District of Carmel. There is a lot of traffic as only one side of the street is shut down. I was especially appreciative of a group of people who sitting on the corner right before the final push up 116th street. They had a lot of handmade signs for everyone and made a lot of noise for every runner as they made their way toward the finish. It was great to see people out just to cheer on any runner who happened by!
I have to call out kudos two-guys who were sitting in their front yard with a Budweiser sign, lawn chairs, a cooler, and a sound system of a couple speakers and an iPod. This isn’t so special except that they were sitting at the base of one of the only formidable inclines with the Mile 25 marker sitting at the top of that hill. As I rounded that corner and saw that hill I was feeling very tired. The two dudes started yelling encouragement then then yelled, “Hold on!” They must have seen that I was struggling a bit because two seconds later the stereo was pumping, Eye of the Tiger, as I started running up that hill. This was very much needed as by then I couldn’t stop to walk up the hill if I wanted to PR. Thanks dudes!
I still hate running in the cold
I confirmed today that cold weather effects my pace much worse than running in hot whether
Core work is imperative to a strong marathon finish
Doing 1-2 sessions of core work per week will help your speed, running form, endurance, everything
No matter how tired you are, Eye of the Tigercan help you burst up a hill even 25 miles into a marathon
I have the Indianapolis mini-marathon in two weeks. I don’t think my training has been focused enough on speed to attempt a PR for this one, plus I’ll be just two weeks off of this full marathon so we’ll see. Coming in with a decent finish time so I can be seeded for next year will be good enough for me. Let’s hope for a warmer day than I had for Carmel.
“Divide the marathon into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” -Mike Fanelli
Whenever I run a marathon I begin to think of all the motivational quotes that have inspired me.
“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”
Beer Run•ner (noun): 1. Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle.
After psyching myself up a bit I’m ready.
I always set up my marathon gear the night before and for Disney races this time is especially important since once you leave your resort the possibility of getting back should you forget something is nearly impossible.
Getting to see and run with friends is one of the best parts of Disney Marathon Weekend.
The marathon was a mental battle. The lessened training due to illness along with the half marathon the day before made this race one of the toughest (read painful) races that I have ever run. In addition to being one of the most painful races I have ever run it was also one of the most fun and exciting races that I have ever run. I pushed myself to the mental edge and persevered. Now, with that being said let me show you how much fun the race really was!
The best part about the race as you might imagine is running through all of the parks!
The only hill besides the on and off ramps is “Contemporary Hill”. Chances are unless you’ve stayed at the Contemporary Resort or ran a Disney World race you don’t know about this “little hill” which brings many runners to a walking pace. The picture may not do it justice but the grade is significant.
The next best thing to running through the parks is all of the characters you see along the way!
I was surprised at how fact the first 11 miles went by!
The new course for the marathon allowed us to run around the Disney World Motor Speedway. This was the first time I had seen the inside of the track!
And the Cars characters were out in force!
Running through Animal Kingdom is always awesome!
Again this year I did NOT have time to ride Everest, BUT this is on my to do list for a future Disney Marathon
Another change in the marathon course this year was getting to run through the Wide World of Sports including where the Braves conduct spring training!
The stadium was fun to run through and soon enough we had rounded the bases and were off! This whole running the infield made me want a hotdog from Casey’s!
I don’t have any pictures from the Disney Hollywood studios as I was in a lot of pain by this time in the race. The next thing I knew we were entering EPCOT where we had phoned in our order to the Rose & Crown for some adult libations!
Guinness never tasted so good! Notice all the people behind me who REALLY want my beer! See if you can find all three!
A short mile later we were approaching the finish line!
Then finally, the 20th anniversary Disney marathon medal was mine!
Added this to my collection!
Not my fastest time, but great training for my upcoming ultra marathon in June!
Thanks to eBay I did find myself an UNofficial Goofy medal. It’s unofficial because Disney didn’t get their extra registration fee, but I’m sure the running community at large would be okay with it since it’s the 39.3 miles, not the $300+ registration fee that make a runner Goofy. I did the miles (painfully so) so I earned the bling! All my fellow running friends agree with me!
I can’t wait until next year!
Remember, you can follow me @TheRunningMan23 on Twitter!
Wait…what? Yes, you read correctly. I did the Goofy Challenge again…by accident this time. Like, whoops…you tripped and ran a half marathon last weekend too? Pretty close, it all started Friday night when I met some friends at DHS. I was originally down in Florida to run the full marathon with my friend Lori as I had been coaching her throughout her Goofy training and knew it would be nice to have me along for the moral support for the last 26.2 miles. I met Lori and a host of others at the 50s Diner as they were finishing dinner. Another friend of mine, Julie, was going to go watch Fantasmic. Her friend, Mitch, was down to run with Lori as well. Mitch’s wife, Mary, wasn’t able to come down but had signed up for the half marathon on Saturday…so, there this extra bib for the half marathon just lying around with no one to give it some love. In steps Brian and the rest is 13.1 miles ago. On Saturday I was “Mary” for about three hours running along side Mitch and Lori and another friend Matt. Talk about good times! It was a non-stop running laugh fest across 13 miles of Disney property.
Before I recap the two days of running let’s chit chat about the weather. It was hot. The Orlando area was experiencing temperatures 20 degrees higher than normal and increased humidity. Saturday wasn’t as bad since we were finished mid-morning before the temperature had risen too high, but Saturday was smokin’! At one point the temperature was 85 degrees with 80% humidity. The heat and humidity slowed everyone down. And now, back to the recap!
Luckily, I just happen to carry two of everything running related when I go to a race. Two pair of running socks, two pair of running shorts, two running shirts. I didn’t have two pair of shoes, but I was willing to go it on just one pair. If I had planned it I would have brought another pair so I could swap them for the two races.
Friday night I went to bed and then went to the meeting area Saturday morning with a good four hours of sleep! As always, runDisney had rolled out the red carpet for all of the runners.
Before long we were headed to the start line corrals. I was a little worried as the longest run I had completed was 15 miles. I had become sick with the flu the week I was supposed to do my 20-miler for Disney and missed it plus I hadn’t done any back to back long runs since last summer. I knew I could do 26.2, but adding another 13.1 was, well…Goofy. One thing I did learn on the way to the start corrals is that porta-potties are not in the most opportune places!
The next thing I knew we were ready to go for the first third of the journey!
The 1st mile flew by even though we were taking it easy as a part of the strategy. We still had 38.3 miles to go.
For the most part the half marathon was as I mentioned before a 13 mile laugh fest across Disney property. Four of us were running and keeping each other entertained as we went. We sang Disney songs, quoted movies, did impressions and even stopped and did push-ups for Sarge from Toy Story.
Before long the last mile was whizzing by and we only had another 26.2 to go!
After crossing the finish line I collected my (or Mary’s rather) half marathon medal!
After snagging our medals we went over to get a picture taken.
The sun was out and shining bright by the time we finished. It was time to head to EPCOT for dinner and some well earned libations before retiring for a little sleep and doing all again on Sunday. As my usual custom I did an ice bath before heading to EPCOT.
As an update I just received my (Mary’s) certificate recently! That’s Mary on the right…in the blue. She’s cute!
Stay tuned for Part II of the Goofy Challenge Recap!
In January I ran the Goofy Challenge to become eligible for the runDisney Coast-2-Coast medal should I decide to venture out to Disneyland for a half marathon in the same year. Over Labor Day weekend I took the pilgrimage to Walt’s original playground to bring home double bling.
Kate and I arrived on Saturday, grabbed a rental car at LAX and drove straight to Disneyland for the Expo and to get my bib. The Disneyland Half Marathon being a smaller race than its East coast big brother has the bib numbers spread across the available corrals A – G with seeded runners in each corral.
Before the race I met up with some of my fellow WDW Radio Running Team members! I’m in the back with the blue headband.
I started in corral A and since I hadn’t done any speed work for a couple weeks decided to hang with the 1:40 pacer until I got to the first photo opp. Know that I am not that speedy so it was an intense first couple miles!
Over the next 13.1 miles I took a lot of pictures, chatted with other runners and even ran a few miles with Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara who were just coming off a race out in Alaska so they were taking it easy.
Now most people know to not go out too fast for a race…..but since I really just wanted to run 13.1 miles, take a bunch of pictures, have a lot of fun, and grab double bling…and not take TOO long to start my vacation…I took off like Scrooge McDuck chasing a penny rolling down the street! After all, the ESPN zone awaited with beer and food.
So after a 2+ mile sprint I started taking my time to meet some of the Disneyland ladies! Don’t worry, my wife doesn’t mind as long as I get good pictures!
First I met Ariel and we had a blast! I didn’t check for flippers.
Next I met this chic. She had to lean on me a bit since she only had one shoe!
Not too far down the road was this lovely lady. She kept talking about her seven roommates…weird.
Then I ran into this beauty, but she kept falling asleep on me! My fellow runners will tell you that I’m not THAT boring so I assume mild narcolepsy. I think the camera guy even nodded off hence the fuzzy pic.
Finally I found these two hanging around outside the Acorn Club.
Past the pleasant company of royalty and club dancers I ran into some rough looking characters. I was afraid they’d send me to Detention Block AA-23 so I moved along quickly.
Once outside the Disneyland parks I was left to my own thoughts for several miles as I ran through Anaheim making my way to Angels stadium. Before I reached the stadium I ran into Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara.
The team was not at home so we were able to run on clay dirt around the edge of the field. It was a great experience to be in the major league stadium. The seats were filled with screaming fans which made it all the more memorable!
After Angel’s stadium (I have a great video on my timeline if we are Facebook friends!) I was in the home stretch and ready for some treats at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney!
Before I knew it I was thinking of the Finish Line and my double bling!
And then it was all over and I was headed to find my wife! But before I found my Kate I had a couple things to pick up.
Then a short walk to the right and I could see what I’d been hoping to earn for months, The Coast-to-Coast Challenge Medal!!
Next I met a few WDW Radio Running Team members at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney, had lunch and started having fun in DCA shortly after! That night we had another meet-up at the Wine and Country Trattoria with special seating to see the World of Color show that night! Overall, this was a fantastic experience!
My next challenge is November 3rd when I’ll be running my first 50 mile ultra marathon! Wish me luck!
This past week was a good one for recovery after a brutally humid Indianapolis Mini Marathon on Cinco de Mayo. After the mini marathon my left foot was hurting a little on the bottom so I’ve taken it easy and am letting it recover well so I can start training for my first ultra marathon a week from now. This past week I had three runs that were fantastic for different reasons. The first run was neither long nor taxing. The next run wasn’t that long either, but introduced me to a new type of running. The final run was by far one of the most enjoyable runs of my recreational running career to date!
This run was over lunch and was a whopping 1.32 miles in length on a comfortably warm day. I don’t point out this run because it is significant, but to get back to the roots of my blog which is about being fit. I see other bloggers and Facebookers say how they didn’t get to do their 10-miler today…blah blah. Okay, why not an 8-miler, 5-miler, or a 1.32 miler? Get it in where you can! I had a similar run on Saturday when i was waiting on my running partner to arrive. I had an extra 10-15 minutes so instead of sitting in my car and waiting I ran 5 minutes in one direction and then turned around to come back to the car. A couple minutes later my friend arrived and we did Run #2! The point is I didn’t waste that 15 minutes sitting in the car. I took that small amount of time to add an extra mile to my day.
For run #2 my friend and I went fully off road for the first time. Up until now I’ve been a user of the “Rails to Trails” areas of Indiana. These areas used to be literally where a train track once was and now they have been redone to have pavement or other type of foot path for runners, walkers, bikers, etc. Connected to a favorite Rails to Trails area are several shorter dirt trails that run along or near Eagle Creek in Zionsville. We started on these and did a couple of dirt trail miles. I even started breaking in my trail shoes on this run which I’d been waiting to do for a few weeks until after the mini marathon. We finished up on back on the main trail and I stopped before reaching 7-miles total as my left foot started to feel a little sore and I didn’t want to push it. 6.5 miles was plenty for me for the day!
Run #3 happened a few hours after Run #2. I had the great honor of running the Rookie Run with my 4-year old niece. Two exhilarating blocks of competition! It was so much fun to run with my niece in this awesome event. The organizers of the run do a great job on this event. The bibs for the kids have a tear away number on it which the parent (or other family member) get so when the child finishes you can’t have the kid unless you have a matching number. Even though I went the entire distance with her I was asked by no less than five different security people to show them my number to make sure I had the right kid. Security was awesome! Also, the rest of the event was top notch too. There was entertainment the entire afternoon. I can’t say enough about the event!
All in all it was a great week. I have one more recovery week before my official ultra marathon training schedule begins and I’m looking forward to it!
There are certain things in life you will never be able to out run. Some would cite death and taxes as the inevitable, but to add to this short list I would also say you cannot outrun time, police radio and the heat during any length marathon as many discovered on Cinco de Mayo this past Saturday for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon.
According to the local paper the men’s top finisher this year had the slowest time in two decades due to the heat at 01:05:08. The women’s top finisher came in about 10 minutes later at 01:15:22 and then was removed from the finish area by stretcher due to heat exhaustion. My own experience also saw the effects of the heat. I was feeling fine 5-6 miles into the run and then realized my pace had slowed drastically around mile seven on the Indy 500 Motor Speedway 2.5 Mile Track. Overall, I am happy with my time of 02:19:52 which was still good enough to get seeded for next year’s race. The heat slowed me down by 14 minutes as compared to my 2011 PR.
This year I started in Corral D. To give you some perspective the Indianapolis Mini Marathon is the largest half marathon in the United States selling out the last 11 years. The 35,000 runners come from all 50 states and quite a few other countries to run the flat and fast Indy course. I started the run at a good pace hoping the heat wouldn’t bother me as much as I actually like running in the heat, but while the heat wasn’t so bad for me ranging from the upper 60s to upper 70s the humidity was over 90% with a dew point of 68 making it difficult to dissipate heat from your body. Otherwise the day was very nice and I even felt comfortable on the run once I slowed my pace to a speed that was more manageable for the day’s weather.
After the race I continued drinking Gatorade and water, ate a banana, a cookie, and two fruit snacks offered at the finish. I knew I needed to keep nutrients and fluids flowing to my system to combat the effects of the heat. Once I got back to my car I had my traditional EAS Chocolate Myoplex Shake. My family had a BBQ that afternoon and I indulged a little for a race well run and to kick off the summer right! I kept drinking fluids the entire afternoon to work on rehydrating my body. Many people stop because they already have had a bottle of water after the race. Please don’t make this mistake. The best indicator that you are rehydrated is when you finally urinate a light yellow to clear color after the race. For me that didn’t happen until over 11 hours after the end of the race. This tells me that I was very dehydrated after the race. It took over 11 hours to even feel the urge to go! Once I got home I wore my Zoot Compression Socks to help the blood flow back to my heart and to assist in vacating any lactic acid build up in my lower legs. Planned recovery efforts can make a big difference between enjoying the days after a race and suffering for several days. I’ll take Sunday off and then do a light workout on Monday most likely hitting a short 2-3 mile run and a light full body weights workout.