Tag Archives: carmel marathon

Carmel Marathon Recap

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!

Mile 25:

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!

Marathon Learning:

  • 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 Tiger can 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.

Happy Training!


A Week in Review

What a great week for training! I am making a concentrated effort to drop another 15-20 pounds by April 20th for my next full marathon. So far so good as I am down ~6 pounds since my initial weigh-in 2 weeks ago. Here is an update on my training from this week culminating in my long run today!

A Week in Review:
  • Monday: Cycled at the gym for 10.25 miles for high RPMs to work on foot turnover
  • Tuesday: Interval training.  6 x 800m at an 8:44 pace
  • Wednesday: 2 miles walking
  • Thursday: Tempo run for 6 miles + 2 miles warm-up & cool down.
  • Friday: Insanity Workout – Insane Abs
  • Saturday: 13.1 miles at MP+15sec
  • Sunday: Rest

Hard to believe I completed the Goofy Challenge (Unofficial) just five weeks ago and now I’m back into full marathon training for April. I love running!

Happy Training!


Carmel Marathon Recap

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!

The Weather:

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'm cold. Do I look cold? Because I am...

The Run:

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!  🙂

A little over halfway to the finish!

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!

The Finish:

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'm the blue dot about in the center.

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!

A few low to medium fives as I run into the finisher's chute.

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.

Happy Training!


Carmel Marathon Weekend Recap

Saturday June 11th was the inaugural event for the Carmel Marathon. Having had my first full marathon in January and a half marathon in both April and May, I decided to run the half-marathon for fun. I ran the race as a “keep the momentum going” kind of event and to have something to train for in the mean time until I started my official program for my next full-marathon which is coming up in November.

Flat (kind of) and Fast! Welcome to Indiana!

The weekend of events was pretty awesome! Not only was the course relatively flat and fast, but the full-marathon was a Boston Qualifier (BQ) AND the RRCA Indiana State Marathon Championship.

Now I’m not ready for a BQ effort yet, but it’s pretty cool to come to a BQ race and see who shows up! The weekend of events also included the USATF 8K championship so this truly was a place for elites!

I however did not go for another PR. Instead I chose to run the first few miles with a buddy of mine who was doing his first full-marathon. Those were the easiest 3.5 miles of the day.  The rest of the time I just sat back in my ~10min pace and enjoyed the scenery. I even conversed a little with the group of runners I was pacing with and it always seemed like a group of 5-10 runners were near each other first one person leading then another. It was fun to motivate total strangers along the way and have them motivate me in return. I finished the race in 02:19:26. That’s 14 minutes slower than my best half-marathon time, but not too bad for taking it easy! It was a fun morning run!

I'm bib #1496! My friend is right behind me in green!


Since the half and full-marathon courses intersected at several points I did get a chance to see the leader of the full-marathon around mile marker #8 being lead by a police officer on a motorcycle and two volunteers on bikes.  That guy was booking it!! He finished his full-marathon before I finished my half. Can you say “running since birth”? One day I may get there…okay close to there…okay just closer anyway. 🙂

As I said before, the course was “relatively flat”. Indiana is known for being a flat state or at least the upper 2/3rds of it….down to where the glaciers stopped a few centuries ago.  Of course as has become the standard, I manage to find race courses in flat states that are anything but flat.  This course had plenty of gently rolling hills. Perhaps not as bad as Kansas (Yes…Kansas. See my previous posts), but still plenty of ups and downs as compared to the races I’ve ran at Disney, The Indy Mini-Marathon and other races in Indiana.

Up next is The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon November 5th. I start the FIRST Training Program Tuesday and will be putting in the miles according to that plan for the remainder of the year. The only adaptation will be the addition of the occasional weekend double long day (Sat & Sun) to prepare me for the Goofy Challenge in January. After January I have some decisions to make. Looks like an Ultra-Marathon is in my future for next year. I’m going to go for a 50K which is 31.0685 miles. Not too much further than a full-marathon, but farther than the walk back to your car!  🙂

The next decision is “What’s Next?”. That will be fun to figure out!

Happy Training!