Yesterday morning at 7am around 400 runners gathered at the Dover International Speedway to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles.
2:00:04 later, I’d checked off state 15.
Last week a non-longdistancerunning friend asked me what I think about while running. So Mark, here’s a rewind as best I remember.
M1 This is cool, running on the speedway, but not ideal. Stay slow until we leave the track.
M2 10:04 was a little slow. Let’s pick it up. Pass the guy in the Bama hat and say, “Roll Tide.”
M3-5 This is a nice neighborhood. Check out these old houses. Feeling good. Decent pace. Keep it through 5.
M6 Almost half done. Overall pace 9:27. Push to drop that by at least a second every remaining mile. End goal, finish with 9:15 pace.
M7 There go the full marathoners. Now the mental game really kicks in. We’re not in the city anymore. Don’t let the pace slow because there aren’t as many runners around you. Stay with these two runners; they have a good pace.
M8 They slowed down, admitted they went out too fast. Move on. That millennial that just passed me will be the last person to pass me.
M9-10 Keep slowly picking off each of the group of five ahead. You might have a shot at catching the 2-hour group.
M11 These Alabama compression socks rock. This weather rocks. This course rocks. I can beat last weekend’s times. What is going on?
M12 Where is that 2-hour pacer? Oh, there he is. PUSH!
M13 No one told me the steepest hill was at the end. Get over it. Fly down the other side. You have done a negative split. I NEED ICE CREAM!
(There you have it. Below is the proof of states 13-15.)
I found the Iron Horse Half Marathon race online. It is slated as a top destination race by Runner’s World. I now know why.
Midway, Kentucky isn’t far from downtown Lexington. Population, less than 2000. They may have as many horses. And this morning, it seemed about half the town was running the race.
The course really was picturesque. If you are a horselover and a runner, you should schedule this race. Be advised, it’s hilly. But you’ll be glad you did it. You feel like you are spending the morning on the horse farm. Very unique setting.
As for my “performance,” this was a test. How would I do running two halves back to back? How prepared was I? Would I manage myself well before, during, and after both races?
I give myself a 90%. Surprisingly my thighs are worse off than my calves. I’ll take these two results happily and move on to State #15, possibly this next Saturday. Stay tuned
Almost 1,600 of us converged on the streets of Evansville, Indiana, at 7amCST to run 13.1 miles. I finished in 2:03:31. Pleased with that.
Everything about this race was done very well.
- Packet pickup was easy to find and speedy. (We got buckets along with our goodie bags…still not sure why)
- Race parking was a breeze-plenty of it, and I unknowingly parked one block from the start line. Unheard of.
- The course was mostly flat-perfect for Floridians. It weaved nicely through neighborhoods and parks.
- The community presence was great. Very few areas weren’t covered with spectators, volunteers, first aid, or policemen.
- Plenty of encouragement and refreshments at the finish line. Shout out to the announcer for calling out “John Gregory from Bradenton, Florida” repeatedly until the crowd cheered.
- If I weren’t running again in the morning, I probably could have pushed to get under 2 hours. Good to know.
- My pace stayed pretty steady through 10M. 57-degree start had a lot to do with that.
- I surprised myself being able to pick up the pace the last half mile. Assimilating that on the treadmill pays off.
- Shout out to Holly and another young lady who unknowingly paced me from miles 9-11. Strong job, Ladies.
- State 13 done. On to 14 tomorrow. (Bucket list item: run a race in every state)
January 2 I wrote about my 2016 reading and described it as resurrected. The word I would say describes my 2016 running is revived.
After my last marathon in November 2012, my running went into somewhat survival mode. I was a little burned out. Managed a decent half in March 2013 but had little motivation after that. And definitely after the Ultra Ragnar later that year, I went into a phase of not really enjoying running. Then health/surgery/recovery swallowed up 2014&2015.
So 2016 was the comeback year. Traveling with friends to run in Detroit in October definitely relit the flame. I ran over 100 miles the last two months of the year, something I hadn’t done in three years. That marker, “something I hadn’t done in three years,” became my drive.
My drive is back. My word for 2017 in running is thrive. I’m not yet back to 2012 fitness when I ran my best marathon time. So one goal for this year is to get back to race condition where I don’t feel like I’m surviving the distance but thriving at it. My total mileage for 2016 was 800+-revival level. Thriving goal for 2017 is over 1,000, closer to 1,200.
One cool thing I determined last year was a new bucket item, which is to run a race (any distance) in all 50 states. The October half in Detroit put me at 9 states. I checked off another state New Year’s Day with an 11k in Morganton, NC(#10). I’m shooting to get to 13 by year’s end. My first half of the year race schedule includes:
Through Surviving. Completed Reviving. Pursuing Thriving.