It’s a little strange to say this but 13.1 miles is no longer a super crazy, totally ridiculous, OMG no way I can do that distance. When I woke up Saturday morning for my third half marathon, the Carmel half, I had some of the usual race day jitters but it also just felt like another early morning long run. This is a good thing if I ever want to attempt a full, which is the next logical (but super crazy, totally ridiculous, OMG no way I can do that distance) challenge.
Based on my training, I had a reach goal in mind – 2:15. I knew it would be tough and require some hard work because the pace was a little faster than my training runs. I went out faster than planned but I felt really good through mile 8. When I had my slowest split in mile 10, I started to worry. I picked up my pace in the last two miles but had to pee really badly. I wasn’t about to stop so you can imagine what mile 12 was like for me…
In the end, I crossed the finish line in 2:16:38, a 10:26 average pace and a two-minute PR! I didn’t have quite the overwhelming feeling as my last half but I was really proud of the effort.
The Carmel half brought on a couple firsts for me. It was my first time doing a spring race. In typical Indiana fashion, I trained in 20 – 40 degree weather but raced in 50 – 60 degree weather. Everyone kept asking if I was excited for the higher temps but it was a little too warm for me.
It was also my first time doing a half that wasn’t the Monumental. That course will always be special to me since it was the first one I did. It also feels like home court advantage since I live downtown and run on those streets all the time. I don’t know Carmel at all and despite studying the course map for days, I got really turned around mentally in the last few miles. Obviously you know based on your GPS watch and the mile markers how much distance is left, but it helps me to break up the course into stretches and know what’s next after each turn. I wasn’t able to visualize the course map at the end and I think it threw me off a little. But I can’t only ever run the Monumental so it was good experience.
The course is a little weird too. Around mile 3.5, the full continues straight but the half turns around a cone and goes back the other direction. With all the roundabouts in Carmel, you’d think they could have made that turn more gradual. There were also more hills than I anticipated. Of course it’s Indiana so they were baby hills but any incline is a lot when you’re used to flat runs. I did enjoy when we were on the Hagan-Burke Trail and the Monon, but if the race gets any bigger that section will be really tight.
Like the Monumental, I saw a lot of familiar faces at the race, either running, volunteering or cheering. I can’t give enough love to the Indy running community. It’s a really special group and the support has been amazing. I have to give a big shout out to my friend Jesse Davis who won the full marathon for the third year in a row and beat his own course record. He is stupid fast and I’m just happy to say I finished the half before he finished the full this time.
So what’s next? I’m signed up for the Monumental again this November and plan on crushing my 2:15 goal. I think it’s definitely doable and I’m ready to put in the work to get there. Until then, I’ll do some smaller races and get back into crossfit. I tend to back off to conserve my legs as it gets closer to race day but I’m missing Crossfit Naptown family!
Did you run the Carmel half or full? What did you think of the course? Have you ever set a reach goal and fell short? Does peeing your pants while running because you want to finish in a certain time make you legit or stupid?