Carmel Indiana Inaugural Marathon June 11, 2011
Todd Hartung's recap of the Carmel, Indiana Marathon
My recent trip to run the inaugural Carmel Indiana Marathon would be my 27th marathon over the past four years and my 20th different state towards my goal of running a marathon in every state. This race would be my 4th marathon of 2011 and 4th new state towards my goal.
In 2010, I ran 10 marathons and my times seemed to slow down as a result of running too often. Coming into this year I promised to allow more rest between my marathons in hopes to get my times back to where they were in 2009. My plan seemed to have worked for my first two marathons of the year. My first marathon this year in February (having not run a marathon since Rehoboth Beach Delaware in early December) was the Mercedes Marathon in Alabama where I ran a 3:20:01. This was followed by the Charlottesville Marathon in April resulting in a 3:18 marathon and new PR. On May 1st, 3 weeks after Charlottesville I ran Big Sur California and my times dropped back to those of my previous year coming in at 3:32. Big Sur was hilly and warmer than my first two of 2011 but I feel it was the lack of rest and recovery that resulted in the significantly slower finish time. Coming into Carmel Marathon I had a few more weeks of rest but knew the heat and humidity of this time of the year would force me to accept a slower finishing time.
I knew Carmel would be hot and not a fast race but I really wanted to knock off another state before the summer months where I knew I would not be running a marathon. The trip to Carmel would not be a family trip but rather a quick in and out to cross off Indiana from my list. A quick flight Friday with a return after the race on Saturday would allow me to spend Saturday night and Sunday with the family.
The town of Carmel, a suburb north of Indianapolis was a very nice town. It was clear that they are a running town as they organized this race as if they had been organizing this for years. There was a full marathon, have marathon and an 8k national championship event. This race was first class all the way. Shuttle bus from the hotel in the morning was a nice touch as was a print out they gave me after the race showing my splits. Add in a nice shirt and finisher’s medal and I am glad that I picked this race to represent my marathon in Indiana.
The race morning was hot and humid and I knew that would be a big problem for me. I planned to go out slowly and see how I felt at mile 13. I maintained a 7:58 min pace for the first half. By mile six my shorts were drenched in sweat and I knew that was not a good sign. I stayed with the same pace until around mile 18. The course was very flat and went along some neighborhoods and though parts of the Monon Greenway. Not as scenic as Big Sur or Charlottesville but not bad for a small town race. Towards the end we went through the arts district and that was really nice.
Miles 18 to 26 were tough. My body lost more fluids than I was replacing and it started to take its toll. So much for picking it up at the end as my new strategy was just to gut it out and finish. Towards the end of mile 18 the 3:30 pacer with one runner passed me. Towards the end of the race the 3:40 pacer also with one runner who had managed to keep up passed me as well. I was dehydrated and zapped and my goal was to get over that finish line. Along the last few miles I passed several runners who were experiencing the same struggles of dehydration that I was. An occasional runner would pass by who looked strong with a look as if to say “…you should have started out slower”.
The heat always seems to take a huge hit to my finishing times. In 2009 I ran Boston in April in 3:22 and followed that with a 3:55 at Hatfield McCoy in June. 33 minutes slower due to high heat. I hate running in the heat and am glad to be taking off July and August from any marathons. Next up is Oslo Norway Marathon in September. I guess my goal will now be all 50 states and one international marathon. I am excited to train for this and return to some faster times.