IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March Madness - Cary Half Marathon

One of the things the Cary Half Marathon is known for is the weather. Because the race is in the middle of March. Here in the midwest, that means you never know what to expect. It could snow, rain, be really windy, some combination of all those or it could be just plain beautiful. And the race is run, in or shine. It's like a badge of honor when you complete a race like this in brutal weather conditions so you'll hear people brag about the year they did the race when it snowed two feet and they had to run uphill both ways...with no shoes!

This year, we were fortunate to have almost ideal weather conditions. When I flipped on the television this morning, it said 33 degrees. I ran outside earlier in the week and it was 34 degrees and I froze. I decided I'd better layer up because I didn't want to be cold for 13.1 miles.

My carpool ride showed up right on time (I should have known). We made it all the way up to Cary without incident. By the time we arrived, the sun was shining and BC informed me that the weather forecasters said we'd only have wind of about 3-4 mph. Sweet! After we picked up our packets we headed back to the car where I debated on whether or not I was wearing too many clothes. Oh well, I had pockets in my running top, so I just figured I could carry what I needed to take off.

We headed on over to the start line and had already lost Randy and Donna. Even though this race isn't huge, we couldn't seem to find them amongst the field of runners. I had no time goal set for this race, I was just going to run with friends according to how I felt. It's amazing how different I feel when I don't pressure myself with any performance goals. BC, Joe, Angie and I just stood up on the curb, looking for Randy and Donna, but the gun went off and we still hadn't found them. I didn't even have my watch on the right setting, so I had to hit about 6 different buttons to get it to clear and start...this was a considerable distance after the start line. Oops.

Angie and I hadn't spoken in a while, so we had a lot to catch up on. Namely, her training trip to Solvang, my ride in Solvang, each of us have gotten new bikes, and a ton of other things that we'd normally share had we seen each other more recently. Within the first couple of miles, I realized I was definitely overdressed. I took off my much too heavy wool hat and put it in the pocket of my running top. By mile 3, it was just Angie and I running, talking, missing the mile markers and keeping a pretty good clip. The times I was able to catch the mile marker, I pegged us for about an 8:20 pace. Cary is a hilly course...8:20s is tough!

I heard Angie say she was shooting for a sub-2 hour race. Well, she was going to crush that if she kept this pace, so I told her that. Around mile 6, I learned that she hadn't been focusing on her run much and her longest run recently was 6 miles. Uh oh. This could get ugly!

The hills kept coming and it was difficult to talk during uphills. It was easy to tell when either of us was struggling because our sentences during those times were pretty broken. We chatted back and forth, passing people we knew, being passed by other people we knew and, just in general, having a pretty good run. I started catching our splits and we were still keeping the 8:20-8:30 pace. I couldn't believe I was keeping up. (I've been slacking in my running pace lately).

Not sure when it happened, but things started getting tough and I could hear the doubt creeping into Angie's voice as we talked. But I knew she could keep the pace...she wasn't breathing THAT hard (not like one of the dudes we passed...thought he was having a grabber!). We were into mile 12 and I told her that we were much closer to 1:50 than 2:00! Excellent!! We turned one of the last corners and she asked how much time we had left...about 3 minutes. And she turned it on. Yep, Ang still had some juice left! We were both breathing pretty heavy at this point, but we were feeding on each other's energy and it made for a strong finish!

We grabbed some Gatorade and headed over to see some of our friends finish. It's amazing how quickly the 13 miles seemed to go by! Of all the years I've run this race, I think this was the best weather I've seen. Joe crossed the finish line and immediately announced that he would not be back next year! (not sure if I believe that). BC finished while flipping the bird and wishing he hadn't worn a jacket. Donna finished injury-free. Randy finished while maintaining his planned heart rate.

I wanted to get a group shot of all the Salt Creek Tri Club people, but they left before I could get to the car, get the camera and get back.

All in all, it was a great race and near-perfect conditions. I just wish I had more time to chat with all the other runners I knew there. But SOMEONE was in a hurry to get home! Until next year....


RunBubbaRun said...

who are all those crazy people spending time running instead of relaxing on a great day..

Salt Creek Tri Club? whats that?

Anonymous said...

Ok, how funny...I googled "Cary 1/2 Marathon" to find results this morning and your BLOG entry popped up!!! SMALL world. I was there too...congrats on your race and now I can read your blog! I live in West Dundee, IL.
Jennifer Harrison

Griz said...

Good Job. Felt good the 1st 6 miles then I ran out of steam.
Derrick had a b-day party waiting for him and I had a recital to attend.