Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans (half) marathon

I've done the Veterans marathon in Columbia City, Indiana, twice. The first time I ran a PR that held for almost 2 years. The second time was miserable and no part of me wanted to finish that darn second loop of the course! This year I knew it was half or nothing. Besides, I had already run a marathon PR - what else did I need to prove?

The forecast was cold but dry and my half PR was in similar circumstances, so I registered on Wednesday and Bill and I set off after work on Friday.

Saturday morning was cold and gray, but luckily I've perfected my cold weather race outfit. We ran into his friends at the start, but I didn't see Mad Dog. Something nice about how small CC is, was that we didn't even leave the hotel until 7:40, for an 8:00 start and we still had a few minutes to wait.

The organizers counted down from 10 and we heard a tiny pop and we all kind of looked around, confused, then a few seconds later, BOOM!!!! went the cannon and we started.

My plan was to run consistent 9:45s to set a half PR. That strategy worked for about 4 miles then it got a little slower. It was cold, it was windy, I hadn't slept great, blah blah blah. Some days you PR, and somedays you're happy with a solid finish.

"Puke zone" ewww
Toward the end I was counting down the minutes until hot soup and coffee! At mile 12.9 a woman in pink materialized out of nowhere and I couldn't shake her off my shoulder! Then I saw Bill at the end of the road, right in front of the courthouse and knew it was only 3 very short blocks around the building and I would be done!

There was a woman in a Crohn's and Colitis team shirt who I had seen several times and she was one block ahead of me. She was all that stood between the finish line and me so I dug in, if only to beat her. She held on, but I had the good position on the inside of the last turn and I edged her out. Our times were 0.7 seconds apart.

Doing the half was absolutely the right decision for me. No part of me wanted to go back on the course for a second lap, especially after I felt a few rain drops. I was so happy to sit down with a warm bowl of chili and be done! I finally saw Mad Dog as he started his second lap and I jogged a few paces with him. He said he was doing the full as a taper run for his 100-mile run next Saturday. Amazing!!!!

When it was all said and done, I finished in 2:12:37, also known as my fastest half on the CC course, by over three minutes. I finished 21/41 in my age group, which is right about where I expected. Most halfs I'm right in the middle. It's 3:50 over my PR, and I'm not stressed about it one bit. In fact, I'm quite happy because I have ZERO race plans until March, and anything I do will certainly be far less than a half :D

Here's my medal. The volunteer gave me the full medal. I immediately said I had run the half, but he said they didn't have enough half medals. I wonder if it was consolation for not receiving my jacket, or if it was random. The jackets are great and something wonderful about the race is that they're placing a second jacket order and will mail them when available. It's my own fault for registering so late, but a great move on their part. Most races would have said "Sorry, you registered too late. No jacket for you!" CC said in an email, even before packet pickup, "Our bad! DON'T WORRY - we will get your jacket to you! At some point after the race, we will have the jackets available for pickup, or available for shipping if that is more convenient." Their willingness to make the jackets happen for us procrastinators pretty much guarantees I'll be back in 2015 because I like the swag and I like the people organizing the race.


  1. No RACES until March! WOW! Great job on your half!

    1. Nothing is planned yet, but you know how races crop up... Thanks :)