Friday night packet pickup in Carmel, IN at the Monon Center. The young Bell family's first trip to a marathon over night trip. We have 2 boys - a 1 year old and a 3 year old. An hour and half car ride is about the limit for the 1 year old, and a strange hotel room is still scary. I counted on not sleeping, which is no big deal since I normally don't the night before race, anyway. I have run this race almost every year. Its a flat, decent shaded course through nice neighborhoods. Its well run and usually not too crowded in the tight spots. Really nothing to stand in the way of a PR, except myself and maybe some weather issues
Saturday morning race - 48 degrees and sunny at the start, with little wind. 6:25-6:35 pace for something in the 2:49-2:52 range is the goal. A solid group of a couple guys get in to that pace early on and I feel fine staying with them. around 4 or 5 miles, the kiss of death finds the group (for me, anyway) in the form of a young lady who is fresh off OTQ in LA (where she placed 30th). We chat and sneakily find ourselves in the 6:18-6:25 range over several miles. This prooves to be downfall, as we hit a couple of light rollers at this pace and I start to feel taxed. I don't realize it completely at this point, but, this is where I blew it. I finally let them go at about 12 miles, and started to get worse immediately.
First Half Splits: 6:27, 6:24, 28, 18, 29, 33, 27, 27 32, 20, 25, 20, 34 - 1:24:44 for 10th place
Wheels really don't fall off completely until 18 miles or so:
6:38, 29, 42, 47, 56, 7:03, 6:58, 7:08, 7:18, 7:43, 8:05, 8:26, 7:45, 2:17 for 0.34 miles
The temperature turned to about 60-65 (it felt hot) after the course emerged from the shaded trail, and turned on to the industrial park (big business office buildings - Carmel is upscale hoity-toity) and the long exposed sections on those streets. It is here that I really begin to struggle. I have stupidly not worn any kind of hat, and have shed my shirt. The sun beats me down, no doubt. About 5 people pass me. I even see them struggle and barely maintain lead on me for a while, but, drop even more as I begin to struggle worse. These kind of conditions (not that they're that severe) turn my gut into a gut cramp, gargling, horrible mess with anything I put in there.
The partial is only 6:45 pace, but, it feels like a sprint - I came around the last corner with roughly a quarter left, and see I can still somehow make it under 3 hrs. Barely... :) Another solid 1:25 / 1:35 -- +10min. marathon in the books - 2:59:59 for 17th
Can't help but think that I should make it a rule that my target marathons can only be in colder weather - like nothing over 45 degrees.