Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

February 27, 2017

Indoor Half Marathon, Feb 25, 2017

While I have gone for a couple of long runs outside this winter, for the most part my running has been indoors on a treadmill.    I actually like running on a treadmill.   I know, that's weird.  But I enjoy testing myself against my own previous speed, time and distance, and the treadmill allows me to control all these variables each time I run.   No headwinds, no rain, heat, ice, slush, mud or snow to deal with.   The downside is that running for an hour an a half or more on a treadmill to nowhere is rather monotonous.

Enter the Indoor Half Marathon and Triathlon, hosted by Extra Mile Racing,  at the Utah Olympic Oval.  I had run previously here just a couple months earlier at the Revolution Run, a 5-hour challenge on New Year's Eve.    The good part of this race?    A half marathon should take me much less than 5 hours to complete.  Hah.   The bad part?  A half marathon at the indoor track would require running 47.5 laps around in a circle.  Take a left turn...then another left turn.....take a left turn....and another left turn.   Ad nauseum.   But with fresh snow outside and chilly temps this large  indoor circle was sounding pretty good.

I had set my watch to beep and record lap times in every quarter mile, so that I wouldn't have to spend much of my reduced running brainpower trying to slowly count up to 47.   Although my GPS  watch didn't work inside the building, it estimated my distance vis-a-vis my arm swing, and was only off by .75 miles over the 13.2 miles!   Wow.

More importantly, I was able to see my lap time after each quarter mile, and noticed that my speed was very consistent...within +/- 2 seconds each and every lap aside from a few short water stops.  The American Flyers were there to help runners pace themselves, and these individuals heroically volunteered to run the entire race while carrying bright signs saying 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30, and so forth.
Obviously (dark and outside, not)  this was not our race,
but you get the idea of signage for the American Flyers race pacers.
My goal was to run under 2 hours for the 13.2 miles, and I passed the 2:00 hour sign guy exactly once and finished in about 1:57 or so.   The "or so" is because the race timing system broke down near the end of the race, and our official race times aren't exactly....exact.  Plus there was some confusion about whether we should stop at 47 laps (slightly short of the half marathon distance), or run 48 laps (clearly longer than necessary).

Jim decided to brave the torture chamber with me, and completed his first half marathon in about 2:15.  He may have run an extra lap due to the timing confusion and will forever wonder if he exerted more energy on the race than necessary.  His race also went really well, given that he had to run 47 large monotonous circles while distracting himself by watching the speed skaters and hearing the roars from a hockey game going on in the center.  

The small field meant that I had a fighting chance at actually finishing well.   Indeed, I crossed the line as the 3rd woman ?!?, and actually got a check for finishing on the podium.   Double wow.  Lunch at Cafe Rio is on me today.

Here are the results, such as they are:  http://extramileracing.com/index.php/results/    Note that times are incorrect by as much as 9 minutes due to a timing problem with the race computer.   We are both hoping that this race will help us build up to faster times for the Canyonlands Half Marathon (in Moab) coming up in March.

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