This is my 7th year participating and 5th year running. There's also a 2 mile walk option that goes up the hill from the Floyd County fairgrounds, loops around the lake at Community Park, and then back down. It's not timed but is still a great way to get people out and active on Thanksgiving morning.
The course. It is southern Indiana, so even though it's in town, there are a few hills.
After the marathon, I only ran one time and that was on the treadmill again. I'm pretty sick of that thing ... but it does get me moving when I don't feel like heading outside in the dark. That being said, I didn't expect to break any records this year ... but I was hoping to beat my time from last year. I have a post-it note up on the bulletin board at home with my times from previous years. I checked that before heading out the door -- all I could remember was 55:xx so I just wanted to finish within 55 minutes.
We got to the fairgrounds early -- the past couple years, we've gotten there too close for comfort and had to rush to get to the start line. Parking is minimal and for 1000+ runners, walkers, and non-participating spectators, there are two bathrooms inside with 2 stalls each and three port-a-potties outside. It's crazy small. I do remember last year still being in the port-a-potty line when the race started. There is a timing tag on the bib, but the time starts with the gun, not when you cross the start line. And then your time ends when you cross the timing mat -- so if you're wanting to beat your time, it's best to be in the crowd on the street when the gun goes off and not in the port-a-potty line.
For being on a holiday, there is a great turnout for runners and spectators and all the volunteers. The roads are closed for only an hour but there are police at major intersections throughout.
I knew I wouldn't be running with Matt since his goal was to make it on the shirt ... meaning, the top 500 finishers get their names put on the back of the shirt for next year's race. He finished at 495 or 496 in 2015 so we made certain to buy a shirt at registration this year. I did end up starting with him and one of his work buddies, but they took off with their freakishly long legs and I continued my plodding-on.
Even with not having done much running to prepare, I wasn't too worried because I brought my interval timer (changed the intervals to run 5 min, walk 30 sec) and since I knew I'd be able to run at least the first mile non-stop, that's what I did. They have timers at every mile marker and I was shocked to see I did the first mile in just over 10 minutes. Remember: goal was under 55 min so I just needed to do 11 min miles and push it at the end. I started up my interval timer after that and stuck with it through till the end. At each mile marker, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I was doing and felt very comfortable! I didn't want to push it though because I didn't know how well I'd do towards the end if I was pushing myself in the middle and having not run much (at all) while recovering.
When I got to the final stretch, I decided to skip the last walk interval and run it in. Motivation - I wanted to finish in front of a guy who was wearing a 2016 NYC marathon shirt. Just wanted to get in front of him to say "yeah, I beat an old guy who ran the NYC marathon". Hey - whatever works. Once I did that, I was still a few blocks from the finish and was still feeling pretty good. Finish time: 52:48!!!
So ... after about 30 seconds of jubilation in beating my goal by 3 minutes ... I looked at my RunKeeper and it said this was my 2nd fastest 4-6 mile run. Wait ... what?? So while I'm still trying to catch my breath and find Matt, I'm scrolling through my old RunKeeper runs to find out which one was faster ... and it was my 2015 Fast Freddie result ... that I finished in 52:28. What the what??
Note to self: throw that old post-it note away or UPDATE it with all the times from past races. That 55:xx time I was trying to beat? yeah, that was my 2014 race result ...
So if you set running goals, do you count this as a goal achieved? I missed out on a PR by 20 seconds, but I thought I beat it by 3 minutes. What say you? I'm pretty ticked at myself and I'm determined to run that course on my own in the next 12 months to PROVE I can beat that 52 minutes. Then when 2017's race comes, I will be aiming to beat the mid-year time (assuming I can indeed beat the 52 minutes).