NORTH CAROLINA  -  Indoor Insanity
State #34
Finish time:  5:08:39
This was my first marathon in a LONG time... and I
picked an indoor marathon?  I was dreading it until
packet pick-up.  You can't beat the friendliness of
North Carolinans anyway, and the gals handing out
bibs were so pumped for the run that they got me all
pumped up too.  They bragged on their TWO aid
stations (in 500M) and the DJ and all.  Started
sounding pretty luxurious.  Air Conditioning,
rubberized floor, music.  Okay!!

Race morning rolled around and it was pretty weird
not gearing up for an outdoor run.  No hydration
belt, no hankie.  I did wear my Garmin because I
had purchased a special foot pod just for this race
so I could know my pace (since I wouldn't be able to
connect to GPS).  Although I felt silly wearing it
indoors, I did wear my visor because otherwise I
wouldn't have anything to keep my hair / sweat out
of my eyes.  (And, it was the only Marathon Maniac
item I was planning to wear, and I had to

I met up with the Maniacs for the obligatory pre-race
photo, and I met with my lap-counter Cheryl, and off
we went.    
I had expected a mentally tough run.  I mean, 84
laps around a track... who does that?  But it started
off great.  Too good in fact.  According to my
Garmin, I was cruising!  The course was also set up
very conveniently for the Galloway method (run /
walk) so I started running hard on the rubberized
track area, and walking the cement behind the
bleachers.  It worked out to a good ratio and my
pace was looking stellar... except that once I hit 21
laps, or 1/4 of the way, my Garmin was over that
distance... by quite a bit.  At 42 laps I was a full 1.25
miles ahead.  So, obviously when the directions told
me I should calibrate my foot pod before use, they
were serious.

Already mentally struggling to keep doing laps, now
I discover that I'm not even doing them as fast as I
thought I was.   There goes the sub-5 I thought I
could grab.  No time for a mental break-down here, I
kept hauling ass as if I were still hauling ass.  Even
though I knew I wouldn't need my fuel belt, I had
brought it anyway since I didn't have anything else
to hold my GU and salt and Aleve.  I had also stuck my hankie in there out of habit.  
Good thing I did.  What I didn't count on with the air conditioning was that I've been
training in the warm weather.  It was actually pretty cold in there, and when my neck
gets cold it starts being painful to breath.  So I stopped and put on my hankie,
cowboy bandana style.  They also ran out of water/cups/volunteer at one of the
water stops for a while, so Richard filled up my water bottle, and met me at the
bleachers for my walk.  He did my bleacher walk with me 5 or 6 times until they got
the cups filled back up.  My lap counter Cheryl cheered me on each lap, and
counted down for me.  Finally I was down to 10 left, and it looked like I was going to
pull out a PR.  Time for more heartbreak... Cheryl gave me the 8-laps-to-go cheer,
and I ran on past the time-keepers, as I had done apparently 76 times before, and
they jumped up and cheered for me too.  Hadn't done that before...  Then he
shouted, "Nine to go, you're into single digits now!"  Remember now, I'm running
fast(er that usual) because I was doing a run/walk system, so I was almost past them
by the time it registered.  I had just enough time to shout back, "I thought it was 8!"
and then I spent the rest of that lap resolving myself to the reality that I was going to
miss a PR by just a few minutes.  Back by Cheryl again and she sadly told me, "8 to
go".  They had obviously conferred.  My damn Garmin was way off (I was already
past a marathon at that point), so no proof there; I certainly hadn't been keeping
track of my laps; no GPS to count red rings on the map later...  I had to go with what
the time-keepers said.  Next time around I asked them if they had checked my
splits.  I had been averaging just under 4 minutes a lap, and I was sure they would
find an 8 minute lap in there where my bib failed to get read.  Back around again
they assured me that their count was right.  Okay, fine.  I kept pushing, but it was
obvious I wasn't going to be able to squeek out a PR, and I was so close.  Cheryl
came out to run the last lap with me.  She asked me how I was feeling.  I was happy
to be finishing.  Happy for a pretty fast performance.  Glad nothing hurt and I was
still running.  But my answer to her was "I'm pissed!"  Poor Cheryl.  That's not what I
should have said.  She had sat there for 5 hours counting stupid laps for me.  I
should have acted happier.  I did make it clear I was pissed at the time-keepers, not
her.  (I'm obviously on the side of whoever counted the more laps!!)  She ran
on with me anyway, despite my cranky answer, and I hit my PR time right before I got to the walking point at the bleachers.  I told her, "there it goes,
that was my PR"... I'm not even sure she knew what I was talking about.  I finished and she high-fived me and gave me my medal.  The results page
doesn't show splits for me to check myself, so I'm just going to have to believe it was 84 laps, and Cheryl had mis-counted.  Oh well.  My second best
performance.  Not too bad for all the mental toughness this one required!

Full-on lunch after the run was provided by Olive Garden - all vegetarian!  And there was still a ton of food left for us slower runners.  (And
watermelon, donuts, cake, beer...)  Besides being too cold (not something most people would complain about) and the sad mis-counting of laps, this
was an excellent marathon.  The mental part of running laps was tough, but because of all the other let-downs I endured, I'm not sure how bad the
laps really were.  Guess I'll just have to run another indoor one to find out...