I look forward to the Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon, because its the most fun you can have running 13.1 miles in circles. Chris Ponteri, the race director, Dana Schultz, his right hand man, Bill Schneider and Dave Jesse who are also very involved, are all friends of mine. I know many of the participants, volunteers, and spectators. Husband Bill is there taking pictures. Its a big social gathering. And oh yeah, I gotta run 47.7 laps too.
At 7am, Chris starts off the first half marathon heat. I did my first lap in exactly the time I wanted, and it felt decent. Laps 2 and 3, also, right on target. About lap 4, when the adrenaline of the start has worn off, and its time to set the cruise control, I realized that I felt like crap, and I was not going to hold on to that pace. Great, only 44 laps to go.
Training partner Dennis Hanna arrived about 30 minutes after the start, all prepared and focused on helping me keep track of my competition in the Gold Medal Challenge, which includes today's half marathon, and tomorrow's full marathon. By the time he arrived, I knew it was not my day, and there was no need to keep track of anyone. Each time I came around, he tried to tell me who was where, and I kept shaking my head to say 'I don't need to know'... by about the 5th time around the message was a slightly crabby 'I don't WANT to know', and he finally realized what I was trying to say. Dennis, bless his heart, when he gets focused on a task... well... he is very focused on that task.
When you run a normal race outdoors, you can put on your game face for those brief seconds where you see friends and family. But when you see the same faces every 2+ minutes, there is just no hiding how you are feeling. I felt like crap, and everyone knew it. That's just life. Some days, you just don't have it. There wasn't anything I could have done differently.
I kept moving, just a lap at a time, and was very very glad when I was done.