Friday, March 9, 2012

Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon Report and Video

Here's Holly's report about the 2012 MapleLeaf Indoor Marathon in Goshen, IN:

It all started with making a plan. We were sitting down trying to figure out my marathon race schedule for the rest of 2012. I was trying to find a marathon in Indiana to add it to my "50 States" marathon goal. I happened upon the Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon in Goshen, IN. It was the next weekend. I was sure it was already full, but I emailed the race director anyway. He came back and said that the Saturday and Sunday morning races were full but he had added a marathon at 2:30 pm on Saturday and he would let me in. I freaked out. How can I run a marathon 6 days from now? In the afternoon? I thought about it and figured I had to run 20 miles anyway that day and how bad can indoor marathon be? I signed up that night.

During the week I entered panic mode. Dave got sick and I knew I would end up getting sick by the marathon. I did. It was a chest cold as well. I was freaking out about what to eat as I normally just get up early and run and don’t eat. I usually have half of a Powerbar a half an hour before a race.

Race day approached and we got up at a reasonable hour for once. We only had a 3 hour drive to Goshen. I had some peanut butter toast when I woke up and then a turkey sandwich about 3 hours before the race. I was winging it!

We got to the gym at Goshen College where the race was being held and saw the track. 204 laps around this thing??? I was nervous about the air quality. There was also a pool in the gym so the building was humid and dry at the same time. The morning marathon was just finishing and it looked like the final runners were struggling, but not too bad, so I figured I could handle it.

There were only 8 runners in the afternoon race. We started going round and round. I had met my lap counter before the race. His name was Tim and I think he was 12. I swear the first few laps he never saw me go by. I was freaking out. Also I got a terrible side stitch at Mile 2. Must have been that turkey sandwich! It was really hard to run and I was already considering pulling out. Dave had left to go get lunch and explore the town. I decided to keep going. I had already been lapped several times by the other runners. There was one other guy who was at my pace and we would stay together pretty much the whole race. Thankfully the stitch lessened but it was a nagging thing the whole race. Dave returned and I was about 10 miles in at that point and feeling ok, but knew this was going to be tough. We would switch directions every half hour, which helped with the monotony but man what a mental challenge.

The winner finished in 3:30 and the others were done by 4:05. Then there was me and Mike the other runner. I would lap him and then he would lap me and then I was done and he lapped me again. He ended up finishing a couple laps ahead of me. Dave walked a couple laps with me, and that helped. I was just not feeling well. Finally got to 5 laps to go and was so excited and then as I completed that lap they said sorry we miscounted NOW you have 5 laps to go. What the heck??!! The final lap was wonderful and they even put up tape for me to break through. I was never so happy to be done with a race. They were all very nice for sticking around while I finished. I’m glad Mike was there as well or I really would have felt bad. I finished under the course time limit of 6:00, 5:53:44. I grabbed a super quick shower and we got out of there. I had no voice at the end and was dehydrated.

My fascination with doing an indoor marathon is over and I never want to do another one of those again. It was very well organized and the volunteers were great, but the concrete track and the monotony really beat me up physically and mentally. Thanks to the race director for letting me in at the last minute. One more state completed!!

Dave's comments:
While Holly ran the first part of the race I had set a plan to explore a few local businesses. First I had lunch at the South Side Soda Shop which was featured on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives". Didn't think it was worth the hype. Next, I wanted to go to Olympia Candy (they made chocolates for several presidential inaugurations as I learned from the tourist guide), but they closed at 3pm on Saturday. After that I went to The Chalet Party Store to buy some local beer - real nice options. I had done some research online and found a local bar had excellent beers on tap, including a new release from Left Hand. I got there at 4:00 and they didn't open until 6:00 - which was the time I had to get back to the gym before it closed to the public. Disgusted, I went to a winery for a tasting, then a smoke-filled townie bar for a beer, and finally a coffee bar to provision up for heading back to the race. Snacking: the gym had an excellent vend machine and I stocked up on things Holly may have wanted after the race:  Zapp's Voodoo chips, Snyder's pretzels, and Sun Chips.  Earlier, I bought some Cracker Jacks at the CVS.

Here's the video:

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