There’s a running rule of thumb about the weather: Conditions the day before and/or the day after a long-distance race will be better than the day of the event.
I would like to turn in for evidence yesterday and today. Right now as I type before 10 a.m., the temperature in the Houston area is a wonderfully refreshing 62 degrees. Oh, what a beautiful morning!
Yesterday at 6:45 a.m. when I was standing at the start of a half marathon in my little town outside of Houston, it was 72 degrees. As in waaaaaay too hot to be running 13.1 miles, especially for slowbos like me who suffer from asthma. It was awful from start to finish.
Was it a good thing that the course was only 12.63 miles, according to my Garmin GPS watch? Well, not for those who wanted to run an official personal best. I knew instantly that the route was short when we made a u-turn along a 4.1-mile double-loop stretch and hit the seven-mile marker. I checked my watch and saw 6.59 miles on it. What the heck? Unfortunately, whoever set up the u-turn didn’t look at the official course map and put it in the wrong place. Pretty disappointing.
I always think that signing up for a race and plunking down your hard-earned cash (or really the Mister’s hard-earned cash) enters runners into a contract with the event. We’re promised a safe, accurate course; in return, we should be adequately trained for the distance.
I think this particular race broke that promise (it also didn’t help that the first water stop was more than two miles from the start on such a hot day). Hope it doesn’t happen next year, because it benefits some good causes.
Plus it’s close to home (about 10 minutes away) with plenty of free parking. I’m all about convenience when it comes to running . . . no matter what the weather.
Half is NOT full
Want to know how to rile up a runner? Call a half marathon a marathon.
My friend Stacie, who runs but doesn’t enter races, told me a few weeks ago that our mutual buddy Lana was going to be running a marathon soon. I asked her if she meant the half marathon the last Sunday in March. Maybe, she replied.
So I e-mailed Lana to ask what race she had entered. The marathon in our city on March 27, she said. You mean the half marathon? Yes, that’s the one, she replied.
Lana, Lana, Lana! There’s such a huge difference between the half and the full marathon. It’s not just the extra 13.1 miles. You need to experience that last 10K (most marathoners will tell you that the race truly begins at 20 miles) to really understand why it’s such a great yet hard accomplishment. A half marathon is a walk in the park compared to its 26.2-mile older sibling. Especially when that half is almost a half-mile short!
By the way, Lana finished her first almost half marathon with a smile on her face. Congrats to my wonderful pal who is turning 50 this Wednesday!