Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa Hustle Half Marathon

Santa Hustle Half Marathon
December 16, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana

Runners: 938
Course: Flat
Weather: 51 degrees, 90% humidity 
Wind: 12 mph SSW
SWAG: Santa technical shirt, hat, & white beard
Food: Cookies & candy along the course
Volunteer Support: Fair
Water Stops: Sparsely supported, some had no volunteers
Crowd Support: Very Sparse
Time: 1:36:11
Pace: 7:21/mile
Place: 43rd out of 938 Overall
          2nd Place out of 46 in 40-44 Age Group

Total Experience ... 1 2 3 4 5

As with everyone else, this past weekend was emotionally one of the toughest Michael and I have experienced in a while.  Our hearts were broken by the tragic news from Newtown, Connecticut, and we both shed tears as we listened to the radio description of the events while we traveled.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these precious babies and the courageous educators that were taken from us in this senseless act.  May God bless their healing.

2012 Indianapolis Santa Half Marathon finisher medal on the left
& medal for 2nd place in 40-44 age group on the right 
With a heavy cloud over the weekend, Michael and I did our best to have a nice time in Indianapolis this past weekend with our friend Coy from First In Philly.  We ran the 2012 Santa Hustle, part of the Adrenaline Sports Management Santa Hustle Race Series.  The 5K & half marathon series takes place in seven cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, and Daytona Beach.  We ran the half marathon in one of my favorite places, Indianapolis.

Indy is about a 7 hour drive from Kansas City along I-70.  And while I really have no love lost for the Baltimore  Indianapolis Colts, I love spending time in downtown Indy.  As the capital city of Indiana, the city is very clean, with a ton of beautiful monuments, restaurants & places of entertainment that are all within walking distance and easy to get to.

Michael and Coy have become really good friends, and we both love it when we get a chance to meet up with her, usually at a race.  I've been with Michael at three races where Coy has met us, but I think Michael has met her for a couple more that I haven't been to.  Coy lives about 2 hours from Indy, so she met us on Saturday before the race after we had grabbed our race bags at the small Expo.  The Expo was held at the race's host hotel, the JW Marriot, which is the large blue windowed hotel on the Northwest side of Indy.  With only a few weeks before Christmas, the lobby was decorated and packed with folks dressed up and coming and going to holiday parties - it was really a festive scene.

After Coy got to the hotel and we all unpacked, we walked about 4 blocks to dinner ... well actually we took a cab for part of it when it started misting.  Upon the recommendation of the hotel staff, we chose to have our pre-race meal at Lorenzo's Ristorante, an Italian restaurant across the street from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  The food was pretty good, but for the price, I honestly don't know that I would recommend it.  Plus, the service wasn't great, but to be fair, the city was pretty busy due to a college basketball tournament that was taking place at the adjacent arena.  It had stopped misting when we finished eating, so we took a walk toward the downtown monument area of Indy.  There are several historic statues and monuments a few blocks from the State Capital building that are draped with Christmas lights this time of year. And I had a great time walking around and site-seeing in the downtown area with a couple of grown women better known as the two idiots.

Sunday was my 44th birthday, so we woke up and I opened a couple of birthday gifts before getting ready for the race.  It was a little cloudy, but really warm for this time of year - about 50 degrees.  The only minor concern with the weather was a little wind at 12-15 mph, and about 90% humidity - but it didn't end up being a problem at all.  It was just a great day to run.

I'm not really into the "gimmicky races" ... like the Mustache Dash, or the Paint Run, or the Zombie Run, etc, etc, etc.  ... and this one was no different.  But I decided not to be a grumpy old man and make the best of it. Included in our race packets were a Santa technical long sleeve shirt, a Santa hat, and a white beard.  Ya know ... so 1000 people could all look like Jolly Ol' Saint Nick!
The two idiots having fun ... and me enduring the nonsense!
Since November, I've gained about 10-12 pounds and I'm currently at about 188.  I usually gain a little weight during December because I use the month to lighten my running load and rest up a little.  But this year, I've been especially lazy and really packed it on.  Since I'm a little heavier and a little out of shape, I decided not "go all out" in this race so I didn't kill myself on my 44th birthday.  Plus, next year I move up to the 45-49 division and I really didn't want to die before I had a chance to be the young guy in a new age group.
Coy, me, & a whole lot of Santas!
The race started and I took it pretty easy.  I was running about 8:00/pace without too much trouble.  I literally didn't even look at my Garmin until about mile two - I just wasn't that concerned with the pace.  Somewhere during mile three I even decided to take a little rest-stop behind a parked car in an adjacent lot.  My Garmin shows that I was stopped for about 1:15 ... what can I say, I really had to go!  After that, mostly out of board'em, I decided to pick up the pace a little.  I began running a little faster, but made sure that I wasn't really pushing it too hard.  I noticed that my breathing was okay, but my legs were really dead and out of shape.  My hamstrings were tightening up a little due to lack of recent use.  I didn't keep an eye on the pace, but when I occasionally glanced down I noticed I always seemed to be around 7:15/pace or so ... and it felt really comfortable.  Following are my splits...

1)8:06    2)8:06    3)8:33    4)7:11    5)7:11    6)7:17    7)7:04    8)7:02    9)7:09    10)7:04    11)6:49    12)6:55    13)6:45

Since I had started a little slower than usual for a half marathon, I started passing quite few people as I began to pick up speed.  I knew that this wasn't a huge race, and I also knew that I had started pretty close to the front of the pack.  So as I passed more and more people and the crowd began to thin out, I figured I had to be getting close to the front finishers, so I started to push it a little during the last three miles, but kept it very manageable.  I had left my heart rate monitor in the hotel room and didn't have an idea how fast my heart was beating, so I just ran until it felt like "work", and then I backed off a little for a while.   The end result was a 1:36:11.  It was my fourth half marathon of the year and by far the slowest ... but I really didn't care.  It was a fun race and I hadn't ended up injured.

After the race, while waiting for Michael and Coy to finish, I ran up to the room and changed clothes.  When I came back down I looked for a results tent.  I couldn't find a tent, but I could hear them announcing the winners over the loud speaker at the awards ceremony.  By the time I walked over to the awards area, they were finished.  I was kind of curious about what time had won my age group, so I walked up and asked the results guy what the times were in 40-44.  He started naming the three top finishers, and he said my name in second place ... huh???  With kind of a surprised and questioning tone, I said, "I'm Weatherly ... that was second place?"  He said, "Yeah! Congrats!", and then a girl handed me a medal!  Cool!  Even though I hadn't really ran that hard ... or that well ... I got a second place medal on my birthday!  Happy Birthday to me I guess!

After that I found the girls and watched them cross the finish line ... in their tutu's.   We got cleaned up and then before heading out, we grabbed lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.  It was great to chat after the race, but we had a 7 hour drive and work the next day so we didn't get to hang around much longer.  But as always, we had a great time in Indianapolis, and with Coy!
... be great today!


  1. Can you just post this recap to my blog please?

    Had a great time with you this weekend!!

  2. Great recap. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that packs on the pounds during December. I too have put on about 10 pounds.... :(

  3. You do really well speeding up at the end. Inspires me to start more conservatively in the future!

  4. Such a lovely recap of the race. I love the santa claus costumes.It is the perfect race for the christmas season.

    goat weed

  5. You and Michael and are the handle to my pancake flipper. I still have that photo of you being affectionate with Abe Lincoln. Black mail. I also bought you black Crocs for Christmas. You're welcome.

  6. Looks like you all had a great time!
    love the outfits...Jim I think that you should have gone for know the tutu I mean...
    come on now!!

  7. Happy Birthday for Sunday.If I'd known I would have baked you a cake.

  8. Happy Birthday, Jim! An age group medal is a good birthday present. I hope you guys have a Merry Christmas, too.

  9. looks like good times - tons of santas! happy bday, and you are seriously Mr. negative split!


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