the mile report

tales of a running grad student

Circular Logic Marathon Relay 2015


On Saturday, I ran the Circular Logic Marathon as a relay team with my dad!

March has been the month of races: 3 races in 3 weeks!  (I feel like all I’ve been doing with this blog is writing race recaps).  It was probably not my best idea to run back-to back- to back weekend races immediately after healing up from a few months of IT-band issues, but I didn’t want to miss this race.  The Circular Logic Marathon is one of my favorites!

In 2013, I ran the full marathon, and it was my best race experience of all time.  My dad ran the whole race next to me and paced me to a BQ and a PR by 21 minutes.  In 2014, we returned as a relay team.  Since the Circular Logic Marathon has become somewhat of a father/daughter tradition for us, we signed up as a relay team again this year.

Oh, and the reason it’s called Circular Logic?  The course is 26.2 loops of a one-mile path!

My dad drove up on Friday night, and we discussed our relay strategy over snacks and basketball.  The plan was for me to run the first half and for him to join me for my last two miles and then run the second half (he’s training for a bigger race and needed more mileage).  I was a little nervous to run 13 because I hadn’t gone more than 10 since October(?), but the good thing about running in circles is that the furthest you’re ever from your car is approximately half a mile.

Saturday morning was really cold, like in the teens.  I changed my outfit three times before finally deciding on two long-sleeved layers on top and tights on bottom + earband + gloves.  As far as race mornings go, this one was relaxed and low-key, and we left my apartment at 8:25am for the 9am start.  I love easy race logistics!  The race director and volunteers did a phenomenal job of running everything smoothly and staying  out there in the cold!

I finished my bagel as we pulled into the parking lot, and then I picked up our timing chip and chatted with some friends at the start line while my dad set up our water bottles (at the litter-free water station!).

Before I knew it, we were off and running!  I settled into an 8:10 pace groove, which felt good and maintainable.  My original goal was to push the pace to 8-min or just under, but I ditched that idea during the first few laps because 8:10 felt better and I wanted to enjoy the morning.

Karen CLM


One of the cool parts about this race is that you are literally running around the same circle with the same people for hours.  Some people may call it crazy, but I like it for its unique-ness.  You start to feel like you know the other runners and the spectators.  You get to cheer on the super speedy runners when they pass you and encourage other runners when you pass them.  Other awesome things about this course: there are no hills, there is music at the start/lap line, there are plenty of cheerers, and you are guaranteed to have water at every mile.

My dad joined me for my last two miles, and then I passed our chip to him for the final 13. Dad CLM

I cooled down for two miles–I was honestly surprised that my legs felt as good as they did–and changed into warm clothes to cheer on my dad.  That was the plan, at least.  Our car was parked in this fantastic spot with a great view, so I stayed in there for a solid 45 minutes to get warm again.

I eventually got back outside to walk around, talk to other runners, …and run the last bit in with my dad to finish our marathon!

CLM finish

Just running with my camera in my left hand

He was booking it at a sub-7 pace, so I only jumped in with 20 steps to go.  I learned from last year, when I totally overestimated how long I could sprint after finishing my half and freezing for an hour and a half.  Flashback to last year…see me in the background? Dropping out before the finish line.

CLM 2014

We posed for some pictures at the finish line.  Our overall time was 3:19, I think my half was about 1:47.  It was a great run and a fun morning!

CLM finish


This was my last March at Purdue, but I might have to make a special trip back for this race every year…


  1. How do they keep count of your laps? I would totally lose count.

    • there’s a little screen at the finish line that shows your name & what lap you’re on every time your chip passes it. I was wearing a garmin, so I just went by that.

      round up a team for next year 🙂

  2. Way to go Karen! Awesome pace and so fun to run with your dad, I love that tradition! My dad is planning on running his first half this fall and were planning on doing it together, hopefully!

  3. Oh my gosh, no wonder that was your best race experience that sounds like an absolutely amazing race!

    I have to admit, running in circles really does sound a little crazy ha ha. But after making friends with someone who runs 100 mile ultras in circles –it sounds less so.

    Congratulations on having such a great run! It sounds like you totally rock that distance even the week after a race!
    I want to learn from you and start racing more often!

  4. Wow! I can’t imagine running a race like that. I would have thought it might get a little monotonous but it sounds like you guys had a blast!

  5. Great job, you look so strong in those photos!

  6. so cool that your dad and you share running as a passion! my dad is into cocktails and bargain shopping, both of which i love too 🙂

  7. Congrats, Karen! Such a cool race – I would love to run that sometime!!!! I’m jealous that you did 3 races in March! Such a good motivator for running 🙂

    • You should definitely do it sometime! Yeah, 3 races in March was more than I meant to do. Now we’re in the season where you can find a race every weekend!

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