Sunday, November 14, 2010

Indianapolis Monumental Half-Marathon Race Recap

So... last weekend I ran a half-marathon. 13.1 miles of fun running and happiness! 

My Business Man and I traveled to Indy, where the race was held, on Friday afternoon. His BFF and wife live right downtown, so we had plans to stay with them and visit the whole weekend.

We arrived around 6pm, and checked out the race expo. This race supposedly had over 9000 people, between the marathon, half-marathon, and 5km. I have never run in a super-big race before, so I didn't know what to expect! Lots of people were there, and lots of booths, offering various products. We managed to escape without purchasing anything.

Once we arrived at Adam & Sarah's (the BFF's), they had a super-delish meal waiting for us. We had mentioned that I would need some carbs to prepare for the race, and they provided the carbs for sure! 

Lasagna, salad, and breadsticks... topped off with dark chocolate and peanut butter gelato for dessert!

We played a few rounds of Balderdash and then hit the hay pretty early since the race started bright and early at 8am. Fortunately, we were only about 4 miles from the race start, so we didn't have to travel super-far in the morning.

My Business Man and Adam were both up super-early to accompany me to the race, which was so wonderful! Did I mention it was about 29* outside? Yes, it was chilly.

They dropped me off near the start, and went to park the car. Who knew if I would see them again until the end?

Once on my own, I made good use of the porta potty, then proceeded to do a small warm-up. I was unsure of what a proper warm-up should be for a half-marathon, so I just did a 7-min jog and some leg swings. I felt pretty good.

Then, it was time to wait. Fortunately, my Business Man and Adam hightailed it back to the start, and were able to chat with me for a bit before the start.

Me and my Business Man before the race! Still dark out!

One of the local high school bands played the national anthem before the race start. It was..... interesting to say the least. If I hadn't known it was the national anthem, I don't think I could have figured it out. Ha.

After that, I lined up in my corral. (I made it into a corral!! #3, the last seeded corral, but a corral nonetheless!)

I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this race. I secretly wanted to pace 7:30-miles, but was unsure if that would be possible. I had only decided about a month previously to run this race, so I sorta just crammed a few long runs into my training schedule and said that would have to be good enough.

Before we knew it, the race had begun! I wanted to start out conservatively, because who knew how I would feel 10+ miles into the race. 

My first mile was a 7:38, which was right where I wanted to be. Sadly, I don't have any of my other mile splits. No fancy Garmin for me, just my cheap-o watch from Wal-mart! It works for me.

My Business Man was able to catch me around the 2.5-mile mark. All smiles at this point!

I do remember being around a 7:30 average for the first four miles, and then all of a sudden each mile was around 7:15. Yikes! I kept trying to relax, but passing people was much more fun!

I am super-glad that I decided not to run with my iPod. The race wove through some beautiful neighborhoods, and by several nice-to-look-at monuments. It was great to soak up every moment of the race, without being distracted by my music.

A little after mile 10, I started to feel the pain. I think my 10-mile split was something like 1:23:xx, so I was averaging around 7:20-pace. Faster than I had ever imagined! Now, the trick would be to finish strong. 

[Side note: I held a 'contest' in each of my classes at school. All the students had to guess my finish time in the half, and the closest would receive 5 bonus points on their next test. Of course, some of them really had no concept of running and pace, so their guesses were pretty out there. The guesses ranged from a 1:09 to a 2:45! 

However, I did share my goal time of 1:38 with my students, so I felt responsible to finish in that time! I didn't want them to think I was all-talk!]

So, with less than a 5km to go, I just kept telling myself that it was probably going to hurt no matter how slow or fast I was running, so I might as well try to maintain the pace!

I knew the finish was right in front of the Capitol building, so when I saw that we were running right toward it, I began to get super-excited! Yes, almost done!

Until... we kept running... past the Capitol... around the block... and then finally back to the Capitol. That last half-mile was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!

But, finally, it was in sight and I sprinted in as fast as my little legs would carry me.
Looking down to stop my watch. I didn't cross the line til about 25 seconds after the official gun, so my watch was different than the official time on the clock.
Official finish time: 1:35:55!! 

Official place: 31st/2349 women

Way faster than expected! I was so happy! 

I even received a special TOP 100 hat for finishing in the Top 100 females. Oh, and the finisher's medal, too. Needless to say, I was on a running high the rest of the day.
Nice pose in front of the deceiving finish line monument...

They had a lot of food and yummies after the race, including Panera bagels! 

No cool-down for me, though my legs would hate me for that later.

My Business Man and his BFF got some cool pics during the race. While they waited for me to run miles 3-13, they went up to the roof of Adam's office and watched the race from above. 
There I am!! Can't you see me?
We high-tailed it back to Adam & Sarah's apartment, because I was COOOOLD! No problems being cold during the race, but I was soon as I was done running, I was freezing!

My nice hot shower was the best reward for a good race. 

The rest of the day was spent out to brunch, to Brown County for some Christmas shopping and the best pumpkin spice latte of my life, and the Cinema Grille for some dinner and The Social Network.

Another blog post for another day!


Kristin said...

Congratulations!! Sounds like this race is one for your list of incredible accomplishments. Also, a note on the marching band, I think that you've just been spoiled by being in a GREAT high school band so I wouldn't be too hard on them.

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