Saturday, November 5, 2011

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon


I can put that 13.1 sticker on my car and pretend I'm a queen for the next week!

So, how did it go? Glad you asked!

Got up at 4:30 this morning and choked down some oatmeal with peanut butter and honey. I was just so nervous/excited/etc that it was hard to eat! We made the drive up to Indy and waited at the starting area for about 45 minutes. It was good we got there so early because I left my Garmin (and the camera) in the car. I almost made my crazy dream come true! Luckily Seth went to retrieve them.

It was SO. COLD. waiting for the start. Barely above freezing this morning. I had on an old pair of Seth's sweat pants over my capris and my raincoat to keep warm. I paced around a bit until we had ten minutes left, when I handed Seth my raincoat and joined the marathon 4:40 pace group.

Me at the start (awesome sweatpants, huh?)

Seth holding his awesome sign

Only the marathon had pace groups, and they split off at around mile 7 when the two routes diverged. But since the 4:40 group was pretty much the pace I was aiming for in the half, I thought I'd stick with them as long as I could. Turns out, the 4:40 group had a subset of half pacers! Yay!

Then, we were off! I was running right with the pace group and handling the congestion pretty well. It had been so cold, I left my warm up sweatpants on and actually anticipated wanting to wear them the whole time. I don't do cold so well. But around mile 2.5-ish I warmed up and wanted them off. Plus they felt weird. I stopped when I got to a good spot, but I could not get them off over my shoes! I had to sit on the ground and work them off! I have no idea how long it took, but it seemed like forever. And in my wrestling with the pants, I think I accidentally hit the lap button on my Garmin, so after that it didn't beep with the mile markers. (It still took 1.0 mile splits, they were just off by a bit.) Lesson learned with the warm up pants. Take them off before the start so you don't waste time later!

I saw Seth for the first time around mile 4 I think. He almost missed me! I had to yell at him as I passed. He was clearly easier to see with his amazing sign.

There I go
I was still working to catch back up to my pace group. They were further ahead of me than I wanted them to be (dumb pants). I could see them, but I wasn't next to them as I had been. I was running a pretty good clip to get back up there. I really didn't want to lose them. Playing that game, the first six miles just flew by. Before I knew it they were over. There were also lots of spectators and cheerers in this section. There were some places with bands set up and running around downtown was really pretty. I've never been to Indy during the day, so it was nice to see all these things up close and personal. Maybe next time I'll try to carry a camera so I can capture the sights.

After the first six miles, it got a little more boring. Less spectators and we moved away from the real downtown area into the historic districts. Really pretty houses through there, but I think I preferred the downtown area. I saw Seth again around mile 7 (maybe? 7-10 kind of run together for me). I saw him in advance and waved so he'd see me. I was starting to get a bit tired by this point.

On the right, in green, getting tired
And then the marathoners split off, just as I finally caught up to my pace group! And then my half marathon pacers started walking! I actually think one of them was having a bad day or something. She seemed a little beat down. So I ended up passing my pacers. I had a goal not to walk! (Except through the water stations... I just can't manage to run and drink out of a SOLO cup at the same time.)

Anyway, the next few miles were tough for me. They really blur together. The only thing that stands out was passing the Children's Museum. The cheering section there was amazing! They were all wearing green with frog hats and bouncing on these giant green balls. They were very enthusiastic. I loved them. I saw a lot of signs telling me to go faster in these miles. I didn't really like that. I also saw some encouraging signs. I even saw a That's What She Said sign! And I saw a sign that I'm pretty sure was made by my friend Carman, whose husband also ran the half today. (He ran at a 6:00 min/mile pace and came in 24th place. He's pretty awesome.) Oscar's sign said "How bad do you want it?" above a giant handlebar mustache. Pretty much the best sign ever.

I eventually only had two miles left to go so I tried to pick it up a little. I got some extra motivation when the elite men's marathon leaders passed me! They were so inspiring and it's crazy to think that they ran twice as fast as me for twice as long. I was really tired, but I cheered for them (the top four ended up passing me) as they went by.

And then it got a little depressing. My Garmin hit 13.1 miles (2:20:37... right in my goal range!), but I hadn't even passed the 13 mile marker yet. I was prepared for 13.1 miles, but I was not mentally prepared for 13.49 miles. I was unhappy that I wasn't going to officially meet my goal and I was really ready to stop running. Also, my left hand (the one I wear my Garmin on) had swollen up like crazy! I could barely touch my fingers together and my wedding bands were really tight! I was a little concerned about that. I took my Garmin off hoping it would help. Running does make you swell a little and I think maybe my watch was just too tight at the beginning and that stuff just couldn't circulate very well after the running swells settled in. Or maybe I need to look into some salt tablets to put in one of my water bottles? Losing too many electrolytes and start retaining water? Regardless, I had gone that far; there was no way I was stopping until it was over!

I finally rounded a corner and saw the finish line. I ran down the shoot.

Almost there!
I could still make my less than 2:30 goal according to the clock. I ran as fast as I could. I don't remember what the clock said exactly (2:29:5x), but I made it. I crossed the finish line and got a space blanket and some food and a finisher's hat and medal. I was tired and freezing and puffy, but I did it!

I am so proud. And thankful.

Official results:
Time:  2:24:47
Pace:  11:04 min/mile
Place:  3271/4586
Division Place:  321/480
Gender Place:  1602/2590

Garmin data:
Indy Monumental Half Marathon 2011 by jamadren at Garmin Connect - Details
Time:  2:24:41
Distance:  13.49 miles
Pace:  10:44 min/mile

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