Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Indy Women's Half Marathon recap

In summary, rain and puddles. But first ... some anxiety. In short, a good race and one I wouldn't mind adding to my annual race calendar. But because I'm wordy, this isn't a short recap.

For the full recap though, I should start with the few days prior. I was already going to be in Indianapolis for a conference for work (with free pens from vendors!) when I saw that the race would be that following Saturday. I could have driven 100 miles home on Thursday night, back up to Indianapolis on Friday night, and then return home again on Saturday -- but as no one wanted to come cheer me on, I opted to take a vacation day from work on Friday and spend some time with my mom and sister. I'm glad I did but it was a busy time.

Thursday night, mom, sis, and I went downtown for supper to the Greek Islands restaurant. Oh my ... appetizer was flaming cheese (saganaki) and my main course was spinach something (spanakotiropita). The place is authentic Greek and my sister enjoys going. Since she offered to pay ... well, OK! It's also nice that we each got a complimentary piece of baklava for dessert. :) I'm surprised I'd never been before and hopefully it's something Matt and the kids would enjoy.

Friday was filled with errand running and packet pickup. I had assumed that by going downtown early in the day (pick-up started at 11:00) that parking would be easier than going in the evening when there were several festivals going on -- wrong. Most of the parking garages were full, I couldn't find any on-street parking anywhere, and finally found a parking garage with openings ... at $6/hour. Yeah, sorry, but I had been planning to walk around downtown pokehunting sightseeing and that wasn't going to happen at that rate. But for a small race (compared to the other races I've done) it was a very nice pickup area with quite a few vendors. I didn't look around much ($6/hour, remember) but got my stuff and made it back to the car with a few minutes to spare.

Then to Barnes & Noble, where I finally purchased the final Harry Potter book (Cursed Child) ... but I'm not going to read it until I'm READY for this to end ... again.

Then to Target, because ... Target. Well, and also Gatorade and coconut water for before/after the race. But also, you know ... it's Super Target and I can never pass up a trip there.

Friday night, I continued my gastronomical tour of Indianapolis and went to the Rathskeller (German restaurant). Actually, it was a book club meeting that Amy told me about. The book was "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender". I need to update my review on Goodreads but I'll put it here too -- 4 stars. :) Also fun talking with others about their view of the book.

Then to the race ... normal routine of not being able to sleep the night before. I had to tell myself umpteen times that this is NOT a race ... it's a training run so I shouldn't be worried about anything. I dreamt it was pouring down rain, woke up and it really was pouring down rain. Then I dreamt that Matt and I had to circle back to the house to get my jelly beans (fuel) and saw it was 8:30 (race starts at 7:30). I dream-asked him why he was there since it was a women-only race and he said this was the day of my full marathon ... so I woke up in a panic attack "I'm not ready!". Got up and ready and left at 6:30 and then the real anxiety attack started. I literally almost turned around at every corner, every stop light. Then when I got downtown and couldn't find the street I needed to get to Circle Centre Mall for parking, I was done. I mean, all I needed to do was point my car back south and head to my mom's. Somehow, I found the right street and sucked it up as a true buttercup.

Monument Circle was the start-line and it was pretty funny that when the National Anthem began, everyone turned around looking for a flag. The one I was looking at had the IPL building as a backdrop and they had changed the lights to match the Ireland flag for the previous night's Irish Festival.

The crowd was much smaller than any of my other races, but I liked it. I didn't have to worry about stopping a big crowd of people behind me when I stopped to walk an interval. The rain also kept a lot of the spectators away. I didn't see any fueling stations other than water/PowerAde but I brought a packet of my Sport Beans ... unfortunately, it was so rainy that I was sure they'd congealed together into one lump so I didn't use them.

This would also be my first race running with earbuds -- which failed, thanks to the torrential rainfall. Next on my running-gear wishlist is wireless and waterproof earbuds. The only reason I was wearing them was for the interval timer with RunKeeper -- no need to alert everyone to when I had to switch to run or walk. However, around mile 8 the left bud cut out completely and around mile 10 the right side gave up. So I made sure I still had plenty of battery juice left to keep the phone open/app on for the remaining 3 miles. Just had to keep looking down at my phone to find out when the next interval would be ... until my case started fogging up.

Again, with the rain ... and puddles ... and it felt like a steeplechase at times. But when I leapt over one puddle around mile 2, only to land the very next step into another one, I gave up and just ran through the rest of them. Luckily, 13.1 miles with wet socks/shoes and no blisters! Yay for Balega socks!

I had no clue when/where the race would finish -- because of tangents, I knew I wouldn't be running EXACTLY 13.1 miles, so I couldn't go by my app. And I don't remember passing the 11 or 12 mile markers. Finally found the end though and luckily the rain had stopped a few minutes prior. Even the finish line was much nicer than most of my other races -- everyone got a slingbag filled with snacky foods, then also got a water, banana, chips, cookies, CHOCOLATE MILK (this is big for me since we don't drink dairy at home any more -- to get chocolate milk was just divine!) and someone even gave me a can of RedBull ... um, thanks? Took it home for Matt. Also at the end and because it's a women's race, everyone got a red rose.

And I finally got to meet Katie (From Ice Cream to Marathon)! :)

I felt pretty good too so these intervals are a good thing! Official finish time: 2:32:50. I had hoped I'd be able to finish in under 2:30 but if I can keep up with the training, I just might be able to finish that full in 5:00! (yikes!) 5:30 is still my hope though, to finish uninjured is my goal, and a finish in 5:00 or less is a dream.

I didn't take any photos during the race ... again, rain. So here's the few I did take that morning ...

Monument Circle - I love my hometown! Start time was 7:30 and I knew it there would be rain in the forecast ... just didn't expect so much of it. 



One of the reasons I run: chocolate milk
Had to ask the volunteer at the milk table to open it for me though. :)


I saw this when I was going to packet pick-up but didn't get a photo until after the race. 
While I thought it was an outpost of the city's public library system, I found out later that it's a Free Little Library set up and designed by students at Herron Art School. Either way - cool stuff!


This is the Artsgarden. Basically, an awesome glass-enclosed walkway 
over the intersection of Illinois and Washington Streets. 
It was at this point on my way back to the car that I realized I was lost 
and didn't remember exactly where I had parked said car. 
I remember walking under the Artsgarden that morning though ... so I was close. 

So, that was half-marathon #5 for me (by official count). I didn't get a photo of the medal ... it's purple (ugh) and a butterfly (meh), and my actual training regimen was supposed to have been 16 miles that day, so I missed by 2.5 miles and therefore don't feel like I completed that day and shouldn't have 'earned' a medal for it. But it's on my medal hanger now. Plus, I hope to be able to do this one again AND get others to sign up too!

Now entering the final weeks of training where the mileage is ridonkulous ... 

Wondering if anyone has ever done an official race as part of your training (water stops and plenty of crowd support to help along the way) or if you stick with solo or group training runs ... 



1 comment:

  1. We got there Friday afternoon for packet pick up and had no trouble getting right into the garage. Afterwards Jeremy went to the front desk and asked if they would comp our fee since we were only there for a little bit. They said sure! So we didn't even have to pay for parking!
    I made the mistake once of wearing my wireless earbuds in the rain. They died and never worked again. So this time I remembered to wear my regular earbuds!
    You did so good! You're so close to that 2:30. It was great meeting you. I am SO sorry I forgot to tag your blog when I mentioned you. Going to change that now!

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