Thursday, May 10, 2012

Indy Mini Marathon Recap

So, its over... the post half marathon blues have taken hold.  I stress myself out like crazy leading up to these - what am I going to wear, will the weather cooperate, will my stomach cooperate, will I be able to finish, will I PR? All these thoughts swirl in my head for weeks leading up to a half marathon and then suddenly its over and I have a void.  No wonder I sign up for back to back events!

Anyway, on to this particular race.  The weather was a big factor in this race - leading up to the race we were concerned about thunderstorms and high temps/humidity.  Luckily the storms never showed up, but the humidity was terrible.  The temps themselves were okay - I want to say they were in the 60/70s during the race, but it was 90ish% humidity!  I was hot the minute I started running!

Going into this race I wasn't sure what to expect as I really haven't put in much running time since my half on April 7.  I had only run 2 "long runs" (and at 6 miles I am not sure they qualified) and a handful of short runs.  I wanted to train more, but I was doing the "smart thing" and resting an injury. I didn't know what it was but it hurt to run and I knew I wasn't supposed to run through pain.

(for those of you who don't want to read this ridiculously long recap, if you scroll to the bottom I highlight the good, bad, and ugly)

ANYWAY, the first 5k was great... I felt relaxed, I felt strong, I was running a good pace.

Then, I hit that wall that I have been hitting on my long runs - at mile 3 my foot started throbbing.  Instead of pushing through it, I mentally crumpled - I still had 10 miles to go and I really didn't want to walk but at the time it seemed like my only option.  I called my mom in tears as I watched hundreds and hundreds of people pass me.  We talked for a few minutes (I know, poor race etiquette, but I needed it) and after the pep talk I tried to formulate a plan to finish in a reasonable amount of time without injuring myself further.  I pretty much just ran when I could and walked when I had to, I tried to run 15 minutes at a time and then allow myself up to 5 minutes to walk.  As with previous runs, the pain traveled up to my hip - I am assuming as a result of babying the foot.

I was ecstatic when we hit the speedway, that meant once we were done there we were half done.  Then, we got inside and I lost all my energy - many people say the track is incredible to run on - I found it depressing.  There was no crowd support (,minus a few cheerleaders) and it seemed to go on FOREVER.  Add to it the heat and I walked far more of the speedway than I would have liked.  I did convince myself to run across the yard of bricks though, so I was happy for that...

I was never so happy to see something end as I was when I ran out of the speedway.  Unfortunately, I realized I had a small pebble in my shoe, but I wasn't about to stop and lose more time to take it out - so I ran for close to 2 miles with a rock bouncing around in my shoe (yeah, that was annoying).  I decided I needed a walk break, and figured I should go ahead and get the rock out of my shoe.   After that walk break, it was really hard to run again.  My hips and legs were getting stiff and I just wanted to be done.  I did the best I could to hold it together.

Somewhere around mile 11 I met someone who I will call my "life saver" - I was walking near a woman who was a bit older than me (okay, maybe more than a bit).  She looked over and said... "come on, only a few miles left... lets go."  I love running with others so I was happy to oblige. Turns out she had been running for a long time, this was her 18th Indy Mini.  We talked about training, and races, and marathons.  She was very encouraging and enlightening.  We ran together until just after mile 12 when we took a walk break. Then, somewhere around mile 12.5 we started running again - she ended up needing another walk break but encouraged me to keep running and finish strong.  I thanked her for providing me the motivation to run when I really didn't think I could and she told me she was glad I came with her because she needed it to.  It seemed like the finish line would never get there (the race measured long for me -13.3 miles), but then I saw my kids off to the side watching for me. It brought a smile to my face and after a high five from my daughter I was off again.  I nearly cried when I saw the finish line - this was a hard race for me both mentally and physically,  but I was done and I couldn't have been happier!

That's me, bad form and all!

high-fives from my daughter!

The good:
 - no storms
 - I finished
 - I finished in under 2:30 (this was my "if I don't finish in x:xx I might cry" goal)
 - not even a hint of tummy trouble
 - volunteers and spectators
 - excellent water stations/gatorade stations and misting stations along the route
 - overall, the race was very well organized
 - the medal

Love this medal! 

The bad:
 - I started in my assigned corral, wish I had started further back!
 - I finished in 2:22:31 - a personal worst
 - my foot causing me pain which then traveled to my hip
 - too much walking as a result of a "mental breakdown" due to above mentioned pain
 - the event photographer didn't get a good finish line photo (understandable,  it was busy)
 - due to the crowds, it was hard to push to the finish like I normally do, watching the video, I even bumped into someone because people were slamming on the brakes as soon as they crossed the finish line (this big girl has momentum and can't stop on a dime!)
 - I didn't love the post race food: a bottle of water, a banana, cookie, and fruit snacks (they were out of several things and I never found the chocolate milk - it was "hidden" in the family reunion area)

The ugly:
 - the humidity combined with the heat, I saw SO many people go down and need medical attention.  All said, I think they only treated 240 for heat related issues, but its scared me to see people unresponsive with IVs and oxygen along the course

All in all, it was a great race and I plan to run it again to show that course who's boss!  (After I run the Flying Pig, of course!)

When you have a bad race, do you feel the need to repeat it even if you normally wouldn't to prove to yourself that you can do better? 

For any of you who haven't already, please consider donating to St Jude through my fundraising page.  While the race is in December, the fundraising deadline is sooner.  I would love to surpass my goal! 


  1. I don't even want to imagine 90% humidity! That's craziness!!

    Despite all those cons you still did a great job! You're pretty darn incredible sometimes ;)

    Keep it up!

  2. I think you did a wonderful job and I understand what it's like to feel rough at the beginning and then push through and finish. It's always better to be smart and not do something that would cause injury than to keep running in pain, in my opinion. I've been much slower since Oak Barrel and I know the heat is part of that but I'm still running more than I ever thought as are you so be proud of that!

  3. Absolutely I want to take revenge on a course that has caused me to do worse than I hoped or that I just had a horrible time on. It's good mental toughness to go back and prove that it was just one of those days, one of those races and that I can do it.

    You did a great job with rough circumstances and I have no doubt that if you do it again you'll have a much better time. Remember some things are out of our control - especially the weather.

  4. First, I just noticed my comment isn't on here . . . surely you didn't delete it - hmph, dumb technology!

    Second, since my original comment is MIA I will try it again (which by the way, I left the comment back on the first day this post was up - boo to it being lost in cyberspace). Great job - super hard race. Revenge for me isn't race specific, and it's not driven by factors i can't control like weather, illness, or injury. For me, when I run a race I know I didn't train well enough for, that's the race I want to have revenge on by training appropriately for the next one.

    Third, I tagged you on my blog - feel no pressure to join in the tagging fun.