This race was my Everest... that is exactly how I feel... it was something that is still hard to believe I conquered. I was so overwhelmed that I actually completed this task that I got a little choked up at the end. It's one of those things that was painful while you are doing it, but once it's over you have this unexplainable joy...
I have very few pictures to show for my experience... you know... I was busy running... but here's the recap!
I was up bright and early the morning of the race... 5:20 a.m. to be exact. I got ready and then had my usual race day breakfast of a white bagel, peanut butter, and a banana. I rinsed it down with a cup of water. I got a few other things together and then Dan and I were off to go downtown.
Our plan was that Dan was going to drop me off, I would run the race, then he would pick me back up. I was estimating that it was going to take my 2 hours and 30 minutes to run this and I didn't want him to have to wait around for me that whole time. Our plan actually worked out perfectly!
Once Dan dropped me off I made my way to my corral. I was in "R"... so it took me a good ten minutes to get there... then it took me almost 20 minutes to get to the start line once the race started! The weather was absolutely perfect. It was overcast, around 60 degrees, and breezy. For those of you that don't live around this area, this is the largest half marathon in the country. 35,000 people run it. CRAZY huh?
Mile 1-4 : I was feeling great. I enjoyed the conversations of the people around me and reading the funny shirts some of them had on. I even witnessed some girl pick up a guy. She bumped into him and then told him "Sorry, I was just checking you out!" He kind of chuckled and then she asked him for his number. They even pulled over to the side of the road to exchange numbers! BAHAHA! This struck me as soooo funny! Do people really do that?
Mile 4-8 : I was still feeling pretty good. We entered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ran the track. That was pretty cool since this is one of the only times that people are actually allowed to walk that track.
Also, a lot of people like to stop and kiss the yard of bricks before they leave the track. I personally didn't do this, but a lot of others were doing it.
I kind of needed to go to the bathroom at this point, but was afraid to stop because I didn't know how I would feel once I started up again. At this point I was taking in either water or gatorade at every pit station and I ate four Chomps at mile 7.
Mile 8-10 : Still was feeling okay... but my legs were getting tired. I had to laugh several times at the number of guys that were going over to different wooded areas to pee. HA! Why can't girls have it this easy.
Mile 10-13.1 : This is where I started to feel like crap. It wasn't that I was out of breath or that I had a side ache or something... but my legs were just so dang tired... I was barely going at a shuffle. I kept telling myself it was only 3 more miles, but these were the longest and worst miles mentally for me. I tried to focus on just getting to the next water station mile by mile. When I hit mile 11 all I starting thinking about was that Dan was on his way to get me and I would see him soon. I just kept shuffling along. By 12 mile I was wiped out. Everyone kept saying only a mile left... but this was the LONGEST mile of my life. Even when I could see the finish line it felt like it took me an eternity to get there.
Finish : I finished the race in 2 hours, 33 minutes, and 33 seconds. My average pace was 11 minutes 43 seconds. I was the 18,481 out of 20,108 runners, the 8,070 female finisher, and the 1,529 finisher in my age group. Hey, at least I wasn't last! Once I stopped running the pain came. My legs started cramping up like they never have before. I rushed around to find Dan so he could take me home... I hurt sooooo badly.
In the hours after the race my legs hurt worse. I could hardly walk... seriously. Going up and down the stairs in my house was almost impossible. To go up the stairs I had to practically crawl and to go down I had to sit on my butt and scoot down them one by one. Today I'm feeling much better. I can walk normally even though my muscles are still pretty sore.
I have to admit I'm not proud of my times. I know I could have done soooo much better if I would have been more faithful in my training. But the one thing I wanted to do for sure was run the entire thing and I did that, which I'm proud of. And... I finished it! I did something that I have been wanting to do for years! That is an amazing feeling!
I did it!!!!
And then I stuffed my face with fast food... those 13.1 miles were totally worth it :)
Now I'm ready to just enjoy some lower mileage runs and not deal with the stress of getting long runs in. It's back to just running for fun! I do hope to do some shorter races this summer to maybe PR in a few and maybe another Half Marathon in the fall. One great thing about not having the best time this race is that it won't be too hard to PR in my next half... hopefully! I did learn how important it is to train properly in order to feel your best on race day.
Thank you to all the people who supported me while I was doing this... especially my husband who puts up with my injuries, tears, and complaints more than anything else. He is my biggest fan and I am his!
OH! And speaking of Dan... some of the members of the SWAT Team walked the Mini in full SWAT gear! Dang! I'm hoping Dan can be talked into doing this next year! HAHA! You wouldn't think that their gear is that heavy, but I can barely lift Dan's vest and that is when he doesn't have anything in it! These guys are amazing!
And that's all for my recap! Sorry it was a little long, but I hope you enjoyed it! I encourage anyone who ever wants to run a Mini Marathon to do it... it really is an experience of a lifetime!