Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Indianapolis, Indiana Monumental Marathon

Friday, November 1
We drove up to Indianapolis on Friday.  It was about 7 hours total, including stops.  Upon arriving, we headed to the expo to get our packets.  We really had not researched the marathon at all, so seeing the expo was the first chance I had to gauge the size of the race.  It seemed to be a fairly large race. We also stopped to look at the pace groups.  We had decided to aim for a sub-4 hour time, so we checked out the pacers near that time.

We met my sister at Siam Square, a nice Thai restaurant near her house.  Our stipulation was that it had to be kid-friendly, and it was!  The service was fast, and the food was good.  It's nice to have a filling, high-carbohydrate meal the night before the race, so this dish of white rice and shrimp was great for me.

We laid out our stuff and settled in to sleep.  I tossed and turned since her apartment had lots of loud people late into the night!  But I never worry about the sleep I get the night before a race.

Saturday, November 2
This race went well but was different from most of my races lately.  In this race, Rick and I started very conservatively and moved up as the race went on.  My splits started at 8:35 (we were just wanting sub-9 pace).  But everything seemed easy and was going well, so I picked up the pace to around 8:10's.  When I crossed the halfway point at 1:47, I knew I had a chance to get a sub 3:35!  I ended up negative-spliting!  This was not something I was expecting to do at all today.  With only minimal training, I knew that the last few miles could seem very hard, but that didn't happen.  I passed the 3:35 pacer and just kept going (this was near the end--maybe Mile 22?).  Rick surprised himself and felt even better than I did, so he took off around Mile 17 and picked up his pace a lot.

I finished the race in 3:32:31 (I do remember that the last mile seemed to take forever!).  What a surprise for me (and Rick, who got a 3:27).  With our training, we just did not think we could do this. These times are only about 20 minutes slower than we could do with good training right now.  I wasn't expecting a BQ, but I was amazed that I had done it!  It was a great way to finish my 30th marathon, and I think it shows the power of experience in the marathon.  We are well-seasoned marathon runners now, and this helped us greatly today.  Our bodies and minds remember this distance.  

The course was nice and flat, the weather was perfect (40s), and aid on the course was nice (Clif Bloks!).  I think these things helped us out.  And Rick, who tends to get put pressure on himself, did not feel any pressure today.  I also enjoyed not having the usual "PR pressure" on me today.  For me, I saw it as a "last chance," at least for another year or so.  I always run better when I think, "One day you will not be able to do this.  Today is not that day." It helps me to appreciate the moment so much more.  

After showers, we went to Bazbeaux's for some wonderful basil pizza.  It was almost a mile each way there and back, and we'd already walked 2 miles getting to and from the start/finish.  I was sore and stiff!  We went to a toy store and a grocery store and headed back to my sister's apartment for short naps.  

Dinner on Saturday night was Chipotle, and we made a trip to Trader Joe's and a nice mall.  I was exhausted that night and slept like a baby!

Sunday, November 3 
We had a great opportunity to spend one more night at Laurie's apartment.  It worked out since the kids have homeschool on Mondays, so they would not miss school if we drove back that day.  And Laurie pointed out that she'd watched the kids for Sunday marathons in the past.  Having this one on Saturday was great.  So today we went to Scotty's Brewhouse (we had looked it up that kids eat free on Sundays) and the Indiana State Museum (we used our U.S. Space and Rocket Center membership to get in for free!).  It was another day of walking...and lots of standing at the museum.  I definitely felt sore and tired today.

Indiana State Museum

We did a pretty riverwalk on the way back to Laurie's place.  

Rick points to where we finished yesterday.  
Crazy to see it totally back to being a regular old street.

Laurie is really into healthy eating, so she wanted to make us a good, made-from-scratch dinner.  The kids had never had brussel sprouts or asparagus before!  And the main dish was a delicious macaroni and cheese.

It was hard telling my sister good-bye.  I am so proud of her for moving to a new city alone, but I really miss her in Alabama.  And I am so moved by how willing she is to watch the kids for us.  She talked about flying out to meet us for some east coast marathons and others too.  I love that she offered that to us.  I could never repay her for what she's done for us in helping to make this dream possible for us.

Monday, November 4
 We set off for Alabama as Laurie headed off to work.  We made a stop in Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Kentucky Science Center (another free museum for us--yeah!).  This museum was great!  The kids had a such a good time that we had to go out and feed the meter to get more playtime!  We ate lunch in the car (Jimmy Johns) and made it home around 5:30.

Closing Thoughts
I love taking the time to look back on each marathon and reflect.  This one just seemed like such a gift--the unexpectedness of it, the uncertainty due to our lack of training, the utter surprise and joy of having a good race and finish, and the happiness of reaching the milestone of 30 marathons.  I am constantly surprised at what each race brings to me, and that is why I like running marathons so much.  I even enjoy reading about my races that went poorly.  There's lessons there too, and they toughen me up.  I feel amazed that I was able to BQ today and thankful for the chance to do it.  A lesson I can give you is to never be afraid to try something.  If we'd just taken the easy road and not done this race, we'd have missed an unforgettable experience.  As usual, the trip was a wonderful family vacation and a great chance to see a dear family member.  I love that marathoning lets me do all of these things together.

Race Pictures
So strange--I didn't receive any finish line photos!  And I looked through the "unidentified runners" and couldn't find me anywhere!  Oh well, I know I finished! 

Here are some pictures from the course and after the finish.

Loaded down with arm sleeves (pushed down), gloves in hand, and a water bottle!  With a start in the low 40s, I had to have the gloves and sleeves at the beginning.  

Mile 1 8:35
Mile 2 8:13
Mile 3 8:05
Mile 4 8:13
Mile 5 8:15
Mile 6 8:07
Mile 7 8:12
Mile 8 8:15
Mile 9 8:12
Mile 10 8:06
Mile 11 8:04
Mile 12 8:00
Mile 13 7:53
Mile 14 8:00
Mile 15 8:01
Mile 16 8:13
Mile 17 7:56
Mile 18 7:57
Mile 19 7:51
Mile 20 7:54
Mile 21 7:53
Mile 22 8:07
Mile 23 8:02
Mile 24 8:13
Mile 25 8:11
Mile 26 8:10 
.2 1:42


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