Thursday, July 4, 2013

Firecracker 6–BOOM!

Since I have a dry spell from my last half marathon (June 1st) until my next half marathon (August 17th), I decided to do a 6 mile Fourth of July run in downtown Indy.  I did it last year but experienced some digestive/intestinal issues and it was a billion degrees so I was hoping for better results this year.
Packet pick-up is a breeze especially since I work downtown and can just park in my normal parking spot to go pick it up.  It is held in our City Market.  I hadn’t been in there for awhile (since last year’s packet pick-up) and I was surprised how nice it looked and how busy it was during lunch.  It must be a good location for people to go to.  It does have a lot of variety but…I’m a “take my lunch to work” kind of girl.  Got my packet and shirt and then headed back toward my side of town. 
2013, 07-03 Packet Pickup (1)   2013, 07-03 Packet Pickup (2)
2013, 07-03 Packet Pickup (4)   2013, 07-03 Packet Pickup (6)
I wanted to dress somewhat festive for this race but didn’t want to put too much money, time and/or effort into it.  I still needed to find a red top.  I had some luck at the second Walmart I went to.  It says that it is dry wicking but it seems very “cottony” too me.  But I think I can endure it for 6 miles.  Later in the evening I put everything together (or so I thought.  There would be a last minute hat change in the morning) and then went to bed around 10:30pm.
Got up at 6:00am.  The race starts at 8:00am and I live only about  30 minutes from downtown so there was no need to get up super early.  Initially I was only going to shave my legs (can’t stand for them not to be) but decided to take a quick shower anyway.  I tried to eat less than I normally do for a half.  Last year I think I ate too much and that was also part of my problem.  Left the house 5 minutes later than I wanted to and had to stop at a Thornton’s gas station to use the bathroom on the way there.  (Maybe THAT’S why I need to get up 2+ hours prior.  UGH!).  But still had plenty of time.  Dropped off my donations for the Hoosiers Helping Heros program and then got in my corral.   Way too many chatty people that we didn’t even hear the National Anthem - only the applause afterward.   I’m going to assume also that he/she/they didn’t use a mic either.  Then a few minutes later, the firecrackers are set off (that is the starting “gun”) and we are on or way.
The route changed a little from last year and I made it through the first two miles without any problems but then for some reason my stomach felt like it was cramping and that I might need a bathroom.  SO FRUSTRATING!  Annoyed  So I walked for a bit and took in some water at the next aid station and eventually it subsided.  I knew what my finish time was from last year (1:09 and some change) and really wanted to make sure that I was below that but with that walking break I got a little worried.  Crossed the finish line at 1:04:43.  Almost 5 full minutes faster than last year.  So I’m going to call it a success even with the “interruption” from walking.  I really enjoyed the new course.  It was wonderful that it wasn’t even close to being as hot as last year.  The temperature was cool-ish for July and overcast.  I never even put my sunglasses on.

2013, 07-04 (1)

Wish I had last year’s reading to compare

2013, 07-04 (2)

Start line.  We will run toward Monument Circle

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2013, 07-04 (9)

Fountain Square has recently been revitalized and has become a good area to run through.  This is just before the 4 mile marker

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Heading back in to the downtown area

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Lucas Oil Stadium  - where the Indianapolis Colts play

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The building on the right is Bankers Life Fieldhouse (FKA Conseco Fieldhouse) and home to the Indiana Pacers & Indiana Fever (where I worked for 11 years).  And the tall building in the distance is where I work now – Chase Tower

2013, 07-04 (15)

The finish line area is lined with American flags on both sides & you get a handed a small American flag the last 1/4 mile to run in with.

2013, 07-04 (13)

Best I could do for a Finishers Photo!

They had the standard water, bananas and pretzels at the finishers area.  But also had GOOD cookies and popsicles.  Popsicles have become one of my favorite items to get after a race.  They are so refreshing.  Initially I took two cookies but felt guilty (although they had plenty) so I gave one to a homeless man on my walk back to the car.
I would recommend this race to anyone and I will probably do it again next year.

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