Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon – Race Recap

November 2, 2013


This was the 6th year for the IMM.  I ran the half the first year and the full the second year but then took years 3 & 4 off from the race.  This event offers a Kids Fun Run, a 5K, the Half Marathon and the Full Marathon.  The marathon course is flat and fast and is a Boston Qualifier – for those speedy enough to do so!  The half marathon course is also flat and fast. 

From their website: The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Course is relatively flat and fast with a few small hills. It is a wonderful course that highlights many beautiful buildings and monuments in downtown Indianapolis and several of our neighborhoods. Some of those highlights include; the Indiana State Capitol, Arts Garden, Lucas Oil Stadium, Circle Center Mall, Warehouse District, Eli Lilly campus, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Monument Circle, Federal buildings/monuments, Cultural Trail, Mass Ave District, Pennsylvania Avenue thru Fall Creek Place, Meridian Street, Washington Boulevard through Meridian-Kessler, Butler University, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Broad Ripple, State Fairgrounds and Fall Creek Parkway among others.


See what I mean?  F. L. A. T.

Packet pickup was held downtown at the Convention Center and available on Thursday (10-31) and Friday (11-01) and I chose to go on Friday.  Mainly because Thursday was stormy ALL DAY!  The Expo has definitely grown over the years and there are some good options to look at race gear (clothing, shoes, sunglasses, etc.) plus vendors from other races in Indiana and some surrounding states.  With proper paperwork, they do allow you to pick up someone else’s packet so I was able to get my brother’s for him. However, they never did ask to SEE the paperwork but I had it just in case. 

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My brother arrived at our house around 7:30pm and after he got all of his stuff in, we sat down and watched some TV.  After discussing the plans for the next day, we all went to bed around 10:00pm – 10:30pm.

Since I’m familiar with the downtown area and I’ve done this race before, I could have gotten there close to the last minute but this was his first time doing this one and only his fourth or fifth half marathon so he needs a little more time to get there, settle in and mentally prepare.  I got up around 5:00AM, went down and ate my “breakfast” and then woke him up by 5:30AM.  I also needed to make sure my husband was awake.  He was going to volunteer with the running group that we belong to.  My husband left the house at 6:30AM and we weren’t far behind him.  We were going ton leave at 7:00AM but it was probably closer to 7:15AM.  Luckily, the weather this year was going to be much better than last year.

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We made it downtown without incident and I didn’t even have to stop to go to the bathroom.  That hasn’t happened in awhile!  Parked where I park for work and had about at 3-4 block walk to the start area.  My brother checked a bag and it was a super easy process.  We did the obligatory pre-race photo and then I walked him to his corral area.  He is faster than me and so he was able to be seeded. 

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I then walked a block or so further west to get in near my pace area.  It was so crowed!  I also thought it might be a good idea to hit up the porta-potty before the gun went off.  I knew they would have them at the very back but was surprised that the line was about 30 people deep.   But having done so many of these races I figured there had to be a better and less crowded option elsewhere.  So I eventually made my way to the south side of the street, walked back toward the east and found a cluster of 6 or so with only 4 people waiting!  Got out just in time for the National Anthem and then weaseled my way into the crowd of runners.

The gun went off but it took me about 8 minutes to finally reach & cross the start line.  Then for some reason I was jacking around with my watch and didn’t get it started right as I crossed but was pretty sure that I was only about 10 seconds off.

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As the description above states, we first run past the Capitol, then past the mall, head south toward Lucas Oil Stadium (where the Indianapolis Colts play), then snake our way back to the heart of the city and Monument Circle.

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Bankers Life Fieldhouse is in the distance (where the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever play)

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Tallest building downtown – the Chase Tower

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Monument Circle and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument.  This is literally in the center of Indianapolis and why we are referred to as the Circle City.

After running a quarter of the way around the circle you head up to the Mass Ave area (one of the growing and trendy parts of Indy), wiggling your way up to 36th street and then you head back downtown to finish at the Government Center.  I took a few more pictures but I struggled with the debate in my head that if I left the phone in my belt, I would finish faster. 

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This is the Old National Centre (sponsored name -  it used to be called the Murat Temple).  It’s a quaint venue and they get some really good shows.  I saw Phantom of the Opera there.

Luckily as you begin to head north and then back in to town there isn’t “as much” to take pictures of – for me at least since I know the area - so I think I struck a happy medium of running & taking pictures.  Indy has a new soccer team (the Indy Eleven) and I’m not sure what “level” of soccer that is but their staff had a tent at the 11K mark on the course which was fun.  There was good energy, loud music and I saw someone that I know that works for them and got a high-five!  Thanks Henn Smile

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Saw this Don’t Stop Believin’ sign (or one similar to it) during the Indianapolis Half Marathon back on October 19th. First time I’d seen “this one” so I think it might have been the same girl at both races.  Always fun to see a NEW and clever sign.

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This is the “Scottish Rite Temple.”  It is beautiful on the inside as well and is lit up at night. 

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These folks were at (or just after) mile 12.  HYSTERICAL!  I actually saw people running over and grabbing a shot.  I chose not to participate.

I try to figure out where I am and whether or not I can PR a race when I hit the 10 mile marker but for some reason math was not working in my head today.  Half the time I thought I was on pace to do so and then I thought I wasn’t.

One of the best parts of this race (for me anyway) occurred with only .3 miles to go.  That is where my husband and the other volunteers had their tent and were cheering on runners.  I spotted him before he saw me and moved to the right side since he was standing in the middle of the road.  I gave him a high five and then he started shouting “Hottest chick on the course” while pointing toward me.  Obviously not true but it made me feel good as I turned the final corner, saw the 13 mile marker sign and knew there was just one more turn.  Looked at the clock and had confirmation I had surpassed my (unspoken) goal by almost a minute.   

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I got scolded by a volunteer for walking back to the finish line to take this picture!

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The state capitol building is a fantastic backdrop for the finish area.     2013, 11-02 (28)

Took a few pictures and then looked for my brother.  We had said that we would meet by the Abraham Lincoln statue but he wasn’t there.  Eventually I found him.  Unfortunately he did not have a good race – although he still finished 15 minutes before me – and was not feeling well. He put on his clothes from the bag check and then we walked back over to see my husband.  We didn’t stay long since my brother wasn’t feeling well.

Medal (1)

This was the 4th weekend in a row that I ran a half marathon.  I really think that is what is helping my performance; just doing races every weekend since I can’t/don’t make myself do long runs.  I really need to become more disciplined.  Sadly, I don’t have another half now until December 1st – Space Coast.

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