Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon – Race Recap

November 01, 2014


I signed up for this race on January 1st.  My printed confirmation was time stamped at 12:04AM.  I literally had the web page up and running beginning at 11:45PM on December 31st.  When the clock struck midnight to ring in the new year, I kissed my husband, took a quick drink of our sparkling apple cider and then hurried into the library to register.  They were offering best pricing for the first (however many) at that time and I didn’t want to miss out. I was also registering for the FULL marathon because one of my goals for 2014 was to complete another full.  With taxes and fees, I paid $65.30.

But fast forward to end of March/beginning of April when I unknowingly leveled up in Half Fanatics (which was also another goal of 2014) and since it was so early in the year, I figured I might as well try and reach the next level.  So I decided to change from the Monumental full to the half.  Because now I needed to complete 31 half marathons in 2014.  And oh my gosh – having “experienced” the weather we had for this race – I sure am glad that I wasn’t doing the full.  There was also no fee to downsize to the half from the full.  BONUS!

I must say that I do LOVE a hometown race; no travel to worry about, no packing of food and I can sleep in my own bed.  It is the best.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31ST: The Expo for this event takes place on Thursday and Friday and I need to make a note to go on Thursday next year because some of the merch that I was interested in was sold out in my size by the time I got there Friday afternoon.  I suppose it’s a good thing considering my financial situation at the moment.  But I did buy a pair of clear len running glasses.  I originally wanted to get down there at 1:00PM to hear Jeff Galloway speak but I also wanted to print the picture of he and I from last year’s Space Coast and have him sign it.  Well after almost an hour debacle at Walmart, I was unable to print it.  I had to come home and do it online and then needed to use the CVS website because I couldn’t adjust the color on the Walmart website. I didn’t make it to the Expo until a little after 3:00PM and he had already started his clinic.  The lady at his booth said they were scheduled to take a break at 4:30PM and I could probably catch him then.  So now I had to kill over an hour.  So…I took some pictures.

2014, 10-31 (1)2014, 10-31 (2)2014, 10-31 (3)2014, 10-31 (4)This is Alana Hadley - 17 year old distance running prodigy and expected to win the Marathon.  Spoiler Alert – she did!2014, 10-31 (9)2014, 10-31 (10)FullSizeRender52014, 10-31 (8)

Alana (see picture above) and her Dad were scheduled to speak at 4:00PM so I sat and listened to him (he spoke first) but left before she began because I wanted to get back over to the Jeff Galloway booth.  The lady there told me that I could probably “head him off at the pass” if I waited outside the room he was speaking in.  So I left the Expo and waited in the hallway.  Sure enough – around 4:30ish – he was walking toward me.  So I approached him, introduced myself and explained the picture from Space Coast.  He replied with, “I thought you looked familiar.”  Come on Jeff!  While I appreciate you saying that there is no way that almost a year later and the (probably) thousands of people you’ve met since then, you thought I looked familiar.  But it does make for a funny story to tell now.  He was very gracious and signed the photo and personalized it with my name.  YAY!

At this point I had been at the Expo way too long and needed to get home to prepare our house for Halloween.  But….one more photo before I leave.  If you registered by a certain date, your name gets printed on the event poster.  Thankfully they have a large version outside of the Expo so it’s a little easier to find your name.  This is me pointing to my name.  I swear it really is RIGHT there!

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So I get home and begin prepping the house for Halloween – and by that I mean blacking out the windows, turning off the lights, disassembling the doorbell to avoid Trick-or-Treaters because with three dogs its just too stressful on them…which makes it stressful on us.  And then I go through my bag from the Expo.  I’d forgotten that I had personalized my bib.

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By 10:00PM I had everything ready and it was time for bed.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST:  The plan was to leave the house at 6:45AM which should get me parked and to the Half Fanatics photo area in plenty of time for the 7:30AM picture.  Well, I left the house on time but the lot I’d purchased parking for was NOT where I thought it was.  I only had to go another block and half south but that put me behind schedule and I missed the group photo.  Or had I?  So I went into the Fairfield Inn and Suites to use the bathroom and I happen to see my friend AL (also a Half Fanatic) so when we were both done, we went outside and took our own “group” photo.  Come to find out, the Half Fanatics never took a group photo.


We then walked over to the Start Line area.  She needed to check a bag so I helped her with that.  She recently had surgery on her right hand and was a little limited with what she could do from time to time.  I stayed with her toward the back of the all the runners.  I wasn’t worried about when I crossed the line and I’m glad I was there for her because she needed her shoes tied one more time and couldn’t do it herself.

The weather this year was drastically different from last year.  Today was cold and windy and we actually had a little bit of snow the night before!

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I had on a long-sleeved tech shirt over the event shirt and a windbreaker.  But I only wore one layer on the bottom; my running tights. I had two pairs of gloves with me but only wore one pair.  I’m glad I wasn’t bundled up anymore than I was because there were times when I was a little overheated with that jacket on…but it was NOT a throw-away.

For the most part, I know this course like the back of my hand so I was pretty sure that there wouldn’t be anything “new” that I needed to take a picture of so my phone was kept away the entire time.

I didn’t even see MYMW or JW before this race…which was unusual.  However, I did see and pass JW just after the first mile marker and then I saw and passed MYMW not long after the two mile marker.  After the race she told me that they were up way too far but couldn’t move back because it was so crowded.

Just like every year when we get to where the full marathon splits from the half marathon (just after the 7 mile marker), I always sigh a bit of relief.  And to think that I was originally going to DO the full this year.  EEK!  This is also where the course gets a little boring – in my  opinion – for the half marathon course.  It runs along an older part of town, the streets are not in the best condition and there isn’t much fan/course support along this route.  Thankfully it only lasts for about 2 miles before we are once again routed down Meridian Street.

I thought I was having an okay race but my hamstrings were really starting to feel tight and I began taking some unscheduled walking breaks.  I had a few people in front of me that I kept my sights on hoping they would motivate me to keep going and hopefully finish before they did.  They first runner was wearing shorts over her running tights that were of the Texas flag so that she became TEX-ASS.  I did pass her around mile 9 and never saw her again.  Then there was MUSCLES.  This girl was wearing one of those running tights and shirts that looked like the human muscular system.  Those sort of creep me out.  Thankfully she stopped to take a doughnut that was being handed out just after the 10 mile marker and that put me in front of her.  Had those doughnuts been cut into more manageable pieces I would have stopped as well – or at least grabbed one to go.  But they were full sized glazed doughnuts.  Then there was KERMIT.  This was a guy in a bright green running jacket.  He would pass me but then walk so I would then pass him.  But then I would need to walk and he would pass me.  It wasn’t until the near the 12.5 mile marker that I shook him for good.  Then there was CHICKEN LITTLE.  She got this name because her hair was in a ponytail on top of her head and it looked like a cartoon chicken feathers head.  She and her running partner passed me and although they also took some walking breaks, I couldn’t catch them.

It was also near the 12.5 mile marker that I saw two girls on my left running in Warrior Dash shirts AND the Warrior Dash furry helmet hats and tutus.  I don’t know why at the time this infuriated me so much but I was determined to pass them.  They could NOT cross that finish line before me.  I remained in front of one of them just before the turn onto New York street but the other one was hanging tough with me.  I am pleased to write that I did stay in front of her as well and crossed that line first.

And if I remember correctly it was on New York street that I noticed that my watch wasn’t running.  UGH!  I must have jacked it up while waiting on the start.  Once the GPS is loaded there is only a 3 minute(?) window before it goes dormant and shuts down to just the actual time of day.  So usually I scroll between the START / STOP options on the screen to keep it active but from time to time, I don’t pay close enough attention to this and it is on STOP when I press the “GO” button.  I think I did this same thing last year at this race but noticed it not long after I crossed the start line.  This year I hit GO and never looked.  I would have to wait until the posted results for my official time.

I got my medal and the usual banana and bottle of water…then you move on to the good stuff.  The chocolate chip cookie.  They also had bite-sized bagels but I didn’t care for the one I took.  This year we got a finishers hat again and a “paper” jacket instead of those space blankets.  I didn’t need to put mine on since I was still wearing my wind breaker.  Also now being the seasoned half marathon participant, I always pack a plastic grocery store bag in my race belt so that I can carry my snacks easily.  Races that give you bags are smart but many don’t do this so its good to be prepared.

I wandered around, had a few of the professional finishers photos taken and got a chocolate milk.  It was then that I noticed MYMW so I went over and said hello.  We walked to the finish line and waited for her husband JW to come in.  Once he did, we took some more photos, got a few more snacks and exited the finishing area.  As we were leaving there were representatives from Jimmy John’s handing out small sandwiches.  I almost didn’t take one but this rep had turkey so I did. She actually gave me two.  Then we walked back to JW & MYMW’s hotel; I was actually parked in the lot across the street from it.  I had really started getting chilled while waiting on JW and during the walk back so it was good to sit in the car; crank up the heat and put some dry clothes on over my running stuff.

I ate those Jimmy John sandwiches on my drive home and they were fabulous!  .

I absolutely remember doing this for the photographer!CaptureCapture2Capture3

It was the 7th year for this event so they started a 4 year medal series that will take them to their 10th anniversary in 2017.  You’ll notice that the bottom right corner has a notch out of it.  The next three years will as well and they will fit together to create a circle in the middle where a star will go symbolizing the Soldiers and Sailors Monument which is in the middle of Indianapolis.  I guess I know what I’m doing the first Saturday in November for the next 3 years!

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Medal Program

This is a great race and I recommend it highly!

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