Friday, September 25, 2015

June 2015 - What I Did / From What I Remember

June started off with us attending a function associated with my husband's employer as well as his involvement on one of the boards for the Indiana Historical Society. We went to the Historic Twin Oaks Home and Garden Tour (former home of Ruth Lilly). It was a really nice event. 
Yeah, we always keep it classy!
This home was gorgeous - both inside and out
Tiniest bathroom sink EVER!
This was Ruth's white Rolls Royce which she only drove on Sundays.
And by "she drove" I think that means she was driven (a la Miss Daisy)
And this is Seymour. He now owns this car.
 (as well as one that belonged to Barbara Mandrell.)
He was adorable.
The next big event was our anniversary trip to San Diego....but he ended up taking me to Paris instead. It was like a dream!!!! My husband always plans the most amazing trips but I think he really outdid himself this time. I can't even begin to summarize that trip here on the recap page so you'll have to check back later for detailed Blog posts - with tons of pictures - about this trip...but it was fabulous!!!!
Toward the end of the month, we ventured over to Ballwin, Missouri - for the every last time - for my husband's brother & sister-in-law's going away party. They are moving to Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a very big deal for my SIL because she has never lived away from her family. Selfishly, I'm super excited that they are moving because its a new place for us to visit!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

May 2015 - What I Did / From What I Can Remember

I'm the out-of-towner in the Brunch Bunch - they all still live in my hometown - but everyone thought it would be fun to come to my house for our May gathering. Since we were so close to Cinco de Mayo (Brunch actually took place on the 3rd), I named it Senorita Sunday. 
I think fun was had by all and we did a lot of reminiscing and laughing.

On May 16th, it was time for another half marathon that I hadn't trained for. This would be the 3rd consecutive year that I participated in the Seymour Half Marathon. You can read more about that here:

My Mom moved. Its a shame that this had to happen: she lived in a really nice apartment complex but we could no longer afford it. Technically we never REALLY could afford her old apartment but we made it work. I certainly couldn't have done this without the help of my brother K. As usual he's does his fair share and then some. We'd all be lost without him. But man, this was a month long (and then some) project! I don't know if it was better that we were able to "take our time" at the old place or if we would have made better decision if we'd been under the gun. I was over there at least one day every weekend in April/May. But again, it was nothing compared to what K did. Although it ended up costing more than the initial quote, I'm certainly glad we hired a moving company instead of us trying to schlep all that furniture into the new place.

File this under "First Time Ever", on May 23rd I did a legit Trail Run (the Indiana Women's Trail Run Half Marathon) and surprisingly I didn't hate it. You can read more about that here: And if it works out, I might even signup next year. Once again, I had not trained unless you consider the half marathon the weekend before a training run! 

Then later in the afternoon after the trial race, I went to a 50th birthday party for my friend MKH. She lives in Florida now but her family had a celebration for her here in Indy. It was great seeing her and some of the other ladies I used to work with. 

BLACK FLAG - The Indy Women's Half Marathon

2015 was the 5th consecutive year for the Indy Women's Half Marathon and I had participated every year. That qualifies me as a "Streaker" but I prefer to use the term "Legacy" participant.  I think I read were there would be 120 of us that have done it each year so we would be getting a special bib and medal.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th: Packet pickup was held once again at the Sheraton Downtown. I had to wait until after work to get there and only put enough change in the meter for 30 minutes. I didn't really need to do any shopping - there isn't anything that I really need - and I wanted to get home and get everything ready for in the morning.

I saw my friend J.K. as she was helping direct people in the correct entrance so I talked to her for a little bit but then went in and got my stuff. I saw the race director and said hello to him but after a quick sweep of all the booths there wasn't anything that I hadn't seen before. But just as I walked out the Frank Shorter discount clothing section caught my eye and I went back in...and bought a sports bra. I really do need a few new ones. (Sadly once I got it home, its too small and now I don't know what to do.)

Since all of this seemed exactly the same as last year, I didn't take any pictures.

I got all my stuff ready and was in bed between 10:00PM and 10:30PM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th: The plan was to try to get downtown by 7:00AM. I never officially heard anything about a Half Fanatics picture or even the location for the 50 States Half Marathon photo. But it didn't matter. I think I encountered every red light on the way downtown and traffic was unusually busy for a Saturday morning...thus I was late.

We'd had a downpour earlier in the morning but it had stopped raining before i left the house but forecast was calling for more rain.
I walked out of the parking garage with a girl named Sara(h) and we were talking about the weather (both stating that we'd still be on the course during the next round of predicted precipitation) and races that we'd done and I mentioned that I was a 5 year participant. She then pointed out to me that I didn't have the "special" gold bib. Dang! I'd forgotten that we were supposed to get those. Would this now cause me problems getting my 5 year medal? Once we got to the start line, I headed into the Sheraton to use the restroom. The line for the ladies room was L.O.N.G. but there were several other smart ladies like me that decided the men's restroom was a good option. I was only about 7th in line for that!

Once I got back upstairs, I headed over to the race office/headquarters were I saw my friend TR. She was working the event this year so I asked her about the bib mixup. She said that a few others had brought that to their attention and that I shouldn't have any problems. They were making the folks handing out the medals aware.

Decided I better head back outside to the start line. I saw J.K, again with her 2:30 Pacing Sign and wished her well. Then toward the back, I saw the 3:15 Pace Sign and new that my friend A.L. was leading that group this morning so I went over to wish her well. This was her first time pacing and she was a little nervous but I know she was going to do a great job. I also looked for my friend MYMW but never did see her.
I settled myself in between the 2:30 & 2:45 Pace Signs and waited for the start. Eventually we heard the last part of the National Anthem so people started turning around to be facing the flag. With that many women, there was a lot of chatting going on so we literally heard only the last two lines. It didn't help that I think they only had speakers up by the actual start line. 
For some reason one the the girls behind me was holding the BIG pace corral sign. This wasn't some wimpy sign on a skinny stick. It was a big plastic(?) sign on a piece of wood. For some reason this girl thought the best thing to do was to just lay it on the ground in the middle of everyone after the Anthem was done and said. "Well, we don't need this anymore." I looked at her like she had two heads and told her that would be dangerous for everyone behind us and someone could get injured. So I picked it up and walked it over to the sidewalk and leaned it again the building. Aye yi yi!

It was about 10 minutes later before the wave started moving; I never did hear a starting gun or anything.
I only made it about a 1/2 mile up the road and then my shuffle started cutting in and out. So I stopped to move it to a different area where I thought that maybe the headphones (which I was hoping was the issue) wouldn't get jacked around. Back to running and I was able to get a picture of these service men who more than likely would be handing out our medals at the finish.
Unfortunately another 1/2 mile and my shuffle is still cutting in and out so I switched my headphones to my phone and listened to my playlist that way. The plan was to keep the phone away because I'd run most of the course a gazillion times. At this point it began to slightly drizzle so I slowed down to a walk again to put a baggie over my phone holder just in case.

As we got closer to the 2 mile water station, the sky opened up and the rain really started coming down. I also saw a flash of lightening but at the time I wasn't worried. I saw some women running back and I was confused as to why. My first thought was that they missed the 5K turn. Or did the race route the 5K back though the half marathoners? There was a bit of a cluster with that last year so I was hoping that they had "fixed" it but now I wasn't sure.

I made it another 1/4 mile and a race official was telling all of us to stop and that the race had been BLACK FLAGGED. I stopped my music and my Garmin and  - while still a little stunned - I asked if it was just being postponed or actually cancelled and he said CANCELLED. He told us we were to seek shelter and/or head to the finish line if we felt safe enough to do so. He said that we could pick up our snacks and medals.

I was still in a little bit of shock . The rain seemed as though it was starting to subside and while I still some a couple more flashes of lightening, it wasn't anything like what I had seen while doing HOTlanta last month. As I walked south on Illinois Street, I would wave my hands to other women still running and told them that the race was over. It was Black Flagged.

As you can imagine, the finish line was super congested since so many people were showing up at the same time. I had to ask where to get the 5 year medal. The guy looked for my bib and I told him that I didn't have it; that there were a few of us that didn't and then the girl next to him gave me the correct medal. 

There were tons of snacks for us to choose from (chips, cookies, granola bars, Fig Newtons, bottled water, chocolate milk, fresh fruit) but nothing to carry anything in. I need to reload my race belt with a plastic shopping bag! I got my rose and then headed over to the park area. The Xfinity tent was handing out red cloth bags so I took one just to put all my stuff in and I got it just in time. They ran out five people after me.

I stood in the "free picture" line for awhile but it was still raining, I was a little worried about my phone getting wet and still a little stunned about what had just happened, I just wanted to get home.

I saw my friend J.B. - who was also part of the event staff - and she was kind enough to take this picture of me. (If you enlarge this picture you can see all the women still coming in to the finish line area!) We talked about what a tough decision it was for the Race Director to make the Black Flag call but that it was also the decision of the local safety management people.
I texted my husband to let him know what had taken place and that I was on my way home. He said that his bike event had been cancelled as well.

I still feel guilty that I have this medal; almost like I have "stolen" it. And while I'll hang her with the rest of my medals, she will have an asterisk next to her.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Medal That I Didn't Earn

This race was black flagged less than 30 minutes after it started. Lightening was reported north of the city and that was the direction we would be running. We were told to seek shelter and when we felt safe, to head toward the finish line to get our snacks and medal.

I've now had a couple of days now to process the black flagging of this race and have come to the following conclusion: 

This beautiful medal is merely a souvenir of a start line that I toed but a finish line that I did not cross due to the race being cancelled. 

I’ve read on various Facebook pages (that of both groups and individuals) where ladies have gone out and run 13.1 later in the day or the next day and will count the medal toward that run. Others said the medal is a representation of all the training miles they put in leading up to the race. I’m not saying any of those opinions (or options) are right or wrong but they don’t work for me. I don’t get medals for putting in training miles…I just don’t. And I’m not personally a big fan of “virtual” races (I’ve done a few but they aren’t my thing) so I can’t accept the medal as part of those types of miles either. This medal can only represent one ACTUAL thing - The Indy Women's Half Marathon. 

I was a 5 year (Legacy) participant and we were all given a special medal where the ribbon and the medal itself had all five years on it. 

This also would have been my 80th lifetime half marathon.

Yes, I will hang her with all of the other medals that I have earned but she will hang there with an asterisk. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

(May 25, 2015) The Indiana Women's Only Trail Run Half Marathon

The Indiana Women's Trail Run took place at Eagle Creek Park and offered two distances: a quarter marathon and a half marathon.

This race wasn't on my radar initially. Instead I was going to do the Noblesville Half Marathon but a friend of mine was having a birthday party later in the day and the Trail Run was closer to my house. That meant I would have less travel time before needing to be at the party.

I had volunteered for it the year before and had lots of fun.

Registration had some hiccups and the discount code wasn't working initially but I know the director of this race and she eventually got it straightened out for me.

FRIDAY, MAY 24th: Packet pickup was at the Keystone Fashion Mall which isn't far from where I work but not close enough to get it done at lunch so I went after work. For some reason they had me listed on the Quarter Marathon list but once again the Race Director was there and knew I was a Half participant and got it switched for me.

I've gotta be honest, I was nervous about this race. This was a legit TRAIL race and I'd never done a trail race before. Should I have trial shoes? How much longer will it take me? Will I trip and fall over a branch/rock/wild animal thus breaking a bone and be out of commission for the next month or so? These are all questions that I posed to my running friends that are more familiar with - and that have done - trail races. The general consensus was - that I would be fine! (...and trail shoes wouldn't be necessary.)

SATURDAY, MAY 25TH: The weather was mostly ideal race morning. Thankfully it wasn't too hot or humid. (It WAS last year!)
The only adjustment that I made was that I wore my older running shoes because I wasn't sure if there would be a lot of mud. My other concern was my phone. I wanted to have it with me because I was certain there would be things that I wanted to take pictures of but I also didn't want to drop it, fall on it, break it, lose get the idea. So I wasn't sure what to do. Since this was a two lap course, I thought it might be best to just complete one lap to get a feel for the trail overall and keep my phone put away. Then I could have it out for the second loop.

Upon seeing my friend TR at the Indy Women's Half Marathon tent, she said I could keep my phone there. Perfect. I put it in one of her bags and then it was time to line up.

As long as I saw pink ribbons, I would be okay!
So the first lap went fairly well. I didn't trip or fall and there weren't really any muddy areas aside from the "bog" section. I was surprised by the congestion that some areas had and there were some narrow passes but I felt confident that I could do the second loop with my phone and get some pictures. So once we were out of the trail and back at the start area, I ran over to the tent and grabbed my phone. Little did I know that I was also making a crucial course error.....but more on the later.

As I headed back into the trail, I saw the race director and chatted briefly while I downed some Gatorade.
While I've been to Eagle Creek Park numerous times, I've never "explored" it so I got to see a lot of this for the very first time.

I wasn't expecting steps! During the first loop, this was an area that got congested but during the second loop, there weren't many others still on the trail or at least near me.
Views along the course:

I always made sure that I am found the pink ribbons to guide my way:
I was about to enter a part of the course that was open and exposed to the sun. It had really warmed up during this second loop. I was walking at this point although since it was flat, I should have been running. During this section, I had a nice conversation with a girl that had done this race last year. As she was about to start running again, she joked that we'd probably catch up again at some point. She shouldn't have been right about that but she would be. More on that later.

I was happy to be headed back into the shade!
I couldn't believe how large this tree was. I reminded me of my trip to Yosemite.
I didn't realize that the park had a Ornithology (the study of birds) Center. And I'm not certain what type of bird this is. Does it look like a falcon?

Nor did I know that there was a "fitness trail" within the trail.
Midway through the loop is the only aid station. This is what I volunteered for last year and some of the guys were back again this year. They were so much fun. During the first loop, they had jello shots but I did not partake. Loops two - they were out of jello shots but they had some brownies and were kind enough to offer me some. At that point in time, they were the best brownies ever! I was really hungry and was thankful to eat those instead of taking a gel.
It was so green and lush in places...
...and so many beautiful flowers.
The "natural" obstacle certainly became more difficult on loop 2:
But at least the bog wasn't as challenging or as muddy as they say it was last year.
Nearing the end of the race I passed a man just as he's caught a fish. Naturally I had to take a picture. But not far from him was this family(?) of geese. You can see them giving me the ol' stink eye as I passed.
Remember the girl I spoke about that said we might see each other on the course again? With about 1/2 mile to go, all of the sudden I see her coming toward me but from a different path. At first I thought maybe she had already finished and was coming back on the course to cheer on a friend. But unfortunately she'd made a wrong turn and didn't pay attention to the fact that she wasn't seeing any pink ribbons at first. Although I felt bad that this had happened to her, it put me in front of her...where I stayed through to the finish.

This race is great about GIRL POWER and positive energy for women. They always have fun chalk sayings at the finish line. "Power to the She"

The one chalk mark/sign that I should have paid attention was this one: HALF STAY RIGHT
I didn't realize that when I came off the trail after the first loop and ran over to get my phone from the Indy Women's tent, I missed crossing the timing pad. When results were later posted, I was nowhere to be found. And although it took months to get me listed on the official results page, they were nice enough to use my Garmin timing. I mean its not like I knocked anyone off the podium or anything with my finishing time! 

Every finisher get a cupcake from The Flying Cupcake (which are AMAZING) and a super cute medal.

And free pictures that you can download from their Facebook page!


  • I really thought I would hate a trail race but I didn't. It was actually fun and if works with my schedule for next year, I'll do it again.
  • I no longer have the pricing structure but it was about what an average half marathon would cost if you get in before any of the increases. I paid a little over $50.
  • You do not get a shirt with your registration fee. This did make me a little sad becasue the shirts we got last year as volunteers were super soft cotton shirts and I was hoping that's what the participant shirt was as well. I think it was $10 extra for the shirt.
  • Lots of ladies stick around until the very last finisher crosses the line. YAY!
This was Lifetime Half Marathon #74 and the 4th of 2015.