Exhilarating. Fun. A Fight. The Time of My Life.
Only a few words to describe my first half marathon: The Indy mini! I’m so excited to sit down and write this recap, because I truly had a wonderful time. Just a warning- this is long!
I woke up at 5 am after sleeping about 2 hours (I can’t sleep when I get really excited). I immediately got ready, ate breakfast (12 ounces orange juice, 1 banana, 1 protein bar- just like I always have before a morning work out), and packed up the hotel room. I got a hotel downtown (Courtyard on Senate Avenue) so I wouldn’t have to worry about driving and finding parking the morning of the race. I only had a 5 minute walk from the hotel to the corrals, so that was nice. My brother came with me to the race, so it was really nice to have someone to share this with (and feel support from). I warmed up, found a bathroom in a mall to use, and hopped into my corral.
When I signed up for the race I wasn’t sure how fast I would be, as I had just started running, and turned in a very slow finish time. Because of that, I was support in the 24th of 26 corrals- with the walkers. Bad choice- I ended up weaving around people the ENTIRE race, which certainly wasted some energy. Oh well. Learned that lesson for next year (because I obviously will be running this race again!).
The race started and I slowly walked for 32 minutes with my corral before I hit the start line. I had a water bottle with me during that time to stay hydrated. It was in the mid 60s but the humidity was in the 90′s percent (91-95% I heard), so it was hot and sticky. I wanted to make sure that I started this race hydrated, so I sipped while walking and threw it away before i hit the start line.
The first two miles were pretty congested, and I even had to run up on a sidewalk a few times to get around walkers. If you walk during a race, please be courteous and move to the side. I spent a great deal of time weaving around people and that was annoying.
Mile 1: I was just excited to be out on the course and running an official race. We ran past the Indianapolis Zoo and a large and a baby elephant were behind a fence along the road cheering us on as we ran by. It was cute and fun to look at! Around mile 1.75 I got a wicked side cramp that HURT.
Mile 2: This was the first time I saw my brother, and I yelled as I walked by that I had the side cramp. He yelled “push into it, take deep breaths, and keep going. You’ve got this”. That gave me the boost I needed!
Mile 3: I ran into someone I had talked to for the 32 minutes as we walked to the start line, and we realized that as we were going the same pace, we should just run together. It was fun! Mile 3 went by quickly, and we finally got into the water stops. It was already HOT and sunny by this point.
Mile 4: I was feeling great at this point, and my side cramp finally vanished! Right at mile 4 I ran past someone holding a side that said “Remember no one made you do this”. I had a good laugh at it, and I definitely repeated this a few times throughout the race.
Mile 5: I definitely got more excited about this mile, as I knew I was going to enter the Speedway towards the end of this mile. I grabbed one last gatorade before going in. Running down the drive into the speedway was really exciting, and I was excited as I’ve never been there before.
Mile 6: My excitement quickly died away. They were blasting music over the loud speakers which was nice, but the pavement was miserable. Seriously- it’s so much harder then the normal road, and within a few minutes my feet started aching- badly. The thing that kept me going was the fact that the photographer was coming up soon.
Mile 7: My feet are still aching, and by 2 miles into the speedway it felt like it would never end! I hit the photographer, so that was fun, and also ran over the Yard of Bricks, although I didn’t reach down and kiss it or anything.
Mile 8: Definitely ready to get off the speedway. I walked the last .25 of a mile of the speedway because I just couldn’t do it anymore. I longed for a softer surface to run on, and was thrilled when I finally ran off! After getting off the speedway about half way through this mile, the ground felt soft and bouncy under my foot. They had a misting station to run through (heaven!) and a gatorade station (so great after a few miles of only water).
Mile 9: There was a slight amount of shade during part of this mile, which was so fantastic. Race organizers were standing with bullhorns at most of the pit areas reminding us to slow down and to hydrate. Throughout the race I saw people being taken away on stretchers, and I even had to move off the road a few times for ambulances to drive by. The heat definitely did a number on people, and I slowed my pace quite a bit in order to stay safe. This mile felt great, and I pushed forward knowing that my brother was going to be at mile 10.
Mile 10: As I ran past my brother, I screamed “text everyone and tell them that I love this and am having a blast- I can’t wait to do this again!”. I clearly was having fun at this point. After I hit the 10 mile marker, every step I took was the farthest run I had ever done, and that was also exciting. The person I was running with had to take a long walking break, and told me to go ahead. I never reconnected with her, which I’m a little sad about. She was fun to run with! Misting stations were abundant during this mile.
Loving my life right now!
Mile 11: This mile went by in a blur. The crowds started to pick up again, and I was hydrating like crazy. Each time I would grab a cup I would drink half and then pour the other half on my wrists to help cool myself down. It was hot, sunny, and humid, but I was having a blast!
Mile 12: Nothing really stands out from the first half of this mile either. Around mile 12.5 I passed a big flag that said “Victory Mile” and started running down the finishing chute. People started screaming “almost there” at mile 12, but as I kept running I got a little angry thinking “don’t tell me almost there- tell me how much longer!”. Funny. When I hit mile 12 I started getting emotional, realizing that I was actually going to do this! I wanted to cry, but knew I needed to conserve my energy to give a final kick at the end.
Mile 13: I could see the finish line and pushed my hardest to get there. As soon as I ran under the “.1″ flag I started to cry a little and cried across the finish line with a huge smile on my face. I DID IT! I lived and breathed this race since Christmas, and I accomplished a huge goal:)
About to cross the finish line!
The race was well organized, and as soon as I crossed the finish line I was handed my medal, a bottle of water, and a plastic bag to put a banana and cookie in while I took my official pictures with the medal.
I had a huge smile on my face for most of the race, and truly had a great first half marathon. Briana told me the night before the race “have fun- you only get one first half marathon” and I definitely kept this in mind while I was running. I seriously had a really fantastic half marathon, and despite the hot and humid weather and the two months I was out of running due to shin splints, I finished well under what I thought I would finish under. My total time was 2:53 which I was excited about given the conditions, my training, and the fact that a year ago I was hardly running. I can’t wait to train better this next year and kill my time next May!