This past weekend I ran my third marathon. Back in May, when the Pig didn’t go as planned, I had dreams of running a fall marathon. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to train right after completing a spring marathon. As I posted before it was hard, but so worth it! I wanted a flat course and from what I had heard the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon was just that. Plus, fall weather is better than spring weather. It is much easier to go from hot to cold temps. On to the recap! It’s a good one 😉
I worked a half day on Friday and it seemed to be the longest day. I was eager to head up to Indy! I was fortunate to have my “fan club” tag along-Andy, my mom, and my mother in law all made the trip up to support me. We got up to Indianapolis and went straight to the expo. I will say it was on the small side, but I think I am spoiled with the Flying Pig expo which is sponsored by P&G so it’s huge. After picking up my bib, shirt, and an extra Gu we headed up to the hotel. I waited too long to book a room so everything downtown was sold out. We stayed at a Marriott that was about 7 miles away. After debating about what to eat for dinner we settled on Bob Evans, fancy right? I ordered blueberry pancakes with a side of bacon. It’s a great pre-race dinner! We headed back to the hotel and by 9:30 I was passed out. I tossed and turned all night but probably got a good 6 hours of sleep.
At 7:15 Andy & I left to head to the starting line. He told me his goal was to hit up 3 spots on the course. After a quick goodbye I left him to go line up. I was playing it smart and decided to start this race slow. I found the 4:00 pace group and started the race with them. Being the talkative person I am I found someone to chat with for the first few miles. At 8 am the gun went off and the race started. I took the advice of a fellow runner, run the first 10 miles with my head, the next 10 with my legs, and the last 6 with my heart.
Mile 1-8:42. Whoops! I started off too fast. I blame the adrenaline rush that comes with starting any race! The 4:00 group was ahead of me.
Mile 2- 9:10. I blame the water stops for this. One of the only negatives about this race was how poorly posted the water stops were. They just popped up and everyone rushed to the sides. Also, some of the streets were narrow so it got crammed. I’ve never seen so many people fall during a race. Thankfully that didn’t happen to me.
Mile 3-8:37. A little faster, course spread out a little bit. I was still chatting with other runners.
Mile 4- 8:50. Working into my groove. Feeling good!
Mile 5-9:10. Grabbed a Gatorade, water stops were getting better.
Mile 6-8:57. Ate my first Gu. My plan was to take one every 45 minutes. I carried a water (Smartwater for the electrolytes) so I didn’t have to wait for water stops. One of the best decisions I made!
Mile 7-9:06. Lost my running partner during this mile. She stopped for water and never caught up. I was finally caught up with the pace group again. Also, this was the half split. I love when runner cheer each other on!
Mile 8-8:58. Feeling strong! Saw a friend on the course who was there cheering people on!
Mile 9-9:04. Still cruising along and feeling good!
Mile 10-8:59. Time for another Gu. I took the rest of my water because I knew my fan club was up ahead so I could swap water bottles.
–I ran the first ten with my head. Now it was time to kick it up and start running with my legs. —
Mile 11-8:54. This was the mile I saw my family. Andy asked how I was doing and I replied great! This is when I started to pull ahead of the pace group. And, leave it to my mom to tell strangers my name. I had a nice big crowd yelling my name. It was a nice boost!
Mile 12-8:48. I think I took another Gu here. I was really good with taking them every 45 minutes and I wasn’t paying attention to which mile. We ran through some gorgeous neighborhoods. That photo above just shows a tiny snip-it of the beautiful course!
Mile 13-8:46. There was a blow up arch we ran under marking the halfway point. I also knew another text was getting sent out to everyone following me. I smiled knowing people would see how good I was doing!
Mile 14-8:54. Took another sip of Gatorade. I started grabbing one every other water stop.
Mile 15-8:51. Still happy & feeling good!
Mile 16-8:57. Had to smile, this was the mile that killed me in the last marathon. Not this time!
Mile 17-8:43. Ran by Butler. This is a beautiful college town! Great crowd support here too!
Mile 18-8:46. Ran over another timing mat and smiled again. I knew I was doing good!
Mile 19-8:44. I told myself I just had a 7 mile run left. That’s my normal weekday run! Ran by the art museum and saw the LOVE monument. Also ate some sports beans to give me a little boost.
Mile 20-8:47. Saw my family again! Another water bottle switch. Andy, again, asked how I was feeling and I told them still great! It was true. I was rocking it. Only thing to complain about was the rough road. My feet were already hurting and that didn’t help!
— Now it was time to run with my heart.–
Mile 21 8:49. I was running by people who had hit the dreaded wall. I motivated as many people as I could!
Mile 22-8:56. I couldn’t believe I was still running and feeling good! Took my last Gu to get me to the end.
Mile 23-8:49. This is when I realized I wasn’t going to hit the wall. I could make it just 3 more miles!
Mile 24-8:50. Really wishing I had sunglasses! The sun was in full force.
Mile 25-9:02 Hit some head wind once we turned into the city. Saw my family at mile 25.5. Andy told me to pick it up and I said “I’m going to come in under 4”. The tears were forming already!
Mile 26- 8:33. My fastest mile. I felt awesome!
Last .2– I crossed that finish line with tears coming down my face. Most people probably thought I was hurting. I was THRILLED!
I couldn’t have asked for a better day- I achieved all three goals, didn’t cramp (huge for me!), never walked, and ran negative splits! I have been after that sub-4 for a while now and it feels so good! I now have a new PR, which crushed my old one by 24 minutes!
I would run this race again. The crowd was supportive, the course was beautiful and the organizers really did an excellent job! If anyone wants a flat, fast course Indy is your place! Plus, the swag and medal were pretty cool!
Thanks to everyone who cheered me on from afar! I took all that positive energy and brought it to the course with me. I also have to thank my family for making the trip with me. Their support is what got me to the finish feeling strong!
I am still on cloud nine! I did what I set out to do and it feels fantastic. I’m not sure when or where my next full marathon will be, but I know I’m not done yet!