A Simple Running Log

November 4, 2013

Indy Monumental Half Marathon recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 6:42 pm

I’m back from Indy! I had a good race but an even better time hanging out with everyone.

Friday morning, I met Allison at her house for the drive to the airport. Everything went smoothly, and soon we were both gritting our teeth through take-off for Indy. (Neither of us are big fans of flying.)

Walking through the Indy airport, we quickly ran into Brandon, from Philly. This was the first time I’d met him. The three of us went to baggage claim, where we saw Jill, who I met at Shamrock earlier this year, and Deanna, another Loopster I’d not yet met. We got our checked bags, and then Deanna drove us all to our hotel in downtown Indy.

The rest of Friday was pretty low-key. We had lunch at the TGIFriday’s attached to the hotel, where we were joined by Steve, another first-time meeting for me, and then we walked to the expo for packet pick-up. At the expo, we were joined by two more Loopsters I’d met before: Mike, an Air Force colonel who recently returned from deployment and was there to run his second of three marathons on three consecutive weekends, and Shaun, who was hoping to run sub-1:25 in the half the next day.

Jillian had a tough drive from Milwaukee, but finally made it to Indy just before we left for dinner at an Italian restaurant. After dinner, we took this group picture:

indy dinner before

Left to right: Mike, Allison C., Shaun, Velva, Brandon, Steve (kneeling), Jillian, Jill, Allison D., me and Deanna.

This was the first time any of us had met Velva too. She commented she thought the group would be rowdier. We told her that’s the party after the race.

Back at the hotel, Allison, Jillian, Jill and I laid out our race gear for the next morning and had the lights out by 10:30.

I slept pretty well that night, and felt great when our alarms went off at 6:15 a.m. Saturday. I quickly got dressed and went downstairs to the free breakfast buffet. I even managed to use the bathroom long before the race start, which is always a plus. I had high hopes I’d make it through the whole race without needing a port-o-potty.

We all met in the hotel lobby before walking out to the start area, just down the street from the hotel. I stripped out of my sweats and checked them with my bag at gear check. It was a chilly, slightly breezy morning, so I’d gone with capri-length tights, a long-sleeved light shirt and gloves.

We made our way to the starting corrals. There was an elite corral followed by four seeded corrals, based on predicted finishing times. Past that, there were just some pace signs to use to line up.

My 1:45 prediction on my registration landed me in the last of the seeded corrals. I squeezed into what looked like the right corral with Jillian, but then she noticed the nearest pace group leader was holding a sign for a 4:30 marathon. She was shooting for a 1:55 half, so we both started inching our way back up through the crowd.

Eventually I found the 3:30 marathon pace group leader and settled in there. Someone sang the national anthem, we got the commands to go and we were off!

The first mile was really crowded. Though I did have to dodge a few walkers (that always blows my mind when someone who plans on walking the whole race would start that close to the front), it was mostly just a lot of people all trying to run the same pace. There were also several turns in the first mile that caused a bottle neck every time.

I hit the first mile in 8:16, a little off pace for my goal, but not bad with the crowd.

Just past that marker, we ran past Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play. On one side of the street, someone was preaching a sermon through a loudspeaker. On the other, a pre-recorded message about reserved seating was blaring from the stadium’s loudspeakers. It was just a weird mix.

The course kept making a lot of tight turns in those first few miles, and things would spread out and then bunch up again. I’m sure the fact I was running near the pace group was making it feel more crowded.

The next few miles all came in around 8:00/mile pace. I felt really relaxed. There were a lot of spectators along the course, and they’d all cheer for the 3:30 pace group, which just kept reminding me that was my goal when I’d signed up for the full marathon back in the spring. Oh well. Next time, right?

Feeling good somewhere around halfway.

Feeling good somewhere around halfway.

Around mile 6ish, I heard a guy behind me say “I have to re-do Delaware, and I have one coming up Dec. 5? No, maybe it’s Dec. 7.” I figured he was trying to run a marathon in all 50 states, and he was talking about Rehoboth, so I slowed a step and asked him if that was the case.

I was right! I told him I live in Delaware (which always makes people laugh when I’m not in Delaware for some reason), and how great a race Rehoboth is. When I got to the part about the after-party, he said every write-up he’s read on the race has mentioned that specifically, so he was pretty excited about it.

We chatted the rest of the way to the where the half and full courses split, just before mile 7. The halfers all cheered for the full runners as we veered off, and vice versa.

It got quite a bit quieter after the split. I was no longer running with this cheery pace group only a quarter of the way through a marathon; now I was running with half marathoners on the second half of their race.

This part of the course wound through some residential areas. The spectator crowds weren’t quite as heavy, but there were enough to keep us pumped up. I was still hanging right around 8:00 pace, or just a little under.

Sometime between the ninth and 10th mile markers, we made a left onto a highway that would take us back to downtown, where the finish line was waiting. It looked so close! I thought the race would be over before I knew it.

I hit 10 miles in 1:19, still just under 8:00 pace. My feet were starting to bug me though. This would be the farthest I’d ran in about two months, and I could feel blisters forming.

The next couple of miles weren’t much fun. Downtown didn’t seem to be getting any closer, no matter how long I ran. Those blisters were getting worse. And, worst of all, I had to poop. Again. Dammit!

I was determined to make it to the end without stopping. A few times, I would feel the gut pangs getting stronger, but then they’d fade away.

When I saw the 12th mile marker, I thought I’d made it. But alas, about a quarter-mile later, the gut pangs turned the volume up to 11. There was no avoiding it — I needed a port-o-potty now.

I spotted two across the street, where they’d been placed along an earlier section of the course. There was no traffic coming down the other side, so I turned off course and made a bee-line for them.

A cop directing traffic at the intersection I was about to pass through yelled, “Hey, you’re not quitting on me now, are you?” I yelled back, “No, I have to POOP!”

I was as quick as possible in there; I doubt I lost more than a minute. I was still pissed I’d had to stop again, though, and in the last mile of the race!

I got back on course and felt much better as I started running again. One of the blisters on my right foot had popped, but I didn’t even care.

We made a couple more turns, and then, right around a corner, we hit the finish line. I gave it a little kick and finished in 1:45:18, overall average pace of 8:03/mile.

See, I get bad running shots too. This is the only one of me near the finish.

See, I get bad running shots too. This is the only one of me near the finish.

Officially, I was 43rd of 638 in the F 30-34 age group, 187th out of 3,575 women and 810th out of 6,130 total finishers.

The first thing I noticed when I finished was the lack of port-o-potties in the finisher’s chute. Not one in sight. I was much happier with my decision to stop when I did.

Volunteers gave us space blankets, medals and a knit finisher’s hat, which was a nice touch. There were bagels, bananas, chocolate chip cookies, water and Gatorade waiting for us too.

Overall, I have to say Indy Monumental is a great event. It’s not too big, the course is contained to the city and very scenic, there were always spectators, lots of well-stocked aid stations with great volunteers and all the usual amenities at the finish. (Except for a port-o-potty two steps beyond the line, of course.)

I moseyed out of the finisher’s chute and over to gear check. I was really glad I’d packed an entire box of Band-Aids in my bag. The outside of the ball and the outside of the big toe on my right foot looked like raw ground meat. The one on the ball had popped, soaking my sock in blood. The one on the toe was still intact.

This was the same foot that had knocked me out of training for several weeks leading up to this race. Even though it hasn’t given me trouble for a while, I think I was still running on it funny. I’ve had blisters before, but those were excessive.

I covered my foot in Band-Aids and put on my sweats. Eventually I found Jillian, who’d run an unexpected PR in the half, and our runparty group of Allison, Jill, Steve and Deanna. They’d run in grass skirts and leis and were excited to see this spectator on the course:

Allison, Steve, random spectator in a blow-up costume, Deanna and Jill.

Allison, Steve, random spectator in a blow-up costume, Deanna and Jill.

The five of us girls took a group picture after the race. I don’t know if my bitchface is because I’m still mad about the port-o-potty stop, I’m jealous of everyone else’s skirts or if I’m just cold haha.

Allison, me, Jill, Deanna and Jillian.

Allison, me, Jill, Deanna and Jillian.

We made a stop in Steak ‘n’ Shake’s heated tent for free chili, and then we made our way down to the finish area again, to watch for the three Loopsters running the full.

We saw the colonel come through in 3:57, a week after running a new marathon PR of 3:56.

The other two full runners we were waiting on were Allison C. and Heidi. Allison has run a few marathons before, and ran with Heidi for her first. We stood there a while longer, cheering on everyone who came by, waiting for those two.

Watching a marathon with Jillian turned out to be pretty funny. She’d yell something encouraging to whoever was running by, and then follow it up with a comment almost under her breath, like “That guy had the most oddly-shaped head!” or “That bitch doesn’t look like she just ran a full marathon — she’s not even sweating!” I was enjoying the extra commentary.

Eventually, we were getting cold, and we all wanted hot coffee from the Starbucks near the hotel. We crossed the street to head back, which was, of course, when we spotted Allison C. and Heidi running to the finish. We cheered for them from the median, but they were pretty focused on finishing that marathon and understandably didn’t notice us.

We made it to that Starbucks. Standing there with my half marathon finisher’s medal and a pumpkin spice latte, I felt like the whitest white girl I’ve ever seen.

white girl

That afternoon, we started with a couple beers in the hotel TGIFriday’s. Then we got cleaned up and walked to Bazbeaux, a downtown pizza place that had been recommended. The pizza was excellent.

After dinner, we went to a bar called The Wild Beaver, where we found my spot:


The Wild Beaver turned out to be pretty tame, so we went to Tiki Bob’s Cantina. They had a DJ. We started with some lemon drop shooters:

Jillian, Jill, Allison and me.

Jillian, Jill, Allison and me.

And then Jillian, Jill, Allison and I danced so long, Allison developed peroneal tendinitis in her right foot haha. (I’m not joking; she had a physical therapy appointment first thing today and her doctor told her the five hours of dancing is probably what strained that tendon. It should heal quickly though.)

It was after 3:30 a.m when we got back to the hotel. Luckily, the time fell back an hour that night, but that extra hour wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling like crap when I woke up Sunday.

We all had breakfast in the hotel, took naps, checked out, had lunch at a sports bar and then said our good-byes.

Allison’s and my flight didn’t leave until after 7 though. Jillian hung around with us a little longer, but soon she had to get on the road back to Milwaukee, so she dropped us off at the airport.

The trip home went smoothly. I stopped at my in-laws’ house on the way home to pick up Pepper. He was so happy to see me, he insisted on standing in my lap and leaning against me the rest of the way home, and I was so happy to see him, I let him, even though his giant block head was making it hard to see.

Clark made it back from his weeklong business trip to Seattle around 2 a.m., and we were finally all home together again.

Pepper was pretty content to wake up with both of us in our — I mean his — bed this morning.

pepper asleep

 And that was Indy! The race went as well as I’d hoped, considering all the missed training, minus the bathroom break and the blood blisters, of course.

The next question is Rehoboth. It’s now less than five weeks away. At this point, I feel like just winging that one too. I mean, I’ll throw in some speed work over the next month, but it’s too late to really train right for this thing.


1 Comment »

  1. “I have to poop!” Classic, Abby. 🙂 And don’t sweat Rehoboth – you’ll do just fine.

    Comment by kafishgirl — November 4, 2013 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

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