I completed my first half-marathon race - the Indy Mini-Marathon! This race is the nation's largest half-marathon.
We headed to the expo on Friday after work. It was pretty crowded, but we expected as much. We headed to the back of the expo to pick up our packets. There wasn't a long line at all.
We went to the stand with our bib number, and had everything we needed within 5 minutes.
We looked around a little bit, but we headed out soon after getting our packets.
Part of our packet included a pretty nice long sleeve shirt - and a hat. The coupons and so forth that you might ususally find as part of your packet, was actually assembled online. So, we were emailed a virtual goody bag.
Since we ran the 5k, 10k, and 15k as part of the training series for the half, we were able to be seeded and start closer to the front of the race. We started in Wave 1, Corral E. This also meant that we had to be there earlier, as we had an earlier start time than the later waves.
We left home a little after 5 AM and got parked in a parking garage by 6 AM. I must add that after we parked and started walking toward to the start line, we spotted Olivia Newton-John! I am a huge Grease fan, and so I was pretty star struck - and still am! I think she was participating in the 5k for her charity.
The course was pretty flat, as expected in the Midwest. We got to run around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, which lasted about 2.5 miles. In my opinion, it was the most boring part of the race, but still the coolest. I saw several people stop to kiss the bricks, but I did not, since I was able to do that two years ago for a different event. I wish I would have taken my phone out of my FlipBelt to snap a few photos throughout the race, especially during that part of the race. I ended up only taking before and after photos.
After the Olivia Newton-John sighting, and a quick stop at the porta potties, we made it to our corral. We were some of the first ones there. I guess we got there in plenty of time. We were able to watch the 5k runners begin.
As the corral started filling up, it was fun to listen and chat with other runners. This guy was a favorite of mine, based solely off of his shirt.
Below is a shot of the crowd in front of us just before we started. It was crowded, obviously, but pretty much what we expected. For the first 2 miles, it was tough to get into a good stride, but looking back, I was happy with my pace. Before we even hit a mile, we tossed our throw-away shirts. It was chilly waiting around before the race, but once it started the sun came out and warmed up quickly. I think by the end of the race it was in the high 50's.
I was thrilled with the first half of the race, but after exiting the track (over half way), I started to slow down. I chugged some water at the stations several times throughout the race, which ended up being a great decision. I didn't carry any water or fuel with me. I didn't for any of my training, so I decided not to for the race. What ended up being a bad decision was drinking Gatorade for the first time in 5 years at a few of the stations - such an awful idea. The last 3 miles were pretty tough for me. I knew they would be, but it was difficult to keep my self-talk positive at that point. Then, with about a mile to go, a fellow lady runner told me a compliment that made me ridiculously happy and I was able to finish the race strong. Whoever that lady was, did more for me than she will ever know, just with that simple compliment she gave me.
My husband and I both had a goal to finish in under 2:15, and we both accomplished that goal! I was confident I would be able to after running 13 miles the Saturday before the race in 2:03. I would have loved to run my first half in under 2 hours, but honestly, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I am happy about that! I am thankful to just to have been able to participate.
After grabbing our medals, bananas, and other snacks, we spent some time checking out the post race party. It was crowded, but still pretty cool. Music, beer, and celebrations.
My husband and I accomplished something that took months of training, and even though we have both been athletes our entire lives, and were members of Division 1 athletic teams, this was a challenge. We made our minds up and completed our goal, and for that we are thankful!
A HUGE thank you to everyone who supported us throughout training, before and after the race! We appreciate you all so much!