Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Indy Mini -- Complete!

This past weekend, I got to cross off "Run a mini-marathon" off my bucket list! I DID it! I *ran* the Indy Mini Marathon in 2hr21min! I emphasized the RAN because I'm proud to say that I NEVER walked! Not even through the water sections.  Of course, I'd slow down, grab a water, and sloppily splash it as I jogged through the area; then I'd speed back up to pace.  But not once did I stop "running" (okay, towards the end, it may been more glorified jogging/walking than running, but I'll get to that. . .

We got into Indiana on Friday night around 8pm.  My mom took charge of putting Bean to bed while I carb loaded on some pizza and hung out.  After Bean went down, I said my goodbyes and headed over to my sister's house around 10.  I had the choice of sleeping at my parents and meeting her around 5am, or just head over the night before.  That sounded easier to me!  I didn't really sleep much that night.  I didn't get to bed til after 11:30. Around 2:30 a cat woke me up - ha; and then again I woke up with my alarm at 4:45! I woke up feeling pretty awake, so I guess that's a good thing.  I geared up in my running stuff, and off we went!

We picked up my sister's friend who lived nearby and made our way to Indy.  We excitedly discussed running strategies, about family and acquaintances (ended up that my sister's friend is close to my friend Julie's -- pictured later -- sister!).  We knew where we wanted to park, but weren't paying close attention to street names, so we ended up missing our turn.  We tried to back track, but some roads were closed due to the races.  So we went with plan B and parked in a parking garage that my friend Bree recommended! 

We put on our Bib numbers, got our running necessities, and lastly put on our trash bag attire.  The day was going to be warm, but it just wasn't warm yet.  So we put trash bags on over us to keep us warm.  People thought we were nuts and we even had some people take our picture, but right before we raced, we ditched the bags and were ready to go! (*Note* some runners will wear old layers and strip as they go.  They will either ditch or have people stationed at certain miles to hand their stuff over.) I run a faster mile than my sister and her friend, so I had plans of running with my friend Bree!  We met up in our correct corral (you are assigned certain starting times, and just so happened all my friends were in the same one!) and ran into other friends from college! We chit chatted a little as the race started and our corral slowly got up to the start line. But once our start time was getting closer, Bree and I broke off form the group and tried to get as far up as possible.  Then it was go time!

(Me, my sister Amber and her friend in our hang out spot -- in front of the port-o-pots for some great people watching!  And proof that we seriously walked the streets of Indy wearing trash bags over us!) 

(Friends from Purdue!  Julie, Bree, Alice & me! We just happened to all find each other in the same corral! We hung out and chit-chatted until the race started.  The first wave started at 7:48, and our wave started at 8:30.  You could hear on speakers as each wave started, and then people moved forward to anticipate the next start.)

(All packed in together waiting for the 8:30 start!  This picture was taken from my sister's view.  Bree and I had already snaked up as far as we could.)

Once our wave started, we were off! We had to do a lot of dodging and running faster than planned in the begging to get around all the "walkers".  After mile 2, we had a good groove going and found better space.  We'd still have to run around people every so often, but it wasn't like it was in the beginning! I felt tired from the get go, but tried to push through.  Bree can run faster than me (I knew that going in) so I tried to keep up with her pace as much as possible.  I'd fall a little behind, and then I'd push to get back up to her.  

I had energy gels to help me out, but didn't plan properly.  I had looked at the course map prior to the race to see how much water and energy supplements would be offered. I didn't realize that the Gatorade endurance spots were just concentrated Gatorade (I thought they'd be energy chews), so hindsight, I wish I had another one of my own gels.  Oh well!  I'd almost always grab water (they offered it at a ton of locations, so there were a couple I skipped).  I took the Gatorade the first couple times, but then realized it was doing me more harm than good.  I fought nausea a lot while running and the Gatorade made me burp and would trigger my gag reflex (tmi?!).  So I stuck to just water! I also had to figure out that after drinking the water, I had to run a little slower (due to tummy) and then could increase back up.  

I had been warned that the "hardest part" of the course would be running on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  We entered the speedway in between mile 5 & 6 and exited between 8 & 9.  Running on the track wasn't hard, it was the sun beaming down on you and no shade to break it up.  About 1/3 way onto the track, I knew I couldn't keep up with Bree.  I tried to stick with her through the motorway finish line (I think she may have lessened to stay with me).  She snapped a quick photo as we left that finish line, and then sped back up.  I knew I couldn't (when I start to sprint or increase speed, I immediately start feeling nauseous!) so I waved for her to keep going.  Through the rest of the speedway, and even exiting, I could see her up ahead.  But then the course started to wind (which was my favorite part because it was shaded with trees!) and I lost sight of her.

(One of my sister's photos.  I never pulled my phone out while running.  I had a strategy of "don't stop - keep going!" This was right before she crossed the motor speedway finish line.  There were a path of bricks that it is tradition to bend down and kiss.  My sister opted to do it, I however just kept going.  How on earth does one bend down and pop right back up and continue running?  Not me! See above strategy!)

(Bree pulled out her phone and snapped a photo of us in the speedway (you can see the finish line banner in between our heads) before we bid adieu.  I don't know why the angle is all weird, and why I look like my neck is freakishly long and attacking Bree.  Even at my complete "I HATE this moment", I still could muster up a smile.)

I thought running on my own would be awful, but really it wasn't too bad.  I kind of just got in a mental zone of focusing on what was ahead.  It was also nice to just set my own pace and not feel guilty over trying to keep up.  I was sad my pace had lessened (I was runinng closer to an 11min mile than my intended 10min). I kept telling myself that time didn't matter, just focus on running and try to enjoy.  There was some entertainment along the course like little bands, bagpipe player, belly dancers, cloggers, and a drumline (just to name a few, there were a ton others).  I didn't listen to any music of my own, just took in the crowd cheers and the music I'd run by.  Our names were on our bibs, so volunteers on the side would call out encouragement to runners by name - pretty cool!  One lady said, "Great job Lindsey, keep it up!" as she handed me water around mile 10, I immediately got tears to my eyes.  I don't know why that triggered my emotions, but it did.  I'm proud to say, those were the only tears I had while running!

I thought the last few miles would be the easiest because you are so close to being done, but for me, they were the hardest! I was just getting so hot and tired.  I started to notice my feet hurting and my legs just felt like lead.  There random spots with water you could run under, and those felt so good! There was also a guy in his yard spraying people with his hose.  I made sure to run nearby and thank him! At mile 12, I was really losing it.  My pace had lessened to being longer than a 12min mile.  I knew I was capable of a 10min mile, but knew I couldn't make it happen.  So I just focused on finishing without walking! (Although, I'll admit, I did give myself permission to just walk the end, but stuck to my guns of - NO! Finish strong!).  The last mile seemed to go on forever! You had to run over this bridge which was sort of inclined and completely open (no shade).  Then you ran down into the IUPUI campus and there were trees lining the streets! Whew! 

Everyone around me was either flat out walking or sprinting towards the end.  There was 1 guy for the last mile that I passed him like 3 times.  He'd sprint then walk, then sprint, then walk, etc.  I maintained my speed and we kept passing back and forth, ha.  I knew Bree had to have been done, so I was looking out to see if she was coming back to run back in with me.  I finally hit mile 13 and just pushed for the last 10th of a mile! I didn't focus on anyone except for crossing that line! I really wanted to finish in 2hr15 min.  Back at mile 12, I knew that wouldn't happen.  I reset my goal for 2hr20min, but as my wathced ticked down that last min, I knew I wasn't close enough to the finish line.  I stopped watching my clock and just honed in on that finish line.  I crossed at 2hr21min38sec.  I'll take it! 

As soon as I crossed, I slowed and starting walking, and boy did it feel weird! My legs felt like they weighed a ton and I knew if I stopped walking, I'd collapse. Hahaha.  So I mosied past all the different stations  -- water first, medal, bag, bananas, pretzels, cliff bar, cookies, fruit cups.  I collected all the items, but couldn't eat a single thing yet.  I bit into my cookie and immediately regretted that decision.  I stopped and called Bree to meet back up.  She was just a little ways ahead, so I found her.  We took our "We did it!" picture and then slowly meandered through the party area to get back up towards the finish area to cheer in our friends.  I had no clue how my sister was doing, or when to start looking out for her.  I thought she'd be about an hour behind me.  So after we found some cold choc milk (which was surprisingly delicious and fine on my tummy) I pulled out my phone and loaded up the mini marathon app. I was able to search my sister and see the last place she clocked in at and her expected finish time.  As I read her info, I realized she was less than 10 min from finishing!

(WOooooohoooooo! We DID it!  I'm seriously so proud of this accomplishment.  Had you told me I'd complete a mini (let alone RUN it and in less than 2.5 hours) I'd never believe you.  But I did it! And I'm proud :)!!)

We got to a stopping point to watch the runners and all of a sudden we saw our friend Alice! I looked up her time and she clocked in a min after my sister at the last check point.  I realized I missed my sister and got all bummed.  I said bye to Bree and walked back to the finishing area to find them.  And then I got notified my sister finished (2hr56min!).  Later, I realized as I was throwing my pity party about missing her, she probably ran by, because Alice's time was a minute faster in the end.  

I met up with my sister and her friend and we circled back for more chocolate milk (for them)! We sort of slowly made our way through the party area and then back to the car.  I had to meet back up with Bree to do a swapsies of items.  Since we parked in the same garage, we just met back up there.  My sister and her friend were gushing all about the mini and all the fun they had.  I felt like a downer because I didn't share in the "fun". There were moments I enjoyed, and running in the beginning was fun with Bree, but really I just hated the running part.  I think I pushed myself too hard.  Although, I've never fully enjoyed running, just more the accomplishment.  So I definitely don't regret the mini, but probably won't be signing up for any in the foreseeable future.

(Winner's Drink Milk! I think we were laughing because it masked the pain, haha! Actually, other than my hips being locked up at first, and my legs being tired, the pain hadn't set in yet.  Just a crazy old lady walk.)

(Post Race fun! I was on the phone with Bree arranging  our last meet up of the day, haha! So my sister's friend is hilarious and crazy all at the same time.  As Amber and I are gimping through the runner's party area, she's jumping around saying, "Let's go run some more!". Uhm, no crazy.)

Sitting in an air conditioned car was AMAZING after all that running. Haha.  We headed home, but had to make a lunch stop at Chik-fil-a. I really wasn't hungry, and my tummy still felt all weird, but that lunch tasted amazing! I just couldn't eat my normal amount.  We dropped my sister's friend off and headed back to her house.  There we changed, showered, and moaned - haha.  I quickly assessed my feet to discover they were full of blisters (I later counted 9).  My knees also were hurting really bad.  I wasn't prepared for how crummy I'd feel that evening.  I knew I'd be sore and had been warned Sunday would be awful.  But really, the worst part was Saturday night.  I had had zero issues with my knees in all my training, but that night, I could barely bend them.  I knew once I stopped for the evening I was a goner.

So I stayed up and walking as much as possible.  Amber and I took our girls to the playground for a little bit before dinner.  Steve had spent the whole day watching Bean with my brother-in-law Chris.  My mom was gone all morning for a dress rehearsal (she's in charge of the kids choir at church). She returned after Bean's nap and took over.  Chris and Steve then went to Chris's house to work on a project (I actually saw Steve there before I got my shower, haha).  The guys came back around dinner time.  That's when it really hit me how bad I was hurting.  I took some medicine and finally sat down with my legs propped up.  My nieces took over entertaining Bean (they even bathed her!) and then my mom put her to bed.  You would have thought that I'd want to sleep after having such a long hard day, but I didn't go to bed til after 10, and couldn't fall asleep until after 11! Too much excitement (or too much pain)?! 

(What a good aunt!  She's returning all those favors I've done for her girls through the years.  There's no way I was going to attempt to sit on a swing let alone pump my legs to make it move.)

(Look! I can run in mommy's shoes!)

On Sunday, I woke up to no pain -- just very sore muscles! Whew! I could walk (kind of like an old lady walk), but my knees would bend and they didn't hurt.  We packed up and headed out early so that we could go meet up with our college friends in Indy before heading back to Ohio.  We hung out at their house for awhile, went and got Kolache Factory for "lunch", went to a park and let the kids run around, and got ice cream at Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station just off the Monon (a neat bike/pedestrian path).  We made Bean stay awake longer than normal, so she crashed hard in the car on the way home.  Her head kept bopping around (you'd think there'd be some great car seat invention to help keep a sleeping toddler's head up!) so I'd try to push it back every once in awhile.  My pestering woke her up, otherwise she would've slept longer.  The rest of the car ride was annoying. Ha!  I was tired of being stuck sitting (my muscles ached and my head hurt) and Bean was also complaining a ton.  Steve did a great job getting us home and he even went out and got us Chipotle for dinner! Yum!

(The ONLY photo I took of our college friends -- just the kids! They had a ball playing together!)

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