Indianapolis Women’s 1/2 Marathon Race Recap
Check out this medal!
Yup. I earned that ;)
My alarm sounded at 4am, and after one snooze, I started suiting up for my 7th (holy moly) half marathon. I don’t even remember when I signed up for this race, but it had to have been sometime back in the winter or spring, before I knew any better. I’m not sure if it’s good to do many races during marathon training. But this race in particular turned out to be perfect for many reason, on which I will elaborate.
One (of the many) thing(s) I love about the Perfect Strangers is our email chain. I can always count on receiving an email early in the week for the upcoming weekend run, which then sparks a plethora of responses. Thru this or last week’s chain, I found out that a few of the girls were also signed up for this race, so we made arrangements to meet up and run together. Amy and Meghan had 18 miles to complete, and I was just coming off injury, so the 3 of us decided to make this run like any other training run. Christi was the only one of us who really wanted to race it. Turns out that ALL of us were in the midst of some sort of injury: Amy – bursitis/hip, Christi – IT band, Meghan – hip/groin, and me – PF. I properly deemed us the injured quartet.
After the hour drive south, I made it to the Hilton at Monument Circle by 6am. I had to pick up my packet/ race bib and find somewhere to park, hence the extra allotted time and early departure. The parking turned out to be a breeze, thank goodness, so I made my way over to the Hilton to grab my gear and make a pre-race potty stop (thanks coffee!).
I then made my way out to the circle in attempts to find the gear check, the PS meeting place. I had some time, so I walked around and took a few pics.
I must’ve made 3 laps around the circle looking for the gear check, when Amy called and directed me to a little random van in the middle of the street. We made our introductions (I had never met Meghan or Christi), snapped our standard pre-run pic, then “lined up.” More or less congregating in the street. We were all pretty un-enthused about this race, since we didn’t actually want to race. We planned on maintaining a leisurely 10-11min/mi pace and seeing how things went with our hurting parts. Plus, Amy and Meghan had already knocked out around 5miles prior to the start. PS,, 35 days til Chicago!!!
To put it bluntly, the weather sucked. Humid and hazy as can be before 7am. We had had a nice stint of 70 degree temps earlier in the week, but Mother Nature decided to punish us over the holiday weekend. Typical.
The horn sounded at 7 on the nose, and we were off. Christi went on ahead while the rest of us lingered behind. The race had water stops every mile, which was nice. I usually don’t take water for the first 3 miles since I drink a bottle pre-race. HOWEVER, the earlier water stops were miserable. Warm water, not enough volunteers handing cups out, making for a lot of congestion and ewie-ness. This was not the day to have anything less than cold H2O. We were already scripting our angry post-race survey at mile 2.
Our pace was good. No, our pace was great. I can’t even tell you how many times Amy and I said how unbelievably nice it was to “not give a crap” about our pace/ time/ performance. We had conversations without gasping for air. We stopped at a pink porta potty around mile 4 (appropriately timed with our standard McD’s stop on the Monon). We just really enjoyed the experience. We all went without music since we had each other’s company to fill our ears. Maybe it was because it was an only women’s race, but the other runners were so darn friendly. It was so fun to listen to other runner’s stories, what they’ve run, what they’re training for, etc. It really makes the time fly. There were also some great male cheerleaders on the sidelines. One red-shirted man in particular, who I think we saw a total of 5 times? I don’t know for sure, but he definitely got our attention the first time he yelled out, “I love you baby!” Promptly followed by a round of applause from the lady-runners. He was a winner from there on out.
I loved this course. Amy and I talked about how un-pretty the Mini course is. Today, we ran through downtown, over the canal, past IUPUI, down 38th street to Fall Creek. At least I think that’s where we were! I gave Amy an earful with all my Indy geography questions. It was just nice to run through cute neighborhoods as opposed to Pitareas (see Mini recap ;) ).
The water got a little colder and the water stations became a little better staffed as the race went on. As we approached the finish line, we were handed little American flags (for Labor Day Weekend). Amy and I (hopefully) scored a few sweaty end-race pics and crossed the finish line with a solid time of 2:22. Are we competitive? Yes. Are we happy with that time? Not really. But did we care that we ran much slower than we’re able? Not today. Today’s run was awesome.
I’ve really gotta give props to the organizers for the awesome post-race party at City Market. We were immediately handed purple swag bags, roses, and little gift bags with coups. After our professional pics were snapped, we made our way to the refueling stations. Orange slices, waters, and bananas. Yes please. But what is that line over there to the left?? Free beer, mimosas and bloody marys??? YES please!! To clarify, we did stretch and eat our healthy goods before grabbing some booze. But it didn’t take long to sample some of each. Hey, we deserved it.
All of us girls gathered around a pretty green table and decompressed. Sweatily, that is (if that’s an acceptable word). Amy passed out her Wheaties Fuel (yum, btw), while the rest of us chatted like we’ve known each other for years. It’s amazing how quickly bonds are formed simply while logging miles.
When the clock finally struck 11am, we walked over to Kilroy’s Bar ‘N Grill for more fueling. This time in the form of beers and breadsticks. I don’t need to elaborate much, the pictures do the talking (ps,pepperoni-filled).
There was talks of cobblers, running playlists, and birthday parties. There were tons of laughs and smiles all around. We just genuinely enjoyed the day and each other’s company. I’m so lucky to have found a group of girls, all so different, yet all with similar goals and determination to rock out a marathon this fall. Nothing’s gonna stop (us) now.
See y’all next weekend for 20 :)