Wow … Where do I begin with this post? The Festival 500 Indy Mini Marathon. This half marathon was chosen on a whim. I saw it, I
thought about it, I asked my husband if it would be okay, then I registered. I didn’t put that much thought into it which I should have. I know!
Everyone always asks me, “Why Indianapolis?” Well, the answer is easy … my brother, Joe, lives in Indy, so I made it a run with a dual purpose – visit my brother and run a half while I’m there! I hadn’t been to Indy since 2006, and since then my brother has bought a new house and has a new girlfriend, etc. The decision to go was easy, just the logistics was not, but I made it work. I was fortunate enough that my husband had some frequent flier mileage that he got on his new SouthWest Visa Card, and that my daughter’s ticket was fairly inexpensive. So we were off on a girl’s adventure!
We left on a Monday so we had plenty of time before the race on Saturday. We didn’t do much while in Indy, just hung around my brother’s house because he had to work and it would’ve been crazy to ask him to take vacation days off to spend time with us. Besides, I didn’t want to do much other than chill out, and neither did Grace (she just didn’t know it then). We loaded up of groceries and necessities and just holed up for a few days! It was nice to just do nothing!
My brother and his girlfriend, Lucy, did take the day off on Friday so we could explore the expo. The expo was held at the Indianapolis Convention Center as it was a large event with many (try 30,000 runners). Packet pickup was well organized. They sent out postcards with our bib numbers already on them, so all one had to do was head to the correct line with your bib #. Fast and easy. I always love perusing the vendors at the marathon expos. They almost always have great deals and there are always good race discounts. The last time I went to one, I entered all of the drawings because my running BFF did, and I ended up winning a bunch of stuff so I did it again, and once again won a bunch of stuff – Free pizza, a boat trip down the Ohio River, a stay at a resort,
water bottle, etc. Not bad. It was while I was at the expo that I learned that one of my Twitter buds, @alamarcavada, was running this event. Unfortunately, I was literally walking out as she was walking in, so we didn’t get to meet. We were able to exchange numbers and were going to meet at the start or at the finish for sure! I wanted to meet @halftrain while I was there also, but that didn’t happen either!
Carb loading happened at one of my favorite places … Buca di Beppo! Love that place … tons of carbs, and more carbs. The food is awesome, and you know that carbs and I are BFFs … well, except my hips don’t think so! Lol! Oh well … I love their food! The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. My brother and Lucy took out Grace and I just chillaxed some more after I laid out my race gear.
Race day, game face on! Heehee! It started at about 0500 I had my ususal reheated Starbucks Mocha (Triple, tall, NF, no whip), and my toasted bagel with peanut butter. Start time was 0700 and we weren’t sure about parking downtown, so we left at 0600. Parking was not an issue. Downtown Indy had lots of parking! There were TONS of runners and spectators. I expected chaos, but surprisingly there was NONE! I thought I’d get lost trying to find the start, but I didn’t. Everything
was well marked, no one was panicking. I met a really nice lady while waiting to use the porta potty who told me that this was her 10th Indy Mini race. That was another thing … there were tons of porta-potties! When I had to go right before my corral reached the start, there was no issue, no long ass line like there usually is at races!
I was in Corral M … so you can imagine how many people there are. The corrals are arranged in the order that you registered, NOT by how fast you are. I registered “late” in November for this race. I loved how there was time to warm up and get acclimated to the weather, and how my family could find me easily. I love how we played beach ball while we waited at the start! It was fun!
I was worried about running “alone,” however, I was able to spot a girl that had a “Mac-do” – the crazy ponytails that my running buddy Mac sports at our races! Too much fun. It took about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the start once the gun went off!
While “racing” I’m not really racing. To me it’s just running as I am only competing with myself. I only strive to improve my own times as I know that that is where the real competition is … inside my head! Running thru the streets of Indy was amazing! The weather was perfect – cool in the high 50’s to 60’s with some drizzle. I had no issue with crowding in the beginning … just running.
I hit the midpoint on schedule as discussed with my awesome Coach @SpeedySasquatch. My times were spot on, and I felt really good. Mile 7 is where we were actually
running on the Indianapolis 500 Speedway! It was such an awesome,awesome experience! I even took a few self portraits of myself while running … !
Miles 9 – 11 is where it got a little “weird” for me. I know, what am I talking about? Well, I’m not exactly sure what happened. It was almost as if I blacked out for those 2 miles or so because I don’t remember them at all. Seriously. I just remember that I was thinking that my playlist was kinda weird at the mile 9 marker, then the next thing I knew, I was at mile 11 with a huge gash on my leg bleeding. I don’t remember falling, but I don’t remember how I got to mile 11 either. It was as if I just blacked out, but kept moving. So … not to worry, I’ve been working with my doctor on trying to figure out WTHeck happened. I’m thinking that it’s either my thyroid that’s off, or my electrolytes were really off. I really believe that it was my electrolytes. I dunno. Just know that I’m okay, and I’ll figure it out.
So … since I lost two miles, my times were slightly off. Even though I somehow managed to keep moving, I guess I was
moving slowly. Oh well, at least I was upright, and not vertical or on an ambulance gurney, right? And the gash wasn’t bad, but it did scar. I wasn’t going to try to even make up the time difference. At this point I just wanted to finish. My finish time looks weird, but remember that I started like 15-20 min after the gun time, and I lost time when I passed out or something. I looked good at the finish though … smiling for the camera …
The end was fun! Lots of people! Lots of crowd support – from random people on the street, to cheerleaders from every school, volunteers, bands on street corners. There was more than enough water, and porta potties throughout the course. While running to the finish, the announcer made
it seem as if you were racing each other to the finish! You know, like you were a race car. Fun! It took awhile, but finally caught up with my Twitter friend, Alamar … OMG, she’s awesome and beautiful. She finished that race like it was nothing, and she looked fab!
Would I run it again? Heck yeah! That race was fun! I’m thankful that my brother let us stay and chill out at his house. I’m thankful that the weather was nice. And I’m thankful that whatever happened from miles 9-11 were not that serious. I loved that race! Just don’t tell Chris that I already signed up for 2012 and am hoping that things workout so that I can make it back there again. =) Thanks for a great race, Indy!!!