Indy recap :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oh Indy! Where do I even begin? 

Upon signing up in January, I was still on a runner's high during my training for the Princess Half Marathon. Then I ran the Princess Half, and went through a total training down period. I just didn't want to run. So, leading up to Indy, I skipped a lot of my training runs and hoped for the best. 

On Friday, I picked up Dan and we headed down 65 to Indy. This is when the stress began. Traffic was TERRIBLE. Between all of the 26.2 stickers plastered to cars, and the mass exodus from college campuses this weekend, there was a long series of slow downs. Mistake #2 was not eating lunch and waiting until almost 3 p.m. to stop for food. By the time we got to Lafayette, Dan was saddled with a grumpy girlfriend on the search for some serious carbs and the task of driving the rest of the way, as obviously I was incapable of doing it without muttering obscenities at the drivers around us. 

After a baked potato and a sandwich, it was back in the car and down to the Expo. It was a pretty standard Expo as far as Expo's go. Lots of vendors, lots of loud music, lots of bright colors, lots of people. We picked up my bib (and my friend Christa's, who was unable to make it) and met up with my former student Melanie to walk around. (Side note: I like the Disney Princess Expo better. Why? More free stuff there, duh!) 

While at the Expo, we were able to see almost everyone I knew running the Mini. SO COOL to be able to greet everyone the night before the race. My coworker Johnna, her fiancee Lyn, Dan, and I all ended up at a sports bar for dinner because it had zero wait and pasta specials. So, we stuffed ourselves on chicken pesto pasta, garlic bread, and pita with spinach artichoke dip and separated. Dan and I headed to Teresa's sister Cara's house to spend the night there. 

At 5:30, the alarm went off, signaling that it was time to wake up and carb up (again! So many carbs!). A banana and half a Clif bar later, we threw on our gear, I forced Dan to get up, and we were out the door together. 

At the race, we hit the porta potties, found Olivia, Jodie, Andrea, Kelly, Sean, and the rest of the crew, and took our pre-race pictures. At 7:15, they made the announcement that runners needed to get into their corrals. I hugged my friends goodbye, and Dan walked me up to F and helped me hop the fence to get in. 

Naturally, at this point, I got emotional and started crying. There's something about knowing you're about to put your body through a torture test that makes me highly emotional. Luckily, Dan was wearing a shirt I hate, providing some comic relief. :) Once he left to go find Lyn, I calmed down and started talking to a woman in my corral. We both commented on the heat and humidity. I checked my phone to make sure my music was set, and my texts were on. Check and check. 

At 7:33, the first racers took off. At 7:37, I crossed the starting line, and was off. In the first mile, I saw the elephants at the Indianapolis Zoo. I missed a lot of other stuff on the run, so I'm glad I got to see those. I'd set up my phone to get text alerts for myself as well as my friends, so when I got to the first 5K at a 9:23 pace, I got a little worried that I was going too fast. But I felt great, and didn't want to slow down. 

Going into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was awesome. Seeing all the people on the track in front of me was so inspiring -- all those people all doing the same thing? Awesome. I made it out of the track and still felt great -- I was running a 9:22 pace. 

At mile 9, I saw Cara and Dave -- SO what I needed in that moment. In the ten minutes prior to that, I saw a man with the bloodiest nipples I'd ever seen and a woman who had gone to the bathroom in her shorts while running... and yes, we're talking #2, so a little inspiration was in order. 

THEN the sun came up. The beating down, terrible, hot, hot, HOT sun. I got desperate at this point for liquid. I started taking any cup at any station. At the Gatorade station, a woman in front of me dumped a cup of it on her head. It was desperate times, people. 

I'd been doing a run walk method throughout, but really had to increase the walking around mile 11. And by increase, I mean I essentially walked every three minutes during miles 11 and 12. I started texting Dan and my parents for inspiration. I checked my texts and saw that my friends were doing well. And then I was able to breathe a little. When I hit mile 12, I told myself that I had less than 12 minutes left and walking was no longer an option. So, I started to run. Or jog. As I got closer, I kept looking for Dan, knowing he was waiting at the finish. The crowd was awesome -- cheering and yelling and clapping. So, so, cool. 

In other news, there were a lot of young guys wearing light blue shirts. I kept thinking I was seeing Dan. They were not Dan. With the finish just 100 feet away, I gave it everything I had and sprinted to the end. And just as I passed, I heard, "ANGELA!" And there was Dan (and Lyn)! 

I got my medal, got my snacks, got into the park, and was thrilled that this time I had my cell phone so I could get in touch with the others I was waiting for. Guess what? Zero signal! UGH. Anyway, about 20 minutes later, I finally spotted Dan and Lyn, totally by chance, and made my way toward them. I think Dan was shocked when a super sweaty girl threw herself on him, but I was just so happy to have him there. A few minutes later, Johnna made it out to us. And eventually, miraculously, we were all able to find each other. 

Final time 2:11:18 -- almost five minutes faster than the Princess Half. For being so hot and humid, I was THRILLED with that time. I saw quite a few people laying on the side of the street with medics, which was terrifying. It was just far too hot to be running and I was lucky enough to be in an early corral and not in the direct sunlight for more than four or five miles. 

But the best part? I felt great after the race! I felt really excited about running again. It was so invigorating to do a run and feel alive! And it was great to get it done and think, "I'll do this again. I'll do more half marathons." I needed that. I needed to remind myself that I can do this. 

So, today? Some leg pain, for sure. Giant blisters on the toes. The possible loss of three toenails impending. 

Still totally worth it. 

I couldn't have done it without my friends, my family, and my supporter at the finish line. So, so thankful for this experience and the people I got to do it with! 

Now it's on to some smaller races and some fun runs. I need some fun runs for a while. :) 


  1. Such an awesome job! Now for the questions...
    1. Did you like Indy Mini?
    2. Would you do it again?
    3. Was this crowd bigger/worse than Princess?
    4. What walk/run ratio were you using & did you use if from the beginning?
    5. Was it hard to drive to the race from wherever you spent the night?
    6. Was it tough running on the track? Some say the slanting is rough.

    I was tossed for which 1/2 marathon I wanted to sign up for. I had thought of Indy Mini, Geist & the Flying Pig. I settled on the Geist because I had seen their medal at a previous expo & knew I wanted to do that race. I am glad that was my choice as my son got hit on his motorcycle about 2 a.m. Saturday & I would've been in Indy. He had surgery on his leg Saturday morning and might get to come home tomorrow.

    I might highly consider Indy Mini next year since your report sounds pretty good! I think I have to do it once.

  2. Knew you could do it!! So proud of you again! Your inspiration is going to get this mama moving this summer. Who knows maybe I'll be ready for a half sometime in the future. XOXOXOXO

  3. Ooooohhhh Mary Ann I love how you think! I would love to see this evolve. My first race ever was with my daughter & we crossed the finish line together in a 10K & it was soooo awesome! Something we both will always remember. Good luck on whatever you choose. Just moving more is such a good thing healthwise :)

  4. Ohmigosh! Is your son okay?! Are you okay?! Holy cow! I'll pray for all of you!

    1. I DID like the Indy Mini! The course is not spectacular, but they do have some fun entertainers along the way. I also think the temperature and humidity got in the way of my true enjoyment, but I would...
    2. Definitely do it again!
    3. The crowd was DEFINITELY bigger than Disney Princess, but, I didn't notice it as much while running because I was actually in a group with people going my own pace. That helped tremendously so I wasn't dodging walkers!
    4. I'd been training at a 9:1 walk ratio, but after mile 9, I probably went to a 3-4:1 ratio. It was just so hot! I was also drinking every cup of fluid available -- even Gatorade and even though I was using GU. I just had to get liquid in me! I did start it from the beginning and found it worked REALLY well! I cut five minutes off my time and walked way more!
    5. We stayed on the east side of Indy (at a friends) and had no trouble getting down town. We left the house at 6:10 (we had to be in corrals at 7) and had plenty of time!
    6. The track was a little tough to run on, but they have you go down into the pit on the turns so you're not totally on the slant. I'll tell you, though, it felt LONG on there! The sun beating down and bouncing off the blacktop, ick!

    I really did enjoy it though. I think it may have reinvigorated my running enjoyment factor too!

    Momma, we WILL be doing races together in the near future! Let's look for a 5K to sign up for this summer!

    Sherry, are you ready for Geist? I ran with a woman the first few miles who was doing it too. She said it's a great race!

  5. He's OK. He might come home tomorrow from the hospital. I'm fine - glad I was home! Prayers always appreciated :)

    I heard there was a lot of bands or stuff going on through the run. After asking about the crowd, I do remember hearing that Indy Mini is the biggest 1/2 marathon (I believe). Not dodging walkers if a "good" thing! I thought you did run this one faster than Princess :)

    A boost for running again - yayyyy!

    Do run some races with your mom - at least one, you will remember it always!

    I think I am ready for Geist and that's 1/2 the battle right?

    ***one more question...by run/walking did you feel any better after the race than just running it in Princess?***

  6. I felt really great after the race -- right away! A lot of my friends crossed feeling not great, but I felt pretty good.

    As far as pain in the days following, it's about the same. Sore, sore quads, stairs are tough, etc. I'm feeling better today, though, and I can't remember if this is sooner than last time or not!

  7. So what do you think about that Disney Goofy Challenge in January (1/2 one day & a full marathon the next)? It's only 61% full so you can still sign up...lol. It will probably kill me & if it doesn't, you may never hear me utter those words again!

  8. Oh Sherry... I will cheer you on from here! I think running 40ish miles in two days might be the death of me! I'm SO proud of you for going after your dream though!

    Geist is coming up so soon! Are you looking forward to some rest and carb loading here soon?!

  9. It might be the death of me too but please do cheer me to the end...lol. Once this is over I think I'm not gonna dream anymore!

    Getting excited & nervous about Geist. I have never done the extra carbs, just spaghetti dinner the night before. I've been doing good watching my diet so it's tough to run less/eat more but I'm sure I'll manage...hahaha. It will be nice to get away even over night :) My birthday is the 18th so some new race bling will make me happy!!!

  10. Heck no! I'm still going to encourage you to dream!

    I did a lot of reading about carb loading before the race (one thing it says it that it's tough to diet and carb load at the same time, much to my scale's chagrin!). Check out this article: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-301--14076-0,00.html

    I was much more careful about actually eating lots of carbs for a few days prior and I'll say that I felt better and had energy longer in this race. Then again, it might all be in my head or some other factor entirely, but it seemed to help!

    HOW COOL that you get to celebrate the day after your birthday with your half! I'm so excited for you, Sherry! I can't wait to hear how it goes! Do you know if you'll have any way to post it or if I can follow you on Facebook or text? I'll have to root you on!

  11. First I have to "survive" Goofy - then we'll talk...lol!

    I'll read the article & see if I can give it a try & see what happens. Anything that might help is worth looking at.

    This is a small race. I think it caps out at 6000. I don't know if they have any type of online tracking or not. I can post on FB though :)

    Off to read that article!


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