Monday, May 6, 2013

Race Day Wrap Up - Indy Mini - May 2013

I'm not big on suspense. Let's just say I crushed my "stretch" goal of setting a personal best. My time was 1:54:51 and a 8:46 pace. I am beyond thrilled. I beat my previous best (Indianapolis - October 2012) by almost three minutes.

Now, on to the specifics...

On Friday, Jack and I headed over to the expo to pick up our race packets. I picked up a few friends' too so I walked out with 8 bags! I also walked out with a pack of Yurbuds. I bought the ones that have call and track control. These things are awesome. I've been thinking about them for a while but couldn't really justify spending $40 for a pair of headphones. They're worth it. Not only did they stay in my ears but they were super comfortable and have a great sound.

I'm always amazed at the port-a-johns. I don't know why. But, I am. So, I took a photo on expo day. I am proud to say we avoided those bad boys on race day.

I enjoyed the expo more this year. I don't know why. Jack spun a few prize wheels and I managed to win a $5 gas card. :) I also got a $10 coupon for the Indianapolis Half-Marathon I hope to do in October.

This was a cool count down clock they had before packet pick up.

I spent the morning (pre-expo) working on my playlist. I came across this gem and considered adding it in but decided against it.

I did end up rearranging the playlist so that I had a few fast and pace setting songs together and then a slower song to catch my breath a little. Mom and dad arrived around 5 or so on Friday night. After taking a look at the house we're building down the street, we settled in for an awesome meal of Turkey/Bison Meatballs and spaghetti. We hit the hay early - 10:30 or so. Dad wasn't feeling great - cold symptoms - so he was out by around 8:30!

Carbing up!

We were up around 5:30 the next morning and I downed two cups of coffee and a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter for breakfast. I took another cup of coffee and water in the car on the way downtown. I drink entirely too much coffee, so three cups is nothing for me. (I did drink a boat load of water for the whole week leading up to the race and I think felt much better because of that.) 

We left the house around 6:10 (planned on leaving at 6) and made it to the parking garage at 6:40 or so. We hit up the bathroom at the Westin - highly recommend by the way - no one know and/or cares that you're not staying there. Dad took advantage of the warm temps inside and stretched a bit. 

Then, we booked it to gear check with a light jog. It was nice to warm up a bit, but honestly, we were just running a little close on time. I made it into my corral around 7:15 or so. But, not before a photo op!

This year was the highest corral I've ever had. I was in D and felt surrounded by men! I seriously only saw three women. And, the wind was whipping through there like crazy. It made me really cold and made me think about regretting my outfit choice of shorts and short sleeves. I was afraid the wind would follow us and mysteriously be in our face the whole race. Luckily, it didn't. Maybe something about being so close to the JW Marriott? Wind Tunnel? 

See the sea of men?

Then, off we went. I crossed the start line after only 1.5 minutes or so. Everyone started running way before the start line which was kind of nice actually. Our GPS watch didn't charge right overnight so luckily, mom and dad both brought theirs, and I was able to wear mom's. I would have been a little lost without that on this race.

The first two mile were rough - I'm not going to lie. I didn't feel good. My right, outer shin really was giving me problems. I have never had that happen before so it was concerning. I told myself to just get through the first two miles and see how I felt. I remember feeling like my first two miles were not "fast enough." Usually, I start out faster than I finish (maybe this was key to my PR?) but this time, my watch told me that miles one and two were only slightly under 9. Although, looking back at my splits, it looks like I was about 10 seconds under a 9 minute mile.

I think part of the problem of the first two miles was that everyone was passing me. I'm not used to that in this race. Usually, I'm bobbing and weaving to get moving. This time, I was the person people were bobbing and weaving to get past. I talked with my other friend and she said she noticed the same thing. She felt like she ran the first bit too fast for that reason. I remember telling myself over and over again, "Run your own race."

Either way, the rest of the race was a blur. Somewhere, probably around mile 5, I realized that I was feeling awesome and a PR was certainly a possibility. I took a Gu pack around mile 4.5 and remember just thinking how good I felt. The track was a breeze and I took another Gu pack at mile 9. They handed out Clif shots at mile 10 and I grabbed one, thinking why not? I ended up "sipping" it from mile 10-12. I'm glad I did. I think the extra sugar rush kept me going.

I grabbed water at every water and Gatorade station but didn't walk through any of them. In fact, this was probably the first race in which I didn't walk at all.

I have to say that I really just felt great for the whole race. Miles 10 & 11 were rough, but no where near as rough as last time. I don't remember a whole lot other than I thanked God a few times that I felt so good. (I must have really felt good!) I was totally in the zone. I felt cold chills three or four times out there and my face broke into a big, stupid grin. But, I've only had that happen once before - I think it was a true endorphin buzz. So much of this race felt "in the zone"and that helped the whole thing really fly by.

Toward the end, I was feeling tired (bored?). I started up with the self-talk. "If you've got it, give it" was something I started repeating in my head to will myself forward and to will myself faster. I will say that the last mile was very tough. At some point, (mile 11 or 12?), I was still thinking I could get in the 1:53's but my head wasn't working the numbers quite right and I don't think that was actually possible. Coming over the last bridge felt pretty fantastic, but the finish line was so far away that I was surprised I didn't see it sooner. Once it finally came into view, I rubbed at something in my eye and my contact popped out! So, I ran the last half mile with one eye closed. My vision is ridiculously horrible and I am so thankful that didn't happen sooner because I wouldn't have been able to finish without major depth perception problems and vertigo most likely.

I had just enough kick left at the end to speed it up. I don't remember any of the last half mile other than not thinking people were cheering loud enough. :) I finished strong and was bent over at the end trying to catch my breath and take in what I accomplished.

Here are my splits according to my watch and the recorded splits...

Mile 01 - 8:42:53
Mile 02 - 8:50:12
Mile 03 - 8:41:26
Mile 04 - 8:38:32
Mile 05 - 8:40:36
Mile 06 - 8:40:36 (Is that really possible to have two exactly the same?)
Mile 07 - 8:44:26
Mile 08 - 8:49:19
Mile 09 - 8:40:98
Mile 10 - 8:41:08
Mile 11 - 8:40:57
Mile 12 - 8:32:68
Mile 13 - 8:38:90

Fastest mile at #12?!?!? I'll take it! (The watch was obviously somewhat off because these don't average 8:46, but it's probably close enough.)

Soon after gathering my gear, and most importantly my flip flops, at gear check (no major blisters by the way - yay!), I found our neighbor and went to the beer garden to meet a few others. So many of us had gotten our PR! I'm convinced it was the weather - a nice 50 degree or so day with no rain but no sun either. I found mom and dad a little later and they did great (better than last year!) considering dad's cold and cough.

We headed back home and had a family lunch at Applebee's. I felt surprisingly great on Saturday and pretty good on Sunday too. Today, my legs are really feeling it, but all in all I had a great recovery and a really great race.

I'm not sure how I'll top this one, but I sure want to try! In four weeks, I head out to Colorado with my friend, Claudia, and sister in law, Katie, to run the Steamboat Springs Half Marathon. No major aspirations there other than to finish close to two hours. But, you'd better believe that I'll be gunning for another PR come October. :) The thrill of competition, with myself, is unlike anything else I'm used to feeling. And, I like it.

I'm not gonna lie - I've been pretty much been giddy about my athletic performance since I saw this screen shot. :) What a weekend!

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