Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race Recap - Indy Mini 2014

I think this is my most delayed post-race recap yet! I am beginning to see a trend on the blog front. Life just keeps getting in the way! Here it is - well, what I can remember anyway!

Friday was race expo day. In the past, just Jack and I had gone to collect everyone's bags. This time, Tom wanted to come along so we went to breakfast first at Cracker Barrel. Delicious pre-race carbs! I ordered Jack an extra pancake so I could have some and then he wouldn't let me have more than three bites!

Off to the expo we went. I tried on a few pair of shoes that aren't in typical stores and didn't like them. I did walk away with a new, highly discounted, sports bra and Tom got new compression socks. As always, it was a great expo with lots to see and do.

In the afternoon, my parents arrived bearing meatballs and pasta. But, first, we were off to the soccer game. Man it was COLD!!!! Winter coats and coffee was the only way to get through it. Tessa scored her first goal though so it was all worth it!

We came home and turned on the fire. In the first week of May! The kids and dog loved it and Josie and Tessa snuggled up with books while we finished prepping dinner.

Dinner plate looks pretty familiar. Look at what we had before the last race!



The kids entertained us during dinner. Both by dancing and flexing their back muscles. 

I had said all night that I didn't want to be eating dinner at 9PM. We sat down at 8:45. Good enough! After dinner, we gathered our things and set our alarms. I think we were asleep by 11 which was great. 

The morning of the race, the sitter arrived around 6AM. The weather report, which had looked good all week, was dismal. 

Off we went anyway. In the car, I snapped a photo of my bib. And, then we arrived to a beautiful morning!

We parked near the convention center and hit up the Westin again. I feel fairly experienced at races by now and I'll tell you that they are by far the most accommodating and runner-friendly that I've seen. So many of them try to block the doors and even put security out. At the Westin, we were greeted by two doorman who opened the doors for us. There was in info table in the lobby. They even had staff directing us to the restrooms. Really, why not embrace it! What does it really cost other than some extra toilet paper?! Plus, I'm convinced it has to be their highest grossing morning for Starbucks!

I was pretty nervous. Next year, I may even split from the group a little earlier as I was really itching to get to gear check and the start line. I know it doesn't really matter and I could jump in at any time, but I don't like feeling rushed. We took off toward gear check and I immediately noticed something was up in my sock/shoe. I worked on it and it still seemed off but it couldn't have been too bad as it didn't bother me during the race. 

Tom and I split from my parents at this point. The plan was for Tom and I to start together in wave 2, in his corral. I had in my head that he was in corral E so we jumped in right as the race started. Turns out, he was supposed to be in corral F which was the start of wave 2. So, we kept moving right up to the start line. Due to satellite issues with our watches, we hung back. Mine got service first and he sent me along. Come to find out, Tom had major issues and was the only one from the first wave to not cross the start line for about 4 minutes. He got out of there when he heard the Colts cheerleaders were on their way. He did get an individual wave from Mayor Ballard though!

The first few miles definitely felt as crowded as previous years. I was bobbing and weaving pretty good. As usual, in mile 2, I started to second guess things and felt a side cramp. But, I powered through. I remember very little about this race and even remembered little right after it was finished. 

A few memories...

1. I felt really good and was really impressed with my time through mile 9. I started to hit a wall there. However, around mile 8, I started to tell myself that it was supposed to be hard and not meant to be easy. 

2. I also told myself that once finished, I never had to run again. 

3. I wish the course had Gatorade and Water at each aid station. One time, I took a gel expecting water up ahead and it was only Gatorade. Sticky gel mixed with thick Gatorade tasted pretty nasty. 

4. It started to get hot toward the end. I would take two water cups and put one on my head or shirt and drink one. 

5. I felt like I majorly slowed down in the last three miles. My Garmin says differently. My slowest mile this race was still faster than my average from my previous PR. 

6. Everything else was a bit of a blur. I think I kind of just let my brain take a break. All I managed to do was keep calculations going in my head. 

The whole time, I was convinced I needed an 8:30 pace to finish under 1:50. That was, in fact, false. I started to realize my mistake around mile 11 and I knew I wouldn't be able to hit it but I wasn't off pace. However, I managed to end the race with an 8:24 pace (for 13.2) which was better than I thought my goal actually was during the race (8:30). If I had run exactly 13.1 at an 8:24 pace, I would have beat it. So, I'm counting it a win. :) Plus, I didn't majorly slow down in those last few miles. Mile 12 was the absolute longest mile of my life. It felt like it would never end! But, it did and I had a new PR. By 4 minutes! 1:50:58.

Tom was waiting for me in the finish area and first thing he said was, "You did it! Under 1:50!" Well, not quite, but I'll take it! Then, he said, "That mile 12 was the longest of my life!" Ditto! He managed a course record which is impressive since it was only two weeks after his hell-ish trail half. 
We recovered a little while waiting for mom and dad. 

(total staged photo)

Mom and dad crossed shortly after with a PR too! Under 2:30 which was a huge goal!

Home we went to relieve the sitter and get some lunch. I felt surprisingly good even this was my first race where I felt like I may have tummy troubles after but I didn't. After lunch, Tom mowed the grass and tackled a few other projects while I took a three hour nap in bed. :) 

We finished out the weekend by letting Josie make dinner for everyone. She choose pancakes and asked it they could put Nutella on them. They've never done that but why not? They loved it and Tom and I loved hanging on the couch while they handled dinner. 

By Sunday, we felt back to normal with minimal soreness. All in all, great race and great weekend. I am so thrilled to have that PR under my belt. That feeling alone is why I do this. I will likely never win a race or even my age division but I can certainly keep beating myself. 

Next up is another half but I'm thinking fall. (I have two more to hit my goal for the year.) We just joined a gym and I'm enjoying doing anything but running. :) Plus, I'm working on leg strength, intervals and flexibility/yoga in hopes of improving my speed. Hopefully I stick with it and don't fall back to my comfort zone of just running. 

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