Race Recap: Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon!

The morning came early, earlier even than it usually comes on race day. You see, I had decided that my “stomach issues” come as the result of not taking part in my normal daily ritual of coffee and “morning constitutional.” So, I woke up at 4:00 am, trudged downstairs, switched on the news, and dutifully ate my toast with peanut butter, banana, and slurped my coffee.

I’ve never been more relaxed before a race… I think it had something to do with not rushing around, and of course, partaking in my usual ritual. I think it also had something to do with the fact that my Mama was there – this would be the first time she’d see me run. Isn’t she cute?!

We made our way to the parking lot right by the starting line and found a spot with no problem before seeking refuge from the cold in the Indiana Convention Center. I casually made my way to the start with just a few minutes til the gun was to go off, and said goodbye to Ian and my Mama.

Going into the race, I planned to race for a PR, knowing that although I had just set a PR at the Nationwide Columbus half marathon, I had a lot more in me. For me, this race was the perfect example of flexible goal setting. In my mind, I was hoping for anywhere around 2:10 – 2:15.

The gun went off, and just before I passed the start line, I saw my Mama and Ian, yelling and laughing, and I gotta say… it was the perfect jump start. The first mile passed by in just over 10 minutes – about 10:01. I thought to myself, “hmm, that may be too fast, Janene.”

Then the second mile passed in another 10 minutes, and the third in just under 10 minutes…. and I felt great. No horrible feelings in the tummy, fresh legs, and lungs that barely even felt like they were getting worked. It was at this point that I realized 2:10 was absolutely possible.

A few miles later, I passed the 10k mark in just under 1:01 and change, faster than my week-old 10k PR. I hit mile 7 in 1:08, and with faulty mathematical logic, though that perhaps even 1:58 was in my grasp, thinking that I only had 5 miles left. Math fail. But still, it was then that I realized sub-2:10 was in the cards, assuming no blow-ups.

As a side note, I found it kinda hilarious that I ended up calling Ian a few times during the race, to make sure he and my mom were in places where she could actually see me… I was WAY ahead of schedule, so much so that Ian was pretty skeptical… boy, did I show him. At this point, I knew that Ian and Mom were just after mile 12, and I decided that I would stay the course until about miles 10 -11, and then pick up the pace for a strong finish.

Around mile 11, I started to feel the fatigue of sub-10 minute miles, but knowing that they were so close kept me going. Then, just after mile 12, I saw Ian standing on a street corner, and my Mom running up behind him, yelling my name, beaming and telling me I looked great!

It’s amazing how much of a burst in energy you get from seeing your family! Having them at mile 12 was perfect timing… just as my legs were getting tired, I had that surge of energy to carry me through to the finish. At this point, I realized that if I pushed it, I could go sub 2:08…!!!

So that’s what I decided to do… I kept up the pace, turned a few corners, picked it up as I saw the finish…and VOILA –I didn’t think that a half marathon at a sub-10 pace was in the cards this year…. but I was so wrong. It’s amazing how fast I can run when I’m not afraid I’m going to poop my pants with every step!

And of course, a HUGE thanks to Ian and my Mama – without their amazing support, this would not have been  such an amazing race. And, my Mama LOVED it! I was worried she’d get bored, or too cold, but I should have known better – she loves people & crowds, and Ian said she was just chatting up a storm with all the other spectators, and cheering on other runners… I think she’s hooked, too!

The day after the race, Ian and I took the dog for a walk, and I chatted his ear off about it all – the race, my hopes for future races, and running in general. I think this was a huge breakthrough for me, both simply in figuring out my digestive issues and pre-race ritual, and in terms of what I’m actually capable of. I see BIG things in my running future… I can’t wait to share them with you, but for just a little while longer, I’d like to keep them as my (not-so-little) secrets… stay tuned!


4 thoughts on “Race Recap: Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon!

  1. Congrats on the fantastic PR, speedy pants! Indianapolis is my favorite place to race.

    Where do you live now? We seem to run in the same cities, so I’m sure we’ll end up at the same race sooner or later. If I ever get faster, maybe we can run one together!

    • I agree, I LOVED running in Indy! Plus, my sister owns a condo there – free lodging? Yes, please!

      I’m living in Columbus now, and we should DEFINITELY run together! 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Marathon, Two Months Later « One Run at a Time

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