Thursday, November 10, 2011

Race Recap: Indianapolis Monumental Half

Last Saturday, I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Half-Marathon.  I have such mixed thoughts that make this the toughest race recap yet to write.

Most importantly, I ran this race on the DetermiNation team for the American Cancer Society and raised $730.00 in the fight against cancer before I even got to the starting line.  Thank you for your assistance in that feat.  I woke up in a "mood" that morning and decided against the blue DetermiNation tank and went with the pink/black outfit instead.

My official finish time was 2:12:10 (10:05 pace).  Out of my six half-marathons, it was my second-worst time, besides my first one (2:38) two years ago.  My splits looked like this...
Mile 1 - 9:43
Mile 2 - 9:37
Mile 3 - 9:33
Mile 4 - 9:38
Mile 5 - 10:12
Mile 6 - 9:32
Mile 7 - 9:49
Mile 8 - 10:24
Mile 9 - 10:20
Mile 10 - 10:16
Mile 11 - 11:20
Mile 12 - 10:46
Mile 13 - 10:03

The past month of training was really weak with my pulled calf muscle and post-marathon recovery.  I wasn't expecting a PR in Indy, and yet I was absolutely defeated at the end of this one.  What started off as a good run, it quickly got tough after mile 7.  I could feel myself slowing down and no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't do a darn thing about it.  My legs felt so heavy and my chest pounded despite the crisp fall air.  I don't ever remember "hitting a wall" in a race before... but now I know what it feels like!

The last four miles were absolutely deflating on my pyschy.  I felt like I was being passed in herds, and that it just a rotten feeling to have at the end of a race... and fairly new for me.  I'm usually a pretty strong finisher.  But on Saturday, I was just happy to cross the line.

The race course was nothing special, no great views to speak of.  There were a lot of turns in the course (29 to be exact!) that I found annoying.  Everyone squeezes the corner and the whole pack slows down.  A good number of spectators were on the course, which was surprising considering how chilly it was.  One neighborhood came out early and chalked up motivational sayings on the blacktop for the runners.  On the flip side, there was a lady holding a sign that said "Worst Parade Ever."  How is that encouraging!?

I didn't run with a pace group, but did come in contact with two pace groups during the race.  I mention them only because the pace leaders were fabulous... pushing, chanting, and really encouraging their group.  They were like personal cheerleaders, rather than pacers!  The 2:10 passed me inside mile 10.  He sounded so fun that I tried to hang with him, to no avail.

The finish line was pretty chaotic, given I came in at a pretty popular time.  There was a huge food line with the water all the way at the end.  Someone please tell race directors that water needs to be first! Some of us could care less about the cookies and bagels.  On my way out, a Jimmy John's lady caught me and I gobbled up a yummy turkey sandwich. I heard later that the food was completely whipped out for the full marathoners and felt really bad for them.

Traffic in downtown Indianapolis is a nightmare, not just for the race but the expo the night before.  My poor mother was trying her best to get around - but roads were either blocked, jammed up with cars, under construction or police telling her to go another way.  And parking?  Not a chance.  She caught me at mile 7 and then around mile 11 when she bought the girls a Subway sandwich just to use their parking lot.
Our new cheer signs from Build-A-Sign
After the race, I made my way over the Colts football stadium, which was our designated meeting spot after the race.  Hindsight... bad choice.  I stood outside (freezing cold) for almost 45 minutes waiting for my ride to get through the downtown traffic.  Needless to say, we didn't get any of my customary post-race photos.

On a positive note, I was there at the start when fellow Sole Sister Jenn ran her first half marathon!

And the race goodies were pretty COOL.  Adidas race shirt is awesome comfort and quality.  In fact I also bought a long-sleeve top at the race expo.  I've never worn Adidas attire before, so I was thrilled to find a new brand that fits well.

And visiting Indianapolis for the race allowed me to also catch up with one of my BFF's that moved there last year.  Our kids had so much fun playing together!


  1. Great recap. I know it's hard to have a tough race, but you rocked it regardless :)

  2. Not everyone can do what you do! Great race!

    I'm a newer follower. hope you will come check my blog out sometime :)

  3. Great recap and I think it's good to see that you never know how a race will go. As a new runner I find this very inspiring :D xox

  4. Congrats on another half! I think the Monumental Half is on my 2012 race calendar. I'll have to remember some of the details you mentioned...traffic, turns. I've seen "Worst parade ever" signs at other races. Is that supposed to be funny?

  5. Great outfit! Sorry you didn't do as well as you wanted, but there will be many others to make up for it!

  6. I like Adidas race shirts too. Quality.

    It's just so hard to perform really well at every race when they are so close together. You did great, love the signs your kids carried.

  7. I'm sorry it was a tough half. I bet it's just the fatigue from the marathon yet. That really takes a lot out of you! At least you finished, though, which I think is easy to take for granted.
    LOVE those arm warmers. I'm hoping to use mine this weekend :)

  8. Way to keep going! Tough races are a challenge. You did it!

  9. Congratulations on another half, even if it wasn't your greatest ever, looks like you had a great time. I've seen the worst parade ever signs and I actually do think they are funny (well, first time I saw it!).

  10. I think that "Worst Parade Ever" sign is hilarious!

    Sorry you had a tough race. 2:12 is still a great time!

  11. Congratulations Jess! Good job! Your pictures turned out great! Love the wig!

  12. I think you did great! You looked great and rocked it. It's good to reflect on maybe why the race didn't go as well as you would have hoped and then you can learn from it instead of feeling discouraged. Be proud, cause you rock!


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