I am going to preface this by saying… THIS WAS THE BEST DAMN RACE I HAVE EVER RUN. I was incredibly impressed with this race, the course, the way it was run, like I am still on a high from it and it should be on everyone’s bucket list, and I mean EVERYONE.
This was a whole family affair race. My brother flew in from Arizona, my mom and myself all ran it and it was a lovely weekend. Flying into Indianapolis is very easy and getting around was simple too. We stayed at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott and I recommend you booking your stay there if you are coming from out of town. It is right across the street from the expo at the convention center, a block away from the start line and in the perfect location for all of the restaurants and things to do downtown. When we checked in there was a gift bag with a water bottle and granola bars for us which I thought was very kind of the Marriott and a great idea.
The expo was ok, they had a bunch of booths but the Flying Pig last year will hands down win my vote for the best expo ever. They had a bunch of Indy cars through the expo with the pace car up front for pictures. Meb Keflezghi ran the race so he was also there to sign autographs and take pictures. They gave out long sleeve Asics shirts which were better than the cotton long sleeves in Ann Arbor. We got our packets and picked up some last minute items.
For those of you visiting, later that evening we went to the Yard house because it was nearby and St. Elmo’s and Harry and Izzy’s were booked (FYI those are Indy famous Steak Houses so if you can, go!) The next day after the race we went to Café Patachou and it was the perfect breakfast spot, so highly recommend as well.
The next morning we woke up at 6:30, race time was 7:30 for me, 7:45 for my brother and 8:00 for my mom. The race organizers want you in your corral 15 minutes before your wave is supposed to go off so I had to be up early. The hotel provided us with bananas and water in the lobby if we weren’t in the mood for Starbucks. We all walked over to the start area which I am telling you was right behind the hotel so very easy walk, we took photos and said good luck. With this race, you are allowed to submit a previous race time if you run a 2:00 half marathon in order to be positioned in the first wave and that is why I was in the first wave.
My race was going very well and I was clocking a 7:20 pace the entire first 6 miles. My goal for this race was to PR but mainly to PR my pace. I had been training with my boyfriend but also changing my stride to keep up with him but also run faster, and it seemed to work with our 10-mile training run we did the week before and during this race.
At mile 5, you can begin to see the race track and I got very excited. You then made the turn down the “main street” which takes you to the track and was filled with spectators cheering us on. At mile 6, we then made the turn down and under the track (the second hill) and took a back way in to then be popped out at turn 2. We then ran all the way around the track, across the bricks where all Indy 500 winners kiss the track and I couldn’t believe one where I was running but also my time. I hit mile 8 and was at 59:55. I was so happy with my pace but I also felt the wind picking up and slowing me down.
At mile 9, you exit the track and pop back out onto the main road back into town. I kept looking at my clock during this period and saw a pace of 7:40-7:50. I wasn’t happy and kept trying to get it down but my legs just weren’t doing what my brain wanted. I took in some gels after we got off the track because 1. they don’t want you gelling up their pretty track so they asked you to eat before or after, and 2. my plan is to take in gels for every hour I run. Honey Stinger Chocolate with caffeine was perfect at this point because it gave me that boost I needed. I was also using my Base Salt the entire race, every mile or two and that helped a lot since I felt that the weather was humid even though the air temp was 59 degrees. Still, no cramps!
|The moment I knew I PR’d|
Mile 12 finally rolled around along North White River Pkwy and I was doing the math in my head of what my predicted time would be. It looked like if I kept up my pace I was definitely PR, but if I could kick my butt into gear for the last mile, I could finish under 1:40. So once we hit the bridge to West New York Street I picked it up. I started running a 7:30 pace increasing it to 7:15 to the finish line. Channel 13 was the main sponsor for mile 13 (get it?) and the streets were packed with spectators cheering us on and yelling our names (because they were on our bibs).
|Ringing the PR Bell|
I kept looking at my watch as I was getting closer to the checkered finish line and as I came across I knew I did it. 1:39:53! I beat my personal best by 3 minutes, 4 years to the weekend of my last PR. I was so overwhelmed but turned around to see my brother. He finished shortly after in 1:46. We all got our trophy medals and made our way to the finishers area. By this time, it was cloudy and getting chilly so the fact that McDonalds was there giving away free coffee was clutch! Brighthouse also had a booth offering athletes or their family members to call someone if they didn’t run with their phone. The post-race party also had chocolate milk, beer and a PR bell to ring amongst other things.
Overall, this was the best race I have every run. The organizers really did an amazing job and put on an excellent event. You can tell that Indy knows that they are doing especially with the 40th running of the marathon and 100th running of the Indy 500 culminating all in this month. I typically don’t like to run races more than once, but this one, I will definitely be back for.
Ehh…not a fan: Expo could be better