Yesterday was the Indianapolis Monumental Half-Marathon. My two goals for this half-marathon were to feel good throughout the race and to finish under 3 hours. I mostly met these goals. Here's the recap.
It was cold. The temperature according to The Weather Channel was 34 degrees at 6:30am, but I think it was colder at the start. Our hotel was about 1 block from the start, so we hung out there until 7:55am and then jogged to the start. My lungs felt a little tight, so I decided to break the rule of not doing anything new on race day and used the albuterol inhaler I got for running in cold weather. I'm very glad I used it. I didn't have any bad effects and was able to breathe easily during the whole race.
The start was packed (of course) and it took us about 6 minutes to get across the starting line. I started my Garmin at that point and discovered the satellites hadn't loaded, so I had time, but no pace or distance. I decided not to worry about it and just run since Richard was with me and he would keep me on pace. I felt great starting out. We ran the first mile and passed Lucas Oil Stadium. I decided not to stay with my plan of running 9 minutes, walking 1 minute and instead thought I would just walk the water tables. I wanted to make sure and stay hydrated since that was one of the problems I had with my last half.
This worked well until about mile 5, when Richard asked if I wanted to walk a little. We walked 2 minutes and then started running again. I was still feeling pretty good, but thought my pace was slowing. At mile 8, I had to stop and use a port-a-pot. I guess I didn't really need to drink a whole cup of water at each water station. After mile 8, I ran slowly while Richard ran a little faster, then would walk until I caught up to him. His knee was starting to hurt. By this point, it was getting hard to keep going, but I still wanted to make my time goal. We had a great start and I thought I might even be able to beat 3 hours in clock time.
Somewhere between mile 10 and 11, Richard asked if I would mind if he went ahead and ran because he just wanted it to be over. I told him I'd be fine and he should go. At that point, I was getting really tired and realized I hadn't had any Clif Shot Bloks since before mile 8. I ate one of those and talked myself into alternating running and walking every 2 minutes. During my walk breaks I ate a pack of dried fruit bites that came in our bag. I'm so glad I put them in my pocket, because they saved me. I started feeling good again as I got to mile 12 and ran 5 minutes with a 1 minute walk break. As I got close to the finish, it got really cold, but then I saw my parents and that perked me up. I pasted mile 13 and tried to speed up, but didn't really get into a "sprint" until I made the final turn and saw the finish line. I passed under the finish with 3:00:something on the clock. Bummer.
The post race food was great. They had little Panera bagels, cookies, chocolate milk, and more of the dried fruit things. I told a few bags of them. I'm planning on trying them again and then writing a review if they're as awesome as they seemed. After picking up my medal, hat, and snacks, I remembered to stop my Garmin. The time on it said 2:57:something.
I mention the times because apparently my chip didn't register as I crossed the starting line. According to the results website, my net time was 3:00:13. I know I finished under 3 hours, but don't feel like I can officially claim it without the site showing it. I'm a little disappointed about this, but I'm trying to focus on the improvements I made. I felt good for most of the race. There were a few miles where it was difficult to run, but I never wanted to quit (and I seriously considered quitting in my first half-marathon). I lowered my time by 20 minutes. I also learned that I probably need a longer training period and longer training runs.
I maxed out at 10 miles this time and would like to try a 14 mile run before my next half. Overall, this was a better 13.1, but I still have a lot of room for improvement.