Last Saturday was the 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis. A sizeable group of MRTT ladies made the trip to run the race together. We had experienced distance runners, a gal who has run the race before, semi-experienced half marathon runners and a handful of first time half marathoners. And we had a lot of fun.
We lucked out with hotel rooms right at the start line, so we could just stumble out of bed, get dressed and head out to see our gal Trudy who was doing the 5K. Then we were able to head back up to our room to make sure we had everything, put on some sunscreen, go to the bathroom in a a real bathroom, not a port-a-potty! And take a picture in our cute matching outfits!
Then we made our way to our corrals. The race started at 7:30, but our corral didn’t take off until 8:00. So we had quite some time to hang out, dodge the beachballs that were bouncing around and take selfies.
Katie and I were in a corral together, with a goal time of 2:10. I was hoping for a 2:07 finish time to beat the Colts cheerleaders. There were a lot of people hanging out in our corral who shouldn’t have been. And once we started running it became more obvious they were in the wrong spot. We spent a lot of time early on trying to get around people. But in mile 2 we found our stride. And things were going good. We passed the aid stations (which there were PLENTY of) because we both were carrying water. Despite the forecast it turned out to be a pretty overcast day, though it seemed like it could rain at any minute and depending on our direction and location we had to battle some wind.
The part of the race I was most looking forward to was running on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is just a unique feature of this race and even though I’m not a race fan the idea of running where cars drive 200 mph seemed fun. Unfortunately I didn’t actually find running on the track all that fun. Even though my smile and the abundance of pictures I took of the experience might make you think otherwise.
We went from great crowd support to nothing. It was actually pretty boring on the track. The best part about it was that it was very smooth. No dodging potholes! It was also narrower than the road so we suddenly became very condensed. Particularly where the two water stops were. And you had to look for people to suddenly stop when you crossed the bricks. The miles on the track were the slowest splits of the race.
About a mile after exiting the speedway Katie and I got separated. I was now on my own. I was feeling good, though. I picked the pace back up for a bit and checked in with my Garmin to attempt some math while running. I figured if I could keep the 9:30 min/mile pace I was cruising at I could beat that 2:07 finish time. Unfortunately that’s not how the last 3 miles went down.
It got very humid, then it got very windy, then it rained. It wasn’t a heavy rain (while I was running) but the wind that came with it was coming right at us. I was so happy to make the turn for the last mile of the race to get out of the headwind, but I knew it slowed me down too much and I was really struggling to breathe in the humidity. (I’ve had some breathing/sore throat/coughing issues ever since I had strep) I just kept chugging along and eventually made it to the finish line.
My Garmin said 13.26 miles with a time of 2:13:14 (10:03 min/mile). Faster than the half marathon a few weeks back and I knew it was a PR. Chip time was 2:13:09. While it wasn’t the time I was aiming for (or have been training for) it is 49 seconds off my PR, so I decided to celebrate it. The conditions were a lot different than my winter training runs, there was a large crowd and I did the best I could that day.
I waited for Katie at the finish line, we posed for a picture together, grabbed all the snacks at the end and made our way to our group meet up spot. We drank our chocolate milk, ate our cookies and celebrated with those who finished before us and those who finished after us. I really enjoyed having so many MRTT ladies at that race and it was great celebrating everyone’s accomplishments together. And it was great having a girls weekend away in Indy. Even if we ended up being to tired on Saturday night to paint the town. It was a great runcation.