Last Saturday I went back to where my running journey began: the Indianapolis Mini Marathon, know as “The Mini” or the “Indy Mini”. This was my second half marathon in 2 weeks and I ran it under yet another alias: Bridget. If you remember from my last half marathon recap, I didn’t plan on running either of these half marathons so I was extremely pleased with my results.
When a “Facebook friend” of mine posted that she was going to get rid of her Mini bib because of an injury, I thought, “why not?” What a better way to celebrate my 10th half than to do it at the place where it all started; I didn’t expect to shave 12 minutes off my first- ever half marathon back in 2004.
In 2004, I was 20 years old. In 2004, I did not have any children. In 2004, I was “young”. In 2004, I had much more time to train. But yet in 2015 when I am 31, have 2 children, am 7.5 months postpartum and with much less time to train, I run much faster. I credit it all to the fact that I train smarter.
The mini is a very crowded race and I am not in a place yet to break my PR (1:43:38), so I set out to run a course PR. My fastest time on this course was a 1:50:48 back in 2010. It had been 5 years since I have run this race!
A race that is a tradition for many hoosiers, I was excited to get back. Although I often get frustrated at the crowd and all of the passing you have to do for the first 3-4 miles there is nothing that beats the Indy Mini vibe! It is truly incredible! The excitement that fills the air on race day downtown gives me goosebumps. Driving downtown and seeing the skyline of my city, the city I have grown to love gets me excited to run the streets. 30,000 people who have committed to completing 13.1 miles! 30,000 people, no matter where they are on their fitness journey, have committed to exercising- and I love that!
I drove downtown with one of my husband’s coworkers and his wife. I was so glad they offered to let me tag along. I met at their house at 6:15 on race day and we were on our way. We arrived in plenty of time to use the restroom, stretch and do some people watching.The mini now offers waves of start times: although the race began at 7:30, my corral did not start until 8am.
My other goal for this race is to really work on starting slower and picking it up more at the end. The first three miles were easy for me to do that as I spent doing a lot of passing, and more people watching as I was running. Miles 3-6 were great… and then you enter the track. The track is usually my least favorite part of the race, but this year I didn’t mind it. I picked up the pace a little bit and felt pretty good. Actually a friend of mine from the gym told me she saw me on TV running around the track and I looked happy- I love that!
As I was about 3/4 of the way around the track my stomach started hurting and I thought for sure I was going to have to stop and use the restroom. I tried to fight through and then I looked down at my watch, did a little bit of math and figured I could probably break 1:49 if I didn’t stop, so I powered through and exited the track ready to finish strong. When you leave the track, you are at about mile 9.
I hit mile 10 and picked it up some more, still feeling pretty good. Once I got to mile 11, I told myself, “2.1 miles is nothing,” and a really kicked it… way too early. Once I hit about 12.5 I was dead. In fact I thought to myself, “Did I miss mile marker #13? There is no possible way I can have more than a half of a mile to go.” Unfortunately I did, and I was spent.
I feel like that last stretch takes absolutely forever! You keep thinking the finish line is right in front of you because you see so many people, but there is still a ways to go. Finally I could see the finish line and I was able to muster up some energy and cross at 1:49:30. I didn’t quite break 1:49, but I was proud that it was the fastest I have ever run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon.
I am continually amazed with my body. I can do more, run faster and feel better then I did when I ran my very first race at 20 years of age! I have one more half marathon this month to wrap up my Spring season and can’t wait to share those results with you too.