It’s only been five weeks since my last race. The app I use for training didn’t have a five week half marathon training plan (go figure), so I used a 10k plan to help keep me moving for the race this morning. I’m not sure it was the best plan, but I just needed to maintain and that’s what I did.
There was very little wind which was nice considering it was in the mid-30s when we were in the starting corrals. I decided to try running with the 2:10 pace group, but when my friend asked the pacer what pace he would keep (9:50), I told her I’d keep the group in my sight but didn’t expect to keep up with them.
Just before the 2 mile marker we had to go from four lanes down to about two and from that point on I didn’t see the 2:10 pacer until after the finish line. I was a little concerned because I was going pretty fast at the beginning — several times I looked down and saw 9:35 (pace) on my watch. I tried to slow myself down but between being cold and being surrounded by people running at that pace, it was hard to get myself regulated.
When I run well attended races, I enjoy watching the crowd. Most people are intently looking for their person. I enjoy looking at all the signs (Make America Chafe Again was a popular one this year) and seeing all the support out on the course. I also watch the crowds because there’s always a chance I’ll see someone I know. They won’t see me (it’s hard to see faces when so many people are running by), but if I yell out their name then I get a friendly wave in return, which is a good boost! I saw the first person around mile 3 — Vince is an Indianapolis police officer. I was paying attention because he was in the same spot last year. I yelled his name and got a smile back.
I think it wasn’t long after that when I saw Callie, a former youth group member from North Church. She was handing out water so I took one from her and loved seeing a friendly face. Around mile five I saw Joy who was out taking photos for the World Vision running group — Joy is the daughter of a longtime friend. Just before Fall Creek Parkway there are a lot of really supportive neighborhoods. It was awesome to have music blaring, people in costumes and lots of cheering along the route. It was there that I saw Ben and Eric, more North Church members.
At this point my legs were getting heavy, but I was really excited to see my mom in the next mile or so, so I kept moving in anticipation of seeing her. The half and full marathons split at Broadway UMC — I overheard a full marathoner yelling to our side, “You’re the smart ones!” Ha!
I got out my phone and recorded my run into the water station at Broadway — I saw Duane and then heard my mom yell my name! I gave her a hug and she poured water down my back (accidentally!). We had a laugh and I kept going. She was happy to see that I was smiling! At the end of the water line was my friend Mike. (I can’t watch this video because it’s so shaky — you’ve been warned!)
Then the leg fatigue started to set in — I was almost to mile marker 8. Thankfully Eminem came on my headphones:
‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak
And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse
This was the next boost I needed it to get me moving a little faster. I had gone from seeing a 9:35 pace to 10:45 and 11:00. I felt okay about slowing down, but I wanted to keep moving. I also thought about my friend Marcy who recently finished the Ironman World Championship in Kona — her legs were tired too, but that was after swimming, biking and running a full marathon. I figured, if she can do that, I can keep running.
I turned onto Meridian Street and saw another North Church member, Eric. Not long after that the marathoners started passing me. The first one, then the second and third. The fourth and fifth were neck and neck. By the time I got to the finish line I’d been passed by 11 marathoners, which means they were running at half my pace time — 5:15 minutes a mile, probably less. Insane!
I had about .3 miles to go and saw my friend Jeff on the corner — he ran the Marine Corps marathon last week! I didn’t have enough in me to really sprint at the end, but I did speed up and I crossed the line at 2:17:31 with a 10:30 average pace. Had I not walked those few times, I would have beat my PR, but I’m still really happy with my time! It’s my second best and as my older brother said, my last “PR wasn’t a fluke.” Ha! I was happy to find my friend Laura at the end and to learn that she did get a PR, by 4 minutes! Amazing!
I had a lot more thoughts in my head as I was running — sort of writing this blog on the go. I can’t recall everything I thought and I don’t think it all needs to be recorded here. However, I think this captures the run really well!
Only five more races to reach my goal…before I set another one! 🙂