Monday, September 9, 2013

Indy Women's Half Recap

This past weekend I ran my first half marathon in over 4.5 years. I decided to set a goal and go for it. I wanted something that would keep me accountable with working out and finally getting rid of the baby weight. At the time I signed up the most I was running was 3 miles at a time. But I was ready. I trained by myself and didn't sign up with a buddy because I was doing it for me. To prove that I could do it and get healthier for me.

I have ran two half's before, once back in college and once with my hubby (when we were just bf and gf). Both times it was the Indianapolis Mini Marathon, which kicks off the Month of May in Indy (Indy 500 race month), and it is a big deal. They sell out every year and it is the largest half marathon in the country, with 40,000 runners. Throughout the whole route there are DJs, music acts, dancers, cheerleaders, you name it. You run around the Indy 500 motor speedway track. It is also the first of May so the weather is usually cool and mild. This race, the Indianapolis Women's half, could not have been more different. It is obviously all women, but I didn't really know what else to expect.

The morning of the race I got up early and ate about half of a Think Thin bar and drank some Gatorade. I was out the door by 6:30. I parked downtown not too far from the start line, and I was getting out of my car when I realized the most sad and devastating thing. I forgot my ipod. My heart sank and tears filled my eyes. This couldn't be happening. Instinctively I turned the car back on and was going to go back to the house, but then I realized there would never be enough time. I panicked. There was no way I could run with out music. I considered just not doing it all, trying to run with out music (as I thought of the entertainment from the previous runs), but after frantically digging around my car I found some knotted up headphones in the backseat and decided to bring my phone. I had no music loaded on it but just decided to use Pandora. The problem was I didn't have any way to carry it. So I found a paper towel, wrapped my phone in it, and stuck it in my sports bra. True story. I was so sad about this that it really took me the whole walk from my car to the start line to get over it.

A quick selfie at the start line. Nervous!

I got to the start line and I was surprised to see there were no corals or people with pace signs directing you were to start. I got little emotional because I had been working so hard for the last 12 weeks all for this moment. For this race. I felt a since of pride that I stuck through it and was here, by myself, completing a goal I had set out of myself.  Everyone just kind of stood around and when it was time to go off we went. I was so glad I decided to bring my phone because there as no entertainment through out the course at all.

My other issue with the race was the heat and humidity. I was sweating before we even started. It was 93% humidity outside and boy could I feel it. Once the sun was up from behind the buildings and trees it was miserable. I pretty much felt like my skin was melting off and I couldn't breath. The first 8-9 miles were OK. I think my pace was around 10:20, which I was fine with considering the heat. The scenery was enough to keep my mind off of how uncomfortable I was but once I hit mile 10 I was ready to be done. Looking back, I think that running only 10 miles before hand was probably not long enough but rather I should have done a 12 miler leading up to it. Mentally, once I hit mile 10, I wasn't confident that I could keep going much further. But I trucked along. Around 10.5 miles I started to get really dizzy and felt like I was going to black out. There had been no shade at all since around mile 8 and I was struggling. I made sure to grab water at every single water station but at mile 11 I actually stopped to drink the water and walk a little while I was finishing it. The last 2 miles were the worst and the way the course is you actually run near the finish line around mile 11.5 but you keep going and loop back around. I literally considered just running right to the finish where I knew my husband was waiting for me and getting the heck out of dodge. But alas, I kept going knowing that the end was near.

Once I turned the final corner I saw Kyle and Macy cheering me on, which was just what I needed to get my through the finish line. When we met up he asked my how I felt and I got really emotional. I honestly think it was because I was just so physically drained. In a way I was disappointed because it was so hard. But after I got home, took a shower and ate some food I was starting to feel a lot better. I just RAN A HALF MARATHON! Hello! I went to bed early every Saturday night the past 12 weeks so I could get up early Sunday mornings and run. I put in the time and effort and I completed a goal. That was something to be happy about!

I am considering signing up for another half in November. I would train and run with a friend, which would be a nice change. Although I am not super excited about doing it, I would like a better race experience before I hang up my running shoes for the winter. We will see!!

My cheering section!

"Whyyyy am out in this heat?!"

The moment I saw Kyle and Macy. Check out that stride... I was basically just shuffling my feet at this point.

I did it!