Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 Mini Indy Half Marathon

First off I have to say that this really shouldn't be MY race recap…I have to give all the credit, hard work training, and determination to go faster and faster during the race to my two cousins, Janel and Kristin, who ran a perfect first half marathon this past Saturday!  They really are living proof that you can just start up running for the first time or after a long break and run a half marathon successfully in just a few months…and only running 3 days/week I might add (something for another post).

I plan on letting my cousins speak for themselves in the next post but here is my recap!

First off, the Mini Indy is SO well organized! They have different start times for the different waves (5 total) so you didn't have to get to the start line when the first gun goes off, we actually "slept in" until 6 since our wave didn't start until 8:30. Getting to the start was a breeze and we hung out in a convention center using their nice restrooms until it was almost our start time. As we were marching ahead to the start line there were volunteers on the side handing out water and gatorade…GENIUS! I am constantly complaining about how parched I am right before a race due to nerves, whatever so this was exactly what I needed.

At the start!
We were in wave 4 as my cousins predicted a finish time of about 2 hours, 30 minutes.  We started a little after 8:30AM on Saturday morning (a perfectly cool sunny morning I might add!) and settled into a warmup pace of about 12:00 miles for the first few miles.  I think we might have gone a bit faster but the crowd was pretty thick and that was the pace they were going but I think it helped ease them both into the fact that they were running 13.1 miles that day!  Our pace increased a bit every 3 miles or so, 11:30, 11:00, 10:30, and even busting out a sub 10:00 mile for the last mile with a sprint at the finish!

The course was really nothing to write home about, wide open roads with not much scenery.  There were some fun bands and entertainment along the way that all led up to the 2.5 mile loop around the Indianapolis 500 track around mile 6.

We all agreed that the track was a bit overrated and we were ready to be off of it after about 1 mile. It was cool to say I ran on the track but car racing doesn't really do it for any of us so I think the novelty was lost. Plus we knew we would be seeing our family after we excited the speedway so we just wanted to get to that point as quick as possible! We spotted them right as exited and Janel's 5-year old son, Brady, raced along side the course waving the whole way…definitely the motivation we needed to keep going.

After the track we were focused on getting the 13.1 miles done! Our pace picked up and we all stayed close to each other…little Miss Kristin tried to break away from us but we caught up to her :).  The weather felt pretty warm at some points but then a breeze would kick in and we would all be comfortably warm again.  Coming back into downtown Indianapolis was pretty and then you turn over a bridge and see the finish line.  I felt pretty strong the whole way but my hips started feeling not so fine at about mile 10 so I was ready to kick it into high gear and finish as fast as we could.  All three of us crossed the finish line together in about 2 hours, 26 minutes!

Close to the finish line, sprinting to catch up to Kristin!
I would argue that post-race was where I thought the Mini Indy could use some major improvements. We were offered a full water bottle (PLUS) but no full gatorade, chocolate milk, or other recovery drink that I've become accustomed to at most big races. The post-race food was pretty minimal (pretzels, bananas, cookies, fruit cup), but luckily we were planning to head straight to lunch after so it wasn't a big deal!

Still smiling after 13.1 miles!
I need some major re-hydrating with Nuun post race and we headed straight to Crackel Barrel for lunch where I inhaled a delicious BLT and french fries! Speaking of Nuun I should add that this was the FIRST race where I didn't have coffee as part of my pre-race routine but rather had Nuun Energy and it worked like a champ and I also avoided the "just had my coffee, now I have to go #2 right away" feeling…WIN WIN!

Okay, I've rambled on enough and like I said before this race wasn't about me…it was about supporting my cousins on their first journey to 13.1.  Stay tuned for their recap and to see if I convinced them to run another 13.1 in the future :).

QUESTION: What do you remember most about your first 13.1? Or first race?

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