Indianapolis Monumental Marathon RR

After having a horrible marathoning year, what to do?  Run marathons # 50 and 51, of course!  And that's what I did with Chicago and last weekend, with the Indy Monumental Marathon.

I have run the Monumental race twice before, once with my BFF Mary (marathon) and once with hubby (half marathon).  So once we decided to move to Indy, I registered for Monumental.  But which race to do?  Since I really have not been training at the level I am used to, my first thought was to run the half marathon, but when I went to register I noticed they had this challenge called the Indython, where you run the Half Marathon at Ft. Ben in October and the Indy Monumental Marathon for an extra medal and 1/4 zip LS tech.  I'm all for extra medal and swag so I registered for the Indython.

After we arrived in Indy, I went straight to work and hubby went back to Miami for another month.  My dad was here and he helped with the movers and by the day before the Ft. Ben HM, I was sleeping in my own bed which felt amazing (instead of the air mattress we had been sleeping in Miami and here).  I slept poorly before that race and it was so hilly it ended up being one of my slowest half marathons ever but good practice running outside after 4 years on the TM.

There was only one picture of me from that race and it was only by chance, ha.

After he Ft. Ben HM, I ran Chicago (RR already posted) and I felt great during that race.  My coach gave me a few recovery weeks where I didn't run much and then I had to go pick my husband up as well from Miami and drive back with him, so I even missed the Halloween 5 miler I had signed up for and barely ran for close to a week.  On top of that, I had a special project in Grand Rapids the week of Halloween where I fell badly (AGAIN), this time, wrecking both my legs, the scabbed knee had no scab anymore, and I faceplanted.  I was shaken by that fall and even thought I had a concussion but it turned out to be just stupidity coupled with a nosebleed and scratches all over.  I didn't have issues running but my body was just tired and achy from the fall and work.  We knew Indy wasn't going to be a fast race and I wonder if my coach even hoped I would let the race go (I thought about it, lol).

But after all those DNFs, I wasn't going to quit the race.  But I knew I wouldn't be fast and I made a plan to run/walk for as long as I could.  The plan was mostly successful.  Also, my friend Jenny was running the HM and she offered to run/walk the first 7 miles with me (until the split) so at least I knew I would have some good company for those 7 miles.

The Monumental expo is located in downtown, two blocks from my office so on Thursday, I headed there at 4pm when the expo opened, picked my packet quickly and went back to the office.  I didn't even pull my bib out until 11:30pm the night before the race when I was in bed and said oh shit, I didn't put the bib with my clothes.  I was really very low key about the race, so much I almost went to downtown without my bib, ha.

The day was cold and windy. The start windchill was 16-17F, I don't recall, with temps in the mid 20s.  Normally I would wear shorts, and either a short sleeve or tank with arm warmers and gloves, but this time I wore tights, a LS, gloves, a second throwaway longsleeve and a hoodie.  I was pretty well covered with that windchill until we started, where I took every piece of clothes but the throaway.

When I arrived in downtown, the parking shuttle dropped us off somewhere in the convention center (I say somewhere because I fucking forgot to check where it dropped us off which made have to walk back to my car 1+ mile away from the finish line).  As I entered the convention center trying to find a bathroom, there comes my BFF Deena Kastor passing by like nothing.  I thought of calling after her and taking a picture with her but one picture with her is enough IMO and I didn't want to bother her.  Found the bathroom and headed to the Fishers Running Club tent (my running club), which was closer to my office and around 0.60 miles from the convention center.  We took a group picture:

I headed to the start where I found Jenny and we ran/walked the first 7 miles together.  She made the miles go by fast!

After the split, I continued run/walking hitting 12+mm and doing OK, but my lower back, quads, and piriformis started hurting a bit before the HMers split. This happened to me during Chicago and then I thought it was the fall and the scabbed knee but this time I've had no issues since the second fall so I wondered if it was the CarbonX. I love those shoes but the last three races have been plagued with lower back and leg soreness even during the races so I wonder if they are too stiff for my long distance slow pace.  I'll take a break from them and see.

I crossed the first HM at around 2:41 and I was doing OK but after Mile 15 I hit a wall, albeit not the typical runner's wall.  My calves were on fire, my piriformis and quads as well, and I walked a bit more than I wanted.  Miles 16-19 were disappointing and I took too many walk breaks.  At around Mile 20 I stopped by the medical tent where they gave me Biofreeze and two Advils (second marathon of 51 where I had to take Ibuprofen due to the lower back/leg soreness).  So, of course, by Mile 21 I was feeling better and continued my run/walk strategy without issue.  Except I was basically shuffling on the runs, and walking on the walks.  The going was slow but I felt strong mentally like I did in Chicago.

Unfortunately, my goal was to improve a bit from Chicago and ended up finishing 12 minutes slower than there.  The weather was tough, with headwinds in the high 20s but I don't think that was a factor.  My lack of running in the last three weeks sure didn't help but my soreness was what got me.  The legs had nothing after Mile 15, nothing left to give. 

When I hit Mile 25 and I see the Fishers Running Club tent upcoming, I started running (shuffling likely) and high fived as many members as I could and continued running until the finish (which was 0.30-0.50).  I crossed the finish line happy except all the pictures show me like I'm walking stopping my watch.  Of course.

This was a tough race and not the result I wanted; however, it's been a while since I had struggle during a marathon without quitting.  Back in April and May  I would've quit this race before Mile 13.  That never even crossed my mind.

Comebacks are hard; but I think my biggest hurdle in the last 5 years has been my mental attitude towards marathoning.  That has improved a lot, looks like.

Next...Goofy Challenge.


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