Chase the Checkers, Kiss the Bricks Half Marathon RR
On Saturday, May 8, 2021, I ran the Chase the Checkers, Kiss the Bricks Half Marathon in Indianapolis, IN. The race was a one and only race created by one of our local race director companies, Racemaker Productions. It was created solely to substitute the Indy Mini which was postponed once again due to Covid.
After my dad's sudden illness and death from Hodgkin's, I was glad I had deferred the Carmel Marathon and that the Indy Mini was not happening this year. I had barely run since February and my knee had been injured after jumping on a step during a Tabata workout. I started PT in late April to work on the scar tissue and other issues with the knee and the knee had improved substantially. After noticing that race day for this half marathon was going to be gorgeous and after running two 8 milers as long runs, the crazy Docket Rocket returned and thought a half marathon wouldn't be too crazy, so I signed up for the race last minute.
Coach and I arranged the week a bit to make sure I wasn't too tired to run the race. It would be my first week of 6 runs after months of 4-5 runs a week, but we sacrifice a bit of mileage to be able to run the race. I knew I wasn't expecting a good performance and that likely I had to run/walk to finish but I was mentally ready to run a half marathon again. I had not run this distance in a race since Disney Marathon weekend 2019, and it was time.
Although I shouldn't have a created a goal, I thought sub-2:30 wouldn't be too impossible. The weather would be in the mid to high 30s for half of the race, sunny with a slight wind. Perfect racing weather.
The race was starting at 7am (which is rare for Indiana) and I had to wake up before 6am to get ready and drive to downtown. There I met some in my running group and it was good to see people. Although the last few races were similar, this time with the mask mandate being lifted and most people I knew being vaccinated, the atmosphere was more relaxed. It felt like old times.
We started promptly at 7am and my plan to run for as long as I could at easy pace before I start a run/walking strategy. I ran around 3 miles before I switched to a 5/0:30 run/walking strategy. I was afraid I would crashed after Mile 8-9 and needed to walk way more than I would've due to my lack of mileage so it was a good strategy to start earlier. However, I think that had I run/walk from the beginning, I might have broken 2:30 but hindsight is 20/20.
The race was an out an back and the first half went really well without many issues. As I did the turnaround back to downtown, the wind and the sun were in front, but it was still cool enough in the low 40s to not be too overheated. I switched to a run/walk strategy of 2:30/0:30 at around Mile 8 and my pace suffered. However, mentally, I was strong. I was taking every run at a crisp pace followed by a short walk and repeat. I had to stop a couple of times to fix a shoelace, to get some Gatorade, etc. but never stopped due to me being tired or fatigued.
I knew the 2:30 would not happen but when 2:30 hit I was already at Mile 12, and although normally not hitting a goal tends to wreck the rest of the race mentally, this time it didn't. I thought about my dad not being here anymore and how much that gives me the will to live life at my fullest, and that kept me going for most of the race.
I crossed the finish line at 2:36:49. Interestingly, this is my fastest half marathon since 2017, so I must have done something right.
I had to take two days off after the race because I was so sore, lol. Not running much for three months sure took its toll, but the confidence this race gave me was priceless.