If someone were to ask me how the race went I’d say “It was pretty good. Really windy and it rained at the start. I didn’t get my goal, but I did OK!” But I know we all like to see a good race report with the nitty gritty details, so here it is!
My husband and I decided to run Indy after our efforts for solid BQ’s didn’t happen at Erie marathon. A race in November sounded perfect. That would give us about 8 weeks between the two races and November? Brrr! We waited until it was the last day to transfer bibs and scored two of them which weren’t going to be used by the people who originally bought them (injuries!). Recycling is good for the Earth and also for racing! In addition to a bib, I also got a free VIP Experience. It was a super deal that I could not pass up. VIP package included a quarterzip and a headband, in addition to special race day parking and dry/warm building before the race with food/drinks.
We drove to Indy in our new EV. Driving an electric vehicle requires a bit more planning, but we made it into the city right around 5:30. It was crazy busy near the expo and all of the traffic was a bit nerve wracking.
We took all the photo ops at the expo and wished our friends good luck.
We missed our planned dinner reservations but lucked out finding a really good restaurant. Yummm!
I decided to try some new things for this race. You know that trying the same thing expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, so it was time to mix it up. Here was my planned changes:
- Footwear. I wondered if my Saucony Endorphin Pros were causing the quad pain that I had at my races around mile 20, so I wore the Endorphin Speed instead (which was my standard long run shoes).
- No water belt. Although I love my water belt, I do wear it a bit tight (maybe causing glute pain?) and it is heavy, so I decided to just put a bottle and gels in my shorts pockets (and 2 GU’s pinned into my shorts).
- Run with a slower pace group. Since my goal is anything faster than 4:05, I decided to try out the 4:00 pace group instead of going out faster (like the 3:55 group in Erie). If I can get to mile 20 with the 4:00 group, I might have a good chance at the sub 4:05 BQ!
- Eat more food before the race. I am typically starving by mile 20.
- Just keep running. If I am having a hard time, avoid walking as much as possible and just keep running. Running is faster than walking, right?
Race morning we got up at 5:15am and was on the road around 6:15am. That seemed early for a 8am race, but I didn’t want to be stressed of traffic. As it turned out, it was PLENTY of time. Of course we don’t know when the traffic got bad, but we were super early and could have napped in the car. The VIP Experience parking was awesome. We were right in front of the start corrals, and also the finish chute!
Just as the corrals were starting to get filled up, the rain began. Luckily it was just sprinkling and not a downpour. I got close to the 4:00 pace group and soon the race started!
The pace group had a pair of pacers and a crowd of maybe a dozen people. All was going well until it seemed that we were running 8:5x’s instead of 9:10! This made me stress a little because it was faster than I wanted to go. Once we got settled into a pace I thought maybe it would still be ok. I hit the half way point at 1:59. I guess we I was pace. Miles 1-13: 9:17, 9:04, 8:51, 8:56, 8:51, 8:53, 8:56, 8:55, 8:58, 8:51, 8:55, 9:04, 9:11
By mile 16 I was starting to fade. My hammies were angry and I just honestly kind of gave up mentally. I know marathons are hard, and they are pretty much always going to hurt, but I dropped the ball on this one. I wasn’t interested in digging deep and pushing myself. Miles 14-17: 9:19, 9:29, 9:58, 10:01. That was the last time I saw a mile faster than 10 mins!
I did decide that my running pace was going to be faster than my run/walk efforts that I tried at Erie so I made sure I kept on moving. I think I might have walked 3 times, and each time it hurt more to start running again! The rain has stopped back at mile 3 maybe and the 66 degree temps made me feel warm. I can’t even imagine those people who had jackets on! The winds were super strong. Gusts of 20-30 mph. A few times the wind knocked me around a bit! Miles 18-26: 10:29, 10:31, 10:07, 10:36, 10:21, 11:22, 10:44, 10:57, 10:17.
I wish I would have looked at the course map before this race because I had no idea where the finish line was! I kept thinking it was going to be there, and then we’d make another turn. But I tried my best to finish strong and I did get a 9:27 pace. My watch read 26.54 for the distance (others were right on, so I doubt it was long).
My finish time was 4:15:54, which was good for 46th out of 121 females in 50-54 age group. Really not too bad! Alan managed to get 3:51 – not great for him because he was having pain from a previous injury, but faster than Erie when he got the injury! No matter what, this was a PR for this course since it was a new race to us. Cheers!
So how did my changes work out for me?:
- Shoes… I think it was an improvement? My quads didn’t hurt but I do think I need to do leg workouts to strengthen them. I haven’t done anything since my gym closed and I do feel a bit weaker all over!
- No water belt – I liked this. I carried 3 GU in my side pocket and pinned 2 more in my shorts. No issues. I refilled my water bottle once when needed.
- 4:00 pace group – Very undecided on this. I wish we would have been closer to 9:10 so I could evaluate this.
- More food – this was a huge win. I was not hungry! I ate a whole bagel and a banana at our hotel (around 2 hrs before race). I ate half an Asiago Panera bagel as I waited for the race and took a GU right before the race start. I made sure to take 4 GU on the course, around mile 6, 12, 17, 21.
- No walking (or at least a very minimum amount) – hmmm. I was a bit bummed when I running and really thought I was going faster than 10:30, but wasn’t. It was faster than the people walking though! When I evaluated my splits between Erie & Indy, I was actually faster with my run/walk in Erie (which I thought was really slow) compared to my continual running plan. DOH!
So overall my experiment “to be faster” just solidified my belief that I probably never negative split a marathon if I have a goal race time!!