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500 Festival Mini Marathon 2013

I had a 14 mile run on the schedule this weekend and decided to jump in the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and use that as my run rather than run by my lonesome. The mini is the first half marathon I ever completed- in 2005 as a jr in college I ran it- I continued to run it every year and in 2008 moved on from the mini and ran my first full marathon. The mini is the first half marathon a lot of people here in the midwest do as a first. I think this was my 6th or 7th time doing it. I’ll have to do a post sometime about the different times I’ve ran it- but the fastest I’ve ever run this race was a 1:37 in 2008 and the slowest was 4:00 hrs in 2009 when I walked it with a bunch of senior citizens. Last year on a super humid day, I was a very pregnant spectator. I’ve experienced it in most every way you can now. There is something good about each way. 

My sister was coming into town this weekend for her bridal shower and I knew this would be the most fun way to get the run in. Otherwise I’d lay in bed until 7 when Marshall woke me up and I’d waller around until I convinced myself to get going around 9 or so. I knew a few people who weren’t using their bibs, so I was able to get my sister a bib too.

Marshall and I headed to the expo on Friday to pick up the bibs. He wore his jammies, because at the young age of 10 months, he realized how much more comfortable it is to just wear pajamas than regular clothes. I stopped by my parents house to grab something on the way there and  forgot my wallet there. We parked in a parking garage so were stuck for a bit until my parents could bring my wallet. They were heading down to the expo anyway, so it worked out fine. While we were waiting for them, we posted up in a “living room” area set up at the expo. Marshall was everywhere, crawling all over the place. He was having a good time and was a crowd pleaser for sure.

Someone put some shoes on that baby.

Grandpa showed up and they had some fun. Anyone else think they look alike?

About the run- The workout was supposed to be 10 miles easy, (7:30-8:10 pace) and 4 at race pace. (6:50ish)

We had bibs for Corral M. If you’ve ever ran the mini, you know that being in a corral far back is a big headache if you are running even remotely fast. Even though this wasn’t a “race” for me, I didn’t want to be forced to run 9 minute miles for the first 4 miles. So we snuck up just a little, but only had a few minutes to spare, and landed in corral J. We just hopped the barricades. The people working the entrances to the corrals would not have let us in. Turns out corral J is also really slow. I found myself running the sidewalk for much of the race. Had I been racing I think I would have needed to be in corral A or B and for this run, at least C would have been nice.

As soon Ericka and I hopped into the corral, I saw Doug, one of the very first Members of Back on My Feet Indy. Doug was on team Progress House. I had only seen him one time in the past year or so and it was just in passing on the monon while running. It was great to catch up- he is doing great, 4 years sobriety and when he was on the team, he was in school for heating and cooling and he’s now working in that business and doing well.

Doug and I ran the first 5 miles together and separated a little before we hit the track. As soon as I was about to enter the track, I saw another old friend from Back on My Feet, who used to run as a volunteer. She had a baby a few weeks before I had Marshall and recently got her first Boston Qualifyer at the Carmel Marathon. I was so excited to see her and hear about her race and training. She works out with the Jordan YMCA Mutlifit group and is also training for Ironman Muncie 70.3. I am more than tempted to look into getting involved with that group.

I ran with Danielle for most of miles 7 and 8- we lost each other at a water stop though, which was fine because she had actually been running with friends before this loud mouth came up and starting talking her ear off and I think she wanted to get back to them anyway and I needed to do my fast finish so the talking had to stop for me. You’ll notice I slowed quite a bit when I was talking with Danielle. I consciously thought about that, and quickly reminded myself, that the reason I was doing this run in the race rather than on my own was for the fun of it and I was having fun running and catching up with her. If you take yourself too seriously, you’ll never have fun with it.

Also- for miles 1 and 2, there was nothing I could do about going any faster without tripping over people or making myself look like a crazy person- it was obnoxious. So I decided to not worry about that and enjoy the warm up.


Mile 1– 7:57
Mile 2- 7:40
Mile 3- 7:27
Mile 4- 7:23
Mile 5- 7:22
Mile 6– 7:33
Mile 7– 8:10
Mile 8– 8:04
Mile 9– 7:25
Mile 10- 6:54
Mile 11- 6:50
Mile 12- 6:55
Mile 13- 6:57

Total Time: 1:38:26 – before the race, I figured I’d run somewhere around 1:36-1:39, so that was about right.

In my mind I had wanted to run 7:25-7:35 pace for 9 miles and then 6:45 for the last 4 miles. Things turned out different though and that’s totally fine. I mostly wanted the end to be faster but I gave it what I had at the end there. My legs where honestly tired this whole run. As soon as I got through mile 1, I thought about how happy I was that I didn’t decide to try to race this or even try for another baby PR. My body wouldn’t have loved me for that. I think I would have miserably ran something similar to what I did at Carmel had I tried to do that. Racing on tired legs will only get you so far for so long.

During those first 9 miles, as my legs were so tired, I was a little nervous about being able to put out those fast race pace miles. I’m not gonna lie, it took some discipline and work. I could have easily decided to finish it off in 7:15s. I really think all the biking is making my legs tired in a different way.

It was weird running that pace at the end and being so far back. I was 9 minutes from the gun time. I had already been passing people the entire race, and it had at least spread out a little by mile 9, but was still super crowded. During the first half of the race I stayed on the outside and sidewalks to get past people. In those last four miles, I stayed more in the middle and felt that I was able to do less weaving that way.

In the mini, you pass mile 12 as you approach New York St., which is the last straight away. It’s quite the long straight away. You run over the New York Street Bridge and if it’s at all windy you feel it strong there- the wind kind of hurt a little and again I was glad I wasn’t racing. I let my pace slow down to 7:08ish for a bit there and knew it didn’t matter much, but I needed to pick it up if I wanted to keep with that fast finish. Honestly I was tired and I just wanted to keep it under 7 minute pace. My mom was chillin on a corner about a half mile from the finish line and smiled at me and told me to put some pep in my step. She knew it was a training run for me, but also knew I was trying for the fast finish.

Using these races as “training” runs is much more fun than running alone,  but when you see other people running PRs or great races you feel like you missed out. Part of me is saying “Well if I was really running my best, I’d finish so much faster” but the smarter part of my brain says, “does it really matter if you run 4-5 minutes faster and end up with a strugglefest and wearing yourself out, when you are supposed to be somewhat chill?”. You can only have so many quality races close together though, it’s just hard to force yourself to not be competitive in a race atmosphere sometimes.

I think I’ll race the mini at some point in the somewhat near future- it’s flat, fun and if your in an appropriate corral is an excellent course for a PR. 

Congrats to everyone who ran on Saturday- there were a ton of friends out there who accomplished big goals!

Sister & I- she wasn’t racing either, and ran a 1:55. She had sore crossfit legs.

With my parents after the run. The recently moved just north of downtown so they rode their bikes down to spectate the race. This is a running family. We all love the atmosphere.

Do you ever use races as “training runs?” Do you like it or not?

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