Monumental Marathon: 2 Minute PR

I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on Saturday.  My time was 2:54:28. This was neither the time nor the race, I had envisioned for my fall marathon. If you follow our blog, you know that I had raced Chicago three weeks ago and it did not go well. It went pretty poorly if you ask me. I didn’t hit my goal…heck I didn’t even sneak in a PR which we thought was a slam dunk for the race. The fitness and prep was on point but it just didn’t come together on race day.

That fact left my reeling for what to do next. Over the next two weeks I went back and forth about what to do but ultimately I decided on limited rest/recovery I would race Monumental and just see what
happens. I adjusted my goals. 2:45 was out the window. I truly believe that I am in 2:45 shape but given the circumstances going into IMM was going to be happy with a PR and running a “good” race. I was not happy with how I raced in Chicago. Regardless of time, I did not have it together in Chicago and I wanted to right that wrong.

Race Day:

Sean picked me up around 7 and we drove down to the start line, found an awesome street spot, and
were inside the Convention Center meeting up with Collin by 7:30. Thank you small city racing!!! Collin and I headed to the start around 7:45 or so and found Josh and Michael with Sean joining us a little later after checking his bag. We discussed times and Collin’s awesome throw away sweater that Josh gave him. It was straight out of Mr. Roger’s. Sean was targeting 2:45, Josh and Michael about 2:55 and Collin and I, 2:50. If everything came together it was going to be a great day of racing.

Since I was running with Collin I decided to let him set the pace and not have my watch set on the pace. I would run with him and see how things went. We settled into the first couple miles running by Lucas Oil, Eli Lilly Corporate Center, and heading to Mass Ave in a quick pace…at least it felt quick to me. Looking at Collin, he was looking smooth and fluid and knew pretty early it wasn’t going to be my day to stick with him and I should let him go up the road. Probably somewhere around mile 5 I started to drop back a bit and told him I was going to sit behind him as long I was could. I didn’t see his face again until the finish line. We hit the 10K 39:04. I slowed it down a bit over the next couple of miles trying to find something that felt comfortable. I never really felt comfortable to be honest.

I dumped onto 38th St. by the Indiana State Fairgrounds feeling sorry for myself and my legs were tired. At this point, I am 8 miles into the race and am thinking I made a really bad decision to run another marathon so soon after Chicago. It was at this point that I had a decision to make: I can feel sorry for myself and shut it down when I see Lindsey at 16, cut the course and just run home, or I can focus on racing “hard” and giving it everything I had and just see what happens. Luckily before too long, the course turns north onto Washington Blvd and I see our friend Choy out cheering. He gives me some encouragement. It helped. I decided I needed to keep on running and just see what happens. Before too long, I am through Meridian Kessler and onto College Ave. headed toward Broad Ripple around mile 12…just get to the halfway point. I get to 13.1 just north of Broad Ripple in 1:23:36. At this point, I see Sean’s wife, Whitney, and his family. They give some more encouragement so I keep on running. My legs hurt…this was a bad idea, etc. just a couple more miles to 16 and I can stop when I see Lindsey.

I am now running south on Meridian toward 46th. I have already had two gels and don’t really like the idea of another one so I take a pack of Clif Shot Bloks from one of the aid stations and chomp on those for a bit. It really seemed to help my mood. It felt good to chew something. I continue on. My legs feel really awesome at this point. I make it to 46th  and Meridian and make the right hand turn to go up the small hill toward Butler. Lindsey and Choy are there! Lindsey is as crazy as ever. If you could make a living as a marathon spectator she’d be a pro’s pro. I don’t really acknowledge her and power. Despite how I felt, she told me that I looked 1000 times better then I did in Chicago at more or less the same point. More Running. Run through Butler and over to the IMA. See my buddy JBakeIndy outside the IMA…things are really starting to hurt now and I am having trouble not slowing down. I keep pushing on.

Mile 16

I come out of the IMA and head toward the White River Parkway and the 30K spilt. I hit the 30K in
2:00:29. Only 12K or so to go….I can hold on. Its going to be tough but I can do it. As we head down the on ramp to the Parkway Jackie Dikos, Lucie Mays-Sulewski and crew come flying past. I saw them early on in the race and figured I would see them again…just not sure when. Looking back, based on their finish times, I should have started with their pack.

Once off the Parkway and to the Naval Armory, I’ve got just around a 10K to go…maybe a little less. Up the road on Riverside I see what looks to be Sean…that’s not good. I shouldn’t be seeing him. I quickly approach him at 21. He’s walking. Oh no! I run past. He looks like he is having great time. I try and get him to run with me. He’s not having it and says good luck and tells me to keep going. (Side note: this was Sean’s first marathon and a lot of things can happen in your first one. He’s a 1:14 Half guy so he’ll be back and can really kick ass with more experience now.)

With any marathon…with maybe the exception of Boston all courses have a dull point and this is it for IMM. 21-23 is pretty bad. It is a bad section of the race and the area is blah. You are all alone and just trying to get back to Meridian. I keep running as best I can. The pain is pretty terrible. I am trying to keep the miles as close to 7:00 as possible. I think the worst mile was 7:15.

I make the right hand turn on Meridian and rejoin the half people. 3 miles to go. I run by the BoMF water stop and here some encouraging words from people that recognize me. I’m kind of out of it at this point so I’m not sure who said what. I keep telling myself just get to the library and then it is only 1 mile to go. I keep creeping down Meridian. I’ve been doing some math and pretty sure I can hold 7:05 and comfortably PR. I keep running. I’m looking for Lindsey. She is supposed to be at 25. As usual, I hear her before I see her and just about the same time I see her Josh Dials comes flying up on me and motions to push with him…or maybe he said it. I don’t know. I pick it up as best I can but Josh is pushing and my legs are not having it. I stick with him but let him go up the road a bit. Half mile and it will be over. Just keep running. I turn on West Street and then turn again to the finishing chute. I cross the line and nearly collapse from my legs giving out. Its over! 2:54:28. A two minute PR.

Post Race Thoughts:

I’ve debated about how to finish this blog. I could focus on how this race wasn’t the race I wanted and how Chicago was supposed to be it and “what if” and project times but I don’t want to do that. I am extremely satisfied with my race from Saturday. I came into the race knowing an “A” effort was not
possible and just wanted to race hard and leave it all out there and I did that. A PR is a PR as Heath
Dotson would say. I am satisfied but am I content? Absolutely not….I know that I am capable of so much more and I am going to keep pushing after it but for now I am going to enjoy a little downtime and be happy with my race. I’ve got all Winter to focus on chopping wood and carrying water to bring down that current PR to 2:4X:XX.

I read an article today that I thought had a great closing quote that seemed appropriate here:

“That is both the gift and the curse of the marathon,” Cass said. “When you finally get it right, it’s the product of 30 variables that you have maybe 50 percent control of. When you get it wrong, you try to analyze all 30 of those variables. It’s nearly impossible to figure out exactly what went wrong and how to make it better next time. But that’s the goal. To take a look at what happened and go back to the
drawing board. And, if it’s in the cards, to give it another go.”

Congratulations to everyone that raced and crushed some very big dreams on Saturday!! 


  1. Congrats on the PB. Any PB is a good one! You probably would have benefited from a slower start in this marathon (especially so close to Chicago). 39 at 10k is sub-2:45 pace. Perhaps in retrospect a 2:48-50 pace from the start would have been ideal.

    I’ve no doubt you’ll improve on that. 17 for 5k shows potential for low 2:40s, sub if all those 30 variables come together on the day. That’s if you’re genetically suited to marathoning. Ron Clarke said he wasn’t suited to the marathon yet he broke 12 WRs at shorter distances and ran big mileage.

  2. Congrats! You ran a 2 minute PR on legs that were obviously beaten from a marathon weeks before. I’d say that Pr is easily worth much more. Can’t wait to hear how you destroy it in a few months!

    1. Thanks Kris! I was happy with the effort. Looking forward to pushing it further in the spring! Good luck in Philly!!! Kill it. 2:44?

  3. I know this wasn’t your initial hope for a fall marathon but PRing 3 weeks after running another full is incredible so congrats on that. You are truly an inspiration! You will hit your target at another race. That much I can guarantee!

    1. Thanks Hollie! Congrats on NYC! Very nice effort for a first marathon…only going to get better from here!

  4. I love how different people at different spots, cheering you on, pushed you forward. Sometimes I think our cheerleaders know how important they can be at a race. I also love your ending thought. So much truth in such a few sentences. Nice job on a race run well!

  5. A PR just a few weeks later is impressive – and on fresh legs you’ll beat it. But probably time to give your body a chance to recover now.You are so right – there’s little you can control about the marathon. I did a back-to-back like yours once – marathons just six days apart – because I had unexpected hot, steamy, humid, stormy, windy weather in the 80’s for the first one! (I did PR at the second race, but I also got off-course and ran extra, so that sucks).

  6. Way to stay mentally tough and take advantage of your awesome training over the summer and PR. Given that you accomplished this after a month off earlier in the year due to injury, I’m thinking we’ll see an astounding performance from you come spring and possibly again in the fall. For now … enjoy that family time and wherever the turkey trot takes you!

    1. Thanks Dan! I was happy with the effort this time! Definitely looking forward to a little Drumstick Dash action and then ramping it back up toward the 1st of the year for Carmel. The DD should be a blood bath…all easy running till then. Do you have spring plans?

    2. Yes and no on spring plans Glenn. Runs with entry fees = yes. Umstead Trail Marathon (March, NC) if I get in (small & popular). Boston. But not planning on racing either of those. Maybe try to go for a 1/2 PR @ the mini. Depends on if I want to race a marathon in the spring. If so then quite possibly Bayshore in TC or Charlevoix. Meeting with Matt next week to chat about what makes sense — with long range goal of definitely racing a fall marathon and then assessing whether there is any speed left to eek out … or whether 50 is the time to transition to ultras on a more regular basis. Time will tell!

  7. Congrats on a super speedy and solid race! I really like that last quote…I can definitely relate to it- espeically with the marathon distance. So many things are within are control and so many things are not.

    1. Thanks Laura! That quote sums up the marathon perfectly for me! Good luck @ CIM! Let’s hope you don’t have a downpour like last year!

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  13. For me this is a relatively easy qoietsun, but has a pretty complex answer. The specialty I have actually looked forward to working with is OB/GYN. I find that the ability of a woman’s body to produce a child, endure the amount of abuse it takes during a pregnancy, and the amount of pain endured during delivery is amazing. The joy of being able to be present as life enters the world is truly one of the greatest moments in life. To me that would be the best possible option. I also would love working in the operating room with a surgeon. I have experienced the OR quite a few times, and have been on both sides of the table. I have to say I would love to work with any surgeon in the OR except for Orthopedics. The reason behind that is the surgery’s are pretty brutal when it comes to the skeletal system. Having been in the OR with an Orthopedic surgeon and seeing the use of the saws, hammers and other heavy equipment in order to perform the surgery just sends chills up my spine. I know that type of surgery is not for me. I think my favorite surgeries have to be that of the abdominal cavity. The specialties that I would least like to work for are few, and for simple reasons. Pediatrics is not a specialty for me since I have four children of my own. My Aunt is a neonatal nurse practitioner and I followed her in high school and saw the good, the bad, and the ugly so I can honestly say I could not emotionally handle that type of position. Podiatry is also an area I could not see myself working. The reason behind this is pretty silly, but here goes, I very much dislike other peoples feet especially if they are not well kept. I know in the medical field you will encounter feet on a daily basis, but I could not mainly work with feet on an everyday basis. My last specialty is Orthopedics for the reasons I noted above about the barbaric nature of the surgeries and treatments for the musculoskeletal system. Its just not for me.

  14. Since there is so many fields of seiicalteps that I have a choice of, I still really can’t choose one. So I am going base on my personal experiences. My original goal back in high school and maybe even before that, was to work in a Neonatal ICU! I had a brother that passed before he had his first birthday from heart complications, and that year I spent a lot of time at hospitals with my parents. My goal the first couple of years was to work with babies just like him. That was until I had my own children, I would of still loved to have worked in that career field but the heart ache I would most likely endure when one of those babies did not make it home. I could not have handled!On to more positive experiences, I have worked with the elderly and Geriatrics interests me very much. Being surrounded with people that have lived a fulfilled life is so much more rewarding. Even though at times it is the ending stages of their lives, and it is sad when someone does pass. It’s less of a heartache to know that most of the time they are ready to move on. They are still very dependent on you and when you are able to help them with their needs that’s the most rewarding of all, plus you form a special relationship with the patients and their families.

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    (I’m not sure if I’m posting this in the cocrret place as I was unable to post it from the Dashboard.)The type of physician I would like to work with is a gerontologist. A gerontologist specializes in caring for the elderly. I have a fondness for our older population. They built out society and lived in a time that many of us can learn from. I would take great pride in caring for them as they age. In my opinion, working with a doctor that shares my passion and excitement would be the ideal work environment.The type of physician I would not be as excited to work with would be a proctologist. To be completely honest, I just don’t think I have what it takes to be in that environment. It’s important to be professional in any medical environment. I believe my sense of humor would not allow me to be as professional as I would need to be. I would also prefer not to work with ophthalmologist. Several years ago I spent a week with my grandfather at a specialist to have cataracts removed. I found it very difficult to watch the videos of my grandfather’s up coming procedures. It wasn’t difficult caring for my grandfather after surgery, but I must admit the pre-op was an experience that I would not want to assist in on a daily bases.

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