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2014 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Race Report

2:49:05. 5 Minute PR. Finally got it! Feel like its been a long time coming.

Saturday was a good day. Here’s the recap.

Going into the race I had various goals but I’d say the ultimate goal was to break 2:50. I’ve targeted that for a while now…and really blew my fall race last year in Chicago going for it.

Coming into Monumental, if I had a good day and everything came together (weather, stress, taper, racing, the moon, stars, beer intake, etc) I fully believed and still do that I am more in 2:46-2:48 shape right now and was going to target that. I have emails with Lindsey going over the race plan to land at 2:46-2:48…I won’t bore you with those details. Basically…we talk about running a lot and coach mentor each other into reality.

As the week leading up the race wore on… it seemed like it was going to be less then ideal weather conditions. I will never use the weather as an excuse. Everyone has the same weather. Accept it. Plan for it. Adjust as needed and then go race in it. It was forecast to be about 27*F with a stiff north wind (18-20 MPH). Ok…whatever…not ideal but not that bad. Given how the course lays out if you are going to have a wind, straight out of the north is probably the best you could hope for.

Following an early Chipotle burrito dinner (veggie of course) with Marshall and Lindsey and a couple of calm the nerve beers it was bed time and show time on Saturday before I knew it.

Lindsey drove with me down to start, which was nice, so I didn’t have to mess with gear checking my keys, wallet, and phone. It was cold, windy, and dark. We  parted at about 7:45 so I could go do my shakeout and get into the corral. The shakeout was about 10 minutes with some strides to wake up the legs.

Did I mention I was cold? I had planned on racing in shorts, the new Out for a Run singlet, arm warmers, hat and gloves. As more throw away layers came off…the colder I got. I wasn’t worried about as I knew once I started racing I would warm up about 20-25 minutes into it.

Jumped into the front of the corral at about 7:55 for a 8:00 start (hello Indy!) and saw Collin and Micheal, exchanged some hellos, complained about the weather, talked about wanting to get this over with, maybe hugged it out and wished each luck and got set. I won’t steal their thunder but they both had amazing races coming in at 2:42:XX…which was PB’s for both! Micheal by more then 8 minutes!!! I’ll get there eventually.

Randomly spotted Lindsey one more time and we’re off…another marathon underway.

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The plan was to take out the first 10K real comfortable in the 6:30 range given the cold and wind…this would give me plenty of time to get warmed up. Not much happened over the first 10K. I had to lap my watch around mile 3 due to the course going under the bridge on Virginia and the lost signal.

Miles 0 – 10K

1  – 6:39

2 – 6:34

3 – 6:16…had to lap it here from bridge underpass.

4 – 6:25

5 – 6:30

6 – 6:27

10K – 40:41 6:28 per mile pace

Felt pretty good through the first 10K. I was really really cold the first 4 miles…like my toes were numb cold. I spend most of it loosely running in a pack trying to figure out if anybody was going along for the full.

Once onto Fall Creek, we encountered a little bit of wind winding north toward the fairgrounds. At this point, the half pulls off and the full continues on. I spotted a small group up the road containing Christian High and a couple of other guys. I knew he was targeting 2:50 so I spent the next 1-1.5 miles bridging up to the group. I finally caught them at about mile nine on 38th street. I’d stay with them for a while. We talked a little but not much really.

Once we turned north onto Washington Blvd this was going to be the most significant area of wind for the day and the splits show it. I also sipped my second gel during this stretch…with the first coming around 40 minutes into the race.  The idea iwith the wind…not worry about pace and keep the effort honest. If you spend too much time and energy trying to fight the wind you’re setting it up for failure. Adjust and keep the effort honest.

You then make a small turn east and then north again into Broad Ripple for miles 11 – 13.1. Again…don’t worry about pace. Keep the effort honest. Saw local celebrity runner, Jackie Dikos, at this point. It’s always nice to see familiar faces. Not going to lie around mile 12.5 or so I definitely hit a low point mentally…I wasn’t really feeling it and knew I had work to do. Did my best to just keep moving and work through.

Made it through the half and onto Riverview…only 13.1 to go! Haha.

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Mile 10.5

Miles 10K – 13.1

7 – 6:30

8 – 6:26

9 – 6:29

10 – 6:26

11 – 6:28

12 – 6:40

13.1 – 1:25:20…6:30 pace. Little slow to goal. Needed to make back at least 20 seconds on the 2nd half. 

Circling around Riverview coming toward Meridian I was still trying to figure out mentally what the deal was…best get on with it. This section finally has you turn south back toward the city…so our first tailwind along with the only incline on the entire course. It is ever so slightly uphill on Meridian…not really anything but not entirely flat. I began to accelerate slowly over the next couple of miles losing touch with Christian and Garrett and began to focus on runners up the road and seeing if I could run them down. 14 rolled by, 15 rolled by…I began looking for Lindsey around 46th and Meridian just past 16. She of course was there with Anna (Colllin’s wife). We chatted, I asked about Collin who was ahead of me and I was on my way. It made good logistical sense for Lindsey & Anna to hang together as we knew Collin and I would be at least close enough to move around from spot to spot without missing anyone.

Lindsey and Anna

Lindsey and Anna

More slow acceleration. 17 done. Onto Butler. This started to hurt and get real annoying. I feel good though. Get through the IMA and the next  timing mat and see how you feel. That’s the plan. I keep catching runners that are crashing. Pick off a couple more on 42nd St toward the IMA and get two more inside the IMA before you turn onto 38th and head to White River Parkway.

Miles 13.1 – 30K (18.6)

14 – 6:31

15 – 6:33 (uphill)

16 – 6:24

17 – 6:25

18 – 6:26

30K (18.6) 2:00:44 6:28 pace.

Once onto White River Parkway this is by far the worst section of the course. One it is late in the race but you still have a lot of distance to cover, there is not support, its kind of crappy on that side of town…about the only thing the section has is these random posters in ground that are a mix of jokes and Indiana facts. While running done White River Saturday all I could think about was what Scott told me a couple weeks back when he raced IMM last year he got so pissed during this section he kicked a couple of signs…haha.

Mile 16.5

Mile 16.5

I kept blowing on 19 done, 20 done, past the naval armory and into Riverside Park. I was looking for the turn onto Burdsal as I knew that was another milestone for the race. That is just past 21 I believe…get there and through another 2 miles of blah and you have a 5K left on Meridian.

Onto Burdsal, past Community Spirits and the fire station. Do you get a sense that I know this course inside and out? Haha. I spend a lot of time running it. Keep focused on who is in front of me. Still feeling good. Take another gel at this point. # 3 for the day. Holding about 6:20’s.

Just before I get to West and Burdsal I get passed by a guy probably running 6:00 flat. He was motoring. I remembered him from earlier. He no longer had his buddy. This would be the only runner that passed me in the 2nd half of the race.

Catch a couple more people….two girls but mostly guys. At this point we make a small turn north to Meridian. Once on Meridian…it is essentially 3 miles. I run through the BoMF water stop and make sure to get a cup from Tommy G. He gives some encouraging words. You think I didn’t look for someone I know to take water from…haha.

Couple more miles. I can do this. My legs hurt. I’m doing math. Pretty sure I have sub 2:50 nailed. Keep catching people. Keep pushing. More math. Another gel. I take my hat and gloves off as the tailwind, sun, and effort are making me warm. Keep pushing. There is mile 25. Two turns to go. I make the turn onto New York and am greeted by a headwind. Woof. Keep running. Looking for Lindsey. I wasn’t sure exactly where she would. Getting close. Keep pushing. I hear her before I her…surprise surprise! I run by the group and try to accelerate. Make the final turn on West and then to the state house. 400. Boom. Done.

2:49:05

30K – Finish

19 – 6:22

20 – 6:19

21 – 6:18

22 – 6:16

23 – 6:26

24 – 6:34

25 – 6:21

26 – 6:08

Finish – 2:49:05 6:27 per mile.

Mile 26

Mile 26

 

Overall, I am extremely happy with the race result and effort. Given everything leading up to the race, the day itself, and the race I left it all out there on Saturday. I could play ‘what-if’ a thousand time but it won’t change anything. Hard to argue a race performance that generates a 95 second negative split.

Nothing life changing or profound left to say but I have to say when I ran my first marathon with Lindsey back in 2008 in 3:49:38, I would have never imagined 6 years later that I would beat that time by 60 minutes! I guess patience, consistency, and hard work pay off! Haha.

Thanks for reading. Next up is Jackson County 50/50 in 5 weeks and then new goals for 2015. Lindsey has 2015 priority..but I’m sure I’ll come up with something…2:40? Why not?

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