Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon Race Report

Today, November 2, 2013, was the day that I’d been training for since the beginning of June. I’ve logged 484 miles since then while following a Lydiard based training plan from Running Wizard & Running Ahead. I’ve had off and on knee pain since August and have been wearing Cho-Pat patellar tendon straps on both legs since then. Maybe not the smartest way to run, but it’s gotten me to the starting line and the knee pain has all but gone away.

Capital Building in the morning

Capital Building in the morning

It was a nice enough morning for a run. Around 40 degrees and a light wind coming in from the west. I wore shorts, a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt, hat, and I started off with cotton gardening gloves on. The organization at the start of the race as we were lining up was a bit of a mess. The 4:30 marathon pacer was about 15 yards behind the Level 4 seeded runners, and the 3:50 group that I wanted to get close to was up near the Level 3 seeded guys. I ended up starting near the 10:00/mile sign, way back from the 8:00 – 9:00 area that I wanted to be. I couldn’t really tell if I would have been stopped if I tried to move forward, so I just stayed in my spot. Oh, yeah, I had to pee about 15 minutes before the gun, but the lines for the porta potties were pretty dang long. So I didn’t mess with it. Next year, I hope they have more of those!

My first mile clicked by in 8:47 – about 10 seconds slower than I wanted. I had to do A LOT of dodging and weaving. It’s annoying when walkers start near the front of the pack and proceed to walk 3 wide. The second mile wasn’t much quicker, and I was a little worried. I ended up pushing the pace in mile 3 down to 8:12. Whoops! Too fast! Shortly after mile 4 I ate the gel that I brought with me. I didn’t “need” it, but since I’ve been eating less carbs I didn’t want to fall behind. It may have been a waste, but maybe not. It was a mental boost at least. I think that I’ll wear a pace band the next time I run a long race with a time goal. I had a hard time figuring the math in my head to know if I was behind my goal time or ahead of it.

The first 10k clicked by in 53:19. It turns out that is a PR for me at that distance! Of course, I’ve only run two 10k’s in the past, but that doesn’t matter! A little after mile 7 the full and half marathon folks split ways. The course is very well marked and there’s no reason that anyone should go the wrong way. The Monumental does this part VERY well. The crowd didn’t really thin out because we started running on narrower streets. It was just after mile 8 that there was an aid station giving out Strawberry flavored Clif gels. I took one of those as well, to make sure I had enough energy to get to the end. I was doing pretty well staying well under my goal pace for each of my miles, so I felt I was on track, even if my Garmin was off a tenth or so.

Splits

Splits

It was around mile 9 or so that my feel started hurting. Right up around the edge of the ball of my foot, sort of wear my forefoot strikes the ground. I did put on Body Glide before the race, but it seemed like the friction was starting to bother me. I had to make a conscious effort to keep my speed up and run through the foot pain. It hurt all the way to the end. All the way down the 2+ miles on Meridian Street. Ugh. I was able to speed up a bit for the last full mile, running it in 8:26, and then the last .16 (as my Garmin measured) at 7:58 pace.

I finished in 1:52:04! That was 24 seconds faster than my Running Wizard predicted time from when I started the race — it did an excellent job of predicting the future! And that was over 4 minutes faster than my previous half marathon personal record from the 2010 500 Festival Mini Marathon (which was my first half marathon). And nearly 18 minutes faster than when I ran the Monumental Half Marathon last year! Wow!

Since I’ve talked about weight loss, check out this comparison of post-race photos from last year to this year. I’m about 40 pounds lighter this year!

2013 on left, 2012 on right

2013 on left, 2012 on right

The finishers area was crowded, as usual. The volunteers didn’t seem to be handing out chocolate milk. It was all covered up for some reason. Maybe only marathoners get to enjoy chocolate milk? I grabbed a bottle of water, banana, cookie, and a cup of Gatorade. I wanted to go to the massage tent, but I wasn’t in the mood to stand in the long line outside of the tent. Steak n Shake was providing chili in a recovery tent, but that really didn’t sound good at the end of the race. There were also several food trucks selling various types of food, but, again, not interested in eating right then. So I headed on home.

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