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Yesterday Chris and I ran the Indy Monumental Marathon. The weather was perfect for running, high 30s, overcast, very little breeze and we had a great race.

I went into this race with the [public] goal of “running the whole thing”. But, if you know me, you know that was not the goal that I would hold myself accountable to because it was not nearly ambitious enough. Privately, I had three goals, an ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ plan.

Top priority was to run this race faster than my slowest half marathon [2:18:xx] – Done.

Plan B was to come in under 2:10:00 – Done.

Finally, I wanted to best the time from my first half marathon [2:06:07] – Didn’t make it.

As I toyed around with the idea of entering the race at all, several people suggested the goal of running negative splits for the first and second half of the race. I had that in mind, and managed to do that, but it was more of a race strategy than a goal.

In the end, I feel like my performance yesterday was as good as I could have done with my fitness level and training, so, although it was more than 10 minutes off of my PR, I will call it a win and know that I have set the bar for my race in Las Vegas next month.

Official Time: 2:08:29

If you are nerdy enough to care:
Mile 1: 10:01
Mile 2: 10:18
Mile 3: 7:59? Really Garmin?
Mile 4: 9:57
Mile 5: 9:58
Mile 6: 9:41
Mile 7: 9:39
Mile 8: 9:33
Mile 9: 9:32
Mile 10: 9:25
Mile 11: 9:35
Mile 12: 9:46 Hello wall!
Mile 13: 9:44
Mile .1 (.38): 9:01

Saturday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, well, several hours before the crack of dawn, to get ready for my race and drive down to Louisville. I was extremely bummed out and unmotivated to get up because Chris had hurt his back earlier in the week and had decided to sit this one out.

When I got out of the shower, I was surprised to hear the coffee maker going. I wondered if Chris had gotten up to make me coffee? Or perhaps he had decided to brave the rain and come watch me run?

I peered outside to see the torrential downpour then decided to go bug Chris.

“Are you coming? Can I wear my rain coat and pass it to you a few minutes into the race?”

“No.”

Ok, then. Maybe he wasn’t going. I continued to get ready anyway and was in the middle of crafting a rain-proof suit made of carefully cut garbage bags when Chris came into the kitchen clearly dressed in his running gear.

This totally made my day. As I watched the rain come down outside, I had contemplated just going back to bed and skipping the race. With Chris running now, I suddenly felt this “let’s go run in the rain so we feel tough and have a good story” camaraderie.

When we arrived in Louisville, we had to park at the finish line then get bussed to the starting line. This went pretty smoothly until we realized that there was no way we would get to the front of the bathroom line before the race started. We waited as long as we dared, then got into our corral sans bathroom break. Bummer, that means wasting a few minutes stopping along the course.

That was my only major complaint about this race, the lack of bathrooms at the start. There were not very many on the course either, but that isn’t a huge concern for me if I get to go at the starting line.

It rained on and off as we traverse the hilly course and mostly cleared up by the time we got to the finish line. The humidity really got to me, especially as it got warmer out. Even if I had given this race my all, I do not think it would have been feasible for me to beat my Sam Costa time from last month.

We ended up finishing in 2:18:58. The slowest half marathon yet for both of us. I’m cool with it though. It was much more fun to run together than it would have been to aim for a ‘good’ time in that humidity.

The beauty of running a small race is that you have the chance to win! Ok, I didn’t have a prayer of winning this race, but I did win my age group.

Going into this race I had no idea what to expect. I had been more than a year since I ran a 5k and I had done several other races, thousands of miles, and a ton of speed work since then.

To set my expectations, I did a ‘test’ 5k a few weeks ago to give myself an idea of how quickly I might run. The test run was on an almost flat paved trail and I completed the run in 25:00.

This race was in one of the only hilly areas of the whole town it was in. Figures. I hoped that race day adrenaline would help me run the hilly course in 25:00 or less.

I did it! 24:57! Ok, not much less, but I’ll take it and my 1st place female age 20-29 trophy. (Good thing the college kids aren’t home yet. They surely would have kicked my butt!)

Chris also ran, much faster than I did, go Chris! Unfortunately he did not win his age group. Maybe next time, you never know. He has an incredible ability to run through discomfort and just push through no matter what. (Refer to his 5 hour-ish marathon on no training.)

Chris may have a point.

Quoting Bart Gordon, age 61, a congressman from Tennessee (who ran the Capitol Challenge 5K last spring in 18:49) “It’s a matter of deciding you’re going to hurt for a few minutes.”

How true. If only I could adhere to that 5k strategy.

So I ran a race yesterday. A cool 13.1 miles. 

I wasn’t expecting much, my hip is in pretty bad shape and I had skipped running the last three days of last week. Surprisingly, it ended up going very well. Not only was I able to finish, but I ran pretty quickly, well, for me anyway. I finished all 13.1 miles in 1:57:29, a new PR! Even better, not only was it a PR, but it was significantly faster than my first half marathon last fall.

I still haven’t met my goal time for this spring (1:55:00), but hopefully I will be able to trim off two and a half minutes either in Louisville next month or back in Indy in May. We’ll see. I’m optimistic that I can do it as long as I work hard at it.

Chris also ran and PR’d yesterday. I imagine that he would become pretty quick if he ran a little more often. He did really well considering that this was his third run this year. Since January 1st, he has run 49.3 miles, an average of 16.4 miles per run. Non-conventional, but hey, whatever works.