Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Recap

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon: 2:49:28 for 26.27 miles (6:27 avg) 9th female
(just 22 seconds off my PR!)

Though I didn't run a personal best, I have nothing but positive thoughts after this race. Sure I have had some major success this year off the road, but I haven't posted a single respectable time on the boards since May of 2012. It is was getting old.

2013 I spent half the year battle bad S.I. issues and cramping in my hips, and I made the decision not to go back to therapy, so things got worse before they got better (update, I've actually had some major success with one of the those injury-be-gone balls, and the thing only cost me 20 bucks at Stinky Feet). My self rehab has saved me a couple thousand dollars in physical therapy bills, and I do it religiously every day.

I was also more than a little worried about my fitness going into this race. I had a shocking V02 max workout with the women's team just a week and a half before the race, but as you know that doesn't always equal a fast marathon. I also missed over two weeks of training during the most important weeks with a knee injury, which mean I missed out on my marathon simulator run AND a confidence boosting half marathon at Jazz (a 1:26 half didn't quite give me confidence).

I did everything I could the week before to ensure myself success. I carb loaded (depleted for 3 days, loaded for 3 days) I rested, I drank proper fluids and I barely ran. I also made new goals, instead of  trying to  run a personal best I told myself that I would try to run a respectable time.

The Race

The race crew at Monumental really took care of me. They provided most of their elites with a free hotel room next to the start line, black care service to/from the airport, a free meal the night before, and elite start line access, and elite water stations so we could put out our own bottles.
I met some of the elite ladies the night before during the elite meeting and the pasta dinner. Probably staying for the pasta dinner was the most important choice I made all weekend, because it was there I met Ellie Peterson, who was coming  of a 2:53 at altitude. We finally talked about race goals and she told me she wanted to run around 2:50, so we decided to run together. I would be very pleased with a 2:50 finish.

I felt good all day on Friday, but I slept only 4 hours the night before. I took twice the sleep  medication as normal and still couldn't fall asleep before 1:30pm. Surprisingly, when my alarm went off at 5:50am I felt refreshed. I ate bread from the hotel restaurant (which they graciously offered to me free of charge) with almond butter, a power bar, and some Gatorade. This is the first time I have ever went through a proper carb load for a marathon, which means I felt as if I gained 5 pounds three days before this race. However, during the entire 26.2 miles, My legs never felt heavy or fatigued so I think I hit the nail right on the head.

Ellie and I went out easy for the first few miles, until I spotted Jackie about 10 seconds up at mile two. I knew Jackie from when she destroyed beat me at Rocket City last year, so I knew that if we kept her in our sites that we would probably run a good time. By 2.5 miles we caught her back and began comparing race goals. We all agreed to stick together.

Lucie Mays-Sulewski joined us just a few minutes later. Literally running a marathon just 4 weeks  before this one, she still did most of the pace setting for the remaining 23 miles. She was an instant friend and a Brooks ID. I let her take control and tried to stay calm and focused.
Our awesome pack early in the race
Things were smooth sailing until about 6 miles when My hip started to lock up. I grabbed my fluid bottle fairly easy at 10k and just tried to ignore it. It was frustrating and mentally draining, but I did my best to maintain pace at the back of the pack while taking large sips of fluid. By 12 miles, things started to loosen up again and I contemplated making a big push around the halfway point.

My Brooks Uniform

At 20k I grabbed my next fluid bottle and decided I didn't feel good enough to pick up the pace,  instead Lucie led the group once again and I did my best to ignore the mile markers. The ladies continued to talk to each other and offer words of encouragement. We split half-way in about 1:24:37.

So happy when this race was over and I felt amazing. Plus, I didn't take many pictures.
The race felt effortless. From 13-20 miles we floated along without much trouble. I grabbed my last
fluid bottle at around mile 19 and started to think that maybe I was going to make it. I still felt really good until about mile 22.

At 23 miles Jackie broke away from the group and everyone spread out. I couldn't bring myself to race. I had just ran over 20 miles with these ladies and I couldn't find any desire to race them. I continued to move forward, but I couldn't find another gear.
Restoring my glycogen post-race

I let the wheels fall off around mile 24, scared to run a good time or never really believing I could run a 2:49 and it would feel this easy. Eventually around 25.5 I snapped out of it and attempted to close the gap between Ellie and I. I finished in 2:49:28 and felt amazing. I wasn't overly tired or fatigued, part of me felt like it was more of a tempo effort. I immediately thought about training for a spring marathon.

Because I booked my flight early in the afternoon, after briefly talking with my new friends about our adventures, I made my way upstairs to my hotel room, showered, grabbed some coffee, and jumped into a black car to the airport. 

A 2:49 finish stamped my ticket back to the roads. I feel like I finally got me "grove" back. I've still got the hip problem, but I can manage it. And, it looks as if my season is not over just yet.


The Unexpected Runner said...

Amazing time!!! Congratulations!

Whitney said...

Congrats on a great comeback race!

Sunny 2 Runner said...

Congrats! You deserved that race! So happy for you.

L.A. Runner said...

I'm so proud of you!!!! You really deserved this great race. What are you leaning towards next? Baby? OTQ? Teetering between the choice? LOL.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Congrats - another great race !

California city half marathon said...

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