Sunday, May 3, 2015
Indy Mini Marathon -- May 2, 2015
It felt so good to be back!
Saturday's Mini was the first time I had run the race since 2007, and running it again just made me realize that I had missed it so much. It's always been one of my favorite events, and it once again did not disappoint.
Let's back up to Friday. Darcy and I drove down that afternoon, and because of heavy traffic the trip took a little over four hours instead of three. Ugh! Fortunately the hotel where we were staying was not only just outside of the starting line, but it was only a block away from the expo at the Convention Center. So after getting checked in we headed over.
One of the cooler things they always have at the Mini expo is a collection of shirts, medals and news articles from past races. Since this was Darcy's first trip with me to the Mini, I showed her the races I had run in the past and shared some memories of those days. It's also an interesting display because it's a great way to see how the sport -- and the event itself -- has grown and evolved over the years. Looking back, everything from the clothes they wore to the shoes they had were so primitive, but so many of them ran so fast! And they looked kind of funny too!
Number in hand, we walked a few blocks to the Bourbon Street Distillery, where we were meeting several people for dinner.
It was interesting hearing about some of their travels, especially of their trip to South Africa for the 56-mile Comrades Marathon, and their experience running a marathon on Easter Island in South America. Just some amazing stuff...I promise I will get him to write it all down someday!
After dinner we went back to the hotel and I tried to sleep, but had some, ummmm, intestinal issues. I don't know if it was the dinner or what, but it was probably about 2 a.m. before I finally fell asleep. Not getting much sleep didn't bother me, that's happened the night before a race on several occasions, I was just worried that my problems would carry over into the race, which wouldn't be good.
What was cool is that we could see not only the start, but almost the first mile of the course. That gave us a good view of the start of both races. Although Wally, Larissa and I were scheduled to start in the 2nd wave, we moved back to the fourth
We watched the start from our room (as well as the TV broadcast), and headed down to meet everyone in the lobby about 20 minutes later. After taking some photos and getting settled into our corral, we slowly moved forward to the starting line. I'm normally not a big fan of wave starts, but it looked like we were going to take only 10-15 seconds to get across the line, and I have no qualms with that!
With the rest of the group heading to Cincinnati on Sunday to run the Flying Pig Half (Larissa and Wally) and Marathon (Michelle), they were taking it easy for the Mini and were doing a walk/jog combination of 15 seconds each. I'd never really gone into a race with a tactic like that, so I was curious to see how it would work.
I wasn't even keeping track of our pace or anything, but I did have the Mini app loaded to my phone and saw we completed the first 5K in 44:01, a little slow for my tastes but we were having a ton of fun.
At about this point I waited for Wally to catch up to me because I needed his help with something. One of the newer traditions at the Speedway is for the winning driver and his team to kiss the bricks at the start/finish line in celebration. When the Speedway was first built in 1909, it was paved with bricks, which were gradually paved over with the exception of a one-yard strip at the line.
Dorky? Hell, yes, but I wasn't the only one! This race will once again be on my yearly schedule, and no matter what pace I will be running in the future, I'll stop and do the exact same thing! As a fan of the Indy 500 and the Speedway for more than 35 years (I'll be attending the race for the 18th time on My 24), it was a really, really special experience.
We continued on and left the track, heading back to downtown and the finish. I lost the group at about Mile 10 and felt like I was starting to tighten up -- especially my back and hamstrings -- so I tried to pick up the pace to see if I felt better. After hitting a water stop at Mile 11, I decided to go hard and run non-stop the rest of the way to the finish. While that involved a little zig-zagging around people, once we were to that point of the course the streets were nice and wide.
I hit Mile 12 and turned left onto the New York Street bridge for the final mile home. The last 1/2-mile is a gradual incline to the finish, so I was running so hard it was hurting a bit going to the finish, but I kept going! I ran the last two-plus miles at about a 10-minute pace and crossed the line in 3:03:08.
What made me happy was that I got to experience the race with some friends -- old and new -- and that they enjoyed running the race so much. It was great to be able to run the race with them and have so much fun doing it.
Though I didn't run Faster Than Frank, it's been a great journey since I decided to run this race last September. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to run this race again, and I'm glad I got to share it with you through this blog, as well as my Facebook and Twitter pages.
The great thing about running is when one journey ends another one begins. My next quest? To run at least three more half marathons this year -- Rock N Roll Chicago (July), Chicago Half Marathon (September) and Rock N Roll Las Vegas (November) -- with the hope of breaking two hours at Vegas in November.
It should be fun. Hope you plan on joining me!
Here's the Mini start!
Here's the 5K start!
And finally, here is a video Darcy took on the ground of the start of our wave.
Posted by Mike Knapp at 10:08 PM