Friday, May 17, 2013

Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon Recap

I know I'm late in writing this post but I went on vacation right after the race and so I'm catching up on blog posts this week! The Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon was nearly 2 weeks ago on May 4, 2013, in Indianapolis. My boyfriend and I drove down from Chicago to stay with his parents in the Indy suburbs. We had to wake up pretty early on Saturday to get downtown to the race start. Our local friends were nice enough to pick up our race packets so we didn't have to skip work to drive down early for the expo. I was surprised at how easy it was to park downtown, close to the race start, and for only $5 (this would never happen in Chicago). I was nervous about finding parking and getting in my corral on time. (Turns out they don't close the corrals a half hour before the race like the website said.) If you haven't been to Indianapolis before, you have to know that it is one of the best cities in the country for hosting big events. The Super Bowl last year went off without a hitch and downtown can really handle a large influx of people.

I started in Corral D near the front but Ryan signed up late and was in a later corral so we split up before the race. Ryan caught up to me right after the mile 2 marker. He's fast and finished the race in 1:32:04! I felt fine the first half of the race but then my legs started to hurt. I really didn't train enough this winter/spring because the weather in Chicago sucked and I was not motivated to run outside in the bitter cold. I also traveled for work the 2 weeks before the race, which did not help my training and clean eating.

Course map, the big oval in the top left is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

My pace picked up a little around mile 7 when the course took us around the actual Indy 500 track. This was my favorite part of the race and I imagined race cars speeding by and crowds cheering us on as we ran. In case you're wondering, it takes much longer to run around the track than the drive around it in a racecar. The racetrack is 2 miles around, so the racecars do 250 laps to make it 500 miles (we only did 1 lap).

This was the only picture of me taken at the race! Ryan had a million others! I guess the photographers didn't like my hot pink pants...

The last part of the race was a struggle for me and I had to stop and stretch and walk a few times (this really brought my pace down). I completely ran at least the last mile and the final stretch was my second favorite part of the race. It was down a tree-lined street and crowded with onlookers. There were also screens with video recaps of the Indy 500 races in past years. I finished at 2:08:33, slower than I had set my goal at, but that's OK. After I finished I met Ryan at our pre-determined meet spot. (We once lost each other for hours after a race and he had both of our phones, so now we always choose a post-race meet spot in advance). Ryan had already been waiting for me for a half hour so we didn't stay for the post-race party and went back to his parents house instead to eat brunch. His parents don't have much food in the vegan department so I ate eggs and toast and even had a piece of bacon. Hey, I'm allowed to eat whatever I want after a half marathon!

Race Fuel
Speaking of food, before the race I ate a pudding made of dates, bananas, and other good things (recipe is in Vega creator Brendan Brazier's book Thrive. I also had some Vega Pre-Workout Energizer mixed with Rejuvelac. During the race I had a Vega Sport Endurance Gel. I ate half the gel around mile 5 and the other half around mile 10. Eating the entire gel at once usually makes my stomach hurt. It's best to eat gradually as you sip water, but that's difficult to do during a race.

What I Wore
Everything I wore was Nike! Of course most of my running clothes are Nike because my sister works at a Nike Factory Store (I'm going to be sad when she quits her job). However, I also wore my Nike FlyKnits  and running bracelets (below) from NTC Lincoln Park. The orange bracelet is for NTC membership and the green/blue for running the Nike+ Virtual 10K.

My running good luck charms! (from NTC Lincoln Park)

The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon was a great race and I'll probably do it again next year! It's the biggest half-marathon in the country and probably the best organized (in my opinion). The security was more present at this race than others I've seen, likely due to the bombings at the Boston Marathon. There were many working canines sniffing around and helicopters in the area. There were also tons of runners wearing "run for Boston" and other Boston-themed shirts. It was very inspirational! This was my first time doing this race but I really enjoyed it so I'll probably do it again in years to come.


  1. You mean 5 dollars every 5 minutes for parking right? dang!

    Sounds like you two had a good time! (literally too ) And awesome hookup you have with Nike! I'm jealous!

    Happy Friday!

  2. Great recap and looking good! It sounds like a fun and interesting race especially running on the Indy track. I have yet to run a race in IN, so I may need to do this one. What's your next race? --Rhoda

    1. Right now I'm just signed up the Chicago Marathon but I think I'm going to do the BTN Big 10K on July 27. What about you?

  3. Nice recap. Congrats on the finish. I love the Mini Marathon!

  4. Sounds like it was a pretty good race, good job! I'll have to look into it for next year! Love your hot pink pants by the way and I also love the Vega sports products too... I use them for my training and during my half as well :)

    1. I use so many Vega products that I should be sponsored by them!


What do you think?