Monday, May 5, 2014

Race Recap: Indy 500 Mini Marathon

This past weekend was a blast as some of my friends and I headed down to Indianapolis to run the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I got a PR and finally beat my high school time and had fun along the way!

Ryan and I headed down on Friday evening and stayed with his parents in the Indy suburbs. Luckily, one of our friends in town picked up our packets so they were ready when we got there. I tried to go to sleep early but it was hard with the time change and race jitters. My sleep wasn't great but I was ready to go when we woke up at 5:45 am, which is 4:45 in Chicago time. I'm not used to waking up that early.

The great thing about events in Indy is that you can drive downtown without traffic and park right next to the start line for $5. Ryan dropped me off at my corral and then he waited for our other Chicago friends to run with the "fun crew." My corral was pretty crowded in the beginning but it loosened up after a couple of miles. I felt pretty good except that I kept getting cramps. I hydrated all week so I'm not sure what was causing it. Even though the forecast said cloudy with possible rain, the sun came out and I was pretty hot. I'm glad I wore a tank top! A lot of people had long sleeves and tights and must have been so hot.

The best part about the mini course is that you run on the Indy 500 track! It's a 2.5-mile track so you're on it for quite a while. Diana and Jess (pictured above) started before me and I caught up to them on the track as they were taking pictures kissing the bricks (start/finish line). I passed by and then Diana caught up to me again in mile 9. She helped me finish the race and I was glad because my legs started seriously getting heavy in the last mile and my stomach did not feel good either. I was glad when we crossed mile 11 and I realized that I had to get across the finish within 20 minutes to get my PR. Totally doable if I just kept running! The last mile was rough but we came across the finish line together and then took the great pic above. Thanks girls for pushing me along in the end! My official time was 1:53:50 with an average pace of 8:41. Like I said, I finally beat my PR of 1:55 which was at my first half marathon in high school, the Naples Half Marathon, over 10 years ago!

The rest of my friends from Chicago run the Indy Mini every year "for fun" and costumes are a huge deal. This year they dressed up as horse jockeys. They had stuffed animal horses, jockey jerseys, and hats with goggles. It was pretty legit! I had been training all winter for this race so I wanted to run it seriously without a costume but I still had fun waiting to see them cross the finish line. They came in about an hour after us and I got the pic above. Right before the finish, the whole crew lined up and trotted across the finish in true Derby style. They were certainly a crowd favorite!

After the race we hung out in the expo for a while. Lots of people came up to us and wanted a picture with the horse group. Costumes are the best! These were created by Cameron, my running friend who introduced me to Bright Pink. She is the best at homemade costumes! I'm trying to convince her to start a blog...

For the rest of the weekend, Ryan and I hung out with our friends above and also some other Indy locals we know from Purdue. On Sunday we went to brunch with his parents and I had a delicious eggs florentine and a well-earned post-race bacon treat. We then saw my friend Jordan and her adorable baby, and husband too. She's the one with the amazing black bean salsa recipe.

Now it's Monday and I'm still pretty sore from the race. I don't get sore from running often so I'm glad that I am because it means that I tried my hardest. My upper back is also sore, I'm not sure how that happened. I've got some strength training workouts coming up this week but I want to take a couple weeks off from running to recover. The bottom/side of my right foot is swollen and I'm really hoping it's not a stress fracture. Anyway, a fun race, PR, and good friends to make a great weekend!

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby this weekend?

Have you ever run a race in a costume?

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