September 1, 2012
Time: 2:22:28 Pace: 10:53
Age Group: F25-29, 87/190
I had registered for the Indy Women’s Half Marathon soon after we returned home from our honeymoon. But after my four month hiatus from running, I was doomed from the start. I was the queen of procrastination. I kept telling myself “I’ll run tomorrow, I’ll run this weekend.” And the race kept getting closer and closer. I was still getting comfortable with my new career and the stress of my new position as doctor was taking a toll on me mentally. I was going to hot yoga three days a week. It was very therapeutic. During the week, I would go straight after work. On Saturdays or Sundays, I would ride my bicycle on the Monon from downtown to the yoga studio in Broadripple, have one hour of hot yoga, and then ride home. I truly enjoyed this time to myself. No one talking to me, no one asking me questions. Just me, myself, and I…oh and my bike and yoga mat. That became my routine from the end of July until September.
The morning of the race was humid and cloudy. There were supposed to be torrential downpours the entire day due to a hurricane that had moved over land into the midwest. Hurricane weather + not training + 13.1 miles = hell. I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere near my goal of sub two hours but I had already paid, so I thought to myself “Just have fun with it.” I was going to run at an easy pace and not worry about the rain or my speed (just as long as I still ran sub 2:30).
The course started downtown near the circle and headed north to the old northside. I ran right past my apartment at mile four. “Hi apartment. Bye apartment. Oh, how I would love to still be sleeping right now.” From there, we ran to and on Fall Creek until 38th St. From 38th St., we ran a small loop that circled us back to the old northside onto Pennsylvania. Miles 1 to 4 were a little rough until I got into my rhythm. Then from miles 4 to 8, I actually felt really good considering I had not ran in four months. That changed quickly. Pennsylvania was a loooong stretch. In my two previous half marathons, I hit my wall around miles 9 and 10. I knew I would be approaching that wall soon and I was starting to feel tired and achey and I wanted the run to be over. My mind was taking over and I couldn’t keep it from slowly breaking me down.
At mile 9.5, I ran right past my apartment again. Total mind f*ck. I just wanted to run straight into my apartment, up the stairs, and jump into my bed. I knew the rest of the race would be a disaster. I started to walk. Mentally kicking my butt. I walked for a few minutes then started to run again. The course was now headed to IUPUI. I told myself not give up and even got a small second wind. From IUPUI the course headed to White River State Park. Bryan found me on the course again and told me to keep pushing, that I was almost done, and that I would finish sub 2:15 if I kept this pace. Wooohooo! As I was running around the park I thought I was only a half mile away, but then I noticed the course curving farther away from the finish line and heading towards a bridge. Mental breakdown #2 starts and so does the walking. I had pretty much given up on beating my Mini marathon time and hoped to just finish regardless of the time.
Finally, there was one mile to go and I thought to myself “Get your ass in gear Melissa and run. You didn’t make it this far to walk.” So I started running again and didn’t stop until the finish. I definitely didn’t feel good about this race, but hey, I still ran sub 2:30.
My husband was an amazing support that day. I truly believe that I would not have finished the race without him cheering me on and pushing me throughout the entire race. He was training for the Marine Corps Marathon and had a 16 mile training run that day. So he ran the race with me….kinda. Since it was a women’s only half marathon and he had to run three more miles than me, he essentially ran the same course adding small sections to it so it would add up to 16 miles. He managed to find me on the course around six or seven times. He won the award for best husband. After the race, other participants approached him to tell him how awesome it was for him to show his support by running with me. I’m very blessed to have him as my husband.
After my post race snack and beer at the finish. My husband topped it off by taking me to Flying Cupcake to keep up with my tradition of getting cupcakes after each half marathon. Best tradition ever!! I got my two favorites: Here Comes The Bride and Cookies N Cream. Yum! Enjoying my cupcakes I thought to myself the race could have been much worse. It could have rained like it was predicted, I could have not had any support system, and I could have given up at mile 9.5 and ran right into my apartment. But instead, it didn’t rain a drop, I had the best support system – my husband, I ran past my apartment and finished the race, had my post-race cupcakes, and that evening I would be going to my 10 year high school reunion with some of my best friends!