Santa Hustle Half Marathon

santa
Santa Hustle Half Marathon

Santa Hustle Half Marathon

Indianapolis, IN

December 21, 2014

Time: 1:52:26   Pace: 8:35

Overall: 186/1039

Gender: 68/669

Division: F30-34, 19/98

I originally signed up for the this half marathon to use as a training run for my marathon training program. I had a 13M run scheduled for that weekend, so why not run the Santa Hustle and make it more fun instead of running by my lonesome on the Monon? Hey when it’s winter, cold, and dark most of the time, I need all the motivation I can get whether it be from other runners around me or getting a medal at the end. My pace-plus pace for long runs is between 9:00 and 9:30 pace. So my intention was to run around 9:00min/miles to keep myself sub 2. But as the race grew closer, I got that itch. That itch to want to run faster. So I thought well maybe, I’ll run an 8:45, around the same pace as my current PR from May. I could easily do that. Two nights before the race, Bryan and I were talking and he was itching to PR – sub 1:27. It’s been awhile since he’s really raced a half marathon, probably the last time was the Mini 2013. He wasn’t sure if he could since he has been doing minimal running so far in his Ironman training but he thought he would go for it anyways and if he blew up, he blew up. He told me I should go for a sub 1:50. I knew I wasn’t ready for that type of speed – 8:23 pace. I was only in my third week of marathon training, and knew that would be too much of a reach for me at this point. I wanted a decent run, not a run that I would go out too hard and be in misery half way through the race. I’d save that for the Carmel Half in 2015.

The night before we were in bed by 9:00pm, yah we’re lame. So definitely got a good night’s sleep and were nourished from our brown rice pasta and salad. We woke up around 6:30am and it was cold – 22 degrees w/ a windchill of 19. Hmmmmm, of course I started my game of to wear the running jacket or not to wear the running jacket. I had my new fave pre-race breakfast of an uncrustables and Nuun Hydrate Electrolit while I pondered. If I were simply to jog at a 9:00min pace I would want the jacket because my heart rate wouldn’t be up enough to keep me warm. However, if I were to race, I would just want to wear a long sleeved shirt. I’ll bring the jacket with me and decide once we park.

We were both kinda laughing in the car on the way downtown about how nonchalant we were about the race. And then an old school Master P song came on the radio and I knew it was going to be a good race. I mean who wouldn’t get pumped up listening to 90’s rap? When we parked in the parking garage I decided to leave my running jacket in the car. I gave myself a pep talk of to not be a p*ssy. I ran a full marathon in these same temps and was fine. I ran the drumstick dash with my jacket and was too hot. Leave the jacket in the car Melissa! So that was it, I would be racing, not easy pace running. Bryan was going to throw away his race sweatshirt at the start, so I decided to wear his sweatshirt for the first two miles until I was warmed up to toss it.

We said our goodbyes and good lucks to each other and Bryan went to toe the start line while I squeezed in around the 8:00min/mile group. After a quick stretch, we were off. I really didn’t study the course at all, so only had a vague idea of where we would be running. We started off on the canal downtown. Now this was kinda tricky, it was a complete bottleneck and I had to crazy dodge people and run on the grass to pass people. Once we started heading towards downtown it finally cleared up a bit. I decided to take the first few miles easy to get warmed up. Mile 1 8:42, Mile 2 8:49 – toss sweatshirt and pick up pace. Mile 3 – 8:28, Mile 4 8:20 – it’s on. Mile 5 8:30, Mile 6 8:30 – this is where I want to settle in. I didn’t have the heart or mindset to break 1:50,  but I did have the mindset to at least PR, so I would need to run faster than an 8:42 ave pace.

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Bryan in the final stretch w/ a 6:32 pace.
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Me in the last mile behind the zoo.

Mile 7 8:43, Mile 8 8:47 – okay I needed to regroup. Body green, Lungs yellow, Mind chartreuse. I was starting to fade slightly, but I was over halfway there and at this point I really wanted that PR, even if was only by a minute. There was a large hill behind the velodrome around mile 8-ish and I wanted to hammer it. Others were walking or slowly jogging up it but I decided to sprint it. I felt great once I got to the top. I used to hate hills, but now I’ve learned to embrace them because I know they make me stronger. Mile 9 8:35, Mile 10 8:36 – a few small gradual slow hills. Three miles to go, 5K left. All I needed to do was maintain my current pace and the PR was in the bag. Mile 11 8:25, Mile 12 8:33. I’m now behind the zoo and Bryan ran back to me to run me into the finish. Mile 13 8:26. Boom! PR by almost two minutes!

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Bryan crossing the finish line with a PR of 1:25:28
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PR dance.
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The hubs running me into the finish.

I couldn’t believe how easy that was! I had to put in a little effort, but still felt fine. When I PR’ed at the Mini in May I felt like I was dying at the finish. This time it was much different. I was relaxed and maintained a steady pace to easily get my PR. Bryan also easily PR’ed by over two minutes! He ran a 1:25:28. He was also surprised at how easy it was for him. PR party for the Schmidt couple! Goes to show that hard work pays off. And the more I race, the more confident I am in my abilities. I’ve got the nutrition down and know how to execute. I’m slowly getting faster and stronger. I hope to keep this momentum through the rest of my marathon training for the big race in March.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 8.20.02 PM

pr
PR Party!
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