Last Friday I was getting ready to head to Indiana to visit my family for the weekend when my sister asked me if I wanted a bib for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon on Saturday. That’s a half-marathon for those that don’t know.

Well, you know me, I’m never one to turn down a free race bib! I figured since I planned to run anyway, I might as well make it more fun by participating in the race.

The Mini was actually the first race of any kind I ever did back in 2005. It was a huge accomplishment for me back then — a half marathon! I remember I did it, it was really hard and I never had any desire to do it again.

Well, obviously –– things change!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Clearly, I wasn’t trained but figured I’d give it my best shot. As soon as I started running, I realized it wasn’t going to be a PR day. The first few miles, I just could not kick it into gear. It’s always hard with a lot of miles in front of you because it seems endless at mile 2.

I had eaten so clean all last week that I didn’t think my stomach would give me issues. But…it was irritating me from the start. Plus, my legs were sore from doing thrusters at crossfit on Friday — and shoulders sore from pull ups!

Nevertheless, I was glad to be running — as I’ve said before, marathons and races are happy places. They always put me in a good mood and the encouragement you give and get from others is very uplifting. And there were TONS of people:

One thing I love about this half-marathon is that we run around the Indy 500 race track! It makes it special — and breaks it up. You enter the track around mile 6 and come out close to mile 9. This makes the mileage more bearable for me because you know when you come out of the track, you only have 4 miles to go — totally doable.

Plus, this race is fun! I’ve never seen more interesting sideline entertainment. There were a seriously entertaining group of elderly belly dancers (yep!), a group of cloggers (big time in Indiana!), lots of Christian rock bands playing outside of churches, a few teenage punk bands (so cute with their little guitars!), plenty of families outside on their porches, lots of people that looked like they should probably pick up running themselves (sorry!), groups of cheerleaders, an entire Wizard of Oz cast dressed to the max and hard core looking biker dudes outside of places named “Bar.”

It was soooo Indiana and I loved it. You couldn’t go half a mile without another group of people cheering you on.

The Headphones Debate

Lindsey and I talked about how so many people wear headphones at races of all distances and it’s such a shame because wearing headphones…you really miss out on some of the best parts of the race. You are in the moment with your music instead of the people, the crowds, the camaraderie, the spirit of the race.

Some may disagree but that’s how I feel. Although, yes, I have worn headphones throughout an entire marathon before and believe they helped me through when I needed them.

Anyway, after rounding out the track, I felt a little more empowered and was passing people most of the time. I had started up in a faster corral than me so that’s probably why. I never stopped but I think my paces are really whack sometimes. I’ll go fast for like 1/2 a mile, then slow down, it’s a weird pattern that probably is not good for me. I took a quick Vine video at mile 4:

After hitting mile 11, I was like 2 more miles come on! I just wanted to be done but kept on, not pushing myself too hard. The end of the this marathon is awesome because you come in and everyone is on high risers on the sides and its packed out like crazy.

I crossed the finish line at 1:55 and recovered quickly. That’s how you know you weren’t pushing it nearly enough. I felt totally fine — NOT how I feel after running a full marathon!

I quickly found my family and watched and waited for my friend, Megan, to come in. Lindsey (read her race recap here) had finished way before me of course 🙂

I was so proud of Megan for going from 2:30 to 2:00 this year! Her goal was under 2 hours and she missed it by just 14 seconds — but seriously, talk about progress. The girl has three little kids, works full time and didn’t get her training in this cycle. Imagine what she could do with proper training!

After the race, we spent some downtime at my parents house waiting for Megan’s husband to pick her up. It was awesome to catch up and know that she was coming back the next day for my bridal shower!

All in all, I had a good, fun race and thoroughly enjoyed the crowds. Got a great workout, some quality sister time and totally loved all the Indiana spirit during the race!

What determines a “good” race for you? It’s not always time for me!
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