I decided that running the Indy Women's Half for the third year in a row would be a beneficial fitness check and practice trip to Indianapolis six weeks prior to my goal race there, the Indy Monumental Marathon. Since the race morning weather left a lot to be desired (a humid 74 degrees), my goals for the race were to complete the best I could in the field and hopefully hit marathon goal pace. I am not sure anyone was more shocked than I was when I finished 3rd overall in a new half PR of 1:20:29. Although I'm still dying to add a sub-80 to my resume, I was pumped to PR on a day I was sure I wouldn't!
My official results are here, the race leaderboard is here, and my Strava activity is here.
My race in Indy last year did not go as planned; I started it slightly injured and finished it very injured, then was very unhappy about taking 10 weeks off running. On the other hand, my 2017 race there went well and was where I ran my previous half PR of 1:20:50. The event is well-done, the course is flat and fast, in 2017 and 2018 the temperature was around 50 degrees, and I was excited to return in 2019...until I wasn't. During the week leading up to the race, I became fearful about getting injured, only because I had at that point in my training last year. Everything felt fine, but I couldn't shake it. I was never worried about my race performance because I was just worried I would get hurt, which was odd because I am not superstitious or anything of that nature! I kept reminding myself that I'd started Indy already hurt last year, and this year I was going in feeling strong.
Summer has really been hanging on this year, and although we got a couple of cool mornings during the week leading up to the race, the race morning forecast kept getting warmer as race day grew closer. When it was a couple of days out and looking like it would be 69 degrees with 100% humidity, my coach and I discussed a pace plan. She said she thought my training indicated I was in shape to run a 1:18 (6:00ish pace), but that the weather would slow me down by 15-20 seconds/mile. We decided that anything under goal marathon pace (6:17) would be a win. While I was disappointed that Mother Nature wasn't cooperating, this really took the pressure to hit any certain splits off. I didn't really taper for the race; although my weekly mileage was lighter than usual at 75, it was because I had Wednesday completely off. One week before I did a significant 20 mile workout, followed by days of 12, 9, 15, 0, 10, and 7 leading up to race day.
My dad and I drove to Indy from my home in Missouri, leaving early Friday morning. We went to the race expo, explored the area a bit, and found our Bed and Breakfast by about 5:30 p.m. For awhile I thought I'd be going to the race by myself, so I wanted accommodations that I could easily run to the starting area from, but my thriftiness couldn't handle a $300 downtown hotel, and the BnB was only 1.1 miles from the start, in almost a straight shot (i.e., it would be very difficult to get lost!). We had several rooms, space to sleep 4, and free parking, and were pleased with the BnB (except they were very strict on breakfast times).
|Look at those 4 ladies' credentials!|
As the race started and everyone settled into pace, I found myself in a pack of about 10 women. There were two women out in front of us, although I suspected one of them was in the 5K (she was, and the other was Pasca Myers, a top contender). The other 3 women to watch were in the pack, in additional to several other women I recognized from previous years races. There is a lot of power in running in a pack, so I thought it was an ideal situation!
The pace felt right effort-wise, and as the miles clipped away the pack dwindled. I settled in right behind two women in blue tanks, one of whom I recognized as Sarah Pease, a pro runner for Oiselle who I thought would win the race. By mile 6 all of the others had fallen off the pack and it was us three. The woman who wasn't Sarah (I'll call her the girl in the hat) was pushing the pace. I felt strong but not ready to pick it up, so I let her pull away and then it was me and Sarah. Since she is from Indy, many people were cheering for her so I just lied to myself that all the "Go Sara(h)"s were for me, haha! I also kept thinking, "How is this happening?!" in regards to running with her; she has quite the impressive resume and just competed in the U.S. Champs 10,000 m. I follow her on Instagram and she is a runner I really admire.
|Trailing the second female (Sarah Pease is behind her)|
|PR in sights|
|I had to stop my watch at the line to capture the PR - |
I also had no plans to buy the photos!
|Drenched in sweat & happiness|
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7
|Oh the irony that they gave us scarves!|