We can describe my performance at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 2 word. Those 2 words are "Crash" and "Burn". I finished in 4:18:17, a whole 23 minutes slower than I ran 4 weeks ago. But not is all lost, it was a pretty fun marathon for 85% of the race and it was a well put on event. Here is the report:
I drove down to Indianapolis on Friday afternoon arriving at the Expo at about 4:30. The expo was quite nice. It wasn't a large expo and but it also wasn't a small one either. There were about 30 or so booths and some nice information to be seen. I did pick up one this that I am looking forward to watching. I got the DVD of "UltraMarathon Man" by Dean Karnazes. This is about when he did 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Let me know if any of you would like to borrow it after I am done with it. I would be more than happy to lend it out.
The night before the race, I slept horribly. The hotel was a bit noisy and the doors from the other rooms kept opening and closing and they were quite squeaky. I think I only got 3 hours of actual sleep even though I was laying there for 7.
I finally got up around 5 and started getting ready and ate my usual 2 packets of oatmeal. I drove to the starting area and got a parking spot only 1/2 a block for the start line for only $5. the expo area was also still open leaving a warm area to relax before the race. During this time, I tried something new, I ate a bagel with peanut butter. I have read that this helps so why not try it.
I go to the start area and it is very organized. It is a good temperature, about 50 and sunny. It is suppose to get windy later, and it does, but there is not much at this time. I get the Garmin set and the race starts close to on time. As usual, it is crowded at the start with both the half and full marathoners starting together. About 30 seconds into the race, my garmin gets bumped by another runner and goes out. It is early, so I reset it and can still use it for average pace. Little did I know that this was this was only the first mishap.
The first 5 miles of the course were not so exciting, Except for running part the "Monument", it was just running through city street that were not too nice. After that the course gets much nicer.
At 2 miles, it warms up enough and I take off my long sleeve shirt and am now running in my singlet.
Mishap #2 happens just before the 4 mile mark. I was running along near the curb and there was a glob of dried cement on the street that I didn't see. My foot found it though and I ended up tumbling to the ground scuffing up my hands a little and my left knee. I jumping right back to my feet and started running. I had no poor effect from the fall except for a lot of dirt on my back. I even had one guy about a half mile later pull of twig off my back. The fall didn't effect my results at all but did create a few fun moments throughout the race from other runners who remembered seeing me tumble and mentioning it to me along the way. Oh, the garmin went out AGAIN on the fall so I a had to start it again. I have no idea how long it has been off now, but it is close to 1/10 of a mile.
Miles 4 though 16 go quite well. I am cruising at a nice pace of about 8:40 and am taking my water breaks as scheduled. I feel great and am very confident that I can maintain this pace and run a 3:50. I go past the half marathon in 1:54:51. About 15 1/2 miles, I hit the only real hills on the course. It is a double hill but they are not very big and no problem.
Mile 16 to 20 are usually my downfall so I relax as much as possible. The wind in now blowing about 15 MPH into my face and the temps have risen to about 65. I slow a little but not too much and am now thinking of running 3:55 as I did 4 weeks ago. Miles 20 and 21 start to wear me out though and my legs begin to tire. I am not exactly sure why this happened. My pace felt comfortable but now I am trying to figure out how to still run a sub 4. I take a longer walk break to try to reset myself and start out a little slower. This has worked in the past but not today.
I get to about 22 1/2 and I break one of my cardinal rules I should NEVER break. I take a break between water stops. Now my body thinks it can take a break whenever it feels like and I go down a spiral that kills my race. The 4 hour pace group passes me and I can't even make a move to keep with them. The final 3 miles are horrible and I think they go from 12 to 13 to 14 minutes. Lots of walking but I had already resigned myself to not breaking 4 hours so I was just there to finish.
I am OK with the results but that is not to say I am happy with it. I would love to know what happened after 21 miles. I will live to run again and my next marathon is scheduled for January. I will rethink how things went and how I trained and see what I need to tweak.
My race aside, this was a nice, well run, organised marathon. After 5 miles, the course was above average. Nice neighborhood to run through, nice scenery and some city running. There were not too many hills, I would call this a pretty flat course. The crowd was thin at times but was supportive. One thing I liked was there were a lot of water stops. I think the longest we ever went between water stops was 1 1/2 miles. The finish area was great with good stuff to eat and drink afterwards. No chocolate milk though! The finish was only 1 block from the start and was only 1 block from the Indiana State Capitol Building. I recommend this race.
Indiana was my 8th state running a marathon in. Only 42 to go to get all 50. I now have Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, and Missouri. I am not saying that I want to join the 50 states club, but it is a start.
I am going to take a few days off now. The legs are feeling sore but not too bad.