Indianapolis Monumental Marathon ….. 2016

image

Saturday was the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  This was my 3rd time running this marathon.  First at the inaugural event in 2008, 2015 & then this 2016 version.  The race has grown by leaps and bounds because its well ran and has a reputation for being flat and fast.  This was my fastest marathon for 2015 and my 2nd fastest this year (and I’m not at all in good shape right now).  Its small enough to feel intimate but big enough to feel fun and like a real road race.  I really love it.

The expo is medium sized.  Local vendors.  We found some good deals from a local run store that had 30% off everything, even high tech winter run jackets!  Packet pick up was smooth & fast.  They also give a commemorative poster which lists every registered participants name.  Nice touch.  This is last years poster (hard to see with the glare in my sun room, sorry). The one this year wasn’t as cool and I doubt I’ll put it up but I love that they do this.

IMG_1407

The Monumental Marathon is a downtown Indianapolis race.  We stayed downtown so that we could walk to the expo, dinner and the start/finish line!  I think we left our hotel 30 minutes before the start and had plenty of time. There are start corrals but they are not policed so as always, plan for slower runners to find their way to the front.  Its inevitable.   The first mile is very crowded and slow.  If you are looking to hit a particular pace from mile one, that’s difficult and I’d encourage you to start closer to the front, or plan accordingly for that first mile to be a minute slower.  Try to take it all in before you put the hammer down, enjoy the city and the crowds and the remember why you run.

IMG_1327

This is a race where I normally have a lot of friends running with me, so we just start behind the corrals and enjoy ourselves.  We don’t rush.  We don’t push.  We just run.  Things definitely thin out after a couple miles but really, there are quite a few runners until the half marathon turns off around mile 7.5.  This year my crew had 3 high school girls in tow.  They were running the half.  One for the first time.  Two for the second time.  So I just stuck with them and had fun.  I love watching the enthusiasm of young runners.  These 3 ran Cross Country for their school this fall and they have a lot of spirit.  They entertained the crowd around them the entire time by cheering, yelling & singing.  I loved every minute of it.  This is what running is to me …. fun, fitness & friendship.  M, A & Aby (on the right). 

IMG_1329

They are getting ready to turn off for the half.  Good luck, girls!!

IMG_1332

The half and the full sold out this year. 2016 was the biggest year so far.  They had 8,154 finisher for the half.  2,762 finishers for the 5K.  And 4,237 finishers for the full.  There was also an extra medal for the runners who ran both the Indianapolis Half Marathon earlier in October, in addition to the Monumental Half.    More Bling = More Runners!

As the half turned off, the road opened up in front of me and I think we all sighed from relief.  I love the energy from the half runners but its nice to get down to business and start focusing on my race.  I remember feeling the same way last year.  It doesn’t scare me that the crowds thin.  We still have ample spectator support.  There were still a lot of runners out there.  I was never alone, just free to run whatever pace I wanted. It was a great day.  Warmish.  I saw several bloggers report that it was in the high 30s when we started but it wasn’t that cool according to my AccuWeather app.  It was 47-50 degrees by the 8am start time. No wind. And the sun was coming up. My crew had on arm sleeves and could have gotten away without them.  I was very comfortable pre-race in shorts, a tank & arm sleeves.  And it was going to heat up as we ran.  Time to get down to business and run.

IMG_1338

After the half split, we headed to the State Fair Grounds.  Then a long straight stretch down Washington Boulevard.  Love this part.  Lots of room to run and it’s a night straight stretch that doesn’t require much thinking.  Not a lot to see.  Traffic on the other side of the road but many motorists cheer us on as they wait in traffic.   Then onto Broadripple.  Riverview, which is short but scenic.  Meridian Drive.   Butler University.  Beautiful campus.  Lots of older alums hanging out but where are the students?  Indianapolis Museum of Art.  Lovely area.  White River Parkway.  Burdsal Parkway. Miles 21-22 ocne and go, that always seem to be a challeng.  Fall Creek Parkway.  Back on Meridian and heading back downtown, we are getting close!!!  We can see Monument Circle in the distance and keep pushing forward.  Finally, mile 25.  Then 26.  Then the finish.  That lovely finish.  Another one in the books.  Thank you, Lord.  Thank you, body.  Thank you, mind for pushing me thru another finish.

In all, this is a great race.   I’d love to run it again next year if it fits into my schedule.  Lots of water & potty stops, plus medial about every 1-1.5 miles.   20 aid stations in all.  They also had at least 5 food/fueling stations.  Plus so many kind spectators that set up their own personal aid stations offering Halloween Candy, beer, water, pretzels, oranges, etc.  Great race.  Great community & spectator support.  Thanks, Indy! 

Swag:  Gender specific tee, finishers hat & medal.  Last year we got a hat too.  That one had the year embroidered on the hat.  This one was more “generic”, probably so they can use leftovers for years to come. 

IMG_1401  IMG_1402

Great race, hope to see YOU next year!

** Run Indy, Be Monumental ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Advertisements

TBT … Inaugural Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Race Report – 2008

Thanks to my Facebook “Memories”, I found a race report that I published on Facebook, prior to inception of the TTF blog site.  It was published on this day (11/3) back in 2008.  This was my 2nd marathon.  It was during a time when I only ran one marathon a year, poured my heart into training & frequently was disappointed on race day. 

 

image

 

The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 2008 came after a very long TRI season.  We were also trying to conceive Mr. Michael, who arrived on 9/7/09.  I was tired.  And emotional.  Two things that can make a marathon difficult at best.  Smile

 

Indy Marathon (11/1/08) – Race Report

November 3, 2008 at 12:06pm

Indy put on a great race this weekend! The weather was perfect, the course was perfect, I fueled properly……so why did I do more walking than running?
I’ll never know why certain race days end in utter disappointment and tears. Saturday was such a day. I had my miles in, I had a good attitude, I was ready to run, unfortunately my body didn’t get the memo!
I knew I was off almost immediately as my pace was slow and I didn’t have anything more to put into pushing the pace faster. I tried to convince myself that since the weather was cold I was just a bit sluggish and that as soon as I warmed up then I would be able to settle in and start pacing properly. Realistically, when looking at 26 miles, a slow pace isn’t really too big of an issue, I can pick it up later or just run slower. No big deal either way because to me the marathon distance is really about personal achievement and not the clock time.
Things just never came together and they went from less than ideal to pretty bad. I was upset not because I was slow but because I felt bad all over, from my head to my toes! I was upset that I normally can run, even if it is slow, through all my training runs and now it was race day and I not only didn’t want to run, I didn’t even want to walk! Had I been close to home or on a training run, I would have scrapped the day. Some days just aren’t for running and I am old enough to know and accept what I’m given. However, I wasn’t in a situation where I could just get in my car and go home, or call Mick and have him come rescue me. Sigh….so I finished, not because I wanted to but because I didn’t have another reasonable option. It was a 4:50 finish; I was 2:09 at the half, so the majority of the walking did come in the last half. I ran/walked a 4:54 in Memphis last December and felt a whole lot better about it than I did the Indy finish. Not sure why but my emotions took a huge toll on me too, which I think just made it that much worse. And I know I have the ability to run in the 4:15 to 4:30 range…..but that would require that I actually keep moving the entire time! Smile
Looking back, I am thankful I had the desire, motivation and ability to train for another marathon. I am thankful I had a great friend (Abby) awaiting my finish to give me a tissue and commiserate with me! I am also thankful for the great people I met along the course, some who were having good days, other who weren’t.
I’m super sore today, obviously my ego has been bruised badly, and I’m gonna take the week to relax and realign myself mentally. Hopefully by Friday I will be “back” and looking forward to a Saturday long run and maybe even possibly the Tecumseh Trail Marathon.

Cheers to being “upright and moving forward” regardless of how we feel. Amanda

2008 & 2015 Indy Monumental Finisher Medals

Indy Monumental - 08    Indy Monumental - 15

I always say that “time changes almost everything”.  And I still believe that.  If you had told me after I wrote this race report, that in 8 years I’d be going back for my 3rd Indy Monumental Marathon AND that it would be my 35th marathon in all, I’d have told you that you were nuts.  But apparently the joke’s on me.  This Saturday will be my 3rd Indy Monumental Marathon.  And it will be my 35th marathon. 

** Cheers to Whatever Adventures the Future Brings ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Interested in more posts on the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon?  See the links below.

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Then vs Now – 11/5/15

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon ….. 2015 Version – 11/10/15

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon ….. 2015 Version

Saturday was the 8th running of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana.  There were 13,826 finishers, which is 395% larger than the inaugural event in 2008 (only 3500 finishers).  I believe this is a great representation of how running in general has evolved and increased in popularity over the last 8 years.  While marathon running has definitely seen a pick up in competitors (1,114 in 2008 verses 3,999 in 2015 here), the half marathon is where the real party is growth wise.  At the inaugural event in 2008 there were approximately 2,386 half marathoners in Indy but in 2015 there were 7,288!  Wow!  That’s amazing.  I love seeing so many crazy runners out there pounding the pavement!    Now let’s run!!

IMG_8708

The race started at 8am on Capitol Avenue beside the Capitol Building.  It was a crisp 40 degrees with a light wind and the sun was just coming up.  Excitement was definitely in the air.  I knew so many people running.  Many looking to smash an old PR.  Some looking to just finish.  It was crowded.  Lines to the potties were long and when we went to get in our corral, there wasn’t room and we waited on the sidewalk until the gun went off.  There were 5 of us who wanted to run together.  Not ideal but hey, what’s ideal?  We had 2 young girls with us who were running their first half marathon.  The plan was to stay easy, relaxed and to make sure they were feeling GOOD when they made the turn off for the half.  I think we all remember our first half and it wasn’t because we were smiling at the end.  Okay, maybe you were smiling.  I wasn’t.  In fact, I wanted to give my running shoes to the first homeless person I saw.  That first half of mine is almost like a nightmare and if I can help even ONE person to avoid making the same mistakes I made, then I’m happy.  So I was very focused on keeping the girls close and keeping the pace easy.  That’s if they were even interested in staying with us cuz it’s hard to really know what teens are thinking.  But alas, we were a band of 5.   And that calls for a selfie! 

IMG_8712

The first miles were crowded.  Very crowded.  The streets in Indy weren’t real wide in most places.  We did a lot of weaving.  Of course, ALL the walkers started in front of us.  So we ran, weaved, talked and smiled.  Dropped the girls at the turn off for the half (approx 7.5 miles) and was I pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t total desolation like we normally see when the half splits.  Lots of runners still in it for the full but things calmed down and we weren’t weaving very much.  It was after the split that I started to take inventory of the day.  It was a cool day.  No humidity.  Indy was relatively flat.  We weren’t running fast but not slow.  I had a couple “niggles” that were tightening but overall, I felt pretty decent.  I had taken a full week off previous to Indy.  I know most “runners” would gasp at that but I’m all about listening to my body and showing up as fresh as possible.  As a result, I was feeling pretty fresh.  I thought I could actually post a decent time if I could hold it together.  It’s been so long since I had a race with good weather, I honestly didn’t even know what “decent” was anymore but I was pretty comfortable in the 10-10:15 range and just held on to it.  No pushing.  Just patient, methodical running.  Mile 10, Halfway, Mile 15, Mile 18, Mile 20, all right in the 10-10:15 range.  And I ended up finishing under 4:30.  It’s been a long time since I finished under 4:30 and I was one happy camper!!!

IMG_8714

Race was very well supported with volunteers, medical & police trying to keep the unruly drivers at bay.  We had water/Gatorade every mile, sometimes closer.  Lots of potties.  Multiple food stations, Boom Energy Gel, Oranges, Bananas.  Local residents had set up their own stations and were handing out beer, Twirlers, pretzels, Halloween candy and more.  The residents were very supportive and most of the drivers were very patient but I did see the police on multiple occasions dealing with angry drivers. I was very impressed with how well the officers managed the crowds; I know that’s a tough job.

This is a race where packets need to be picked up prior to race morning.  It’s a great excuse to stay over in Indy and enjoy the beautiful city.  View from our hotel overlooking Monument Circle.

IMG_8701

Expo was a decent size and had a nice number of vendors.  Gender specific shirts.

 IMG_8695   FullSizeRender

Finishers received a finishers medal and a finishers hat.  Nice touch.  I like finisher “swag” that isn’t just doled out at packet pick-up.

IMG_8722

Overall, this is a great race.  I’d definitely run it again.  The course covered a good portion of the city and we ran on some great roads and thru some awesome neighborhoods.  Indy didn’t shove us off into the corner but paraded us thru town and showed us the sites.  It was a great experience and if you are wondering if you should run next year, do it.  #BeMonumental, you won’t regret it. 

Amanda – TooTallFritz

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon …. Then Vs Now

As I prepare for the 2015 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, I can’t help but reflect on the first time I ran it in 2008.  The 2008 event was the inaugural race for Indy Monumental and I don’t think any of us expected it to grow the way that it has over the last 7 years.   There was no “expo”, only packet pickup at the Capitol Building.  I didn’t have a crew.  Or a blog.  Or know 25-30 people running.  I had one crazy friend who made the trip with me to Indy from Chicagoland.  And pretty much everyone else in our lives thought we were insane.  Like totally insane.   Abby S & I in front of the Capital Building at packet pickup.

IMG_8692

2008 was the year of the triathlon.  I probably thought of nothing else in ‘08 other than TRIing and TRYING to get preggo with Mr. Michael.  And damn, I was skinny!  I’m pretty sure I never appreciated how thin I was at that point in time.  I bet I ate every dang thing that I wanted and drank my fair share of Corona Lights too!  Ah, memories!  But seriously, 2008 was THE year.  Abby S and I competed in 6-7 Olympic TRIs, a Duathlon, 3 half marathons for me (4 ore more for her), I did my first 70.3 TRI and ran my 2nd marathon at Indy.  Good times. 

However, I remember the ‘08 Monumental race being very emotional for me.  I was off my birth control (trying to conceive) and exhausted.  We had been racing hard since mid May that year and Indy Monumental was on Nov 1st.  I didn’t understand that training cycles need to be cyclical.  I didn’t understand the importance of rest in life or racing.  I just kept the training/racing cycle going and I crashed and burned at Indy.  And shed a billion tears in the process.  This is where I learned that crying and running are NOT compatible.  So when I tell the Cross Countries girls to suck it up cuz the tears make it harder to run, well, I’m only be honest cuz I know from personal experience.  Tears and running do not mix, if you want to breathe.

Monumental was the end of my racing season for 2008.  I did run a local turkey trot but that was it.  And I conceived before year end.  Rest helps a lot of things:  muscle recovery, emotions, hormones, and conception.  Smile

Needless to say, I don’t remember a lot from the ‘08 Monumental race other than my state of emotion.  Hard to see thru those tears.  So I’m really looking forward to the 2015 race, which will be my 24th marathon.  I look forward to SEEING what Indy has to offer.  My only goal this year is to NOT cry.  I’m in a totally different state of mind these days with my running, not so focused on speed but thankful to just be moving,  running, racing, and thankful for my life “on the run”.

Here is the 2008 Inaugural race medal and race shirt.  The shirt has been repurposed in a race t-shirt quilt but I found the square for a quick photo.  Love my t-shirt quilts and all the memories they evoke. 

IMG_8520     IMG_8694

Good luck to everyone running the 2015 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon!  If you see me, shout!  I’d love to meet you!  I’ll be wearing a Marathon Maniac shirt, probably the long sleeve yellow one.  See you Saturday!

** Be Monumental ** Amanda – TooTallFritz