My Monumental Finish!

Sweet Friends, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and Half Marathon has come and gone … and there’s a small part of me that is actually sad.  As much as I stress about every little detail in the week or two leading up to race day, the day itself is always a good time because I’m surrounded by my Runner Girls!  And, for the last two years of this race, by my family!!!

pre-group

Always at the top of my race-week prep – stopping by The Runners Forum for Honey Stingers, Nuun and new socks!  Because there is no better way to justify new socks than race day!

pre-fuel

Next stop – the expo!  I love to shop the expo every year because it’s a great place to find fun new running gear and gadgets.

pre-expo2

Summer bought a new running belt and I found a great deal on a Brooks shirt for hubby but honestly we spent most of our time registering for more races!!  Amazing deals on fun events with our kids ($10-$15 for 5K’s + no processing fees!!) made sure our race calendars stay full for a while :)

I also picked up this pre-order exclusive jacket!  I loved the yellow one from last year and regretted opting out of ordering one … until I saw this one and realized the gray one was meant to be mine all along!

pre-expo

We met my parents downtown for dinner at our hotel then got everyone settled in for a good night’s rest.  Of course, I couldn’t sleep.  I decided the best use of my time would be posting pictures on Instagram {Follow me: @javaandsole}

pre-bib

I finally did fall asleep … and woke up before my alarm, so I considered that a good sign!  Took the extra time to stretch and relax while getting ready before heading down to a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, berries and coffee!  

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This was our first official run where hubby and I were both racing, as opposed to running just for fun with our kids.  He’ll tell you he “doesn’t run.”  Ran track and cross country in middle and high school but never liked it.  Often questions my sanity for paying to run a race, in the cold no less.  But can sometimes be found on the treadmill in our basement just because it’s a slow day.

pre-nick

So when I snagged a free 5K entry, complements of the IMM for guest-posting on their blog {read here}, he agreed to join me on race day!  During the registration process, it asked his estimated finish time.  He said 26 minutes, because “that’s a couple minutes per mile slower than what I ran in high school”… and I laughed at him.  Yep, so much for returning the favor of being the supportive spouse.  But really, we’re 20+ years removed from high school ….

He finished 3rd out of 63 in his age group with a 7:11 min/mile pace and completed his first 5K race since high school in 22:16.  And this is officially my public apology!  SO proud of him!

Our adorable, okay I’m biased, children (and my parents!) participated in the Fun Run – also a thank you from IMM for guest-posting.  Not wanting to lose the kids in the crowd, my parents ended up running along side them and were impressed with their pace.  Gotta start training them early, you know :)

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The weather was absolutely perfect – mid-40’s and sunny with a slight breeze and no chance of rain.  Which is a far cry from the disastrous weather they were predicting for race day two weeks ago.  Ah, the Midwest … gotta love the inconsistent weather patterns.

pre-start

Before we even crossed the starting line, though, I caught sight of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to my left and knew it was going to be a good race.  There’s something about a beautiful sunrise that can ease my nerves in an instant. 

race-circle

So I went out and ran my race.  It started slow as we weaved our way through the congestion of runners and walkers.  My first two miles were significantly slower than the rest of my race for this reason.  But it forced me to pace myself and not go out too fast.  I managed to keep a consistent running pace around 9:20 min/mile, walking briefly through each aid station because I am not coordinated enough to run and drink water at the same time!

I felt great throughout the run. The entire run.  My mental blocks at mile 11 are well-documented, but I was ready for it this time.  I think it helped that many of the aid stations weren’t located directly at a mile marker, rather in between most mile markers.  Instead of pausing at that dreaded mile 11 while I downed some Gatorade, I had to keep running until I made it to the aid station.  By the time I got there, I was closing in on mile 12 and looking ahead to my final stretch rather than succumbing to my typical self-doubt.

My legs kept moving.  Anytime my brain tried to take over, I prayed.  Prayed for my fellow runner girls.  Praised God for perfect weather.  Prayed for friends and family going through trials and personal challenges.  Praised God for my amazingly supportive family.

And thanked Him for this moment: crossing the finish line and getting to hug each one of them with a brand new Personal Record of 2:06:13 (bettering my previous best by almost exactly 5 minutes!)  I don’t talk about my times or pace very often on here because PR’s and pace mean something different to everyone – but after collapsing on sandbag holding up a tent at the finish line to catch my breath, then screaming at the top of my lungs once I found my Runner Girls again, it seemed right to share this moment with you all ;)

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Proof that it was a perfect day for a run … we ALL set PR’s on Saturday! Congrats Melissa, Amy and Annette on yours!!

post-PR

Big Smile for a Big Day!

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These girls …. there are no words.  Thank you for pushing me when I wanted to quit. 
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I have not forgotten about our marathoners.  There are so many things about this weekend that this post doesn’t even begin to cover.  Check out {this post} for more IMM fun – including Jen’s first marathon, a priceless finish line photo and fun with my extended family!

2 thoughts on “My Monumental Finish!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Thank you Abby! It was a crazy exciting moment … hopefully more of those to come!

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