Thinking Out Loud: Indy Women’s Half (Sort of) Race Recap

Honestly, I’m not even sure where to begin with this race.  I know I set my expectations high for this day, not for a PR or to hit a certain pace, but as an experience.  I ran this race last year with my Runner Girls and words cannot express how excited I was to have my daughters, mom and sister-in-law downtown with me on race day this year.

IWH11

The race was moved back from early June last year to mid-September this year which, given my obsession with cooler temperatures, was of course an extremely fantastic decision!

fall

Though this was the second race for which I had the honor of being selected as an Ambassador, it was my first Ambassadorship locally where I had the opportunity to really help attract new runners/walkers and share in the excitement of pre-race announcements and festivities!  Of course, getting to know Christina and Taffanee {my fellow “special agents”} and our fantastic Ambassador Coordinator Trena were an added bonus!

IWH5

Between partnering up with one of the expo vendors for a great giveaway to first peeks at the race shirts and blingy butterfly medal, it was such a fun experience.  I mean, even volunteering at packet-pickup was blast!

Race morning didn’t really go as planned {you can read that mis-adventure here} but we eventually made it downtown for a quick Runner Girl meet up before the race.

IWH3

Raising Runner Girls :)

IWH1

It was pouring at 5am when I had to wake my girls up to get ready … they still wanted to run!  The storms had cleared, though only temporarily, and we thought we were going to have great race day weather.

IWH2

Both races, the half and the 5K, started on time at 7:30am – rain free.  After about a mile it started pouring again and by the time we made it to the 3 mile water stop (just before 8:00am) we were told the race had been black-flagged – first for a delay before they cancelled the race completely a short time later.  Race officials at the water stops and on bikes were in constant communication to determine the safest solution for the 2,000 participants and volunteers that morning.  In five years of running, I have never been part of a black flagged race, so this was a first!  I ran the 2012 Indy Mini that could have been black flagged for heat or the 2015 Horse Capital Half that poured buckets of rain on us for the entire 13.1 miles…but have never had race completely cancelled.
blackflaggedWe were told they couldn’t stop us from continuing to run the route on our own, though all race personnel and volunteers were being pulled from the course for their own safety (and for liability purposes I’m sure) since there was significant lightning in the area and it showed no signs of letting up soon.

Several women DID finish their run before heading inside – and others waited for the storm to pass before getting the rest of their miles in later that day.  Our 5K crew were 2 miles out when they got called back, but by the time they ran back they had officially finished their 5k! 

IWH7

We made the most of a sad situation and decided to strike up a conversation with the girls {ahem: Elite Runners} behind us while we waited in line to receive our medals.  They had made it just over 5 miles in less than 30 minutes when they were called off the course – but continued on about 2 more miles to make sure the runners  in front of them were aware of the black flag situation since volunteers were already being pulled.  These girls, along with the several police officers who stayed out in the rain through the first 7 miles to make sure everyone got back alright, stopping traffic when necessary, were definitely a bright spot in a dreary morning.  

The first, and last, time the elite runners will be behind us :)  

IWH4
Everybody back inside, trying to dry out.  To their credit, these girls were super troopers throughout it all!  They are looking for a water-proof tutu – but they said they had a great time and were still all smiles when I met back up with them.
IWH9So…we still had a long run to get in, and the 5 start-and-stop miles we managed to get in on “race day” weren’t going to cut it.  We met up with our marathoners-in-training on Sunday and crashed {part of} their 18 miler to complete 13.1.   
IWH12

You would think that after logging the miles, I would feel like I earned that medal I have been so excited about for so many months since I signed up for this race over a year ago.  But the medal never felt right around my neck.  This coming from someone who once had to be talked out of wearing my race medal to a wedding we attended just hours after I completed my second half marathon.  I {heart} my medals because they are a reminder of how much sweat, hard work, and many miles went into earning them. But this one felt different.

IWH14

So when I ran into my BRF Summer and her sweet daughter when I stopped for my post-run coffee on Sunday, I knew it was meant to be.  Summer and Ella were supposed to run the 5K on Saturday as well, but their grandma passed away suddenly the day before and they weren’t able to be downtown for the race.  All my girls and Ella have talked about for months was earning their butterfly medals – my girls each received their medals at the race.  And now Ella has her very own.

IWH13

Happy to be Thinking Out Loud with Amanda today!  Check out her blog, Running with Spoons {here}.

14 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud: Indy Women’s Half (Sort of) Race Recap

  1. Summer says:

    girl, Im boohooing over here. I just love you me sweet BRF♥♥♥

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Love you too friend! Happy tears!

  2. has2run says:

    Sorry you got rained out!!! I honestly am a little worried for the Twin Cities Marathon and the protestors. I am not running it, but I was in law enforcement for several years and it does not sound like a good thing. Your girls are so pretty
    bakingrunner.blogspot.com

    1. Java & Sole says:

      I just read about that this morning! It makes absolutely no sense for the protesters to affect the race that way – I understand a peaceful protest I guess since it will draw a lot of media coverage, but when they started talking about laying down in the street and trying to make it so people can’t get to the finish line…I would be devastated if I trained for 26.2 and made it to the final mile only to be stopped by strangers :( So sad!

  3. mkadens1 says:

    Look at your precious girls! Sorry the weather was so cruddy but you were wise to take shelter from all that lightning.

    1. Java & Sole says:

      It came and went pretty quickly, but the storm that came through did so at exactly the wrong time. Too late to postpone and let it pass, and hung around just long enough to force people to seek shelter. UGH :( BUT, my girls had a blast with my mom and SIL and it’s certainly a race we won’t ever forget!! Thanks Marcia!

  4. Sherry says:

    I had friends in from CA and WI for the race. We were super bummed when it was black flagged. But my friend from CA, an ER nurse, said that hypothermia could also become a concern if we kept going in the rain. And I had come down with a nasty chest cold the day before so I was OK with it being canceled. Last weekend, I got in my 13.1 on the Monon Trail with a woman I met through a FB running group and just happened to run into at the finish line. It was fun but, like you mentioned, I didn’t feel like I “earned” my medal. I feel like I need a finish line. So, I signed up for the half at Fort Ben on the 17th. That will either cure me of my desire to do a half or encourage me to keep signing up. Great post!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      I have ALWAYS wanted to do the Fort Ben half but it always falls over our Fall Break – I have heard wonderful things about the race and it’s beautiful course. I am so excited that you found another finish line – Wishing you a great race this weekend!! And I hope you’ll decide to join me next year for the 2016 Indy Women’s Half!

  5. I was at the race, too! We must have been together at that water stop when the race got canceled. I didn’t feel like I earned my medal at first, but a friend reminded me that I earned it with all the training I put into it. I still can’t consider it my “8th half marathon” since I only ran a few miles…but I’m hoping to make up for it in a couple weeks. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      There were definitely a LOT of us at that water stop – must have been the place to be :) The medal situation was weird – I have never been in that situation before, and hope to not be again anytime soon! Your friend is right about all the training, that’s the part that really takes a toll on your body – the race itself is just the victory lap, right?! I hope you’ll be back next year for the 2016 race!!

      1. I’ve been a five year finisher (well, four year finisher, one year starter lol) so I’ll have a hard time saying no!

        1. Java & Sole says:

          YAY!! Just had an early planning meeting for next year’s race … trust me, it’s going to be amazing!! Lucky #6 right?!

  6. Black-flagged?! What an adventure! You made the best out of a tough situation! Way to have a blast with your girls regardless of the weather :) Beautiful medals, too!
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

    1. Java & Sole says:

      Yes, Amy, it was so SAD! Because I was SO excited for that race … I got a kick out of how much my girls still enjoyed it in the rain though :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

Share your thoughts!