Sunday, May 5, 2013

Indy Mini Marathon Recap

I wasn't planning on running this race this year.  I really feel that it is too big and once was enough for
me.  I would rather stick to a nice long trail run than a flat boring road any day of the week. I like the smaller races too.  I signed up for it last minute just because I was still planning on going to watch but I knew once I got there I would have been mad for not signing up and just having to watch.  Signed up for it in March which I was shocked that it hadn't sold out yet.  Last year it was sold out by December.  It was incredibly hot last year(over 90 degrees).  This year would be totally different.  About 55 degrees to start so you couldn't ask for better running conditions, especially for May.

I am still trying to recover from my 100 mile ultra 2 weeks ago and it has been a long slow process.  I have been nursing a sore left ankle for the past 2 weeks which has gotten a little better but still not nearly where it needs to be.  My workouts have consisted of an easy 1 mile run every day since the 100 miler so I haven't in any way been
training, just trying to get myself healthy.  Up until race day I was still unsure if I was even going to run the race.  Probably not smart and need to give the ankle time to heal.  The day before the race the ankle was feeling the best it had felt for 2 weeks but was still quite tender along with my left calf that was still a little sore.  I decided to go ahead and try it and if I had to drop out then that is what I would do.  I had never had a DNF before so I knew it would have to be bothering me pretty bad to do that.  My plan was to run nice and easy on it.  Was planning on going out at about a 8:30 pace and I would see how it felt.

Katie and I in corral B
I started the race next to my buddy Katie in corral B.  I ran almost the whole race with her last year and then she smoked me the last 3 miles last year and ended up beating me by 2 minutes.  I knew there was no way I would be able to stay up with her this year so I told her to have a great race and I would see her after the race.  I started off nice and slow like I had planned for about the first 1/4 mile then the adrenaline kicked in and it was on!!  Something about the adrenaline in a race that makes your body do things that you never thought were possible.  Quickly my planned 8:30 pace had gone out the window!  1st mile ended up being a 6:45 pace and I didn't slow down.  2nd mile 6:38.  I saw Katie and passed her at this point and she yelled Mike!  You're a little ahead of pace!!  mile 3 was a 6:51.  5k time was a 21:15.  The ankle was still feeling good and at this point I hadn't looked at my watch.  I was running on feel.  Mile 4 was 6:47, mile 5 6:55.  Mile 6 was 7:00.  I finally glanced down at my watch and my average pace was in the 6's!!  I really thought there was something wrong with my watch!  There was no way I could be
Melissa, Marni, and Sly before the race
Melissa and I before the race
running that fast.  I entered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to do a lap around it which consists of approximately 2.5 miles and I had now realized that a PR was in my sights.  How could this be?  When I got that PR last September it was at the Chicago Half Marathon.  I had been doing speed work, I was probably the fastest I have ever been.  During my last 6 months of training for the 100 miler I had only focused on really long distance running and done no speed work at all however I had done a lot of hills on the trails.  I think the hills combined with the insane long distance runs were definitely helping me at this point.  The ankle was still holding up and I wasn't feeling any pain in it yet.  The track seems to go on forever and can make or break you in this race.  Mile 7 was a 7:09 pace, mile 8 was a 7:16.  I crossed the yard of bricks checkpoint at 53:43 for a average pace of 6:58 per mile.  I got around the track and headed back out on the streets.  This is the longest 4 1/2 miles of the race.  Mile 9 was a 7:16 pace but I could tell I was starting to get tired.  Mile 10 was a 7:19 pace.  At this point I remember my Chicago Half Marathon PR.  At the 10 mile mark in that race my watch read an average pace of 6:59 per mile.  I look down at my watch as I hit mile 10 and my watch is showing a 6:59 per mile average pace.  Just a 5k left I've gotta bring it home.  I start to feel some tingling in the ankle and it is starting to change my stride a bit.  The adrenaline is pushing me along.  Mile 11 I don't have much left and loose precious time with a 7:27 pace.  I remember mile 11 from last year because it is the exact same point that Katie left me in the dust and I could never catch her.  I get another boost of energy from thinking back on that but it only lasts for a minute or so.  Legs feel like lead now and it is all I can do to move them!  Mile 12 is a 7:26 pace.   Mile 13 was a 7:32 pace.  I know it is going to be close but there is nothing left in the tank.  I can see the finish line and keep looking at my watch.  It is going to be so close to a PR as I get close I realize today was not the day.  As I'm approaching the finish line the announcer yells, "It's Michael, from J's Bikes!  Where's your bike Michael?"  That made me laugh.  I finished in 1:33:44 just 15 seconds off my PR.  I finished 672nd overall out of almost 38,000 runners.  Just missed the top 500 but I took 7 minutes off my time in that race from last year.  I know on fresh legs and uninjured I could have had that top 500 spot!  Now a race I said I would never run again has me thinking next year!

Katie finished with a 1:36 beating her PR by 2 minutes.  She was also one of the top 100 females.  Fantastic job to my friend Katie.  I see a top 500 finisher in her next year as well!  My wife Melissa and her friends Sly and Marni all finished with a 2:25.  Melissa had her best time ever at this race and something fantastic that she did was have negative splits for the race.  Congrats to her and all my wonderful friends.  It was a great day for a race.

As for the ankle.  It is a little sore this morning so I will continue to ice.  I have a race next weekend.  I am doing a team duathlon with my buddy Christina so I hope to bring it like I did in this race.  After that if it isn't better I am going to have it checked out.  I fear that it might be a stress fracture but I'm trying to stay positive.  Whatever it might be I will do what I have to in order to get it back to 100%.  If I have to take some time off from running so be it.  Doesn't mean I won't heal and be back and if so, the first 2 years have been one hell of a ride!!

Sly, Marni, and Melissa after the race
My niece Faith and I after the race

Love the shoe picture!