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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Older & Wiser: Lessons Learned From my Birthday Race

Not so awesome results
Awesome shirt & medal
I ran the Indy Women's Half Marathon last Saturday on my birthday, and my results were terrible, but results aren't everything.  I finished in 3:10, nearly 25 minutes slower than I ran the Mini last month.  I was really disappointed, but I can't fault anyone other than myself.

So here are some of the lessons I learned, plus some of the highlights of what was still a really great event & one that I hope to run again next year.

Smiling thru the pain


  1. Don't ever run out of B-12 vitamins.  I have been taking B-12 vitamins for a while, on the advice of my doctor.  I'd run almost 3 weeks before the race, & hadn't had a chance to pick up more.  I had forgotten how tired I felt all the time before I started taking them.  That extremely low energy level lead me to be lazy and skip foam rolling & stretching every night, which I believe led to my knee pain that kicked in around mile 8 and caused me to have to walk most of the last 5 miles of the race, and walk very slowly at that.
  2. Don't skip foam rolling & stretching.  See above.  It's just like with my arm/wrist pain while working on the computer - if I get lazy about my posture, my pain will come back.  If I'm consistent and diligent about my posture and take frequent breaks, I will be fine.  I have to treat my legs the same way and be diligent about stretching in order to stay ahead of any pain.
  3. Get more rest.  The 2 weeks leading up to this race ended up being way busier than I had anticipated when I signed up for it.  Major upheavals at work, a big fundraiser at work on the 5th, and Kimmy's graduation on the 6th all left me feeling overwhelmed, yet I still kept up all my other activities and errands.  I could have cut some other things out of my schedule, especially since my energy was flagging.
  4. Praise God in the sprinkles, too.  As I was rushing to the fundraiser last Thursday, the Casting Crowns song Praise You In This Storm came on the radio.  While that song is in heavy rotation when something bad is going on in my life, I don't really listen to it at other times.  As I started to change the channel to find a song with a more upbeat tempo to try to pump my energy up, God told me to stop.  I listened to the song, and thought about how storms are not only the major things like job losses or serious illnesses.  Storms can be the busy days when I can't see past my to-do list, too.  And just to make sure I got His point, that song came on the radio again as I was driving home from the race Saturday.
Picture courtesy of Lindsey Hein


  1.  These wonderful ladies from the training program, plus a few others who weren't in this picture.  I loved getting to know all of these ladies, and I will miss training with them every week, but I'm sure I will see them again at future races  & events.
  2. Running with a pace group.  This was the first time I'd run a race that had pace groups.  I started out with the 2:45 group, paced by Jen.  She was so nice - not only was she keeping us on pace, but she was keeping a good group discussion going & helping us all get to know each other.  The first 6 miles of the race while I stayed with the group just flew by.  If only I hadn't had to make a pit stop, maybe I could've stayed with them longer.
  3. The course.  We started on Meridian Street, looped around downtown & Monument Circle, then headed northwest up Indiana Avenue, by Coffin & Riverside golf courses, around the Major Taylor Velodrome, then headed south by Marian University and back down along the White River.  It was a gorgeous day and a very scenic course.  I really hope they keep the same course next year.  The only thing it needed was more port-o-lets at the Start Line.
  4. All the little extra touches.  The shirt & medal are really nice, and we each got a rose, too.  All the volunteers along the course were great.  Getting our medals from soldiers was pretty cool.  The race photographers actually got some pretty good pictures of me, and the free finishers photo on the stage is a nice touch.  Hearing the DJ calling out our names as we reached the finish line was really fun, and made me push a little harder right at the end.
  5. Hearing people shout "Happy Birthday" at me all morning long.  I'm going to have to find an event where I can wear that Birthday Princess shirt again every year. 

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