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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon Recap

photo by Kathy Helmond
While we wait for Laura to tell us about her marathon yesterday, I'll recap last week's Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon.  This is one of the biggest races in Indianapolis every year.  It also has a full marathon, a 5K, and a kid's one mile fun run.  There are several official cheer zones set up along the course, and many businesses and neighborhoods along the course hold their own cheer parties as well.

My Monumental History

In 2012 I ran the 5K.  At that time, I had been running for almost 5 months.  I had not yet run an entire 5K without walking some, but I was hopeful that would be the race I finally did it.  Race day was really cold, with wintry precipitation expected.  I had not run in the cold weather yet, and did not really know how to layer properly, nor how to breathe.  I made it halfway before I had to walk - I just really had such a hard time catching my breath in the cold air.  Shortly after I finished, it began to sleet, which later changed to snow for the people running the longer races.

I was not planning to run this year's Monumental.  I had such bad memories of the 2012 race that I didn't want to repeat it, even though I know how to layer and breathe in the cold now.  Although most of the ladies in my fall training program were training for one of the Monumental races, I said after the Hendricks County Half Marathon in September that I was just going to take it easy until mid-November, when it would be time to start training again.

A Monumental Opportunity

photo by Jeanette DeBruhl
As the Monumental got closer & excitement all around town was growing, I started to wish I had signed up after all.  By that time, though, prices were too high.  Just two weeks before the race, though, I got the opportunity to run it after all.  Since I hadn't been training, I went out for a 10 mile run to gauge if I would be ready.  I felt fine, so I decided to go ahead with it.  I wasn't going to shoot for a PR or anything, just enjoy the run.

The weather forecast was calling for a very cold and windy day, but at least it was supposed to be dry.  I ended up lining up near the very back.  Since the half and full marathons start together, I meant to get with the 2:45 half/5:30 marathon pace group, but I ended up back behind the 6:30 group.  That wasn't such a bad thing, though, as it kept me from going out too fast.

I really like this course - you get to see so much of the city.  I didn't even put my headphones in until after mile 7, where the half and full courses split.  Up until then, there were so many spectators lined up cheering and holding up funny signs that I didn't need the distraction of a podcast or music.  By the time I got to mile 9, I was feeling extremely tired and cold.  I was wearing some Nike Therma-Fit pants, but I wished I had worn some Cuddl Duds underneath as a base layer.  The wind was very cold, and it was sapping my energy.

A New PR!

prerace photo by Lindsey Hein
I felt so tired and cold that I thought I slowed down.  I didn't look at my watch any during the race, since I didn't want to take off my gloves and pull my sleeve up, so I just kept running at a comfortable pace.  I was sure that I began to slow after mile 9 and continued to slow until near the end.  I finished in 2:45:52, which is a new PR for me by 3 whole seconds!  And when I uploaded the run from my watch to the Nike+ website, I was surprised to see that I never slowed down.  My pace remained really consistent for the entire run.  I'm not sure what that means, but I guess you can't always go by how the run feels.

Up Next

I have two more fun 5Ks to round out the year: the Gobble Gallop on Thanksgiving, and the Santa Hustle on December 21. If you are in the Indy area and looking for a Thanksgiving alternative to the huge and crowded Drumstick Dash, I highly recommend the Gobble Gallop at the Avon YMCA.  I ran it last year, and the race shirt remains one of my favorites.  And if you are planning to do the Santa Hustle, use discount code TERHAZELIN to save $5 when you sign up.

Future Marathoner

The next two big races in my future are the Winter Night Trail Half Marathon on January 31, and my first full marathon: the Carmel Marathon on April 18.  I drew up my training program last night, and training officially starts tomorrow.  


  1. Congrats on the PR sister! I pray that you enjoy your training for your first marathon: you'll completely rock it! I have learned to love the marathon. I enjoy training for the Houston Marathon because the temps are much more mild here in Texas. I can't wait to hear about your first marathon. Keep running strong!

    1. Thank you Cintia! I appreciate your prayers. I came to enjoy running in the winter weather last year, but as long as I've lived here I still can't get used to driving in it. I'm such a wimp on icy roads.