Monday, May 08, 2006

Indy Mini : Part 3, The Race Report

Here it is. Here is what I know you have all been waiting for : Our 1/2 marathon race report. Strap in boys and girls because there isn't going to be anything short about this one. For you blogliners this post looks much better at the actual site....and there is a movie of us running towards the end that doesn't show up in Bloglines

We got up on Saturday morning at 4:30am. Apparently my dad said it took two tries to get us out of bed as he was our wake up call. I felt really awake as I was able to get in a little over 6 hours of sleep which is good for me before a race. We had some breakfast (bagels for both of us, orange juice and a cup of coffee) and headed out to Indianapolis.

The race start was 7:30 but they said we should be heading to our corrals by 7am. There are 26 corrals (A-Z) and based on what you estimate your finishing time to be, they put you in corrals with like runners. This makes for a fantastically smooth start which is nice when there are ~30,000 people running the race. We were in corral 'H' which is about where we started when we ran this race 2 years ago. Corrals A-E were reserved for elite/cometative/preferred starts.

We got downtown around 6:30, which was perfect timing. We still had to put on our timing chips and our race numbers on because we always do that at the race itself as we are always really early and need something to keep us busy and our minds off the start of the race. As we were sitting there, I looked around and up at the sky and was thrilled to see no clouds to speak of. I knew that it was going to be a tad on the chilly side (upper 40's) but I knew if it was a sunny day those temps would be perfect.

We wanted to warm up a little bit before the race started so we ran by corral 'C' because that was the corral that our friend Jon was in (he got a preferred start based on his marathon time). I was way happy that I wasn't in one of those bins because they are RIGHT AT THE START. I like starting a bit farther back because I don't have to START so fast. This proved to be a successful strategy as the race progressed. We didn't see Jon and so continued our warm up around the block, stopping one last time at the port-a-potty.

We got back to my dad and Sue and dropped the rest of our outer clothing and said goodbye to them. They were planning on catching us at mile 1.5 and mile 11.5 and wanted to be at that first check point before we got there. We got into our corrals and I got.....well, as usual....really nervous. In all the excitement of the weekend so far, I had forgotten to be nervous for the I started thinking about each mile and what kind of pace I wanted to run, any kind of strategy we should try and shoot for. Jason and I talked about running the first 1 or 2 miles REALLY slow to get into a rhythm and then move on from there. The starts are always so crowded that it didn't really make sense to try and get going on an 8:45 mile right away. Our goal for this race was to finish in 1:55 (8:45 pace) which would have been a bit faster than our first (and only other) 1/2 marathon but when we trained for that one we were living in Bloomington, IN and had tons of hills to train on.

I was standing in the corral watching all the people walking by and getting ready to run and high fiving each other and my attention was drawn to a girl that had her arm all bandaged up. Her parents were helping her "tie up her arm" so that she could run. I don't know what happened to her in the race but I am two sided about her racing at all. I overheard her say that she had a broken elbow, so really....maybe you don't have to run this one....I don't know on the other hand....go you for being tough and running through it. Again I don't know how she did but I hope she ended up doing as well as she could have.

All of a sudden we hear the good ole' song Back Home Again in Indiana being sung and realize that the corrals are pretty crowded. I always laugh because people are all, "oh let's go to the front of the corral" you know, 20 feet in front of me. People, "We are using timing doesn't really matter where you start." But anyways, moving on...I am getting to the race I promise.

So then the countdown....10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1....GO! And of course we all just stand there for a few minutes while the racing crowd surges ahead. But as usual with the big races....eventually we are running. I LOVE love LOVE the start of this race. It's so awesome because you go under the starting area and down this tiny hill and you can see all the people running in front of you and there are tons of crowds everywhere, it just makes me smile a great big smile :-)

So we are just cruising along and all of a sudden this *bitch* comes along the side of us and says loudly, "THIS ISN'T AN 8:30 PACE!!!" and she skirts and moves past all the other runners....little did she know what Jason and Leah were going to do that day (foreshadowing much Leah?). We pass all kind of entertainment acts including a woman that looked like Yoko. I say, "Oh my gosh what is Yoko Ono doing here" The couple next to us laughs and we all agree that she has aged rather well.

Ah we are already at mile one, I look at my watch and hit the split button Mile 1 in 9:38. Perfect, exactly how we wanted to start. Enjoy the surroundings, find the rhythm and look ahead to the rest of the race. Oh there are the big red signs it must be my Dad and Sue...It is. We give them our best races faces for the camera and move on. (I am in the pink shorts and white top and Jason is behind and to left of me me in the blue top.)

At this point in the race I am already noticing that we are continually passing people. That's a good thing and maybe expected as we started a bit slow compared to the other people in our bin. Here comes Mile 2 in 8:35. Perfect. We sped up just like we thought we would, and this felt like a good pace to stay at.

But we kept passing people. Mile 3 in 8:27, Mile 4 in 8:14 Mile 5 in 8:11.

I look at Jason and say, "I don't know what to do, I feel awesome and we keep speeding up, but this could bite us in the ass at Mile 10 or 11". We decide to just keep surging ahead and if something bad happens something bad happens. More people are being passed by the JasonLeah Force.

At this point we are about to enter the Indianapolis
Speedway and there was this little old lady handing out high fives on the sidelines. People weren't high fiving here, so I say to her, "right here!" and I give her and the rest of her family high fives and they all cheer.

We get into the Speedway and grab some gatorade. I take the cup, take two steps, two drinks and start running. But wait, there is still gatorade in my I breathe or do I swallow it? How about I just run with it my mouth for a few seconds to figure out what to do with it. This is not good because I am not a nose breather. Finally I orchestrate my breathing to allow me to swollow the gatorade and keep on movin' on. We get to Mile 6 in 8:05...alright and that is with a gatorade stop....not bad not bad.

I tell Jason this will probably be the hardest part of the race because it's just around the track and really, not too much to look at....Right. Mile 7 in :8:08 good, this is a good pace .....Coming around on the otherside Mile 8 in WTF 7:49.....alrighty then.

Well ok, that went better than I though it would. We head out of the speedway and strap in for the last 5 miles of the race. Alright, Mile 9 in 8:02.....Now, I'm lookin' for mile 10. Where is mile 10? I have been flippin' running forever, where is Mile 10...oh I see it ahead. Hit the split button, look down. Mile 10 in 8:01. We are still passing people continuously and maybe not feeling as great as we did back at mile 5 but we definently not feeling bad.

This is a hard part of the race for me. It feels like I must have missed mile 11 somewhere back there because we are just running along long long straightaways....but nope there it is....Mile 11 in ok.

Then we see my dad and sue, I can barely smile or wave to them because I am trying to concentrate on the next two miles and trying to convince myself that I can keep up this crazy sub 8min mile behavior. Apparently my Dad who took this video didn't see me as you can hear him say (I am in the pink shorts and white top running right in front of him and Jason is in the blue tank top and black shorts)...(that's right we are way cool with videos of us running on our site!)

We get to Mile 12 in 7:53 and make the turn towards the finish. In this race the last mile is down one road so you can basically see the finish for a mile but it really doesn't look like it's getting any closer. At this point we also...I just have to say it...pass Spider Man...that's right we're passing super heros at this point.

We see Jason's Dad, brother and our niece and wave at them and it gives us a total push of adrenaline. We get to Mile 13 in 7:39 and then we finish with a total time of......

1 hour 47 minutes

I can't freakin' believe it. We beat our goal by 8 minutes. We had an average pace of 8:12....Damn!

After the race we made our way through the masses grabbing food and water and made our way to the designated meeting place. We tried a quick stop at the letter 'P' to see if Jon (his last name starts with P) had finished yet and to our surprise he was there. He also had a quick race finishing in about the same time. Since he couldn't find his family we all went over to the 'W' to wait for our families and maybe a cell phone would arise so that Jon could try calling his parents.

Jason's dad and brother and niece showed up first followed by my Dad and Sue. Lots of pictures and congratulatories around the circle. After resting a bit we headed out for some food with the family and then back to my aunt and uncles house.

I was too tired to realize what the time meant or what it could mean for the future of our running career....(don't say Boston). Stay tuned because that's next along with where we were in the field.


John said...

Great job on the race. I really enjoyed your account of the whole trip. Keep up the great running....

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

Congratulations on your awesome finish time!

Theoutofshapeguy said...

Awesome job guys. Congrats on the race!!

Kendra said...

Congrats guys! That time is really great.

ShoreTurtle said...

That's awesome! Congratulations!You two rocked the half and smashed your goal times. The photos and video are great.

LeahC said...

Thanks everyone!

I must thank my Dad and Sue for doing a great job documenting the race with the wide array of photos and videos.

Danny said...

great pics, and video!

congratulations on a great run!!

Bob said...

Awsome job you two, I am so so happy for you, all smiles here. I can't however get the video to work. But even if I could you likely would be flying past way to fast for me to make you out.
You guys rock, way to go.

Jason said...

You might want to try another browser, if you have the option. If you find one that works, you should be able to tell as it will have a big "play" symbol in the middle of the picture.

LeahC said...

oh that sucks! It's kinda funny cause my dad doesn't see me. hmm....I can't get it on my computer at work but Jason can on his machine and we can see it at home. Maybe try going to this link

if that doesn't work, YouTube might have some suggestions on why you can't see it....

LeahC said...

this could be it :

All of the videos on YouTube are streamed through a Flash player, so you need to have the latest version of Macromedia Flash installed on your computer. To download it, please visit Adobe.

Joe said...

Jason and Leah,

You guys kicked some ass! Way to go! From reading your training posts over the last six weeks, I knew you would demolish your goal time. You two have been working so hard!

Great pictures! In particular, your photography "entourage" did a great job of capturing the moment on the in-race photos. How much do you pay them? On the other hand, you should fire the videographer -- why was he pointing that thing at the sky? ;-)

Leah - nice aggressive passing move on the video. You went right up onto the grass!

How tall are you two? You're both looking tall and sleek in those photos.

I'm assuming that 1:47 was your chip time. What was your gun time?

When did you start your stopwatch that you used for your splits? Did you start it when the gun went off or when you crossed the starting line?

How far behind the starting line were you?

Again, congrats you two!!!!!!

LeahC said...

Hi Joe-

I am pretty sure that my dad forgot to turn off the camera as he was looking for me.

I was in passing mode the entire race. It was so freaking awesome, the best I have felt ever.

Jason and I are very tall. I am just a bit under 6 feet (I never quite made maybe 5'11") Jason is 6'3" almost 6'4"...

1:47 was our chip time and let me see our gun time was.....1:52, so we were about 5 minutes behind the start line. I would say that we were maybe....oh I don't know,a couple of blocks back. I started my watch as we crossed under the starting line so I can get an accurate time at the end and don't have to wait to get my results online later in the day.

Thanks for the congrats!

Bob said...

Got the vid, very nice tree there. ;) Seriously how did Jason keep up with you running all over the course like that.

LeahC said...

he did the same thing to me, you gotta be sneaky :-)

Susan said...

OMG - you guys are my new heros!!!! That is totally awesome!

LeahC said...

thanks susan!

Frank said...

Congrats! That's an awesome time! I know I won't be anywhere near that in the Chicago 1/2 marathon, but hopefully I can finish with something respectable :) Congrats again!

jamie said...

Congratulations again, you guys! That was an awesome race. You guys rock.

LeahC said...

Thanks Jamie! And thanks again for coming. it was so great to see you as we were heading through that last 1/2 mile.

Lana said...

I'm a few days late on this - but a great big CONGRATS on an AWESOME race! You guys were smokin'!!!!

Scott said...

As to the tree...If it had suddenly blown down in an Indiana tornado I would have had really awesome video of it!

Leave me alone!