This past weekend I took a light run around Indianapolis. A 26.2 mile run.
I was a little disappointed after a somewhat soggy Flying Pig Marathon in the spring so I decided to go far a fall marathon. My two criteria: I wanted it to be nearby and I wanted it to be flat. Fortunately, Indianapolis' Monumental Marathon fit the bill.
After three marathons in my hometown, traveling to a race was a peculiar experience. I had to get up to Indy the day before, rent a hotel, and do a drive around town to familiarize myself with the course. Adding to the experience was that I encouraged the girls NOT to join me; obviously, I would've loved their presence, but the marathon expo closed early and we would have had to take Kaelyn out of school for me to make it on time. So I ran the entire marathon and saw absolutely no one that I knew.
Fortunately, the weather was almost perfect (just a little cool for my liking though), without a cloud in the sky. Some reflections of the day so I can remember it later on:
- It was cold in the morning. I was going back and forth whether to go short sleeves or long sleeves. It was just cool enough that I went long sleeves and I fully appreciated the decision. I just don't warm up well anymore.
- While the race was smaller/more simplistic than the Flying Pig, it was a pretty well-run organization. The crowds were fairly small, but they were incredibly encouraging.
- Indianapolis' downtown isn't as big as I thought it was. I'm often hanging out at the Convention Center, at the fringe of downtown, so running around gave me some good perspective. I'd say it's not any bigger than Cincinnati's Central Business District. Because of all the flat land, however, the homes near downtown had yards (something of a rarity in Over-the-Rhine).
- Most of my time in Indy has been around the suburbs, so I was very impressed with the beauty of the neighborhoods close to downtown. The northernmost portion of the course was in the trendy Broad Ripple area, but the surrounding neighborhoods were just as impressive. There were some beautiful old buildings along the course.
- My only complaint is that they didn't provide enough Gatorade. There was plenty of water to be had, but I prefer Gatorade early to store up for the end of the race. I avoided much of the water so I didn't get too slogged down in the middle of the race, but this left me slightly dehydrated at the end. My last two miles were by far my slowest.
- The race ended at the state capitol. There were people just past the finish line pushing petitions to change the state of Indiana back to the Central Time Zone. I walked on by, preferring to avoid such religiously charged political issues.
I finished the race with a personal best: 3 hours and 45 minutes. I was somewhat satisfied with my time. I had some a foot strain that prevented me from getting my long runs in, but I had no pain at all during the race. I'm figuring that I'm within ten minutes or so of my top possible speed. I just don't think my body is built for much more than that.
And congrats to my cousin's wife Michelle who ran the half-marathon and finished strong.
Not sure what I'll do next. I've passed that point where I'm trying to do something and now starting to explore what I can do. I'm sure I'll run the Flying Pig next year but after that . . . maybe more wandering.