Wow. It is hard to find words that describe such a compelling experience.
Two nights before the mini I met with all my fitness buddies at a local restaurant and our trainers bought our dinner. Super sweet of them. We all shared laughs and our anxiety ridden stories about Saturday morning. To end the dinner the trainers gave us a card. I opened it and instantly knew I was going to shed some tears. It was a card and paper filled with notes of encouragement from all of our fitness pals at BSeas. A few girls I have named “the mean girls” (they aren’t really mean, they just like to pick on me and me to them) wrote something like “Don’t fall on your face.” I went from tears of joy to laughter. I love my fitness buddies at BSeas and wouldn’t be the person I am today without all of them. We are some of the craziest, most hilarious, and certainly encouraging people you will ever meet.
|Love notes from my fitness pals.|
The night before I met with my aunt, two cousins, and brother’s girlfriend to go downtown and get our packets and grab a bite to eat. I am SO glad I did not have to drive downtown on a Friday night. Or ever, for that matter. I’m a country girl through and through and I hate traffic and lots of people. Both of which downtown has plenty of. The Mini Marathon Expo was really cool. Lots of booths full of expensive items that were begging me to buy them. I decided on a few head wraps to keep my hair out of my eyes. One really cute one that says, “Walks for Wine.” Quite fitting considering I do wog because I love me a good cocktail and other things including cupcakes and pizza.
|Mini first timers!|
We ate dinner at a restaurant new to me, Palomino, and it was DELICIOUS. My aunt who has done the mini before has been super encouraging and helpful in the entire experience. She even treated us to chauffer rides downtown since we were all too chicken to drive and other wonderful treats. I’m lucky to have some amazing aunts in my life who have stepped in for my momma. Very lucky. After the expo and dinner it was home to get to bed. I was super panicked about falling asleep. Luckily melatonin is always my friend and I was out by 11.
4 a.m. came super duper early. Too early. But, as soon as that blessed alarm went off I wasn’t even tempted to hit snooze. I was wide awake and ready to rock and roll. I cooked eggs and toast. M got up with me and gave me a sweet goodbye hug and kiss. Shiloh was less than pleased that we were up that early.
|Shiloh pissed off she was up so darn early.|
I left earlier than I needed because I thought for sure something was going to get in my way and prevent me from being where I needed to be when I needed to be there.
I arrived at our meeting point of course before we had to meet and the adrenaline (and water) had already kicked in. I dropped into the local gas station and used the restroom. The chic working asked if I was going downtown for the mini. The smart ass in me wanted to say, “No, I just wear running gear before 6 a.m. every day.” Instead I said “Yes!” as excitedly as possible.
I was meeting the same crew from last night my aunt was driving us downtown again. She got out of the car whooping and hollering. Another reason I love her. She was pumped and trying to get all of us first timers pumped too. It worked. We chattered the whole way there. I was excited to try the “magic beans” she had bought for each of us.
Arriving downtown was smooth sailing. I think we beat most of the traffic. Downtown looked beautiful early in the morning.
|Beautiful Indy skyline pre 7 a.m.|
Music was blaring and news crews were everywhere. It suddenly hit me. This was big shit! Like people even watched this on the TV?!?!? We walked by the start line so I got a feel for what I’d soon be running under. Pretty cool stuff…
Then I met up with my BSeas fitness pals. It was time to get stretchin and get any last few words of encouragement from my trainers. Have I told you that I have the most amazing trainers? They are nothing but positive words of encouragement. I’m very lucky to have one of them not only as my trainer but also a personal close friend. She always makes me giggle. Even when all I want to do is whine she listens and then tells me to suck it up and get over it. God I love her.
7:00 was quickly approaching. I was nervous to get to Corral W before then so we didn’t get in trouble or told we couldn’t line up. Corral W is obviously way in the back and this year was around a corner so the start line and first several corrals weren’t even in our sight. Kind of a bummer. When we first lined up there was hardly anyone in the corral but it quickly filled up. We even had the pleasure of getting behind what seemed like the world’s tallest man. He continued to bend over and stretch and we giggled and felt extremely awkward. His bum was seriously right in my face. I think he even passed some gas. Either that or that’s just the stench of downtown.
|All corraled up in W.|
7:30 rolled around and apparently the race started but it wasn’t until about 7:40 that things really started moving. I think we crossed the start line about 7:50 or so. That took forever!
I told myself I would jog the first mile, then walk a half mile, jog a half mile. This is why I call myself a WOGGER. After the first mile I was ready to walk but I was trying to keep up with my long legged cousin. I realized about mile 1.5 that it just wasn’t going to be possible. Her one stride was about two of mine. So, I waved her on and realized I might just have to do this thing alone.
Things I saw along the way:
amazing kid bands
old man bands
firemen in full gear and SWAT team as well
a blind man being led
one shirt that read “If you pass me you’re passing two of us” (prego)
another shirt that read “Baby’s First and Mommy’s Twelfth” (amazing)
a lady shouting with a megaphone words of encouragement (twice)
a couple carrying their child, Hope, the whole time
a couple who held hands the whole time
a blind man with what appeared to be his younger friend, or maybe son
people passing out
After mile 2 I had to use the restroom again. This sucked because every single portapotty line I saw was extremely long. Apparently I wasn’t the only one that had to go. I stood in line for about 8 minutes. Of course I got in the wrong line. This crap happens to me everywhere I go, especially the grocery. Next year I think I’d rather find a wooded area than stand in that line again.
My feet started hurting (blistering) at like mile 5. I was still doing the walk/jog method. Panic set in. I had the same damn socks and shoes on that I had trained in for 130 miles prior to this race. Are you kidding me? I figured the intense heat and humidity had something to do with it. I felt like cutting my feet off already. I knew it wasn’t good. I realized if I had to just walk I should. It was better than not finishing at all.
The track was bad. No air and full on sun beating down on you. I passed the fireman and SWAT team in the track and promised myself that they were NOT going to pass me again.
I could do without ever walking that blessed track again. It was cool to walk across the yard of bricks but dang, very hot. Right after that I noticed they changed the flag from green to yellow. This meant a caution to the runners and the heat was obviously an issue.
Mile 9-12 were probably worse than the track. My feet were hurting. It actually felt better to jog or race walk than it did to just slow down my pace. I probably looked like an idiot but I had to find some sort of stride that would get me to mile 13.1. People started dropping like flies. I was by myself at this point. My cousin was way ahead and my bro’s girl was somewhere behind me. I was aiming to be under 3 hours but the heat just took that away from me. I couldn’t jog nearly as much as I wanted to. My goal at this point was just to not pass out. I had a hard time breathing and dizziness was becoming kind of an issue. Every water stop I was smart enough to grab a cup. I poured half on me and drank the other half. Every spray zone that I saw I covered my iPhone and ran through it. The cold water felt so amazing.
Mile 12.5 I could see the finish. This is when I was really struggling to breathe. I honestly think it’s because I was trying not to cry. They would have been tears of pride and also tears of pain, but I held it in somehow. I saw a coworker and she cheered me on to mile 13. In that last stretch I saw my guy, my brother, and my cousin screaming my name and I was all smiles at this point. I didn’t know if I would be able to stand once I crossed that line but buddy I was happy to see some familiar faces.
|Major cheesin it before the finish.|
The finish line was overwhelming. A medal was handed to me. Someone over a loud speaker kept telling me to stay to the right and proceed to Victory Park. Seriously?!!? I want to freaking lie down and you are telling me to keep moving? Come on people!
But, I did as told and headed to Victory Park where the guy and family met up with me. Also found my fitness buddies and got some good photos…
|Me and my sweetie.|
|My medal and flowers from my trainer!|
Official time was 3:22. I’d like to subtract about 8 minutes for the bathroom. My phone (Nike GPS+) said it was 3:09. I know the GPS isn’t totally accurate. It’s usually about .1 of a mile off. I think I need to look into a Garmin or something I count on a bit more. This running thing is becoming more and more addictive. My feet hurt bad enough to debate over doing this again. However, now that it’s been two days later I can honestly say I would love to do it again. I’d love for my other aunts to join me. I’d also love for my sister to do it with me. My girlfriends want to sign up. (We have a goal of 5 5k’s per year.) I hope I can do it with my best friend as well (She was pregnant and sick this year). Even my guy wants to do it now! We might have a huge pack of family and friends doing the mini next year. How cool would that be?
Oh and I plan to sleep with this medal and never take it off. If you see me in it, don’t mind me I’m just super stoked that I actually did a mini marathon.
Next year’s goal: Under 2:45. This could possibly change if I have some family or friends who want to walk it. I’d love to find a group to finish with rather than alone if possible.
One more time I’d like to remind you that this is absolutely something that everyone should experience. I probably didn’t do it any justice trying to put it all into words. …..and sorry for so many words. I had so much to say!