Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Indianapolis Marathon Recap ...

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: 10/16/10
Temperature: 43 degrees at the start, 65 degrees at finish
Official Time: 4:49:38, 17 minute PR

THE COURSE:

Before arriving to the start line on Saturday, I knew very little about the course I was about to set foot on. I had heard that it was mostly flat with a couple of small hills and the website told me this ...

"The Indianapolis Marathon and Half Marathon courses start with a loop through historic Fort Benjamin Harrison along the tree-lined Fort Parade Grounds. The course then heads North for a loop through Fort Harrison State Park. The Half Marathon then returns to the finish line while the Marathon continues through the State Park to Fall Creek Parkway. This begins a beautiful, flat, tree-lined, creek side, out and back stretch along Fall Creek Corridor Park before returning to the finish line via the State Park."

But that description didn't do the course justice.
From mile one to mile 26, the route was absolutely beautiful. We wound our way through Fort Harrison surrounded by majestic trees at the peak of their fall colors. At one point during the first few miles, runners are tunnelled in by trees of red, orange and yellow and are protected entirely from the sun. It was peaceful and quiet, even as 5,000 runners bounded through. Later, as we ran through the barren walnut trees, I couldn't help but be taken by the beautiful starkness of it all. It was almost enough to make me forget about the climbs that filled the first half of the race.

After mile 13, the course lost it's rolling hills (which I was quite happy about) and it flattened onto a beautiful out and back path that weaved through the trees. I don't believe that there could be a more picturesque fall scene. It's a shame that I was to uncomfortable to really appreciate it all ...

THE BAD:

Bathroom Issues: I woke up at 6 a.m. for this race and by 6:15, I knew I was in trouble. My stomach was not happy. I made my first of seven "pit stops" and prayed for the best. But, by the time we arrived at the start, I had to make "pit stop" number two and it wasn't pretty. Once I got to the corral, I thought everything was all good. My stomach felt OK and I was ready to go. Then we were off. Unfortunately, by mile three, I was already searching for the next port-o-john. It took almost as much effort not to have a "skirtastrophe" as it did to run. So, just after mile six, we stopped and I went.

Three minutes later, we were back on the course, trying to make up time. We did pretty good but at mile 12, I was racing to the port-o-john again (think Dumb and Dumber). This cycle repeated itself for the remainder of the race. And every time I "pit stopped" and watched my time creep up as I sat there, it got harder and harder to recover. (I spent so much time in the bathroom that the port-o-johns started appearing in my race photos. See?)
I began to lose my drive and every ounce of water in my body. I couldn't hydrate fast enough to replace all the liquids leaving my body. My fingers turned to sausages and my legs started to cramp. It kind of sucked.

(Note: On a somewhat positive note, it appears that my colon cleanse was caused by a stomach bug and not nerves or runner's trots. How do I know? Dizzle presented with the same symptoms less than 24 hours later.)

Course Support: While the course was beautiful and there were ample water stops (only one GU stop though - bummer), the course was QUIET. There were few spectators aside from the start/finish area and around the water stops. I swear that at points, I could have fallen to the side of the road and no one would have noticed (and I thought about it). I really would have appreciated a cheer or two when I didn't want to go on.

Chafing: I almost never have chub-rub, thanks to a lot of Body Glide. But, I went to the bathroom so many times that by mile 16, I was feeling the burn.

THE GOOD:

My outfit: Yellow NikeFit Shirt, Orange Running Skirt, White Under Armour Hat and Pink/Orange/Yellow Striped Socks.

I was beyond comfortable and I totally matched the race. I mean, look at how the bib number just blends into the skirt. I couldn't have planned that better if I had tried.

My running partner: J's cousin Kim (who's training for NYC Marathon) was running the half as a training run. She offered to stick with me until the half and the full courses split at mile 13. We had a blast and she really distracted me during those early miles. Here we are before heading to the race.

And this is us at mile 4 (thanks to Judi @ Twelve Fit Feet. Her "fan club" took this shot as I ran by).

My race plan: It was my intention to run the first three miles around a 10 minute pace. When I hit mile 3, my watch read 30:30. After that I just wanted to run comfortably, hopefully somewhere between a 9:30 and 10:00. And I did that, except that my tummy literally exploded at mile 6 and from then on I lost some serious time in the bathroom.

My husband: J met me at mile 24 (when I felt like I was done). He cheered me on (which I really needed), ran with me and snapped some photos of me in action.

If I wasn't so exhausted, I would have kissed him. Have I mentioned how much I love him?

The last two-tenths: By the time I hit mile 26, I knew I had a PR (even if it wasn't as large as I had hoped). At that point, I saw my girls and J's cousins on the course, cheering me on. I grabbed the kids and told them to run to the finish with me. It was the highlight of my race.

My perspective: Even as the race was dragging on and my dreams had been crushed by a port-o-john, I stayed positive. Positive that I wanted to do the whole thing over again. Soon. (Yes, I am crazy.)

The Finish: Who wouldn't love the finish of a marathon? Crossing that line was amazing. Doing it with my girls was even better. And grabbing a 17 minute PR was icing on the cake. And the bling didn't suck either ...

58 comments:

Molly said...

So sorry about the tummy explosion!!! ugh.

Way to still rock that 17 minute PR, Congrats!!!!

Anne said...

Sorry to hear about the tummy issues! Good job getting the job done despite the potty stops, and a PR too! :)

girlevolving.com said...

Tonia, Indianapolis was my very first marathon, back in 2005. While the course was VERY pretty the lack of spectators (since they shut down roads to the course) made it REALLY hard for me, too. I had a friend running it who actually asked a guy who was out raking leaves "could you please cheer for me?" It's a nice course, but they need to find a way to get spectators out on the course - it definitely helps in those back miles where you need someone to tell you you can do it! :)

Great job on your race - an awesome PR!

Rae said...

Congrats on a PR T! So sorry you had tummy issues, but you hung in there!

LauraElaine said...

Great job! Sounds like it was a beautiful course. That's awesome that you still had a 17 min PR, even with all the BR stops!

Book Worm Runs said...

LOVE the outfit :o) Congrats on the PR despite the tummy issues!! You did awesome!!

the dawn said...

i knew that something must have happened, but wow! way to push through being sick and still come out with a new PR, the desire to run the marathon again (a HUGE win), and crossing the finish line with your girls. Amazing! i can't wait to see that finisher's photo.

way to face the marathon and tackle it to the ground!

Bethany said...

Congrats on the PR, even if you were making those extra pit-stops. It'll be fun to see what you're capable of when you have a settled tummy from the start. :)

bobbi said...

Dude. A 17 minute PR with a stomach bug?!? You are BEYOND amazing - just imagine what you are capable of when you're feeling GREAT!

And I love that you match the race - I was wondering if you'd planned it when I saw your first medal pics. You match the bling even!

Teamarcia said...

Sorry about the bug but a PR is a PR. I had no idea that course was so sparse fan-wise.

Katye said...

oh i really hope they got a picture of you and the little ones crossing the finish!

Wells L said...

I'm sorry you were sick - that sucks! what a great race recap. Congrats on a fantastic race!! Way to go, girl!

Julie said...

Oh wow! I hate stopping even once at the porta potties, I can't imagine the frustration of so many pit stops and the pain of tummy troubles. What a great job getting a PR with all that going on!!!! Congrats!

Erika said...

tummy troubles are the worst!!! I totally feel you from my tour de porta potties this weekend. Way to go on your PR! Your girls finishing with you is amazing!!

Marlene said...

Brutal.... bummer that stomach/bathroom issues got in the way of an otherwise FANTASTIC race. The face that you still came otu of it smiling and with a 17 minute PR is astonishing. Can't wait to find out what's next.

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!

karyn said...

Awesome job with a 17 min PR with tummy issue and potty stops!

I love the outfit.

Pam said...

Talk about bad timing!!! A stomach bug on the ONE DAY you did NOT need a stomach bug! You're awesome for pushing through that. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to get started again after having to stop all those times.

That course was beautiful, you looked amazing, and your outfit was absolutely adorable!

Leah @ Chasing Atalanta said...

Congratulations on toughing out some rough tummy conditions on your way to an incredible PR!! Love the socks!

Emily said...

Your bathroom issues sound horrendous! Congrats on persevering and still knocking out an awesome PR! It looks like it was a great day for a marathon-love the recap!

Holly said...

Great recap! Total bummer (literally) on the bathroom breaks and chafing but GO YOU for pulling through! Nice race pics too!

Colleen said...

Great race recap... man - if your belly had cooporated you would have had an amazing PR - although 17 minutes is SWEET! :)

You looked so cute during the race... doesn't that make you faster? :)

k2323 said...

Great outfit, great report and yes, you are crazy! Thinking about the next one already!

Runners Fuel said...

Yu are tough, running this race even with the tummy issues! Glad you were able to stay in it. Congrats on the new PR!!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

On any given day, right?

You just never know how your body/mind will hold up on race day. I know you ran a great race. You will have that marathon when things just go your way! You are so due!!

Congrats on (as always) looking fab as you got the PR and the smile on your face is the best part!

Julie D. said...

Oh my freaking word. You are one tough lady...sticking that out with a stomach virus (the worst kind) and all. Not many could have or would have stuck that one out. I can't imagine. Congrats on an amazing PR!! You ROCK, T!

track coach and adorable wife said...

Sorry about the bad tummy! Even with all that you still rocked it, just imagine how awesome you will do next time! And the sprinkles on top, you do look super cute!

Steel Springs said...

Congratulations on the huge PR! You looked great and it's adorable that your girls finished with you. I'm so sorry about the tummy troubles. You're so strong for sticking it out!

Shelley said...

Look how great you did WITH a stomach bug (monster, really) - that is fantastic! And I do believe yours is the cutest racing outfit I've ever seen! Congratulations on your PR!!!

Jesser said...

So sorry about the disappointments in your race, but you did do amazingly well despite all that crap. It made me tear up to hear about you running with your girls. :) Love love it!

Michelle said...

Congrats on getting that PR despite the stomach issues! And I love that you crossed the line with your girls!!

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

Congrats on finishing and a big PR!!! Although, I know you wanted to run a marathon without major issue... so sorry about the tummy bug. But it says something about your training that you could push through 26 miles with a tummy bug.

I recognize those sunglasses! Are those the red Ryders that you won from me? Love the outfit.

nikeathena said...

17 minute PR with tummy problems?! You are my hero!

This course looks gorgeous - thanks for sharing it with us!

Laura B. Jog for Joubert Syndrome said...

awesome PR, especially considering all the pit stops....and as always, your outfit is awesome. i rock that color combo all the time, feels so happy and cheerful!!! so happy for you!

Katie A. said...

I love that you still enjoyed yourself even though you and the port-a-jons became such good "friends."
Just imagine what you can do when your tummy is right!? Congrats lady on that PR and a well run race!! Whoo hoo!

bobbie said...

Awesome job getting that PR even with a terrible tummy Tonia!! I too had struggles at my half this past weekend! As they say "There's always next time!"

Tricia said...

congrats!

runningwithsass.com said...

WTg you rocked it! awesome PR! So sorry about the bathroom issues. That just measn you must race again :)

ajh said...

How great that you found so many positives out of such negative bathroom issues! Loved all the photos.

Aimee said...

First of all, congrats on an awesome PR! Yay!

Secondly, your outfit is awesome! :)

Third, I'm sorry you had GI problems. Ugh! Way to push through though and finish strong! I love the fact that you ran to the finish with your girls! I'm sure they'll remember that for a long time!

Judi said...

When I ran this same marathon in 2007 it was my first (and so far my only) marathon and I was also surprised by how quiet things were along the route of the marathon. It did get quite lonely out there and those of us who were left were all too tired to do much more than put one foot in front of another!

I'm glad you could use the photo my family took of you :). My husband just told me that you were just a bit ahead of me - I'm sorry we didn't connect! But I'm glad they saw you! So how much time are you taking off running? I am glad to have planned for the whole week off and I only ran the 1/2!!!

Loved reading your report especially since I was there too!

Have a great, restful week!

Judi :)

Anabela (Bela) Neves said...

You did great minus the washroom issues!

Alma said...

Amazing that you pulled off a 17-min PR while having a flu and stopping so many times for the sani-can. AWESOME!

WHAT"S NEXT?!?!?!

Zaneta said...

WAY TO GO!! Congrats on your PR! Sorry you had a tummy bug and had to use the portapot so many times! BUT you still got a PR!!! How awesome are you?!! :D Hope you're feeling better! What race are you planning on running next?

Silly Girl Running said...

Oh no! Tummy explosions? Stomach bug? Poor you! You're a rock star for staying in that race and not dropping out (although you probably thought about it ;))!

Michelle said...

Great job!!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

CRAP!! Every day and every race bring something different. You and the Marathon will have a GREAT rematch soon. congrats on the 17 minute PR!

racing dawn said...

It's got to feel good to have a huge PR even with all those pit stops! Just think the next one will be another PR once that tummy settles down. So...what' the next one? I've got one a month here for awhile - it would be fun to catch one together! :)

aron said...

that just sounds like torture, but you STILL pulled it off and got a huge PR!! can't wait to see what you can do without spending half the race in the porta potty - sheesh. congrats on another marathon and pushing through to the finish line despite all those problems. you are a rockstar :)

Janet said...

Awww.... the line about grabbing the girls and running to the finish nealy made me cry! I hope someone got a picture of that for you! That totally sucks that you were sick but just think how awesome you will be when you are feeling 100%! Way to go girl!

Janet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darlene said...

Great race - you are tough - I would have probably quit. Love the outfit!!

Jen (Triathlete Within) said...

Congrats on the PR!! And some great photos!

Sorry about the tummy trouble though, but at least it was a bug!

kat said...

Great race report, sorry you had such a hard time, it shows how strong you are, mentally and physically that you were able to continue and PR, congratulations.

kat said...

Great race report, sorry you had such a hard time, it shows how strong you are, mentally and physically that you were able to continue and PR, congratulations.

Cynthia O'H said...

Great race report! It sounds like an amazing run to me, even with the trots.

Having J's support there is great. This weekend was the first time mine tried to run the last part of the 10K with me and I could see how excited he was. A family that runs together....

Hope you're starting to feel rested and the clan doesn't come done with stomache issues.

Wifey said...

You're such a rockstar - a crappy tummy and you still kicked out a PR. Can I be like you when I grow up?

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Jamie said...

Serious rockstar! Way to fight through being sick and finish with a huge PR! Congrats!

RunKathyRun said...

Congrats on the monster PR; bummer about the flu-like bug. Awesome race report!